Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

ery therefrom, and surgical operations. dermal or skin affection, superficial or

Some further characterization of this constitutional; only 23 had defective group is indicated by the age limits rang- teeth needing attention; only 3 had afing from 16 to 22 years; further, 15 of the fections of nails, and 4 had symptomatic 266 were young men, and 17 of the total disturbances of hair health. number were Afro-American.

Within that subtle field of the nervous First, anthropometric defects were read system, 32 gave evidences of hyper- or off in terms of marked departures from hypo-excitability, even making allowances our own growth and development norms, for the circumstances incident to examinaassembled from typical and similar groups tion. With respect to the respiratory sysof Chicago second generation young tem, 13 showed findings of obstructions, Americans. In this regard a defect meant hyper-tensions and immobilities over and not less than three times the average vari- beyond mere functional bad habits. ation of the group. Sensory defects of Within such observable and measurable vision and hearing were recorded from features of the glandular system, as could readily ascertainable comparative tables be investigated, the most striking and and our own norms.

significant signs and symptoms were obThe gross summary of total number of tainable. Only three students had paldefects noted shows that 247 candidates pable cervical glands, 38 had tonsillar inof 266, or 92.8%, had defects of one kind volvement in addition to the 33 students or another as indicated, noticeable, mod- that had tonsils excised; 152, or 56.4%, erate, or extreme in degree. The slight had a noticeable or marked enlargement departures were remediable or correctable, of the thyroid gland. either at once or before examination was More important still than those charcompleted, such as of vision, and the like, acteristics of the glandular system, though or during the two-year term of study in in many respects related thereto, were the compliance with the program outlined for findings in the vascular system. Fourteen each student. The extreme defects, or re- of these students showed involvement jected candidates, set the problem before of heart function, some of them grave and us in a frank, sharply outlined picture. organic, others only accidental or inciBut this is not by any means all there is dental to constitutional characteristics, to it. It has been usually said that nega- nervous malfunction and glandular imtive cases always set the problem, but I pairment; 47 candidates had abnormal believe that a close survey of the whole of blood pressure, of which 16 only showed which those rejected form a part will more hypertension, while 31 were subfunctionadequately bring out their implications ating either due to systematic overdrain or and bearings, especially for educators. slow accumulating disorders, and 19 of

The detailed study of the defects noted these had too low or too high pulse presshows that among these high school sure. In the genito-urinary system only graduates, in such a simple co-relation as

3 gave a symptomatic record of slight height-sitting and weight, 8 were too functional impairment that resisted remeheavy and 23 were too light. Ten students dial measures or were undetected. were deficient in strength, 5 below age-size In the list of diseases of childhood or requirements in lung capacity, 57 stu- early life, it is well known that infantile dents, or 21.5%, showed a visual defect paralysis must be reckoned as one of the equal to or greater than the standards out- most dreaded, disabling and deforming. lined by industrial insurance require- Among one group, 5 of these young girls ments, and 5 students were handicapped had the misfortune to suffer its ravages by hearing defects. In regard to the with resulting impairment of form and integumentary system, 18 had some function. Moreover, 6 had deformities of obscure origin and slow development, Of 29 college graduates or students more or less marked as scoliosis. An equal with at

at least two years of college number of lordosis cases were found, and education, 23 of the number had comseven additional cases had deformities of parable defects, or 79.3%, as against trunk or of extremities.

92.8% of high school graduates, while 19, Does it appeal to you or appear to you or 95%, of the 20 former teachers who enas successful education in secondary tered the class to renew their certificates

, schools that young people must graduate, had pronounced defects as compared with presenting such an array of defects as I 92.8% of all high school graduates. Thus have outlined-defects that are prevent- maturity of years without a record of able or correctable to a very large degree? physical care increases the number of deOr that which is a still worse arraignment, fects, whereas additional education and to pass out students from the molding of slight advance in age, with recorded your hands, with incapacitating defects physical care and physical health educathat are unknown to the students in the tion, diminishes the numbered defectives. vast majority of cases and undetected or Why then wait for an examining board not pointed out by their teachers? to find defects that may debar or dis

The situation evidently requires more qualify high school graduates who seek to than the care and treatment of the family qualify for any particular vocation, or erphysicians, and even of the surgical spe- pect time unaided to minimize or assist in cialists, as the health records of these the correction, to say nothing of the preyoung applicants evidence, for it is noted vention of, defects? Why not rather corthat 99 of 266, or 37.2% of the group, had rect imperfections in the process as it goes experienced surgical operations, of which on? In short, why not educate instead of tonsillectomies numbered 55, adenecto neglect ? mies 22, I thyroidectomy, and 3 for ex- As a further argument for the value of cision of cervical glands, I each for her- detection of defects and the efficacy of nia, mastoiditis, tumor, and the like, up simple correctional programs of procedure, to the quota mentioned.

we may appeal to our statistical records Objections may be raised at this again, which incidentally gives us a point that this group of high school gradu- brighter picture. ates is not worse off than the general popu- From the records of re-examinations of lation of the same ages in any community, a recent graduating class from the Noran implication which I doubt, and an ap- mal College, who took the same examparent justification of neglect, which I inations two years previously and who condemn, for the simple reason that no were informed of their physical status and one, to my knowledge, has yet produced deficiencies, it is seen that of the 189 cana valid argument to show cause why a sys- didates, two had no program of correction tem of education should not improve con- indicated, 107 were noted as having grave ditions in other words, should not edu- or noticeable handicaps or defects, of cate.

which 91, or 85% of the number, followed Moreover, if we appeal to our further the recommendations outlined in advance data, we find in regard to the additional or benefited by directed physical educa49 candidates, other than high school grad- tion by their instructors, and health guiduates who passed the same examinations ance by a school committee on health. on the same dates, that age and maturity The foregoing outlined facts indicate alone do not cause defects to be outgrown the desirability, nay, the necessity, of adeor evanesce, while on the other hand, ad- quate physical examinations at periodic ditional physical care certainly does tend intervals of high school students to preto minimize or lessen these handicaps. vent misfortunes in vocational selections,

to guide and intelligently direct physical revision, not for the interest of the ingrowth and development at each stage of structors in high school, but, like everyschool life, and to insure health, both thing else in the final analysis, for the vophysical and mental.

cational interest or necessities of life Just how much selective and intensive activities. physical health work must be instituted In summary, my data are presented to and conducted in high schools will depend, you, showing a cross-section of the status as a matter of course, upon the physical and working power, the defects that might health programs and physical education handicap and prove to be a detriment to activities in elementary schools, and so to efficiency in high school graduates, who talk of constructive or remedial measures elected to train themselves for the career in high schools presupposes adequate peri- of teaching in elementary schools, incidenodic surveys and examinations of all tally and by indirection to ascertain the elementary school pupils, thorough in effectiveness of physical training in high character, frequently repeated and closely school preparatory courses. The sheer followed-up term by term, year by year, weight of the findings indicate the pressfrom the beginning of school days. ing necessity of providing adequate means

As a minimum, and I may add that I dis- of detecting and correcting physical delike numerous requirements, an immedi- fects early in the career of the young aspiate attack on the needs of the situation, rant for teaching vocation. And, finally, suggests that all high school students what is true regarding status and requireshould be examined physically with the ments of those students, and graduates greatest care on entrance, and at the end selecting the profession of teaching, apof the second year, or at the beginning of plies, we have reason to believe, even with a contemplated change in course or career, greater force to the general high school and before exit, for check guidance and population.

THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD

AND HEALTH By PAUL I. PIERSON, Science Department, Chicago Normal College STOPPED on a corner on the south the system. Although the people of this I side of Chicago, near Sixty-third part of Chicago are perhaps above the

Street, a short time ago, attracted by average in intelligence and prosperity, the a medicine vendor. He displayed a chart vendor did a thriving business in the sale of the human body, at the same time of his remedy at fifty cents a package. haranguing the crowd. He had a remedy Apparently the “proof” went home. for uric acid, which was guaranteed to re- It did not seem to occur to these people move this poison from the body. He said that they were taking the word of the that uric acid in the body produced most stranger for at least three propositions: of the diseases that inflicted mankind. In first, that diseases are caused by uric acid; order to prove the worth of his remedy, he second, that the cloudy substance was uric held up a tube of a dark, cloudy solution, acid; and third, that the substance that which he said was uric acid. Into this he cleared it up was the substance he sold. poured some of his remedy. Immediately But the point is not so much these logical the solution became clear. Thus, he said, errors, as the fact that he went to the would this powder remove uric acid from trouble to stage this “proof”. It was a same end.

tribute to the growing scientific attitude hypotheses by further facts; and fifth, deon the part of people.

ducing the laws which govern our facts. A We are emerging from plain supersti- very large part of our laboratory and retion. Our advertising abounds with such search work comes under the fourth step. expressions as “discovered by an eminent Let us illustrate this by a brief story of the scientist”, “triumph of science”, “en- discovery of the cause of yellow fever, for dorsed by leading physicians”. But this this is a brilliant chapter in the history of incident also shows that mankind is still disease control. very easily mislead. Education already Certain facts concerning this and other has a heavy task, but it would seem that it similar diseases led to the mosquito theory is the only way by which we can learn to of its cause. But further proof was distinguish the true from the false in those needed. A commission on yellow fever in matters that affect our health.

Cuba, composed of four doctors, undertook There is a method of learning truth the proof. These men were Reed, Carroll, called the scientific method. By it we Lazear, and Agrimonte. Protecting themhave discovered that the phenomena of selves from mosquitoes they tried other our physical universe occur according to probable means of infection. They slept laws. As we discover these laws we are with yellow fever patients, wore their able to control our environment to an ex- clothes, and ate from dishes used by them. tent never before possible. From our But they did not contract the disease. knowledge of these laws we have developed Then Carroll and Lazear allowed themour radio, telephones, railroads, automo- selves to be bitten by the suspected mosbiles, aeroplanes, and the thousand and quitoes. The result was that Lazear died one things that make this the greatest of yellow fever and Carroll was near the mechanical civilization ever known. But

To make the proof more cerit seems that the mass of mankind is tain, soldiers of the American army in slow to appreciate that the biological laws Cuba volunteered to undergo the same are just as definite, and in some cases as risks. And then came the benefit of well known as physical and chemical laws. knowing nature's laws. Armed with cerAt any rate, people seem to be very easily tain knowledge, the Sanitary Commission, misled by pseudo-science in the realm of

science in the realm of under Dr. William C. Gorgas, extermihealth and the cure of disease.

nated the stegomyia mosquito in the We teachers must first be thoroughly Canal Zone, and with it yellow fever, thus convinced that the scientific method is the making it possible to build the Panama means by which the truth should be Canal. But it is interesting to note that learned about health, that it is the only it took an epidemic in 1905 to convince method that produces results. And we the people in the Canal Zone that the need further to learn how this method is scientists were right. After this, however, used so that we can distinguish that which Dr. Gorgas and his Commission were is scientifically sound from that which is given full reign in sanitary matters. not. This task is not easy.

The scientific method is based on deWe can, for convenience, divide this terminism. This merely means that we asmethod into separate steps, although these sume that nature acts according to law, are not necessarily separate and distinct and not capriciously. We expect that cerin actual practice. First, is the collection tain conditions produce certain results and observation of facts; second, the class and if we duplicate these conditions we sification of these facts observing like- will get the same results. This method is nesses and differences and casual relation- further based on logical thinking as opships; third, formulating hypotheses to ac- posed to emotional thinking, and here is count for the facts; fourth, testing these where many of us get into difficulties. We

one causes

are biased by what we would like to be ment of ours to take the side of the “more true, by views we have held for a long probable.” There are degrees of scientific time, or by what we get from those who soundness varying from the certainly seem to us "authorities.” It is hard to be proved to the very doubtful. For inopen-minded and unprejudiced. We are stance, it is known that certain diseases, prone to draw conclusions and base our like typhoid fever, are caused by bacteria; judgment on insufficient evidence. The for others there is strong presumptive eviaverage man has little idea of the rigorous dence of the same cause, but definite proof and abundant evidence that must be proof is lacking. For still others the cause obtained before scientists will draw gen- is doubtful or unknown. eral conclusions. And even then the scien- A word about authorities: The standtists must be open-minded in the face of ing of men with others of their profession new evidence.

and the schools in which they were trained We are very apt to mistake cause for are guides. The science of our leading effect, and vice versa. When two things universities and medical schools, both happen simultaneously, or successively, State and private, is as sound as we can we are not justified in the conclusion that find. We have to exercise our judgment,

the other. Many of our however. There is no substitute for our physiology texts have taught that cigarette brains. smoking causes low mentality because Finally, here are some questions upon these phenomena often occur simultane- which we can exercise our thinking ously. It is at least possible that the powers. To some, the answers are defismoking is caused by low mentality or that nitely known. Others are still matters of both come from a remoter cause. These dispute. Every teacher interested in are some of the errors of logic into which health training should be able to give an we fall. But even after we recognize opinion or definite answer to them. You these errors and guard against them, we may have to search for facts or data or are often at a loss to know what to believe opinions of others, but beware of emoin health matters. Authorities themselves tional bias. If you feel strongly or get a disagree and the layman is puzzled. little "warmed up” in considering or dis

Here are a few suggestions. Beware of cussing them, mistrust your conclusion. the “secret” discovery, or the exclusive 1. Do drafts cause common colds ? method. One may patent an invention 2. Do you ever suffer from lack of and derive financial benefit, but not with oxygen? honor may a discovery of benefit to the 3. Is night air injurious? health of mankind be kept secret. One 4. Do drugs usually cure disease? must give such a discovery to the medical world. Thus did Dr. Banting with his you ever poisoned with carbon dioxide?

5. Under ordinary circumstances are insulin treatment for diabetes, and so must all reputable doctors and scientists.

6. Is a healthy person, unvaccinated, Use your critical judgment on the likely to take small-pox after exposure to

the disease? "authority” who would gain financially if you took his advice or accept his ideas.

7. Does the perspiration contain poisonJust as you should guard against emo

ous waste matter? tional bias in your own thinking, so be on

8. Will salts in bath water remove fat? guard for bias on the part of the other fel- 9. Is the science of the Physical Culture low who has a financial ax to grind Magazine sound!

Let us understand that very many 10. How about that of Hygeia? things about health and disease are not 11. Which magazine would be the betsettled and we have to educate this judg- ter authority on mental health: The New

« AnteriorContinuar »