Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/295

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school diseases? What are the exact results following the introduction of the vacuum cleaner in the school? What are the indirect effects of pure air on the processes of nutrition and growth? Can school air be made hygienic? What results from the combination of deep breathing and dust in the average indoor gymnasium? Is exercise thus taken better in the long run than none at all?

Is it true, as certain recent researches suggest, that forty or fifty per cent, of all school children contract tuberculosis at least once before the end of the school course? How does the incidence of tuberculosis among school children vary with different climatic, social and industrial conditions, and with different methods of school sanitation? Probably two million children now in our public schools will die of this disease. Would systematic researches make possible the earlier diagnosis of active cases, or even the certain detection of constitutional predisposition to the disease? Does any one know that we could not by segregation of such pupils in open air schools and by carefully regulating their diet save the lives of half or three fourths of this two million?

What produces hypertrophied tonsils and adenoids? Are they connected with the disturbances of lymphatic circulation and of nutrition due to the sedentary school life? By what mechanism do they produce such deplorable stunting effects on body and mind? To what extent, as statistically determined, do they predispose to tuberculosis and other throat and lung diseases? Are they a necessary incident in the growth of 10 or 15 per cent, of our children? Is it sufficient merely to wait for their appearance and then call in the school doctor to remove them?

What is the relation of the school to the neuroses? Is the school a factor in the undoubted increase of insanity? Does school overpressure, as some psycho-pathologists believe, lay the last straw in the case of those predisposed to neurasthenia, hysteria, or dementia præcox? Of the 18,000,000 children now in the public schools, the lives of probably a half million will be rendered miserable failures because of one or another of the neuroses. May we hope that scientific research in the etiology of nervous diseases will make it possible to segregate the "emotive" cases and apply a psycho-prophylaxis which shall lead them to a normal mental life?

Over half of the pupils fail to progress through the grades at the expected speed. What are the causes of retardation? To what extent is it an expression of congenital mental deficiency? How many mentally deficient children are in our schools? What are the respective values of.heredity and environment in the etiology of feeble-mindedness? How common is the moron, that is, the grade of intelligence lying between the merely "dull" and the "feeble-minded"? What proportion of morons become criminals? What kind of education must they receive to insure that they shall not become social burdens or pests? By what means shall we classify them and on what bases?