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

test.



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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