Full text: Problems in eugenics

L. Querton.Pkactical Eugenics.149 
But all law remains ineffective without a rigorous control of its 
application. We can convince ourselves of this by ascertaining precisely the results 
obtained in countries where education has been compulsory for some time, 
but where there exists no organization charged with the systematic control 
of the development of the child. 
It is important to have, under direct control, the result rather than the 
means. The estimation of the value of the education received can be 
judged only by the proof of the development shown by the child, before, 
during and after the application of an educational régime. 
A law imposing compulsory education ought therefore to impose on children 
who have reached the compulsory age an examination intended to determine 
their development, and in consequence to lay down precisely the conditions 
under which their education must be carried on.. 
This examination should be renewed as often as is found necessary for 
the estimation of the value of these conditions, and especially at the end of 
the compulsory period when the child will have attained the age at which he 
ought to have acquired the minimum of education recognized as indispensable 
to fit him for his social environment. 
The advantage of this control should, without doubt, be extended to 
children who have not yet reached the age of compulsory education. 
The proofs of abnormalities and their consequences should lead to enquiry 
into the causes which determine them, and the extension of the control would 
not be long in being recognized as necessary to ensure the normal development 
of the child before, as during, the period of compulsory education. 
After being subjected to the influence of the scholastic environment, the 
child passes most often to the business environment, which also presents for 
him increasing dangers. 
Premature choice of a trade, weighing him down, often leads to conditions 
harmful to the complete achievement of the development of the child. 
So all hygienists are agreed in desiring a certificate of fitness for the 
admission of a child to work, and in demanding the regular inspection of 
workers, especially of those who are engaged in injurious occupations. 
The growth of the complexity of the physical environment is not less harmful 
than the growth of the complexity of the social environment. 
In towns particularly the conditions of the dwelling-place, as well as of 
the school and of the workshop, are only with great difficulty brought up to 
the standard requisite to the normal evolution of the child. 
The urban environment becomes by its progressive extension more and 
more unsuited to fulfil the conditions necessary for the complete development 
of a great number of children, who can only with difficulty find in it means 
of sustenance and above all the fresh air and exercise which axe indis­ 
pensable to them.

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