Full text: Problems in eugenics

148Section II.L. Querton. 
against the anomalies in development, due to the insufficiency of education, 
may be effectively pursued. 
Already the diseases and deaths of children caused chiefly by errors in 
the feeding of the young have been considerably diminished, thanks to the 
methodically organized control of infants. For certain classes of infants the 
control has even been rendered obligatory. 
Already, also, the control of school children, where it is seriously 
organized, has made it possible to guard in a large measure against the 
dangers of a scholastic régime unadapted to the needs of the child. Finally, 
certain classes of workers are subjected, sometimes compulsorily, to medical 
control. These interventions, however, remain limited to a very small number 
of individuals, and in most cases to part only of the period of their 
development. In order to guarantee to all children an appropriate educa­ 
tive environment in the family as well as in the school or in the workshop, 
it would appear quite indispensable to make the organization of this periodic 
control general. 
This generalization is so much the more necessary because, in consequence 
of the progress of civilization, the complexity of the social environment is 
constantly increasing, at the same time as the conditions of the physical 
environment- are being modified and rendered more complicated. 
Greater difficulties for the development of the child and a greater risk 
of anomalies are the inevitable result. 
It is evident that the social environment is becoming more and more 
complicated, and this progressive complexity is of a nature to render the 
development of the child more difficult. 
In families, the necessities of modern life often separate the parents from 
the children, so that a great number of the latter benefit only in a very small 
degree by the gracious educative influence of a good family environment. 
The infant has often to be placed out to nurse, or in a crèche, especially 
when the mother is bound to a trade which necessitates the partial or complete 
abandonment of breast feeding. 
How many children for whom the family environment is non-existent— 
veritable orphans—pass successively to the crèche, the school and the 
workshop without having found in the family the stimulus appropriate to 
their needs? 
Like the family environment the scholastic environment exposes the child 
to numerousi dangers ; abuses have become almost unavoidable in consequence 
of the constant growth of branches of knowledge, the acquisition of which is 
advantageous, but which leads to the overcrowding of the curriculum. 
Now among the circumstances likely to favour the development of the 
child it is generally agreed to set in the first place the acquisition of a 
certain amount of education. The recognition by society of the right of the 
child to this is generally admitted, and the time is certainly not far distant 
when in every country this right to education will be established by law.

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