Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 33.djvu/533
TEACHING PHYSIOLOGY IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS. 517
quently met with. " The times for "bathing depend on the age of, location of and heat of the individual."
The bad spelling so frequently found in these note-books shows, of course, ignorance or carelessness, either being repre- hensible. Qi^sophagus is spelled " esofergus/' " ecophagus," "sasofagus," " esolpusgult," "sarcophagus," " desophagus." The pancreas is spoken of as " the pangueous," or " the pantheis " ; the parotid or salivary glands as the " perodic," " the galviatory and savilary glands," " the spiratory glands." The cerebrum is " the big brain, or celebra " ; the cerebellum, " the little brain, or se- dula." Suture-joints are " sucher-" joints. Hygiene is " hygine/' or " hygene." Adipose is " adicose " ; sweat is " swett " ; osseous is "oscius"; cancellous tissue is "tenselous"; thoracic duct is " carasse duck," and so on.
Enough illustrations have now been given of the ignorance and carelessness of pupils in regard to anatomical, physiological, and hygienic knowledge to warrant us in saying, when taken in connection with the character of some of the text-books in use, that in many schools these subjects are improperly taught. But it will be said by some : " The fact that such and such text-books are unreliable in pictures and text does not prove that the teachers using them are guided by the unreliable material, and also the fact of faulty and absurd answers by pupils does not prove that these very pupils do not have a very fair general idea of the sub- jects they were questioned upon." Our answer is, that until teaching becomes, with the majority of female teachers especially, something more than a mere makeshift till marriage looms up, very many teachers will be guided solely and absolutely by the book they are using, and as long as favoritism and cupidity pre- vail in school-book committees, books will be adopted by school boards which are unreliable, mere compilations, written by per- sons who in some instances have confessed their incompetency as authors.
In regard to the second assertion, the answer is, after an ex- perience of over twelve years as a teacher, and after conversation with many excellent educators and the examination of many hun- dred note-books, the number of pupils who have correct views as to the truths of physiology and hygiene is comparatively small. Ask some of the boy and girl graduates of your schools why it is that a certain amount of carbonic-acid gas in a well, cel- lar, or cave may be injurious to human beings in contact with it, and not injurious to persons in a room or hall, or which is the most nutritious food, or what produces and maintains the animal heat of the body, and notice how few give even reasonable an- swers. Yet a goodly number of these girls will be the future teachers. Listen to the curious and absurd statements of what