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Legislation for the physical examination of school children began in 1907, when Connecticut made it obligatory for the teachers to test the vision of pupils every three years. At present 42 States have passed laws on the subject. Though in many States the law is only permissive, the majority make it mandatory and specify a full examination.
A State law making physical education a part of the curriculum was first passed in 1904, but up to 1915 only three States had enacted such legislation. The war gave a great impetus in this direction, and by 1924 such laws had been passed by 33 States. In all but two of these States the laws are mandatory in effect. Xearly half of them emphasize the teaching of hygiene, and many of them make provision for teacher training in this work.
Although in 14 States a division of health work under a« special director has been created in the department of education, legislation in other States has not led to much improvement of the chaotic condition in the field of general school health administration which exists the country over outside of the cities. To a certain extent improvement along these lines awaits the development of county or district health units.
The operation of the ''school hygiene districts," authorized by law of 1924 in Xew York State, Avill be looked upon with interest. In such districts—
a committee is created which is authorized to employ a full-time school health director. This committee consists of the city, village, and district superintendents of the district; the chairman of the (county) board of supervisors, and the sanitary supervisor. The county pnys one-half of the expense, the State the other half.
In New York $1,000 State aid is granted to districts that employ full-time medical inspectors and $700 to districts "that employ full-time dentists, dental hygienists, nurses, health teachers, nutrition or other experts, approved by the commissioner of education."
SCHOOL HEALTH AGENCIES
The existence of manifold agencies, public and private, working for the advancement of health work for the school child, evidences great interest in this work on the part of many persons, but at the same time it indicates that such work is either not fully appreciated by the schools or has not yet been assimilated with the mechanism of the school program. The list of organizations which are doing excellent service in promoting health work in schools is a long one.
By Thomas H. Shelby
Contents.—Significance of university extension service—Extension activities—Statistical study—New linos of service, or lines having unusual development during the biennium—Extension practices and efforts at standardization.
This report concerns itself with the growth and progress of general university extension for the biennial period 1922-1924. By general university extension is meant extension activities of universities and colleges in the fields not covered by agricultural and home economics extension under the Federal subsidy acts through the Federal landgrant colleges.
The report makes no pretense at thoroughness. The limitations of time and resources for securing data render such an ambition impossible. The information upon which the report is based has come largely from universities and colleges holding membership in the National University Extension Association, of which there are 11 at present. The reason for this limitation is the fact that in these institutions the work has been sufficiently standardized to enable some degree of comparison, and to arrive at some evaluation of the results in general terms. There is a further limitation to the report in the fact that data were not available from all the member institutions, though a request for such data was sent to every institution on the list, together with questionnaires concerning matters of special interest and importance. Duplicate requests were sent to those who failed to report the first time.
It is believed that the data and conclusions here reported are indicative of the progress and development in this field of service. Probably in no other field of university work has progress been more notable or more significant.
SIGNIFICANCE OF UNIVERSITY EXTENSION SERVICE
The significance of the service is shown not only by the variety and comprehensiveness of the activities engaged in, but by the everincreasing number of people reached through the service. When one considers the progress of extension of our leading institutions, including 31 State universities, he is led to the conclusion that before many decades have passed all Americans, both old and young, will have the advantages of university training and university service at their very doors. Such is indeed the program and (he ambition of general university extension.
Is not this as it should be? We have agricultural and home economics extension under Federal subsidy because, in the main, it is desired to increase material production and to conserve resources in the home and on the farm—in a word, to increase the ability to make a living. Shall we not have equal emphasis placed on other vocational and industrial development through instruction given in class and correspondence courses in trades and professions, other than those covered by the extension work of the land-grant colleges, which are equally important in gaining a livelihood for a large portion of people? Should there not be even greater emphasis placed upon the elements of social inheritance whereby we acquire training for making a life, as well as for making a living? These aspects of education belong peculiarly to the field of general university extension.
President Birge, of the University of Wisconsin, whose institution was not only a pioneer in general extension, but which has through the years continued to occupy a position of leadership in this field, declared significantly in 1924 that general university extension is essential not only for individual progress on the part of those who are unable to attend campus classes, but is equally important as a means of preventing the crystallization of social groups. To meet the ever-increasing demands of modern life, in the opinion of President Birge, the social mind must be kept in a state of fluidity. In other words, people must study and read for themselves, must constantly acquire new ideas, and must constantly revise their ideals, if social life in a rapidly changing democracy is to go forward.
Because of its resources of personnel, laboratories, libraries, and research material, the university is best equipped to render this service. Since general ext«nsion of knowledge is essential to social and economic development, and the universities are in the most advantageous position to extend it at a minimum of cost, they must furnish this service. In so far as State universities are concerned, probably the large expenditures of money taken from the pockets of the taxpayers of the State can be justified only by rendering service to the whole people.
It has been appropriately stated by leaders in this field of thought that the functions of a modern State university should consist of the following: (1) The teaching of students on the campus; (2) research and the advancement of learning by its faculty; (3) the extension of its resources to the people of the entire Commonwealth.
Notable progress is in evidence in the institutions of the South and West, where extension has found its richest fields of development and where State universities exist in largest numbers.
For convenience this report is divided into four parts: First, extension activities in different institutions; second, statistical data as indices of progress; third, activities that have had unusual development during the period covered by the report; and, fourth, movements for the standardization of extension courses.
The data here presented were secured from two sources, as follows:
1. Published reports and bulletins issued by the various extension divisions, sent in response to a request for such material as would set forth activities and indicate lines of development and progress during the two years covered by the report.
2. Answers to questionnaires.
I. EXTENSION ACTIVITIES
Dean L. E. Reber, of the'extension division in the University of Wisconsin, whose services in the field of extension are outstanding, has suggested* that extension services should be divided into formal instruction and informal service. By formal instruction is meant correspondence or home study; class instruction involving systematic and consecutive teaching; study group programs involving a definite program of study for a period of time; short courses, institutes, and conferences, given on the campus or in centers throughout the State; and radio lectures of an organized and consecutive sort. The aim of this type of instruction is systematic and consecutive teaching resulting in the permanent acquisition of a definite portion of knowledge. By informal service is meant service involving flexible methods and materials. The results are often inspirational and informational, but are less permanent than the results of formal instruction. The latter type of service is represented in our general university extension program by a great group of activities which might appropriately be styled the service line of university extension.
A large majority of institutions place great emphasis on the formal side of extension work, and this service may be said to constitute the backbone of university extension. Formal instruction may be of both credit and noncredit types. The credit type covers courses given either by correspondence or class work off the campus, or by means of radio, which are in all essential respects equivalent to courses given on the campus, and with the same prerequisites that are enforced on the campus. Noncredit courses are given by correspondence, class work, radio lectures, study club outlines, etc., the aim being to educate and to give the benefits of college instruction without any thought of credit in the institution. It is but fair to say that many of the noncredit courses are in all essential respects of college grade, and it is also true that many of them are much below college grade. For instance, courses for college entrance are often given by correspondence, and courses for teachers' examinations are sometimes offered in this connection. Many other courses that meet special requirements of noncollege grade are included in the list.
1 Proc. National University Extension Association, Madison, Wis., May 8, 9, and 10, 1924, p. 27.
In the list of informal instruction and service lines, a survey of the literature reveals the following: Lectures, both singly and in series; lyceum courses; general radio broadcasting, including lectures and entertainment features; package library service; visual education service, including the distribution of films, slides, art collections, exhibits and stereographs (some of this material is used for entertainment features, but a large part of it is educational and informational); general information service, including the answering of inquiries and questions of various groups and individuals throughout the State; women's club work; conducting high-school debating leagues; high-school athletic associations; school and community drama service; school and comunity music service; bulletin service; contests in literary and other events; school service, especially rural service; welfare week-ends; the conducting of Good Roads essay contests; health service; special fair exhibits; workers' education; technical service; library extension service other than package library service; debate and public discussion outside of, or in addition to, high-school service in this line; Government research or municipal reference bureau; service to women's clubs in assisting in the organization and extension of activities; play and recreation service; community institutes; community center aids; surveys (economic, social, and school); short graduate medical courses; assistance in community organization and improvement; assistance in problems of rural economy and sociology; surveys, information, etc., on community and industrial relations; high-school visitation; music extension; fostering bible study in high schools; forestry extension service; engineering extension service; citizenship education; retail salesmanship, including short courses and institutes on business.