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TABLE 26.-Number of boys and girls who have not repeated a term, by grades and chronological ages.
6-6161-77-7174-88-81 81-99-91 91-10-10 11-11-12-12-13-13-14- chil10 10 11 11 12 12 13 13 14 14 dren.
Total. 1 1 Total.
TABLE 27.-Number of boys and girls who have repeated a term or more, by grades and chronological ages.
13-14-14- chil- total. Total.
4 A.... Girls...
The percentage of these 743 children who are over age is shown in Tables 25, 26, and 27.
These tables distribute this group of children by grades and chronological ages. In this distribution, however, the boys and girls who have not repeated at any time since they have been in school are kept separate from those who have repeated. Likewise the boys and girls who have skipped a grade are kept to themselves. Table 25 gives this distribution for the 10 children who have skipped. Table 26 gives the distribution for the 289 children who have not repeated, and Table 27 gives the distribution for the 444 who have repeated at some time or another. Of these 743 children, 48 per cent were of normal age, 16 per cent were under age or accelerated, and 36 per cent were over age or retarded. If the percentages of normal-age, under-age, and over-age children in the groups of children who had repeated and those who had not repeated are compared, the following results are secured:
Percentages of repeaters and nonrepeaters, according to age.
From an analysis of these figures it is seen that the percentage of normal-age children increases from 41.2 per cent among those who had repeated to 57.4 per cent among those who had not repeated; that the percentage of under-age children increases from 6.8 per cent among those who had repeated to 29.7 per cent among those who had not repeated; and that the percentage of over-age children decreases from 52 per cent among those who had repeated to 12.9 per cent among those who had not repeated.
Clearly, then, the largest percentage of under-age or accelerated children is chiefly among those who do not repeat, and the largest percentage of over-age children is chiefly among those who have repeated. It would seem that failure to proceed normally in the grades is a very strong factor in causing the large percentage of over-age children in this group; and, further, that this large percentage of over-age children is a strong index of the amount of repetition, although not absolute.
A further comparison of these percentages reveals the following:
Percentages of repeaters and nonrepeaters, by age and terms.
From these data it would seem that a high percentage of over-age children and of repetition are closely connected. As a usual thing, children are too old for their grade for the reason that they have been compelled to repeat from time to time.
In summarizing the information from the cumulative record cards of these 743 children, the following comparison can be made which shows what is actually taking place in relation to the chronological age and the progress of these children for the time they have been in school: Per cent making normal progress, 38.8; per cent making more than normal progress, 1.3; per cent making less than normal progress, 59.9. Per cent of normal age, 48; per cent under age, 16; per cent over age, 36.
From these data it is quite evident that there is a large number of children in grades 1A to 5A of these three schools who are much below the grades in which they ought to be. They have been in school long enough and are old enough to be further advanced. Wherein lies the trouble? Is it with the low mentality of these children or with the school system? There is a feeling on the part of many teachers that, until children have covered all the work of a certain grade, it is impossible for them to succeed in a higher grade even though the experience of these children may be broad enough for more advanced work. From time to time, however, there have been experiments made which indicate that such children, when given an opportunity, can do the work of the higher grades as well as many of those who have been regularly promoted.
In order to ascertain whether many of these 743 children, as well as other children in the public schools of Richmond who are over age and who have taken more than normal time to reach their present grade, have the mentality to do work in advance of the grade in which they are working, an investigation of the mentality of these children was planned. It was decided to use the Binet-Simon test for this purpose. The procedure in this investigation consisted of an examination of these same 743 children in grades 1 A to 5A of the three white schools; later a selected group was examined.
The Binet-Simon test measures a child's mentality in relation to its chronological age, thereby establishing its mental age. By means of a graded set of questions, it is possible to tell whether a child has as much or more ability in relation to certain traits than the average child for his age. If a child can answer all of the questions—or their equivalent—and no more, which are answered by the average of a large number of normal children of the same chronological age, he is called " at age;" if he can not answer these questions or a sufficient number of other questions to balance those missed, he is called “under age;" or if he can answer all of these questions and other questions intended for older children, he is called “over age.”
Children are further divided according to their mental ages as follows: All children whose mental ages are the same as their chronological ages or whose mental ages are 1 year above or 1 year below
1 their chronological ages are called "normal;" children whose mental ages are 2 years or more above their chronological ages are called “precocious;" children whose mental ages are 2 years and 3 years below their chronological ages are called “retarded;” and children whose mental ages are 4 years or more below their chronological ages are called “mentally deficient.” The last two groups, namely, the “retarded” and the “mentally deficient," including those 2 years, 3 years, 4 years and more mentally below the chronological ages, are also classified as "backward.”
This test is arranged to count by years and fifths of years. For example, a child may be 71, 72, 73, 74, or 8 years mentally, which means that he has the ability to do the work of a normal child 7 years, 7years, etc., of age, while this same child may be 9 years old chronologically; he would, therefore, be 14 years, 15 years (written 14, 12, etc.) mentally below his chronological age.