Dull Normals (i Q Usually 80 To 90)

In this group are included those children who would not, according to any of the

commonly accepted social standards, be considered feeble-minded, but who are nevertheless

far enough below the actual average of intelligence among races of western

European descent that they cannot make ordinary school progress or

master other intellectual difficulties which average children are equal

to. A few of this class test as low as 75 to 80
Q, but the majority

are not far from 85. The unmistakably normal children who go much below

this (in California, at least) are usually Mexicans, Indians, or


_R. G. Negro boy, age 13-5; mental age 10-6; I Q approximately

80._ Normal in appearance and conduct, but very dull. Is

attempting fifth-grade work in a special class, but is failing.

From a fairly good home and has had ordinary school advantages.

In the examination his intelligence is very even as far as it

goes, but stops rather abruptly after the 10-year tests. Will

unquestionably pass as normal among unskilled laborers, but his

intelligence will never exceed the 12-year level and he is not

likely to advance beyond the seventh grade, if as far.

_F. D. Boy, tested at age 10-2; I Q 83, and again at 14-1;

I Q 79._ Mental age in the first test was 8-6 and in the second

test 11. Son of a barber. Father dead; mother capable; makes a

good home, and cares for her children well. At 10 was doing

unsatisfactory work in the fourth grade, and at 12

unsatisfactory work in low sixth. Good-looking, normal in

appearance and social development, and though occasionally

obstinate is usually steady. Any one unacquainted with his poor

school work and low I Q would consider him perfectly normal. No

physical or moral handicaps of any kind that could possibly

account for his retardation. Is simply dull. Needs purely a

vocational training, but may be able to complete the eighth

grade with low marks by the age of 16 or 17.

_G. G. Girl, age 12-4; mental age 10-10; I Q 82._ From average

home. Excellent educational advantages and no physical

handicaps. At 12 years was doing very poor work in fifth grade.

Appearance, play life, and attitude toward other children

normal. Simply dull. Will probably never go beyond the 12- or

13-year level and is not likely to get as far as the high


Those testing 80 and 90 will usually be able to reach the eighth grade,

but ordinarily only after from one to three or four failures. They are

so very numerous (about 15 per cent of the school enrollment) that it is

doubtful whether we can expect soon to have special classes enough to

accommodate all. The most feasible solution is a differentiated course

of study with parallel classes in which every child will be allowed to

make the best progress of which he is capable, without incurring the

risk of failure and non-promotion. The so-called Mannheim system, or

something similar to it, is what we need.