Hints from the Health Department. Leaflet from the archive of the Society of Medical Officers of Health. Credit: Wellcome Collection, London
[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for London County Council]
Report of the County Medical Officer—Education.
often accompany medical examinations. The answers as to the uses and defects of the various implements
reveal much of the powers of observation and reasoning of the children submitted to him. He
also employs the following card:—
Each child is given a card and is shown a large copy which is exhibited on the blackboard. The
children are told to make everything in the first space like the central dotted circle. The doctor points
to one plain circle and says "To make this like the one in the middle you must put a dot in it," and then
points to a dot and says, "To make this like the middle one you must put a circle around it." This
is illustrated in the copy on the board. The third square is treated in a similar manner. The objects,
letters and figures in the second square have to be copied and in the fourth square all the figure 4's have
to be crossed out. Five minutes are allowed to do this after which the children write their name and
age on the back of the card. This method can be applied to a whole class at one time and is useful
as affording a basis for subsequent individual examination.
These tests are necessarily supplemented by a series of questions on simple problems and tests of
academic"progress in reading and writing. The Binet tests have, perhaps, received the greatest amount of
attention. Three sets of these have been employed—the 1908 series, the 1911 series, and the modified
series devised by Dr. Goddard, of Vineland, New Jersey. The 1908 series was referred to in some detail
in the report of the medical officer (Education) for 1911. The series contains a test of reading and
report on the subject matter read which was found adapted to the normal child of 8 years, but which
proved a serious stumbling block to the defective children of all subsequent school ages. This somewhat
impaired the value of the tests as a means of differentiating the children into groups, though it
proves of the greatest value in testing their fitness for return to the ordinary school. In the later series
tests involving a knowledge of reading have been omitted, and the series have been somewhat re-arranged.
On the whole, the series arranged by Goddard has proved of most value for the earlier years, though
it is exceptional for any child in the special schools to show evidence of a greater intellectual development
than the child of average intelligence aged 11 years. The chief 'stumbling blocks are counting
backwards from 20 to 1, and the making up of one or two sentences to contain three given words. In
the latter test for the ages 10 and 11 the influence of school practice is most apparent.
Dr. Gowdey has made a careful study of a group of children employmg the Binet-Goddard tests, with the following results:—
|Actual age.||Number examined.||No response.||Intellectual age.|