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Schools And Education
Child Development
Child's Education
Education And Life
The Common School
Physical Education
Citizenship And Schools
Education In Democratic Society
Ethics In Schools
Efficiency Of Our Schools
Creative Education
Drama And Education

Physical Education

( Originally Published 1913 )

My general conclusion, then, under this head, is that it is the duty of all the governing minds in society-whether in office or out of it-to diffuse a knowledge of these beautiful and beneficent laws of health and life throughout the length and breadth of the state; to popularize them; to make them, in the first place, the common acquisition of all, and through education and custom the common inheritance of all, so that the healthful habits naturally growing out of their observance shall be inbred in the people, exemplified in the personal regime of each individual, incorporated into the economy of every household, observable in all private dwellings, and in all public edifices, especially in those buildings which are erected by capitalists for the residence of their work people, or for renting to the poorer classes; obeyed by supplying cities with pure water; by providing public baths, public walks, and public squares; by rural cemeteries; by the drainage and sewerage of populous towns, and by whatever else may promote the general salubrity of the atmosphere; in fine, by a religious observance of all those sanitary regulations with which modern science has blessed the world.

For this thorough diffusion of sanitary intelligence, the common school is the only agency. It is, however, an adequate agency. Let human physiology be introduced as an in dispensable branch of study into our public schools; let no teacher be approved who is not master of its leading principles, and of their application to the varying circumstances of life; let all the older classes in the schools be regularly and rigidly examined upon this study by the school committees,and a speedy change would come over our personal habits, over our domestic usages, and over the public arrangements of society. Temperance and moderation would not be such strangers at the table. Fashion, like European sovereigns, if not compelled to abdicate and fly, would be forced to compromise for the continual possession of her throne, by the surrender to her subjects of many of their natural rights. A sixth order of architecture would be invented,-the hygienic,which, without subtracting at all from the beauty of any other order, would add a new element of utility to them all. The "health regulations" of cities would be issued in a revised code,-a code that would bear the scrutiny of science. And, as the result and reward of all, a race of men and women, loftier in stature, firmer in structure, fairer in form, and better able to perform the duties and bear the burdens of life, would revisit the earth. The minikin specimens of the race, who now go on dwindling and tapering from parent to child, would reascend to manhood and womanhood. Just in proportion as the laws of health and life were discovered and obeyed, would pain, disease, insanity, and untimely death, cease from among men. Consumption would remain; but it would be consump tion in the active sense. -Horace Mann

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