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vailing in some places where it is generally felt that the wise and thrifty thing is to do only enough to “get thru.” Our students all feel, even tho they have no intention of finishing in three years, that a few extra credits, like the traditional savings laid up for a rainy day, may prove a valuable asset in case of illness, or of some necessary detention for a time from academic duties. They are thus inspired by what I must say strikes me as perfectly rational and wholly commendable motives to do the best work they can.
Let me, accordingly, assure those who are interested in the experiment we are making that there is every reason for considering it successful. At least that is the opinion of the President and a majority of the faculty of this university.
VERNON P. SQUIRES UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA
Medical inspection of schools—By LUTHER HALSEY GULICK, M.D., and
LEONARD P. AYRES, Russell Sage Foundation. New York : Charities Publication Committee, 1908. P. 276.
To one who for more than twenty years has dwelt in the higher altitude of the academic world but who has come back to the earth and has been thrown into contact with the reform movement and reconstruction work of the public school system, it seems rather strange to discover that the United States of America, the pioneer in so many questions of vital interest to the whole world, has been one of the last of the nations to realize how important it is to take an intelligent interest in the physical as well as the mental development of the children of the public schools. Certainly there is no question that is of more moment for the future of a nation than that of the physical well-being of its citizens.
The children in the German schools are being constantly reminded that the fate of the Fatherland rests with them, not for what they are as children, but for what they will be when grown up into men and women. Parents and teachers emulate with one another in pointing out to the children that health is the best wealth; cleanliness of person and of home is not only strictly demanded, but is a fact; hence, the sturdy German, the sturdy German family, the sturdy German nation. The German schools and the German life are not successful because of an external organization, but in consequence of their solidarity with the character of the nation; and not until it is brought home to every parent and teacher that success in bringing up of children to robust health depends on the cooperation of home and school, shall we attain the ideal for which a nation should ever strive.
It goes without saying that the matter of personal cleanliness as foundation for good health has right along been recognized in this country (in spots); but it was not until very recently that the value of medical inspection of the schools was realized and that steps were taken to rouse interest of the people and the Boards of Education in the physical well-being of schợol children. Observations made in the train of the change from rural to urban life, and of the steady increase of immigration, gave life to this new movement in the United States, for with these changes in distribution of population there came changes in the development of the children in public institutions. So marked were these changes in development under the different conditions that they attracted the attention of sociologists and teachers, on the one hand, and of the school authorities, on the other; gradually these people began to look into the matter seriously. In consequence, a system of medical inspection has already been introduced into some of the states, and it is to be hoped that the good work will go on, that such a system may be introduced and vigorously enforced by the proper authorities in order that each school community may be protected. The work of medical examining boards is so important that it requires men and women of special training and experience to conduct it.
Medical inspection of schools gives a survey of the aims and results of the work accomplished since this movement was inaugurated. Thru the earnest efforts of the men who have conducted this investigation under the generous auspices of the Russell Sage Foundation, much valuable information has been collected, both from the scientific and educational viewpoint. This information should be of interest and value not only to those directly connected with that work, but also and primarily to persons interested in the future betterment of present existing conditions in the health of our school population. The great argument in favor of a thoro medical inspection of all the children in the schools lies in the fact that the critical years of the young life are spent under the control of the school authorities.
The authors point to the results obtained in other countries, showing the gradual improvement in the conditions of the schools, due to more satisfactory environment and methods for protecting the children in virtue of which the physical and intellectual development of the school children has risen to a higher level.
If all children were medically examined and watched closely during all the years they attend school, a great deal of sickness might be eliminated entirely, and the number of students unable to complete their education would be greatly reduced. Every school should have a medical examining board, composed of enough men to take intelligent care of the health of the school population. It should have trained caretakers. The teachers should be held responsible for the reporting of all cases of sickness of any sort, when first noticed,—and under sickness should be included uncleanliness. Every school should have a director for physical training, including calisthenic exercises, tug of war, track athletics, football, baseball, etc.; a systematic course of physical training should be made obligatory thru all the school years. And next in importance to the physical director, every school should have an efficient, inspiring musical director. An atmosphere of good cheer, with plenty of good water to drink and fresh air to breathe are the best things, next to good food, for the foundation of good health. What the Greeks considered of prime importance in the education of their children, we of today make tag-end work. It is not enough to work, work, work. I should feel tempted to throw out of the school curriculums some of the rubbish we insist the children must learn, rubbish that chokes the life out of most of them. It would be better that they should learn fewer things and learn those few things better. The child will accomplish more with his books and accomplish it in shorter time, if he can be kept in a healthy, cheerful frame of mind.
It is not enough to have an annual test of the eyes and the ears made, much less sufficient to have triennial examinations; it is not enough to know that the child's teeth are white as snow and his finger nails immaculate. The health of the child is important enough to demand a thoro examination at the beginning of each school term, and visits of school physicians during the term.
From the evidence furnished by Messrs. Gulick and Ayres of the improvement in every school where medical examination is introduced of the general state of mind and body, it is obvious that to extend such examination thruout the schools of the United States is to increase the preservation of the lives of the children and to promote their usefulness as efficient, desirable citizens.
THEODORE HENKELS New YORK
The revival of scholastic philosophy in the nineteenth century-By JOSEPH
L. Perrier, Ph.D. New York : Columbia University Press, 1909. 344 p. $1.75 net.
This very scholarly and agreeably written book traces the story of an important movement in modern thought. The movement is nothing less than the revival under unfriendly conditions of that scholastic philosophy which held the western world so long in its grip. In revolting against scholasticism, Europe threw away the good as well as the evil in that famous system. It is very interesting to find in Dr. Perrier's pages how the many elements of scholasticism that had permanent value are yet able to reassert themselves in important ways. Students of philosophy will not overlook this book.
Principles of politics — By JEREMIAH W. Jenks, Ph.D., LL.D., Professor
of Political Economy and Politics in Cornell University. New York : Columbia University Press, 1909. 187 p. $1.50.
The George Blumenthal Foundation at Columbia University has already produced several important books on American politics. Both the founder of this important fund and those who are administering it may well be satisfied with the admirable beginning that has been made. The volumes which have already appeared containing the lectures by Dr. Albert Shaw and by President Woodrow Wilson are well known and have been widely read. The lectures for 1908 now offered in this volume by Professor Jenks are quite as interesting as those which preceded them. They are marked, as were the lectures of Dr. Shaw and of President Wilson, by intense