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The significant points to be noted about this comparison are, first, the group that repeated receives a smaller percentage of children who are over age or high mentally and at age or normal mentally than the group which did not repeat; second, the group that did not repeat receives a much smaller percentage of children who are under age or low mentally than the group that repeated. It is evident, then, that the children who repeat make up a great majority of the cases that are very low in mentality. Furthermore, there is a large percentage of children who are repeaters and nonrepeaters who could do work beyond the grade in which they are now working.
By studying the individual records of children who are over age and at age mentally and chronologically and picking out those who are both over age mentally and chronologically and who are at age chronologically, but over age mentally, the following facts are secured:
1. Out of 743 children, 268 are over age chronologically. Of these 268 children who are over age chronologically, 209, or 78.3 per cent, are over age mentally.
2. Out of 743 children, 344 are normal chronologically. Of these 344 children who are normal chronologically, 100, or 29 per cent, are over age mentally.
The most significant points about these figures are, first, the large percentage of chronologically over-age children who are also mentally over age; and second, the large percentage of mentally over-age children in the chronologically over-age group in relation to the percentage of mentally over-age children in the chronologically normal-age group. According to the test, 309 children, or 41.5 per cent of the 743 children, show ability in advance of that required to do the work they are now doing.
In summarizing, then, the following points should be noted: 1. Of these 743 children, 1.3 per cent have made more than normal progress, 38.8 per cent have made normal progress, and 59.9 per cent have made less than normal progress.
2. Of these 743 children, on the basis of chronological age, 48 per cent are of normal age, 16 per cent are under age, and 36 per cent are over age. Furthermore, 52 per cent of the children who repeat as opposed to 12.9 per cent of those who do not repeat are over age, and 6.8 per cent of those who repeat as opposed to 29.7 per cent of those who do not repeat are under age.
3. The Binet-Simon scale will measure the amount of retardation in a group. Of the children who have repeated a grade, 57.2 per cent are under age, while only 16.6 per cent of the nonrepeaters are under age. High percentages of children who are mentally over age go with those who have not repeated, and high percentages of children who are mentally under age go with those who have repeated.
4. According to the Binet-Simon scale, 43.8 per cent of these 743 children test mentally above or below the normal age for their grade, and are, therefore, not normally placed on the basis of 1 year to a grade. It can not be concluded on this basis, however, that all of these children are so misplaced as to be unable to do fair work, but it will be shown later that a large number of them can be better placed so as to secure more satisfactory results from their work.
FURTHER APPLICATION OF MENTAL TESTS FOR THE PLACEMENT OF
CHILDREN AND THE RESULTS.
After the examination into the mentality of the entire enrollment of grades 1A to 5A in three schools, it was decided to examine those children who, according to their chronological age, were too old for the grade in which they were working, in order that they might be placed in special classes or, at least, be given some kind of special instruction. Consequently, all of the children in the white schools of the city who were a year behind their grade chronologically or who had made frequent repetitions were tested with the Binet-Simon scale. This procedure resulted in the examination of a group of 887 children selected from grades 1A to 6A, inclusive, of the different schools. It would hardly be expected to find in this group a large percentage of children who are mentally over age. These children were selected because they were chronologically over age and therefore retarded from the standpoint of age. It would be supposed, too, that they would be limited in experience and that this deficiency would be shown by the tests. The actual results from the tests, however, seem to warrant a different conclusion.
TABLE 34.—Distribution, by grades and chronological ages, of a group of 887 white children selected from grades 1 A to 6 A in 10 schools of the city of Rich
mond because they were 1 year or more older chronologically than the grade in which they were working.
Boys. Girls. Boys. Girls. Boys. Girls. | Boys.
Girls. Boys. Girls. Boys. Girls. _Boys. Girls. Boy's. Girls. Boys. Girls. Boys. Girls. Boys. Girls. Boys. Girls. Boys. Girls. Boys. Girls.
85 so 62
12 39 35 89 59 107 76 92 85 80 62 58 34 25 11 4 3.. 2 506 381 41 42
459 336 147 129 165 123 89 58 48 19 9 6 1.
Table 34 gives the distribution of these 887 children by grade and chronological age. The percentage of children under age or accelerated, over age or retarded, and at normal age is as follows:
Distribution of 887 children by grade and chronological age.
Manifestly, then, a large majority of these 887 children are too old for the grades in which they are working and therefore retarded according to their chronological age. The 1 per cent of children who are under age or accelerated and the 9.3 per cent of children who are of normal age are those who had repeated grades. Entrance to school at an early age or entrance to a grade in advance of what they ought to have entered makes this condition possible.
If these over-age children are rightly placed, they ought to test mentally the same as the normal chronological age for the grade in which they are working. This group of children will also contain a certain number of children who are very low in mentality and therefore under age mentally. In fact, it might be expected that there would be a large number of children who test under age or low mentally, since there is a tendency sometimes to advance slow children who are greatly over age for their grade to work which they are really not prepared to do. What they need is a different kind of work rather than more advanced work of the same kind. If many of these children test over age or high mentally, it would seem that the grading of the school system has wrongly estimated their ability.