Counting Thirteen Pennies
PROCEDURE. The procedure is the same as in the test of counting four
pennies (year IV, test 3). If the first response contains only a minor
error, such as the omission of a number in counting, failure to tally
with the finger, etc., a second trial is given.
SCORING. The test is passed if there is _one success in two trials_.
Success requires that the counting should tally with the pointing. It is
cient merely to state the number of pennies without pointing,
for unless the child points and counts aloud we cannot be sure that his
correct answer may not be the joint result of two errors in opposite
directions and equal; for example, if one penny were skipped and
another were counted twice the total result would still be correct, but
the performance would not satisfy the requirements.
REMARKS. Does success in this test depend upon intelligence or upon
schooling? The answer is, intelligence mainly. There are possibly a few
normal 6-year-old children who could not pass the test for lack of
instruction, but children of this age usually have enough spontaneous
interest in numbers to acquire facility in counting as far as 13 without
formal teaching. Certainly, inability to do so by the age of 7 years is
a suspicious sign unless the child's environment has been extraordinarily
unfavorable. On the other hand, feeble-minded adults of the 5-year level
usually have to have a great deal of instruction before they acquire
the ability to count 13, and many of them are hardly able to learn it at
all. So much does our learning depend on original endowment.
Binet originally placed this test in year VII, but moved it to year VI
in 1911. All the statistics, without exception, show that this change
was justified. Bobertag says that nearly all 7-year-olds who are not
feeble-minded can pass it, a statement with which we can fully agree.