Mental Health through Education

Mental Health through Education

Mental Health through Education

Mental Health through Education

Excerpt

During 1935-1936 the Commonwealth Fund of New York made it possible for me to travel widely and visit schools and clinics of various kinds in an effort to learn at first hand what is going on in education at every level in respect to what has been called, for want of a better name, "mental hygiene."

If the visitor who goes from school to school at the present time is at all sympathetic with the aims of American education, his impressions are bound to be, on the whole, reassuring, especially if he has in mind the conditions prevailing fifteen or twenty years ago. In at least two important fields--the nursery school and parent education--mental hygiene principles have definitely taken hold; and in work with younger children generally there is an encouraging trend toward conditions and practices that make for mental good health. In many schools of today one finds an atmosphere of friendliness and happy activity. Much of the traditional formality, the forced silence, the tension, the marching, is gone. Children's voices are heard in the halls and "classrooms." The younger children come gaily down the stairways (if stairways there are), natural and relatively unrestrained; the older boys and girls throng the corridors or outside walks, making their way to schoolrooms, shops, studios, libraries, laboratories, and playing fields--to tasks that mean something to them, that make demands upon their energies and their imagination, that often involve hard, difficult work, but work that they recognize as creative. Beauty of surroundings is considered a first requirement in these . . .

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