Hope For The Children
published in the Calgary Herald on January 26, 1910 and reprinted on February 2010
The Herald has frequently urged the abolition of home work in the public schools, at least in the lower grades. It believes that little children of from seven to twelve years of age do not need to study at home in order to learn as much as their brains are properly capable of carrying during that period.
It is a pleasure now to be able to quote one of the leading authorities in Canada in support of this view. Inspector Hughes of Toronto, whose name is known wherever education is discussed, will recommend to the board of education of that city the abolition of homework in all the classes below the senior third. His example will probably be followed by other similar officials and may perhaps in time reach Calgary.
There is hope for the children in this news. Home study, as an eastern paper recently put it, is the Jack-the-Giant-Killer of primary education. “It kills,” says the Toronto Star, “the giant in the making, catches the bright boy, who ought to become the big virile man, and smothers him under blankets of books. It stunts his intellect by making him work when he should be resting. It puts his eyes out with night work, rounds his shoulders, leaves him a hollow chest.”
The Herald cannot too strongly impress on the parents of Calgary the far greater importance of healthy bodies to crammed minds. Calgary’s schools are well equipped with play grounds. Calgary’s children, as a rule, are a healthy lot. Calgary’s climate is perfectly adapted to the moulding of vigorous bodies. We do not want them spoiled for the sake of a few lessons or a little more rapid advance in some branch of study. The example of Inspector Hughes is a strong one. The public school board of this city might well consider it carefully with a view to abolishing home study in the lower grades of the schools under their charge.