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Insufficient time has elapst properly to report on the actual workings of this measure.
Quoting from Dr. Thomas A. Storey, state inspector of physical training, “The administration of this law is a function of the regents of the University of the State of New York, that is, of the State Department of Education. A Bureau of Physical Training has been establisht as a subdivision of the state military commission. The state inspector of physical training, the chief officer of the bureau, is required, in accordance with the law, to observe and inspect the work and methods described under the provisions of the education law relating to physical training. The state law in New York also provides that all public schools in the state employing teachers of physical training, qualified and duly licenst under the regulations of the regents, may receive financial support from the state to the extent of half the salary of each teacher so employed, provided that half the salary does not exceed $600."
At the last session of the legislature the sum of $60,000 was appropriated for the purpose of enabling the Department of Education of the state of New York to provide for the supervision and special instruction in physical training of teachers of other subjects who are assigned or designated as required by law to give instruction in physical training. This has special reference to rural teachers. The regents' rules already prescribe qualifications for teachers of physical training: the completion of an approved four-year high-school course, and subsequent thereto the completion of an approved two-year professional course in physical training.
At the instigation of Dr. Thomas E. Finegan, deputy commissioner of education, the legislature provided for the coming year a teacher of health subjects for the state normal schools and the state college for teachers. This also goes to the root of the matter in requiring each teacher who holds a normal diploma to have received instruction in the fundamentals of health and physical training. Obviously, a teacher of health subjects should be a trained nurse with a broad education and a personality which shall itself commend her subject.
Another provision not unconnected with physical training is the establishment at one of the state normal schools of a department for the training of teachers for that increasing class of children whose minds have not fully developt. A recently enacted law of the state requires that for each ten such children a special teacher and room shall be provided. This is another evidence of the broad and human interest of the state in her children, the future citizens, that they may have full opportunity in the formative years to reach the best development of which they are capable.
The State Department of Education has under its direction a chief medical inspector who has both a man and a woman as assistants; also a woman superintendent of school nurses; a lecturer on hygiene, a man; an inspector of oral hygiene, a man; a nuritional expert, a woman; a mental and physical diagnostician, a man; and finally a woman organizer of special classes for the mentally retarded children.
These evidences show the attitude of New York state toward physical education, an attitude both positive and constructive, as exemplified in the legal provisions which have furnisht the basis for this paper.
WOMEN AND THE WAR
CLARA G. BAER, PROFESSOR OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION, NEWCOMB COLLEGE,
TULANE UNIVERSITY, NEW ORLEANS, LA. In looking backward over the history of the world one is always conscious of the presence of woman as shaping, more or less definitely as the customs of the period permitted, the destiny of races. It is true, except in very rare instances, that her career as a public character has been the simplest and least conspicuous; yet she has always shared the life of man-tho humbly, abjectly even, at times. One can truly say, and without prejudice, that the position woman has occupied in the development of a people is the measure of that people's civilization.
Civilization is changing, but the human heart and purposes seem the same thruout the ages; and woman is constantly repeating herself in history, accepting what life holds for her of devotion to a cause. Even when her sphere was limited she was often in the home alone, its only protection, while the man was off seeking means of sustenance thru field and forest. And when it became necessary to fight the wilderness she was at man's side, doing her part in the development of a new country and making it safe for liberty.
Is it any wonder then, when we are facing the most gigantic, nay titanic, struggle in the history of races, that we find woman intelligently interested and purposefully active in all projects where she may prove of real worth to the cause? It may not be necessary for her to be organized into battalions to do the active work at the front. That has ever been man's
province, and while man exists it probably always will be. The famous Russ Death Battalion, however whole-hearted in its devotion, proved that to bear arms is not the real work of women.
The modern woman's work on the battlefields today is chiefly that of caring for the wounded and the dying. In this great war crisis the service of women as angels of mercy, in the great work of the Red Cross, will go down in history. Only time can tell how glorious the work has been. There are thousands of men who will testify before the great throne the comforting power of woman's work in this Great War. And many sons, sweethearts, and fathers will come home from "over there” restored to life and home as the result of the devoted nursing and care of some good woman.
The absoluteness of the surrender of life to the cause by women of high and low degree is one of the marvels of the time. Yet not a marvel when one realizes that women are but a part of the great mother-heart of nature. Man, injured, bleeding, suffering, calls forth the greatest services of which a woman is capable. Here one could pause--for in this fact lies the crux of the whole matter: man, the fighter; woman, the helpmeet.
The question of how to help today is not so simple. Life is making so many more calls upon woman. It is becoming much more complex in the ever-increasing avenues of service opening to her, but her intensive preparation for the work she intends to do is manifested on all sides, both in this country and abroad. As always in her history, woman is accepting her lot, answering the call with, "Here am I, Lord,” and giving her whole heart to the service. It is true that she will make mistakes; she may stumble by the way, but her eyes are directed to the duty ahead and she will not falter. How much the future holds of duty and service for each woman only time can tell. Thousands of our men are yielding up their lives that the home may
be safe. In this great need we can feel assured that, so far as human nature can work, woman will do her part to hold civilization together, to keep the wheels of progress turning, and to safeguard the young citizens of the land. A Herculean task it will prove.
To meet the exigencies of the occasion the life of woman must, for a time at least, be more or less revolutionized. She will be called upon to do things scarcely thought to be woman's work. One cannot say how or what shall be the limit of her opportunities. We are not afraid that she will fail. The woman's touch will glorify and make fine the task wherever it may be performed. The same single-heartedness of purpose and devotion to an ideal that have always characterized her life will furnish the motive power in this new life, among these greater cares and graver responsibilities. Out of this great carnage will spring a purer ideal of citizenship. It will no longer be a question of woman "unsexing" herself in doing a more varied work and in living a larger life, but it will be a finer civilization, where men and women, as God intended, shall work together for the betterment of humanity.
In order to fit herself for the task woman recognizes that the first and greatest requisite for success is a fine, strong, resistive body. The athletic girl has come to stay. With her has come the recognition that fresh air is the greatest beautifier on earth; that what one eats and drinks determines largely how one thinks; that freedom of carriage and life depend upon proper, hygienic dress; that littleness of thought has no place in the larger life; also that “thoughts are things”—vivid, life-compelling, purposeful, or death-dealing and destructive. She will manifest in her life what Ingomar meant when he said of Parthenia, “She rules herself,” determining what character of life she will live, planning it definitely and intelligently.
Woman, this “New Woman,” added to the great army of earth, is a power tremendous in her gentle, forceful nature. As the simple blade of grass forces its way between great rocks to reach the sunlight, so woman will pass thru the difficulties that beset her life, and in this new light of a greater opportunity will bring to the world blessed, efficient service.
EFFECTIVE HEALTH EDUCATION THRU PUBLIC SCHOOLS
HELEN L. GREGORY, MEMBER, BOARD OF EDUCATION, ROCHESTER, N.Y.
If the nation is to have a strong, enduring foundation, if compulsory educational laws are worth anything, then there is an absolute necessity for children to have the most skilful training and care possible; otherwise the “nation will have but poor material to lean upon.
Children should be trained in youth, when habits are less fixt and the sports and games are inherent; then students on leaving school would carry with them the love of health-giving sports and games, the knowledge of how to keep themselves "fit," as the English say, and our nation would not be forst, as it is today, to report 50 per cent only as physically able for service, and this too, remember, among those of vigorous years.
Dr. Thomas Wood says that all the necesary forces should be marshaled for the work of developing physical and health training, and we have the right to look to the schools as the official accredited agency to lead in such a program.
We believe a pupil-governed health club in every schoolroom offers the most practical means of driving home the classroom lessons in hygiene.
This subject, hygiene, will never be taught effectively, no matter how perfect the outline may be, or how strongly presented, until the children have some incentive to live up to hygienic rules other than the teacher's constant appeal to do so.
This pupil-governed health club, one of the most alive contributions in the field of physical training today and one adopted in very many states, is the “incentive” which is going to make possible effective health training, and the extra time demanded for this work is well spent and pays large dividends.