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Ernest Beckwith Kent.

The constructive interests of children online

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certain things which proved to be made by children of all ages
and would thus seem to have some place in all three of these
classes. Thus the making of a dam might mean anything from
the mere play with water to furnishing the power for a large
factory. But if we have in addition the statement that the dam
was made in order to sail toy boats, then this particular dam
stands out plainly as a member of play-utility class. With these
articles some such cue to the motive was generally at hand so



OF CHILDREN 19

that they were a less serious problem than the first one men-
tioned, while the great majority of articles belonged quite
clearly to one or another of the groups.

The method of tabulating was as follows : Each article in
a child's list was scored in that motive column which seemed
most appropriate, then the child's record as a whole was formed
by reducing the number of articles recorded in any one column
to its percentage of the total number of articles recorded by that
child. Thus two useful gifts in a sheet mentioning eight arti.
cles, would give a weight of 25 per cent to that motive. The
following is a sample record of a boy : No. 207. H. R. Grade
V. Age, 10 yrs., 2 mo. No. of articles, 9.



For animals


2 articles


22 per cent


Play utility


3


33


Play imitation


I


II


Useful gifts


3


33



Vitality 4 *' 44 "

As no sheet containing less than three articles was included
in the final tabulation, no one article could make a showing
higher than 33 per cent in the individual child's record, while
its average weight there would be from 12 to 14 per cent. Then
a variety of age groups were formed and the aggregate of percen.
tages was divided by the number of children in the group, thus
giving an average per cent indicative of the rank of that motive
within the group concerned.

Partly as a check upon accidental results due to the small
number of cases, six independent groupings were formed and
averaged, three for each school. The first was into three
groups, including ages 8-9 years, lo-ii years, 12.14 years respec-
tively ; the second grouping was by periods of one year ; and the
third by periods of six months. We may call these the groups
by periods, the groups by years, and the groups by half-years.
On the following page will be found the period averages of boys
for each school and for the two schools combined ; the year aver-
ages of both schools combined ; then the total averages for each
school and both schools. The half-year and year groupings of



20 THE CONSTRUCTIVE INTERESTS

the two schools separately contained too few cases to give any
curves. The half-year groups of the schools combined devel-
oped a few points of interest which will be mentioned later.

The only material similar to this known to the writer is in
Crosswell's study of games already referred to\ In a
questionaire given to 10,000 Worcester school children he
asks them to describe anything which they themselves have
made. Wherever possible, I have tabulated his lists of articles
according to the present plan. The results here, representing
as they do a much larger number of children, furnish some in.
teresting comparisons with our own general averages and with
the relative frequency of the different projects shown in the
article lists. These figures will be indicated as we proceed.
The ages of his children not being stated, this material cannot,
of course, help us on the genetic problems within this period.

edagogical Seminary^ Vol. 6, 315.



STATISTICS OF THE BOYS' HAND-WORK



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Online LibraryErnest Beckwith KentThe constructive interests of children → online text (page 2 of 6)