work. They can be taught to do simple reading and writing,
but will never read very much for pleasure. Mosl of the
children in this group will be able to carry work up to about
the fourth or fifth grade in difficulty. These children would
not ordinarily be called feeble-minded by the layman. It
is only the psychologist or the experienced teacher who
realizes that they are sub-normal. Below them comes the
second group of feeble-minded children, distinctly inferior
to the first. These children may be taught to read and write,
but such achievement is merely a trick. They can make
practically no use of it. They do not know what the words
they read actually mean, nor the purpose of what they arc
writing. These children can, however, under careful direc-
tion, be taught a simple trade in which little skill is required.
They can usually do good manual-training work which does
not require thinking, and can be kept happy and useful in
a special class under a teacher trained for such work. The
third group of feeble-minded children who arc found in the
public schools consists of those who are of such low-grade
mentality that they cannot with any profit do even the
simpler forms of school work. They can, with careful direc-
tion, be trained to take care of themselves, to fasten their
clothing, to attend to their daily wants, to feed themselves,
and to amuse themselves with simple toys.
In any large system the children of these three groups
should be separated into different classes with different
teachers. These teachers should have varying degrees of
training. The teacher in the highest group needs to be skilled
in the training of feeble-minded children. The teacher in
the middle group needs considerably less training, and
should naturally expect to receive a lower salary. For the
third group a regularly trained teacher is probably not
necessary, since any one who can keep the children happy
262 HEALTHFUL SCHOOLS
and lead them in simple amusements will answer the need
successfully. It seems evident that the higher salaries and
the better-trained teachers should be devoted to those
classes of socially handicapped children which have been
described in earlier paragraphs. It is for these children who
are to be regularly independent members of society that the
greatest care and the best teaching should be provided.
Assignment to classes. It is important if special classes
for the socially competent and socially incompetent children
be established in the public schools, that admission to these
classes shall depend upon something more than the teach-
er's whim. The judgment of teachers as to the mentality
of children has been repeatedly shown to be unreliable.
Admission to the special classes should be handled by the
director of school hygiene. In all cases, excepting probably
the crippled and the ansemic, candidates should first undergo
a thorough mental examination, given by an experienced
psychologist who applies certain standardized mental tests,
and determines the mental intelligence level of the child.
Such psychological examination should not be confined
solely to children who are suspected of being feeble-minded.
It will often be found true that children who are supposed
to be deaf or blind are also feeble-minded, and therefore
cannot profit from the instruction given in special classes
for the blind or deaf. Speech defects are also frequently
associated with mental deficiency, and the admission of
feeble-minded children to speech-training classes should be
carefully avoided. In a similar way candidates for the other
special classes should undergo physical examinations by the
doctor especially versed in the particular class of defects
Not only should admission and discharge from special
classes depend on the decision of the child hygiene depart-
ment, but the work carried on in those classes should also
EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN M
be under the direct supervision of that department, so that
matters of heating, ventilating, and physical condition of
the children will be carefully kept under observation.
Open-air schools and fresh-air classes. Paralleling the
movement in favor of special classes for exceptional chil-
dren has come the open-air school movement. This w.
primarily established for tubercular or pre-tubercular chil-
dren, and is gradually spreading to normal children as well.
The open-air class is, as its name suggests, a class where
children and teachers study outdoors in the open air rather
than in a closed schoolroom. Many of these classes have
been established on the roofs of buildings; others have been
held outdoors under tents or on ferry-boats. St ill others
have been held in regular schoolrooms with windows com-
pletely removed from the frame, so that there is plenty of
access to light and air.
The three essentials. There are three essentials for a suc-
cessful open-air school. These are, fresh air, warm clothing,
and good food. No one of these can be omitted without
harmful results to the pupils. The clothing should cons
of warm outer wraps, head coverings, and some method of
keeping the feet warm. We all know that the mosl effective
way to keep warm is to prevent draughts from chilling the
body. This means that there should be no cracks or crevi
in the clothing through which cold air can enter. Children
should be provided with warm shoes and stockings. Some-
times heavy felt boots are found desirable. In addition they
should be provided with sitting-out bags, which are made
on the same principle as sleeping-bags, and are fastened to
the chairs in such a way that the children's bodies, from the
waist down, are thoroughly protected from draughts. In
the v so-called "cold-air" rooms, which are not officially
designated as open-air classrooms, it is common to find
the children provided with no means of keeping their feet
264 HEALTHFUL SCHOOLS
warm. Extra sweaters are usually the only wraps at hand.
The danger of chilled feet is serious, and extra precaution
should be taken against it. During comparatively warm
weather it is also important to see to it that no child wears
too heavy clothing. The teacher should be on the alert to
detect signs of over-heating, such as flushed cheeks, damp
hair, perspiration, and the like, and in such cases should
require the children to remove part of their outer clothing.
Over-heating is a frequent cause of colds.
It is essential that children in open-air classes should be
provided with extra amounts of food. Food provides fuel
for the body, and is rapidly turned into heat. If children
are not given extra food, they are apt to become unduly
chilled, and will not benefit by the open-air class work. It is
also important that this food should be hot. Cold lunches,
even though appetizing and nourishing, do not seem to be
effective. Hot nourishing soup or cocoa made with milk
may often be served to the children in addition to lunches
they may bring from home. For children who are ill or
ansemic it is especially important that large amounts of
nourishing food be provided, under the direction of the school
dietitian or physician.
Montclair's experiment. There are many conflicting
reports as to the value of open-air classes. It has been
demonstrated apparently that children who are convales-
cent or almost on the verge of tuberculosis, when placed in
an open-air class with warm clothing and plentiful good
food, will frequently gain in weight, become strong and well,
and actually do as much or more class work than normal
children of the same ages in corresponding grades. In other
cases apparently careful experiment has seemed to show
that open-air classes are no more valuable to children than
the regular traditional class of the public school. In Mont-
clair, for example, Superintendent Bliss reports on an experi-
EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN 2C>
ment with open-air classes in which extra feeding was sup-
plied, and where each experimental class was accompanied
by a control class in the same school, consisting of the same
number of children, studying under normal conditions in the
ordinary warm, well-ventilated schoolroom. His results are
He finds, for example, that children in the heated school-
room gain more rapidly in weight than children in the <Â»jm:i-
air class. The number of absences from cold, sore throat,
and contagious diseases were notably more in the open-air
classes than in the regular classes. Moreover, carefully
administered mental tests seem to show that there \N'
practically no differences apparent either in the alertm
of the children or in their ability to succeed in whichever
class they had happened to join. According to the results of
this study Dr. Bliss would feel that the value of the open-
air class in Montclair is distinctly to be questioned. ] [e sug-
gests, however, that a possible explanation of the suco
in other cities is that in most cases the ventilating systems
of schoolhouses are distinctly inferior to those in use in
Montclair. He feels that, in Montclair, the experiment
was one concerning the comparative value of cold fresh air
versus warm fresh air. In other cities he thinks the experi-
ment has been the comparative value of cold fresh air versus
warm foul air. In the latter case, he suggests, it is probable
that the open-air class would have distinctly beneficial
effects upon the pupils. In finishing his report Dr. Bliss
states that one of the interesting features of the experiment
was that the parents were unanimously in favor of the open-
air class work. They claimed that almost without exception
their own children were greatly benefited by the plan. They
asserted that children were less nervous, and ale and slept
better than ever before.
The results of Dr. Bliss's experiment are not conclusive,
ogg HEALTHFUL SCHOOLS
but they are highly suggestive. That open-air classes in
most cases have proved beneficial to the children is a fact so
clearly demonstrated that it cannot easily be shaken. Ex-
periments such as that at Montclair do indicate, however,
that we have yet to learn what it is about the usual open-
air class which functions so effectively. Should success be
attributed to low temperature, temperature changes, humid-
ity, breezes, special feeding, sleep and rest periods, ungraded
classes, picked teachers, or to a combination of these ele-
ments? It is strongly to be hoped that further classes will
be carried on under experimental conditions, and definite
scientific information secured.
QUESTION'S FOR STUDY AXD DISCUSSION
1. Is it better to have one large open-air school for a community, or to
have single open-air classes in several buildings? One building espe-
cially designed for feeble-minded children, or "backward" classes in
each school? What should be done with incorrigible cases?
2. Can the schools properly be charged with caring for insane children?
For feeble-minded? For epileptic? At what age should such depend-
ents be placed in institutions? How long should they stay? Why may
they not be left at large? What means of dealing with the problem
other than segregation have been suggested?
3. If it is well for foreigners to associate as much as possible with English-
speaking children, why is not the plan of placing them in primary
grades and promoting them as they learn English better than placing
them in regular classes for foreigners?
4. Suppose that you have in your school system separate classes for
children who are deaf, blind, crippled, anaemic, defective in speech,
incorrigible, foreign, retarded through absence, slow, borderland,
moderately feeble-minded, low-grade feeble-minded, normal, and
bright. Arrange these classes in order according to the professional
preparation required of the teachers in charge, and the amount of
salary you would be willing to pay.
5. Suppose you are in charge of a small school system where each type
of mental, physical, or social handicap is represented by only one or
two children, what arrangements would you make to care for them?
6. What are the commonest forms of mental tests? Into what general
groups do they fall? What quality is each supposed to test?
7. If open-air classes are good for weak children, why would they not be
EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN Wl
desirable for all children? If you were a school superintendent, what
proportion of your rooms would you turn into open-air < !
Why? If funds are not available for extra feeding, i^ it better to have
cold-air rooms without school feeding, <>r no! to have any open-air
rooms at all?
8. In the ordinary heated classroom where there is no other form of
ventilation, do open windows in a warm climate furnish more or less
frequent changes of air than in a cold climate?
Ayres, Leonard P. Open-Air Schools. Doubleday, Page & Co., New York.
Non-technical account of the history and essential features of the opeo-fth n
plan; with bibliography.
Mitchell, David. Schools and Classes for Exceptional Children. Cleveland
Education Survey Monograph. Russell Sage Foundation, New York.
Best discussion of the theory of "socially competent is. socially incompetent chil-
Psychological Clinic. Published monthly. Sec files.
Contains many suggestive articles on treatment of mentally-defective children.
Terman, L. M. The Measurement of Intelligence. Houghton Mifflin Com-
Readable statement of the problem, with careful direction* fur giving mei
together with a careful revision and description of the I HOD tetfa T>r into
Whipple, G. M. Manual of Mental and Physical Tests. Warwick c* York.
Baltimore. (2 vols., 1914, 1915.)
Comprehensive account of mental tests commonly used.
Witmer, Lightner. The Special Class for Backward Children. University
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa. Psychological Clinic Press, (1911.)
Readable account of an educational experiment with backward children.
The argument for school feeding. The three meals a day
to which the adult American has become accustomed are
spaced at too lonu; intervals one from the other for the com-
fort and health of most children. The growing child needs
something to eat in the middle of the morning and in the
middle of the afternoon, as well as at morning, noon, and
night. Were he at home he probably would receive extra
food at these periods, but when schools are in session, he
must either eat a hasty lunch at recess or go without extra
food during the several hours between breakfast and the
noon meal. Moreover, many children are so situated that
they cannol go home in the middle of the day for a hot meal.
In some cases the schools are at too great a distance from
the house, in others the parents are absent during the middle
of the day and cannot prepare hot meals for their children.
In all these cases three things may happen: the child may
go without any food during the recess or noon period, he
may bring a cold lunch from home, or he may purchase from
neighboring stores and pushcarts.
Very few people realize the enormous amounts of money
which are spent each year by school children for pickles,
cakes, and candy, to eat during school recesses. In large
cities the pushcart business makes literally thousands of
dollars a year from this source alone, and in fact so impor-
tant has the children's trade become that pushcart men and
near-by store owners have actually secured injunctions
against school authorities prohibiting the sale of candy or
ice cream to school children, on the grounds that such sales
injure the natural trade of the food purveyors in the com-
It is because of the fact that children ueed food betwi
meals, and that children are actually now provided with
money and are buying the food from neighborhood dealers,
that the organizers of the school-lunch movement ha
urged the necessity of providing such food, prepared under
direct supervision of school authorities and sold at cost to
the children. In cities where such service is not provided
actual investigation has shown thai children spend their
money for a sausage and roll, pretzel, cinnamon bun, ic 1
cakes, marshmallow cakes, hot corn rolls, candy
licorice, chocolate peppermints, and candy rolls; whereas
if given an opportunity they would gladly spend the same
amount of money for such things as bean soup, rice pudding,
cocoa, milk, royal lunch crackers, graham crackers, sp
wafers, dates, milk chocolate, and stick candy. By actual
experiment it has been found that purchases of the same
degree of food value cost exactly twice as much on the
average when made from the street vender as when made
in the school lunchroom.
The Philadelphia experiment. In 1894 the Star Center
Association of Philadelphia started a penny-lunch servi
at the James Forten School, Sixth and Lombard Stl
The School-Lunch Committee of the School and Home
League was an outgrowth of the original School-Lunch
Committee of Star Center, and the first of its kind in I
United States. In October, 1907, the service of the Fort â–¡
School was reorganized and service in two additional scho
begun. In May, 1010, in order to have an organization el
tic enough to meet the growing demand for school lunch
and which could readily be ext (aided to all public schools,
the School-Lunch Committee was organized as a standing
committee of the Home and School League of Philadelphia*
270 HEALTHFUL SCHOOLS
In September, 1911, this School-Lunch Committee under-
took a definite experiment in order to find out, first, whether
or not children will buy wholesome food at school if given
the opportunity, and what price they can pay for it; and
second, to demonstrate a method of serving school lunches
which would (a) maintain a definite standard of food and
service at the lowest possible cost, and (b) become support-
ing to the extent of food costs, preparation, and service.
The experiment was carried on for five years under the im-
mediate direction of Dr. Alice C. Boughton, secretary of the
committee. At the end of the five-year period a report was
published by the School-Lunch Committee, giving its find-
ings and recommending that the committee be discontinued
as a private organization, and thai the work be taken over
and administered as part of the regular public school system.
This is the most important experiment in school feeding of
which we have as yet any record; and much of the material
which is presented in this chapter is taken from or suggested
by the Reports rendered by the Philadelphia School-Lunch
What school lunches are. In certain schools of Phila-
delphia the penny lunch was served during the morning
recess. It consisted of: (1) one or two hot dishes, such as
rice pudding, cocoa, creamed lima beans, macaroni with
tomato sauce, bean soup, cream of tomato soup, succotash,
cream of corn soup; (2) milk; (3) crackers, such as royal
lunch, hard pretzels, ginger-snaps, graham, spice wafers,
oatmeal crackers, and others; (4) jam sandwiches, made of
royal lunch crackers and apple butter or jam; (5) fresh,
dried, or stewed fruit; (6) clear sugar candy, peppermints,
and sweet chocolate; (7) ice-cream sandwiches, cut six to a
five-cent block. Each portion cost one cent and represented
one hundred calories of fuel value. Children were urged to
buy the hot dish or milk, but were not forced to do so.
At many of the special cla and open-air classes dk
elaborate meals were served. These varied, from the three-
cent lunch, which consisted usually of a double-size portion
of soup with bread and sometimes fruit, to full and elabo-
rate meals. Children in the open-air classes, For example,
were in some cases given breakfasts, recess Lunch, dinner,
and afternoon lunch by the school authorities, and care
was taken to provide a plentiful supply of nourishing f"
at each of these meals. In many American cities the food for
the open-air class costs about thirty cents a day per child,
and represents approximately three thousand calories. It is,
of course, true that where school lunches arc already I Â»<-1hlc
provided for all children at cost, the expense <>f providing
more ample meals at noon for special classes is very consid-
erably reduced, because of the attendant saving in equip-
ment and food materials which can be effected through the
Theory of school feeding. There an 4 two opposing tl
ries of school-lunch service, both of which arc now repre-
sented in existing practice in the United States. In the iir>t
place, it is claimed that the lunch service is a matter of
charity. It provides food for those children who are too
poor to secure proper nourishment at home. Where this
point of view is held, it is not uncommon to find that the
lunchroom is established and maintained through priv.
auspices cooperating with the public school authority
Money is raised from various sources, and expended for the
more needy children. In a few instances the public school
authorities themselves have established and conducted tl
lunch service, but still regard it as a matter ^\' charity t'Â» be
carried on in the poorer portions of the city. The other a
newer theory is that the school lunch meets a real need Â«>f
all growing children, regardless of their economic and social
status. The child of the rich is as apt to be hungry m the
272 HEALTHFUL SCHOOLS
middle of the morning as the child of the poor, and is surely
as much in need of wholesome food. Charity must often
provide for the poorer children, but school lunches them-
selves are not primarily a charitable concern.
The concessionnaire. It is a very common practice in the
United States to run school lunches on the so-called "con-
cessionnaire" plan, whereby the school provides room,
equipment, heat, and light, and gives the privilege of pre-
paring and selling food to certain persons who carry on the
school lunch as a profitable business. Sometimes the con-
cessionnaire is a neighboring caterer or delicatessen owner.
Frequently it is a woman of the community who takes this
way of earning extra money. The concessionnaire is usually
subjected to very slight supervision. Sometimes the work is
very well done. All too frequently, however, the food pur-
chased is of poor quality, it is badly cooked, and sold to the
students at exorbitant prices. Naturally if the work is car-
ried on as a business investment the concessionnaire plana
to get as much money as he can for as little outlay as pos-
sible. The students, naturally, must often get the worst of
the bargain. By far the better plan is to have regular sales-
women and their helpers hired directly under the direction
of the superintendent of school lunches, and subject to care-
ful supervision by her department.
The supervisor. The school-lunch organization should be
part of the department of school hygiene, and the supervisor
of lunches should be directly subordinate to the director
of school hygiene. She should have the same standing as
the medical inspector and psychologist, and should be her-
self a trained dietitian with considerable experience in the
organization of school-lunch service.
The duties of the supervisor are many. They include, in
the first place, the standardization of equipment and serving
utensils. If the school lunch is to be spread over the entire
city, it must be, if not entirely at least very nearly, self-
supporting. This means that the greatest care must be
exercised to secure the best and most durable material at
the lowest possible cost. Utensils must be simply d< ed,
easily cleaned, and yet attractive in appearance.
In the second place, the supervisor musl be responsible
for the standardization of lunch service and of recipes.
Under the old method each concessional ire made her own
recipes, purchased her own food, and displayed it any way
she saw fit. The skillful supervisor of lunches attends to all
these matters, so that not only will the food purchased be
of standard quality, but it will be prepared according to
standard methods, and be displayed to the children in such
a way as to be appetizing and desirable. Much of the suc-
cess of the school lunch depends upon the skill of the sal
person in awakening children's appetites.
In the third place, the supervisor must attend to the
engaging and training of sales-people. This is an immensely
important part of her work, since most of the good effect