Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 84.djvu/79

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
75
WHITE AND COLORED CHILDREN

A COMPARISON OF WHITE AND COLORED CHILDREN MEASURED BY THE BINET SCALE OF INTELLIGENCE
By JOSIAH MORSE, Ph.D.
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA

WHEREVER the methods of science have been inapplicable, or for some reason been left unapplied, opinion has held sway, and, as the adage has it, the number of opinions has equalled that of the men holding them. This, it need hardly be pointed out', is seen clearly in the histories and literatures of religion, philosophy, ethics, politics and many branches of the newer social sciences. It is notoriously true of discussions of race problems, even when the opinions have been held by scientists eminent in their own special domains. Thus we have a Boaz, who can see no essential difference between the negro and white races, and a Le Bon, who is equally certain that a "mental abyss" forever separates the two peoples, and that the negro is the much inferior of the two.

In the hope that the Binet tests would yield a few grains of fact which might leaven the lump of opinion, the writer directed Miss Alice C. Strong, a graduate student of the University of South Carolina, to measure with the Binet scale, as revised by Dr. H. H. Goddard, the white and colored school children of Columbia, S. C. The same tests were given to both the white and colored children under practically uniform conditions, with the exception that some of the colored children tested were older than twelve years. The course of study in the colored school, which is a part of the public school system, is essentially the same as in the white schools, and the quality of teaching is good. The children seemed to be at ease in the presence of the white examiner, and to do their best. No marked variation from the white children in the manner of responding could be noted. In almost every case the dress, cleanliness and manners of the children indicated that they came from good homes. The replies were usually couched in fewer words than those of the white children. There was less tendency to enter into conversation, and it was soon found that they were more at ease when reacting to the tests than when an attempt was made to talk with them about other things.

The following are the tests which were given to the children of both races, ranging from six to twelve years inclusive.

Six Years: (1) Is this morning or is it afternoon. (2) What is a fork? a table! a chair? a horse? a mama? (3) Do you see this key? Put it on that