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yet in a class or group by themselves is that they may be a part of the school and yet be where they may receive special instruction. In their journeys to and from home, in some of the general exercises of the school, and for a portion of the time on the playgrounds, they may and should participate with normal children, but in ordinary class work it is to their advantage to be in a class room by themselves. Here they will receive individual attention ; each child will receive instruction specially adapted to his needs; medical treatment will be provided or prescribed to meet the needs of the individual child.
Only those children who are capable of intellectual improvement should be sent to a public school. The public school is not a hospital, a dispensary, a place of detention, or a home institution.
Physical and mental strength and physical and mental weakness often go hand in hand. Many a pupil who is physically weak can receive great intellectual benefit only after he has improved in health and strength. Such a pupil will require special environment and special training in order to prevent deterioration. In the education of these children the purpose should be to make them happy, self-respecting and self-supporting. The training received should fit them for a place in the world.
This condition of affairs—children in need of special treatment and the desirability of educating them in the public schools—is not confined to Boston or New York City. It will not do for educators in smaller places to shirk responsibility by asserting, “ It may be all right for a large and wealthy city, but it is not a burning question with us.” In any city, large or small, there is a crying need for special schools for certain classes of children. The superintendent of to-morrow will recognize this fact even if the superintendent of to-day does not. It is a question that will not down by neglect or indifference.
In order that the work may meet with the highest success the following requirements should be observed :
1. Suitable and well-equipped rooms should be provided. These rooms should be located on the ground floor if possible,
accessible to the street, water closets, gymnasium, and playgrounds. The rooms should be large and sunny, and should be equipped as follows:
CLASS ROOMS FOR CRIPPLED CHILDREN
One table, 18 inches high, and 1 table, 2 feet high, each table to accommodate three children on each side; the tables to be provided with drawers for the reception of books and supplies; 1 kindergarten table; i sand table; 12 foot-rests of heights varying from 2 to 6 inches; 6 Chandler adjustable seats and desks of medium size; 14 willow-back and cane-seated chairs of various sizes, several of them for pupils of kindergarten age; I wheel chair; I couch or cot; running water with porcelain sink.
CLASS ROOMS FOR CLASSES OF MENTAL DEFECTIVES
Fifteen movable and adjustable seats and desks; a number table, 3 feet square; running water, with porcelain sink, unless running water is easily accessible to the pupils in an adjoining room or in the playground; window boxes for each window sill; 6 work benches with the following equipment: (a) general, 6 tack hammers; 1 half round Bastard file, 10 inches; I steel ruler, 24 inches graduated; 3 oil stones; i try square, 15 inches; 2 spoke shaves; I rip saw, 22 inches; i cross cut saw, 22 inches; i round blade screw driver, 4 inches ; 2 barber braces, 6 inches sweep; I set auger bits, 1, $ and 4; I expansive bit: (b) for each bènch, i smoothing plane; 1 Sloyd knife; i try square, 6 inches; 1 back saw, 10 inches; 1 chisel, 1 inch; i chisel, 4 inch; 1 gouge, 1 inch: physical training equipment, 15 pairs dumb-bells, 1 pound; 15 pairs Indian clubs, & pound; 15 pairs wands, 33 feet long, 4 inch in diameter, racks for same; 1 ladder, 12 x 2 feet, rungs i foot apart; a cabinet, 64 x 4 x 11 feet, glass doors, wood shelving.
2. The classes should not exceed ten or fifteen pupils. Only in small classes can the children receive the necessary individual instruction.
3. Specially qualified teachers should be selected. These teachers should be possessed of an even and sunny temperament, infinite patience, tact and firmness, great resourcefulness, and an intense human sympathy. They should have quiet tones, a love for these poor and unfortunate children, an appreciation of effort; and unbounded faith in the work. They should have the spirit of the student, should be specially trained for the work if possible, should be familiar with the literature on the subject, and by frequent visitation to other schools and institutions be reasonably familiar with what is going on in schools at their best. As Dr. Johnstone well puts it, “ What we need is forward teachers for backward pupils.”
Such teachers can be found by persistent effort on the part of principal or superintendent. In any teaching force there are always some who are willing to engage in this special line of work. A special salary should be paid, but even increased compensation is not enough to induce many teachers to undertake the work. A missionary spirit must be the controlling motive.
4. These children should receive kind and sympathetic management. They are usually affectionate and will respond quickly to any reasonable demands of the teacher. If the teacher's face and voice breathe sunshine, their hearts readily fill with happiness ; they respond quickly to every suggestion of the teacher.
5. A suitable course of study should be provided, and the education offered should be adapted to meet the special needs of the children. The course should be flexible and of direct practical value. Physical training should be of a distinctively practical nature. Personal hygiene, the value of frequent baths, pure air, rest and relaxation, should receive much attention. Manual dexterity and skill, and motor control, such as comes through all lines of well-organized manual work, as in cutting, folding, weaving, and constructive work, should be a prominent feature of school work. The training of the hand and head should go together; in fact, the training of one is a training for the other. Again, these children should have their special senses awakened and quickened ; mental alertness should be encouraged. Humorous stories and anecdotes will often give the children a mental stimulus. In all of this work these boys and girls should be trained to be young ladies and young gentlemen. Ethical and æsthetic training should receive special attention.
In connection with school work the physicians from the
Board of Health should co-operate with the school authorities in assisting these boys and girls to good health and strength. Proper medical treatment will often bring about great improvement in intellectual development.
The spirit of modern education at its best is found in the parable of the lost sheep: “ How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you he rejoiceth more over that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”
W. E. AIKEN
Call them not failures, who have sunk beneath
The School System of Switzerland
A. ALBERTINE WETTER, CHICAGO, ILL.
O the layman the school system of so small a country as Switzerland may seem a doubtful subject to write about; while the educator need, of course, not be told, that Switzerland, the home and field of labor of Pestalozzi, has given us in its school system the prototype for our own system of instruction. But although the system
adopted in the schools of this country is the same in its fundamental principles as the one in vogue in Switzerland, still there are a few more or less important dissimilarities which it might be interesting to bring into view.
The schools in both these countries are what their names indicate : free public schools, without class or creed distinction, be they grammar or high schools. The laborer's child has his seat next to the son of the millionaire, and the child whose father calls God Jehovah is not less esteemed than the son of him who prays to the saints, or who belongs to one of the many sects Protestantism has fallen heir to. It is to be regretted that other countries are so slow to imitate such generosity and liberality of spirit.
If we in this country speak of primary, grammar and high schools, with four years to each period respectively, the schools in that brave little republic yonder are divided into what they call the primary and secondary schools, the first named embracing the first six years of school life, while the latter includes four or five years, in most cities five, however.
Compulsory education being an absolute law, obliging each child to attend school until his fourteenth year, the youngest pupil leaving will thus have passed through at least two years of the secondary school, which is equivalent to our eighth grade.
The curriculum in the secondary schools differs slightly from the curriculum in our high schools, in as much as coeducation