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Counting Four Pennies

PROCEDURE. Place four pennies in a horizontal row before the child. Say:
"_See these pennies. Count them and tell me how many there are. Count
them with your finger, this way_" (pointing to the first one on the
child's left)--"_One_"--"_Now, go ahead._" If the child simply gives the
number (whether right or wrong) without pointing, say: "_No; count them
with your finger, this way_," starting him off as before. Have him count
them aloud.

SCORING. The test is passed only if the counting tallies with the
pointing. It is not sufficient merely to state the correct number
without pointing.

REMARKS. Contrary to what one might think, this is not to any great
extent a test of "schooling." Practically all children of this age have
had opportunity to learn to count as far as four, and with normal
children the spontaneous interest in number is such that very few
4-year-olds, even from inferior social environment, fail to pass the

While success requires more than the ability to repeat the number names
by rote, it does not presuppose any power of calculation or a mastery of
the number concepts from one to four. Many children who will readily
say, mechanically, "one, two, three, four," when started off, are not
able to pass the test. On the other hand, it is not expected that the
child who passes will also necessarily understand that four is made up
of two two's, or four one's, or three plus one, etc.

Binet, Goddard, and Kuhlmann place this test in the 5-year group, but
three separate series of tests made for the Stanford revision, as well
as nearly all the statistics available from other sources, show that it
belongs at 4 years.

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