« ForrigeFortsæt »
been to show that these do stimulate
THE BINET SYSTEM. growth. From experiments on plant life PROFESSOR Binet, of Paris, whose recent to human life is but a step. The Swiss ex- death has been reported, made many obserperiments have been referred to. Recently vations of normal children with a view to Professor Silas Wentworth, of Los Gatos, ascertaining the average age at which cerCal., has been conducting investigations at tain intellectual faculties may be expected his experimental farm with a view to dis
to develop. If they develop later, the child covering the effects of electric currents is considered to be abnormal; and the differupon animal growth. According to the
ence between the normal and the abnormal reports published in various journals it is
age of manifestation is taken as a rude stated that a flock of 2000 sheep was di- measure of the child's degree of mental vided, one-half being placed in a field under deficiency. Whatever the years of an ab
. the power wires of an electric wire com- normal child may be (ten or twelve or any pany, while the other half were removed other), the “Binet age" is that of the norfrom electric influences. In the field under .
mal child with whose intellection (as measthe electric power line the production of ured by the Binet tests) the intellection of lambs averaged a fraction over two lambs the abnormal child corresponds. Thus, a to each ewe. In the adjoining field, where child of abnormal mentality of ten years electrical influence was lacking, the lamb
may have a Binet age of two or three. average was rather less than one to each
The Binet ages of one and two are classed The fleeces from the sheep in the elec- by this psychiatrist as those of idiots; from trically influenced field proved 20 per cent. three to seven as those of imbeciles; from heavier. Consequently Professor Wentworth eight to twelve, such children are "morons” would have us believe that the electric in
(a term adapted from the Greek, and nearfluence on animal life "will more than dou- ly equivalent to the English "fool”). ble the yield of wool as well as the pro- Questions are asked the child, and the duction of lambs.” Some time ago in scope of these questions widens year by the French paper Je Sais Tout attention
year. To illustrate: was drawn to assertions made by some ex- A normal child of three years should be ponents of high frequency electric currents able to give his family name. He should in the treatment of disease that such cur- answer correctly: “Point to your nose, rents used in the form of a bath would
eyes, mouth.” Repeat: “It rains.” “I am restore elasticity to hardened arteries for hungry.” “What is this a picture of?” At a time at any rate. That is to say, that
four years the child should distinguish bethe treatment would remedy the condition
tween lines of different length; at five, beknown as arteriosclerosis, so prevalent in
tween objects of the same size but of differthese days.
ent weights; at six he should know the The claims made for electricity may be difference between his right and his left exaggerated, probably are exaggerated. hand; at seven, the value of coins. At Nevertheless that they have some founda- eight he should tell the difference between tion is demonstrated by the fact that it
a butterfly and a fly; wood and glass; pahas been conclusively proven that plant life per and cloth; he should be able to count can be greatly stimulated by electric cur
backwards from twenty to one; should rents. Further experiments on children in
name the days of the week in ten seconds; Sweden and by Professor Wentworth in and should count three one-cent stamps and California will be looked for with intense
three two-cent stamps in ten seconds. The interest. We may be on the eve of a great nine-year-old boy should be able to make scientific revolution. Nous verrons ce que change correctly; to tell the date; to name 110US verrons.
the months of the year in fifteen seconds; to describe a fork, a table, a chair; to arrange
weights of different sizes in their proper found Andrew neither criminal nor idiot, order in one minute. If now a child of and instead of committing him to a school eight does not know his right hand from for the feeble-minded, had him sent to live his left, his mentality is two years behind- on a farm. The Children's Society offihand; his Binet age is six. When found cials were much pleased with the success to average more than three years behind he of the examination, and declared these tests is considered mentally defective.
would be used in all future cases of chilThe Institutional Quarterly, published by dren suspected of criminality or idiocy; the Board of Administration of the State they held it to be most cruel and unjust to of Illinois, in its issue of June last, pre- commit children merely backward in intelsented the application of these tests to 145 lection to live with hopeless idiots in Raninstitution children during the year 1910.
dalls Island, for example; and they exThe general results are thus diagrammed. pressed the hope that eventually there (The actual years of the children are not would be in the metropolis a central instigiven, the numbers stated being those in tution where backwardminded children each Binet age):
might be developed in psychism, might
learn simple trades, and thus become self38 idiots.... 11-14
supporting. It is believed that children 2-24 3-11
even 75 per cent. below normal can, by 4-15
judicious training, have their minds very 59 imbeciles 5-10 6- 8
fairly developed. 7-15
It is stated that the Binet system tests 8-15 9-12
for children up to fifteen years are being 48 morons.. 10-13
introduced into the metropolitan public 11- 4 12- 4
schools, so that children who should go
into the backward classes are being discovOf these children, four had been prema- ered and classified, whilst diagnoses of the turely born, one was a cretin, six were causes of their mental deficiency are being idiots of the “Mongolian” type, eighteen attempted. It is here interesting to note, had suffered meningitis, thirty-one were in passing, that among the causes of mental epileptics, fifty-nine had had convulsions, deficiency or unbalance is the improper or ninety were defective in speech, eighty-four reduced secretion of such specialized glands in sight, and, rather oddly, only fourteen as the thyroid, the pituitary, and the suprain hearing
renal capsules. Cretinism, for example, is It was recently reported that Dr. Max a form of idiocy having a perfectly wellG. Schlapf, of the Cornell Medical School, defined physical basis; in cretins the thymade, in the rooms of the Children's So- roid functionates insufficiently. And the ciety, the first practical institutional appli- simple administration of the thyroid excation of the Binet tests for defective chil- tract from sheep is marvellously successdren, on a boy of fourteen years named ful. Unfortunately, however, many of the Andrew Bianco, who proved to have the physical causes of mental deficiency are Binet age of nine. Andrew had been ar- irremediable. Again, fully one-half the rested on the parental charge of associating crimes committed in civilized communities with juvenile thieves. No actual evidence are incidents of insanity or mental defiof theft was found against him, but the ciency; wherefore, it is held, the "criminal” Children's Society, suspecting him to be perpetrating them should be the concern, rather defective than criminal, asked Dr. not of the police and the court, but of the Schlapp to ascertain the degree of his alienist, the biologist, and the physiological mental development. And upon his report chemist. Justice Russell of the Children's Court
THE TEACHINGS OF MENDEL. clearly demonstrated. This was first done
Much confusion exists in the minds of with species of flowers, sweet peas, and the majority of people as to the so-called more recently with guinea pigs. If two laws of heredity. Perhaps nothing is defi- guinea pigs, one of which is white and nitely known with regard to heredity, or the other black, be mated, the black unit it might be better to say that there are few character dominates in the cross, and all undisputed facts bearing on the subject. the immediate offspring will be black. If A large number of persons regard Darwin these offspring be bred with each other, the as the supreme authority, whereas Dar- recessive white characteristic will reapwin, while the greatest student of evolu- pear in the proportion of one white to three tion, can hardly be considered the first black. This, of course, is the working of authority on heredity. What the name of the laws stated briefly and incompletely, Darwin means to evolution the name of and if they may be depended upon the reMendel has come to mean to the study of sult of a cross involving two unit characheredity. The comparatively obscure Aus- ters may be predicted. The dominant trian abbé preached his doctrine of heredity characters will appear in the first generaforty and more years ago. Then his voice tion. In the next generation the dominant was as one calling in the wilderness, and characters will be represented, together with it is only within the past few years that a new variety. Taking into account that his remarkable discoveries have been ap
the recessive character will appear once in preciated at their true worth. The English four times, in a total of sixteen animals, man of science, Bateson, was the first to
both of the dominants should appear topropagate his views, since which time Vries gether in nine cases, a dominant and recesin Holland and others in England have been
sive three times in each of two classes, enthusiastic in popularizing his discoveries.
and but one animal will have both recessive Before Mendel's day it was generally be
traits. As said before, the above is only lieved that the net inheritance of any indi- a sketch of the working of Mendel's laws, vidual was the average of the character- but it points to the fact that Mendel has istics of the parents. It was left to the explained in a sufficiently satisfactory Austrian abbé to give a reason for atavism manner how the recessive type or “throw or reversion to ancestral type.
back" appears. Some of the advocates of Recently Professor Castle, of Harvard Mendelism are inclined to be extravagant University, the most eminent student of in their claims for what judicious blending “Mendelism” on this continent, has pub- rendered possible by Mendel's discoveries lished a book which is probably the last may do for the human race. A few even word on the matter, at any rate up to the go so far as to aver that by such means present time. Mendel's laws as enunciated disease may be abolished and the perfect by Castle may be summarized as follows: human being evolved. The more conserva1. In each parent there are distinguishing tive students of heredity, acknowledging marks which may be called "unit charac- the great value of Mendel's researches, ters.” 2. When the parents differ in unit deprecate the dissemination of too roseate characters there will be no mingling of
views of the ultimate outcome of investithem in the offspring: one of them will gations in this field. Their motto is rather "dominate," and the "recessive" unit char- "to make haste slowly” and, while hoping acter will not be visible in the first genera- for the most favorable results, not to give tion. 3. The units will form new combi- out optimistic predictions until more is nations in succeeding generations, accom- definitely known as to the practicability panied by the reappearance of the recessive of applying Mendel's teachings successfully characteristics.
to the human species. These laws have to a large extent been
for these will be the balance wheels to offThe rage for research has apparently
set the work of the theorists and keep them reached high-water mark. It has reached in touch with practical work. Practical work such a height as to eclipse temporarily the and laboratory research need to be separole of teacher or practitioner, and to dis- rated, but the results of the former must count the value of these in the school and be checked off upon the latter if it is to be the world. A researcher may be a good of most value. Those who are adapted for teacher or good practitioner, but he rarely
one kind of work are not always adapted to can serve the double function and give each the other, and the division of labor which its due. We cannot serve two masters,
is coming will put more men in the class and usually experimental work is so much where they belong. There will be better more free from annoyance and so much investigators and better teachers, better more absorbing that the leading of more laboratory workers and better physicians, or less unenthusiastic novices over old without inharmonious mixings of both. paths of knowledge becomes irksome and is, to an extent, slighted. The discovery of even an insignificant bit of truth elevates
EDUCATION IN SEX. the finder in the eyes of the educational AFTER the organization of many socieworld, and he is often advanced in teaching ties, the holding of many meetings, the position as a consequence, when, as an im- reading and discussion of many papers, the parter of knowledge, his capacity is often problem of education in sexual matters impaired by the exercise of his skill, and remains much the same as it did before his good fortune in the other line of work. such elaborate organized agitation took Besides, he may never have had natural place. We know no more than we did begifts as an instructor.
fore about the importance of the subject, If it is difficult to merge the teacher and in fact not more than was known a ceninvestigator, it is more difficult to combine tury ago. Unfortunately we also seem practice and research. Many happy dis- little more sure about how to attack the coveries have been made both by teacher problem. The physician would place the and practitioner, for both should have their responsibility with the parent, and the pareyes open, but the special work of labora- ent with the physician, and both would like tory investigator takes so much of time and to put the matter in the hands of the teachpains that there is little room for anything er of biology. In the meanwhile the child beside.
gets his education just as he did before, There is coming to pass, now that this from other children, from vicious adults, high tide of research is reached, a division or through experience. of labor between researcher and teacher on There are at least a few things which the one hand, and between investigator are clear from a pedagogical standpoint: and practitioner on the other. This means that the child should have the truth, that that all special forms of work will be done it should be delivered tactfully and as bebetter than formerly and with less waste of fits his age and understanding, and that it time and energy.
should be imparted at the time his quesThere is bound to come also a separation tioning mind asks for such knowledge. It of schools into those which train for inves- would seem to follow that he should have tigation and those which train for prac- the information from the teacher in whom tice, and within schools there will arise a at the time he confides or should confide, similar differentiation of courses. Though be it parent, pedagogue, or physician. Usuthere will be this specialization, the mat- ally the beginnings in such education will ter of investigation will not be wholly fall to the lot of the most important teacher separated from either practice or teaching, the parent. If the information can be
derived through, or supplemented by, the
EXPECTORATION. study of biology, at home or at school, so EXPECTORATION is disgusting, except to much the better, provided it comes at the those who enjoy disgusting things. Moreopportune time for the needs and capacity over, it is always a sign of the abnormal. of the pupil. Such instruction, followed
Save to repel those whom he imagines as by thorough training in physiology and unfriendly, no animal save man is guilty hygiene in public school and college, would of spitting. be as adequate education in this line as
The dangers in the niiscellaneous distrione could wish. Even with this, the
bution of sputum in public places are strongest of appetites must lead many of recognized, and, following rather crude a lower order of moral control to learn by
methods of cure, the treatment is a fine experience, but this is to be expected. for the act. This attempt at regulating
As an outside influence for good, ade- the nuisance has the effect of at least requate means of hard physical play and men
moving it from public places and of contal exertion will prove the greatest adjunct centrating it in sundry vile receptacles in such training for purity. The city has known as spittoons, or of distributing it always been the hotbed of sexual vice, and
to the winds of heaven with the dust of the the present-day crowding of humanity must roadside. throw an additional percentage of young To some extent we are cleansing one people into temptation. It is the more im
source of the evil, and the most dangerous portant that the conditions surrounding the
source, namely, tuberculosis of the lungs. city child should be bettered.
Then, possibly, the efforts of hygienists are A small army of books and pamphlets producing some fruit in the way of preon sexology, some of them very good in
vention of colds and catarrhs, which are deed, are being published, and these will
also sources of excessive mucous discharge. be useful for older pupils, though for earlier
The reduction of dust in factories and on lessons they can be of little purpose save
the streets, and, to an extent, in travel, as suggestive of ways and means to the
is also helping to remove the sources of teacher. We presume, however, that where irritation to the air passages. personal instruction is shirked a good book
Probably the most constant cause of exwill be the “next best thing."
pectoration is the use of tobacco. Rather, There can be no doubt that sexual purity
we should say, the overuse of it. Fortuis on the increase. Only a century ago the
nately the chewing habit is not what it virtue of chastity was a subject for ridicule.
once was, and the stygian floods formerly Nor did the golden age in such matters pre- emanating from this source have largely cede the eighteenth century by any means.
abated, though doubtless the cannon stove Without any formal teaching society is im
and its vicinity in many a village store proving in such matters, but perhaps we
is even now being veneered with the concan hasten the process a little. The for
densed product from many inouths. Smokmation of societies and the agitation of the
ing, however, is still overdone, and, though subject is helping to awaken wider interest,
this habit is not to be abolished at once, and so is doing much good, but the prob- it is certainly possible to produce some lem remains, as before, largely one of per
effect upon its abuse by professional adsonal appreciation and sympathy of parent vice. The physician is often consulted by and child, of teacher and pupil, of physician the smoker as to the quantity of tobacco and patient, and the burden of responsi- he should use and is frequently brought to bility rests with those who deal personally
the doctor by a chronic inflammation of with the young rather than with any or
the upper air passages, brought on by an ganized body of agitators.
overuse of tobacco. Since this overuse is accompanied by expectoration, the