In the first part of our treatise it has been shown that an excess of subjectmatter leads, from the viewpoint of mental hygiene of the child, to the weakening of the higher nervous activity of the child. The main reason why pupils are excessively burdened is the dilficulty of the subject-matter, which Is unsuited to the pupils’ age. It has been shown that the difficulty of subject-matter leads to formalism in teaching, which eliminates both the creative educational-instructional work of the teacher and the necessary activity of the child in acquiring knowledge; it further suppresses the assertion of the fundamental inborn needs of the child: the need of getting to know things, the need of activity and independence, the unconditioned bases of which lie in the instinct of inquiry and in the instinct of self-assertion. Active acquiring of knowledge should, from the viewpoint of the ontogenesis of the psychic, follow the training of the child’s senses and motricity, correct verbalisation, and the training of independent, fluent speech of the child.
An excessive amount of subject-matter fails to give the pupil a sound, stimulating perspective for the fulfilment of the task, it arouses in the child a lack of interest in the work assigned, brings about an unhealthy feeling of loss of self-confidence, prepares the ground for the „escape of the child into illness” and the like. Thereby the education of the child trespasses on one of the fundamental requirements of mental hygiene, viz. the creation of conditions for stimulating and furthering interest in the work assigned.
Another requirement of the hygiene of the educational-instructional process which is accounted for is that of individual approach to each child. Further points that are criticized are: the conception and practice of applying pedagogical norms from the viewpoint of hygiene, and the prescription-like character of pedagogy.
In the second part are mentioned the basic hygienic requirements as to examinations, and defects of speech occurring in pupils’ answers; stress is laid on the need for more frequent and fluent narratives and answers given by pupils before the collective of the whole class.
What is especially criticized in the Report on Inquiry is the disproportionate amount of time in the class period devoted to oral examinations for grading pupils; attention is drawn to some shortcomings of what is called “orientation testing” and stress is laid on their significance from the point of view of the hygiene of testing. Written tests in content subjects, so frequently used nowadays, are disapproved from the viewpoint of the hygiene of the examination.