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Full text of "The Forty Fifth Yearbook Of The National Society For The Study Of Education Part I The Measurement Of Understanding"

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pt. 1 
370.6 277y 1946 


370.6 H277Y 1946 pt.l 

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No part of this yearbook may be reproduced in any form without 
written permission from, the Secretary of the Society 

The responsibilities of the Board of Directors of the National Society 
for the Study of Education in the case of yearbooks prepared by the 
Society's committees are (1) to select the subjects to be investigated, (2) 
to appoint committees calculated in their personnel to ensure consideration 
of all significant points of view, (S) to provide appropriate subsidies for 
necessary expenses, (4) to publish and distribute the committees' reports, 
and (5) to arrange for their discussion at the annual meetings. 

The responsibility of the Yearbook Editor is to prepare the submitted 
manuscripts for publication in accordance with the principles and regula- 
tions approved by the Board of Directors in the "Guide for Contributors" 

Neither the Board of Directors, nor the Yearbook Editor, nor the 
Society is responsible for the conclusions reached or the opinions expressed 
by the Society's yearbook committees. 

Published March, 1946 
First Printing, 4,500 Copies 

Printed in the United States of America 


Board oj Directors 
(Term of office expires March 1 of the year indicated) 

Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 

W. W. CHARTERS (1948) 
Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri 

University of California; Berkeley, California 

ERNEST HORN (1949) * 
State University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 

T. R. MCCONNELL (1949) ** 
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 

ERNEST 0. MELBY (1947) 
New York University, New York, New York 

State Education Department, Albany, New York 

NELSON B. HENRY (Ex-afficio) 
University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 


University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 

* Re-elected for three years beginning March 1, 1946. 
** Elected for three years beginning March 1, 1946. 



WILLIAM A. BROWNELL (Chairman), Professor of Educational Psy- 
chology, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 

HARL R. DOUGLASS, Director, College of Education, University of 
Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 

WARREN G. FINDLEY, Assistant Director, Division of Examinations and 
Testing, State Education Department, Albany, New York 

VERNER M. SIMS, Professor of Psychology, University of Alabama, 
University, Alabama 

HEBBERT F. SPITZER, Principal, University Elementary School, State 
University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 


HOWARD R. ANDERSON, Director, School of Education, Cornell Uni- 
versity, Ithaca, New York 

KARL W. BOOKWALTER, Assistant Professor of Education, University 
of Indiana, Bloomington, Indiana 

HOLMES BOYNTON, Assistant Professor of Physics and Mathematics, 
State Teachers College, New Haven, Connecticut 

CLARA M. BROWN, Professor of Home Economics, University of Minne- 
sota, University Farm, St. Paul, Minnesota 

HESTER CHADDERDON, Professor of Home-Economics Education, Iowa 
State College, Ames, Iowa 

THOMAS KIRK CTJRETON, Associate Professor, School of Physical Edu- 
cation, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 

GEORGE P. DEYOE, Associate Professor of Education, Michigan State 
College, Lansing, Michigan 

E. E. ERICSON, Professor of Industrial Education and Head of Indus- 
trial-Education Department, Santa Barbara State College, Santa 
Barbara, California 

HAROLD P. FAWCETT, Professor of Education, Ohio State University, 
Columbus, Ohio 

WILLIAM N. FENNINGER, State Education Department, Albany, New 

ELAINE FORSYTH, Detroit Public Schools, Detroit, Michigan 

FRED P. FRTJTCHEY, Division of Field Studies and Training, Extension 
Service, U, S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C. 



RUTH GLASSOW, Associate Professor of Physical Education, University 
of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 

WILLIAM S. GRAY, Professor of Education, University of Chicago, Chi- 
cago, Illinois 

HARRY A. GREENE, Director, Bureau of Educational Research and 
Service, State University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 

LENNOX B. GREY, Professor of English, Teachers College, Columbia 
University, New York, .New York 

MAURICE L. HARTUNG, Associate Professor of Teaching of Mathe- 
matics, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 

Louis M. HEIL, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and 
Art, New York, New York 

PAUL E. KAMBLY, Assistant Professor of Education, State University 
of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 

FRANK W. LATHROP, Specialist in Agriculture Education, U. S. Office 
of Education, Washington, D. C. 

MARCUS MAINARDI, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and 
Art, New York, New York 

HARRIETT G. McCoRMiCK, Special Lecturer in Dentistry, Teachers 
College, Columbia University, New York, New York 

ESTHER McGiNNis, Assistant Director, Merrill-Palmer School, De- 
troit, Michigan 

HORACE T. MORSE, Associate Professor of Education and Associate 
Director of the General College, University of Minnesota, Min- 
neapolis, Minnesota 

JAMES L. MURSELL, Professor of Education, Teachers College, Colum- 
bia University, New York, New York 

Louis V. NEWTORK, Director, Bureau of Industrial-Arts Education, 
Board of Education, Chicago, Illinois 

DOROTHY NYSWANDER, Health Specialist, Division of Education, Of- 
fice of Inter-American Affairs, Washington, D. C. 

LILLA BELLE PITTS, Associate Professor of Music Education, Teachers 
College, Columbia University, New York, New York 

MARIS M. PROFFITT, Chief, Division of Instructional Services, U. S. 
Office of Education, Washington, D. C. 

MABEL E. RUGEN, Professor of Health and Physical Education, Uni- 
versity of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 

IRENE BAUBLE, Detroit Public Schools, Detroit, Michigan 


DOUGLAS E. SCATES, Associate Professor of Education, Duke Uni- 
versity, Durham, North Carolina 

ESTHER F. SEGNER, Department of Home-Economics, State Teachers 
College, Buffalo, New York 

FRANK E. STEWART,. Department of Applied Physics, Brooklyn Tech- 
nical High School, Brooklyn, New York 

BEN A. STTELTZ, Professor of Mathematics, State Teachers College, 
Cortland, New York 

ROBERT M. W. TRAVERS, Personnel Research Section, A.G.O., War 
Department, Washington, D. C. 

LEAH WEISMAN, Altoona High School, Altoona, Pennsylvania 

ARTHUR R. YOUNG, Associate Professor of Fine Arts, Teachers Col- 
lege, Columbia University, New York, New York 


The present volume was proposed by Mr. Brownell at the meeting 
of the Board of Directors in October, 1943. It was the consensus of 
the Board that provision should be made for the preparation of a 
yearbook emphasizing meaningful outcomes of learning, and the gen- 
eral plan of the volume as outlined by Mr. Brownell was approved. 
It was agreed that early publication of this yearbook would be desir- 
able, and Mr. Brownell was requested to serve as chairman of the 
committee. The chairman's recommendations regarding the organi- 
zation of the committee were approved at the meeting of the Board 
in February, 1944, and the committee's proposals with respect to the 
content of the yearbook and the selection of associated contributors 
were approved at the ensuing meeting of the Board in May. 

Measuring the results of teaching is a problem in educational pro- 
cedure which must be dealt with in some fashion in all areas and at all 
levels of instruction. It has been the subject of continuing discussion 
and the object of unrelenting research since the turn of the century. 
There is an abundant literature which contributes to the enlighten- 
ment of teachers with respect to the purposes of educational measure- 
ment and the devices appropriate for use in measuring student progress 
toward particular educational objectives. The place of this yearbook 
in the literature of measurement is to be defined in terms of the 
impetus it will unquestionably give to greater emphasis in testing 
programs on methods of appraising the student's readiness for intel- 
ligent behavior in normal situations which engender a feeling of need 
for purposeful action. This is the neglected factor in evaluation pro- 
grams generally, due to the prevalence of measuring devices for test- 
ing skills and factual information and the readiness with which the 
results of such testing may be interpreted. The products of learning 
which enable the individual to react intelligently to recognized needs 
are designated by the yearbook committee as "understandings." The 
Measurement of Understanding is designed as an aid to classroom 
teachers in the improvement of evaluative procedures by more effective 
use of measures of the status of the learner at different stages of 
progress toward an adequate understanding of the relationships in- 
volved in life situations. To this end, the yearbook is replete with 
illustrations of test materials appropriately designed and adapted to 
the requirements of different subjects of instruction. 














Teaching for Understanding 8 

Measuring Understanding 17 

Summary k 25 


General Concept and Essential Characteristics of Under- 
standing 28 

Summary 43 


Principles Applicable to the Evaluation of Understanding 45 
Summary . . 64 







Objectives of Social Studies 71 

Illustrative Evaluation Procedures 80 





Science Understandings as Outcomes of Instruction 105 

Illustrations of Techniques for Measuring Understandings 108 
Concluding Statement 136 



The Aims of Elementary-School Mathematics 138 

Techniques of Measuring Understanding 141 

Summary and Final Statement 156 



Objectives 157 

Examples of Techniques 160 


ARTS 175 


The Expressional Language Arts 176 

The Receptive Language Arts 189 


Objectives in Art Education 201 

Criteria for Measurement and Evaluation 204 

Illustrative Procedures for Evaluation 207 



Objectives of Health Education 215 

Illustrative Procedures- for Evaluating Understanding in 
Health Education 219 



Objectives of Physical Education. 232 



Illustrative Procedures for Evaluating Understandings. . . 235 
Summary and Recommendations 250 




Outcomes of Education for Personal and Family Life 254 

Illustrative Techniques for Measuring Understandings. . . 257 



Objectives 270 

Evidences of Understanding 271 

Illustrative Procedures for Measuring Understanding. . . . 273 




Objectives in Technical Education 281 

Illustrative Procedures for Evaluating Understandings. . . 285 




Objectives of Industrials Arts 303 

Evaluative Procedures 305 




INDEX 331 





Professor of Educational Psychology 

Duke University 
Durham, North Carolina 

Originally this yearbook, The Measurement of Understanding, was 
entitled "The Measurement of Meaning." Being unsatisfactory for a 
number of reasons, this first name was abandoned successively in favor 
of "The Measurement of Meaningful Learning/ 7 "The Measurement 
of Learning," and "Measuring the Higher Mental Processes in Edu- 
cation" all before the present title was adopted. The Measurement 
of Understanding may or may not define the purpose and scope of the 
yearbook better than one of the previous titles; but this rehearsal of 
the committee's attempts to name its product should serve two ends. 
In the first place, it should illustrate the difficulty of arriving at precise 
and unambiguous terms in the area under consideration. In the sec- 
ond place, it should reveal, even if somewhat negatively, the nature 
of the task which the yearbook committee set for itself. 

Both the word "measurement" and the word "understanding" are 
variously employed. There will be some who object to the broad con- 
notation here given "measurement." Such persona restrict the term 
so as to be as nearly analogous as possible to measurement in the 
physical sciences, where the units employed are clearly definable, 
identifiable, and quantitative. In this yearbook, on the other hand, 
the term is used with a much wider meaning, perhaps in the sense in 
which other writers use "appraisal" or "evaluation." 

The point at issue transcends the question of terminology, Evi- 
dences of learning abound on every hand, provided that teachers are 
alert to their presence and to their significance. Some of this evidence 
is susceptible to measurement by means of paper-and-pencil tests. 
Other evidences of learning are best assessed in other ways, for ex- 
ample, by examining pupils' work products, by questioning pupils in 
the classroom and in conferences, and by observing their behavior in 
and out of school. Such opportunities to evaluate learning are too im- 


portant to be neglected. Accordingly, one purpose of the yearbook, 
as is clearly pointed out in chapter iv and as is illustrated by the 
numerous practical suggestions in the chapters of Section II, is to 
encourage teachers to make more use and to make more confident 
use of non-test situations. Those who object to "measurement" as 
being inappropriate when evidence of learning is obtained by pro- 
cedures other than objective testing may substitute their own word. 
The term does not matter; the securing of such evidence does matter. 

So much for "measurement"; now for "understanding." "Mean- 
ing," "meaningful learning," "the higher mental processes" all these 
expressions as used in suggested titles for the yearbook have one point 
in common: they show that from the outset the yearbook was de- 
signed to deal with a particular group of educational outcomes. These 
outcomes are not factual knowledge and mechanical skills; instead, 
they are those which are comprehended in the term "understandings." 
Unfortunately, the word "understandings" is not readily defined (see 
chapter iii) ; but even so, it clearly implies something more than the 
ability merely to recall facts or the ability to use skills in precisely 
the situations in which they have been learned. It is with measure- 
ment of this "higher" type of educational outcome or mental process 
that this yearbook is concerned. 

There is need for a volume on the measurement of understanding. 
Altogether too commonly understandings are disregarded in evalu- 
ation (and in teaching) in favor of outcomes which are more easily 
measured (and achieved). The techniques for measuring factua] 
knowledge and simple skills are fairly well worked out, and these tech- 
niques are known to teachers and are fairly well administered by them 
in the classroom. Indeed, it might almost be said that they are too 
well administered; for, having measured factual knowledge and skills, 
teachers may feel that they have measured all that needs to be 
measured. In these circumstances and they are by no means rare 
there is small likelihood that understandings will be evaluated. 

This yearbook, then, deliberately omits consideration of the 
measurement of factual knowledge and skills. This omission is not 
to be misinterpreted; it should suggest no intention to belittle these 
educational outcomes. It is obvious that many facts and skills are 
essential to facility and efficiency in any subject-matter area. Tc 
spell, the child must learn the arbitrary symbols which we employ 
to stand for letters; to count, he must learn the number names and 
their order by establishing arbitrary associations. In geography, he 
must know that there are forty-eight states in the Union, whether 01 


not there is any reason for this particular number. In chemistry, he 
must learn the names and symbols for elements and compounds. 
There is no gainsaying the educational importance of such factual 
knowledge or of the many simple skills which could be enumerated. 
Such educational outcomes are disregarded in this yearbook, not be- 
cause they are worthless, but for a quite different reason: Under- 
standings are also of critical significance, and teachers are not so 
familiar with the means of teaching them. Teachers must learn how 
to evaluate both status and progress in understanding, and they must 
establish the habit of evaluating them. Until they do so, they will 
probably continue to teach understanding incompletely, so closely 
related are the processes of teaching and of measurement (see 
chapter ii). 

There is of course some danger in regarding understandings as 
educational outcomes. This danger arises when understandings are 
made the ends or goals of instruction and of learning. They should 
not be so conceived. There is no justification for teaching under- 
standings for the sake of the understandings themselves. On the con- 
trary, understandings are desirable to the extent that they function 
in life, to the degree to which they make for more effective living. 
Such is the view of understandings which is held by the yearbook 
committee and which, it believes, is held by most modern educators. 
This caution should be enough to prevent a misinterpretation of the 
fact that in this volume attention is given exclusively to understand- 

All that has been said thus far should emphasize the essentially 
practical character of the yearbook. Those who are in search of ab- 
stract, scholarly dissertations on the theory of evaluation or of start- 
ling new techniques of measurement are forewarned that these will 
not be found in the present volume. This yearbook is addressed to 
the classroom teacher. Its purpose is to make available to the teacher 
some of the better devices and procedures which have been developed 
to measure understandings to make them available as models or pat- 
terns which he can alter and adapt to his own needs. 

As a matter of fact, the ultimate purpose of the yearbook is the 
improvement of classroom instruction. The immediate purpose, the 
improvement of evaluation, is regarded as a means to the more re- 
mote end. The virtue of devoting this yearbook to the measurement 
of understandings rather than to the teaching of understandings is 
that this approach is more definite and concrete. The many specific 
illustrations of methods for measuring understandings presented in 


Section II should have the effect of calling teachers' attention to edu- 
cational outcomes which they are now underemphasizing. When 
teachers measure understandings more extensively and more thor- 
oughly, they will teach understandings better. In turn, when they 
teach understandings better, they will inevitably gain new insights into 
procedures to evaluate understandings. The relationship between 
teaching and measurement may be thought of as reciprocal reaction 
and counter-reaction. 

To achieve its practical purpose or purposes, theory is held to a 
minimum, and the largest possible amount of space is devoted to il- 
lustrative procedures for measuring understandings. Section I, "Theo- 
retical Considerations," consists of three short chapters. Their titles 
reveal their functions fairly well: chapter ii, "The Importance of 
Teaching for Understanding"; chapter iii, "The Nature of Understand- 
ing"; and chapter iv, "Obtaining Evidence of Understanding." 

At first glance chapters ii and iii may seem to be out of their logical 
order, on the ground that "understandings" must first be defined be- 
fore they can be profitably discussed as outcomes to be developed 
and to be evaluated. The present order likewise has its logic. With- 
out careful definition the term "understanding" is already familiar 
enough to the reader of this volume to warrant use of the word as 
in chapter ii, which through stressing its educational importance points 
up the need for the present yearbook. The more technical considera- 
tion of the term is, therefore, postponed to chapter iii. In this po- 
sition it raises no needless difficulties for the reader and provides the 
basis for the practical suggestions of chapter iv, on the measurement 
of understandings. 

The greater share of the volume is given to Section II, and properly 
so. Separate chapters are assigned to the measurement of understand- 
ings in different subject-matter areas. All the major areas are treated, 
but because of space limitations it has been necessary to omit chap- 
ters in a few areas, for example, in the commercial subjects and in 
the foreign languages. These omissions are regretted, but teachers in 
such areas are not left without help. The teacher of the commercial 
subjects, for instance, will find much of value in the chapters on mathe- 
matics, on the social studies, and on the language arts. Similarly, the 
teacher of foreign languages can study with profit the chapters on the 
language arts and on the social studies. 

Attention is directed to the organization of the chapters of Sec- 
tion II. In most cases the chapters comprise two sections. Each starts 
with an authoritative list of outcomes in a given subject-matter area. 


Since this yearbook is concerned exclusively with the measurement 
of understandings, only outcomes which involve understandings are 
included. The second section of the chapter consists of sample de- 
vices and procedures for measuring understandings, many of these 
samples being keyed to the foregoing list of outcomes. Wherever pos- 
sible; generally accepted lists of outcomes have been utilized; that is, 
lists which have been sponsored by responsible and representative 
associations or agencies or committees. Wherever such lists were not 
to be had, chapter committees have undertaken the task, by no means 
an easy one, to formulate outcomes from such semiauthoritative lists 
as they could find. The intent was to prevent the inference that any 
chapter has stemmed from a biased point of view. Stated positively, 
the intent was to secure lists of outcomes which as nearly as possible 
will be approved by all schools of thought within each subject-matter 

Section III, consisting of a single short chapter, concludes the 
yearbook. Its title, "Next Steps," and its content are intended to 
suggest that the last word has yet to be said about the measurement 
of understandings. As a matter of fact, more is now known about 
this problem than appears in the discussion and in the practical pro- 
cedures of Sections I and II. It seemed best not to draw upon all this 
knowledge at these earlier points, but to reserve comment thereon 
until the last chapter. If teachers will move forward to the limits 
represented in Sections I and II, they will have made a tremendous 
advance. The "next steps" of Section III may then safely be left to 
the future. 

The committee in charge of the yearbook and the profession at 
large are greatly indebted to the writers of the chapters of Section II. 
In every sense of the word these individuals have made the year- 
book, for it is their product rather than the chapters devoted to gen- 
eral considerations which will influence classroom practice with re- 
spect to the measurement of understandings. 

The yearbook committee selected the chairmen of the committees 
for the various chapters of Section II and supplied them the blue- 
prints for the job. The execution, by far the more difficult part of the 
job, was left to the chapter chairmen and the collaborators whom they 
chose. Both chapter chairmen and committee members had to have 
certain qualifications. First, they had to be competent in their subject- 
matter areas and to be known for their competence. Second, they 
had to be familiar with, and interested in, the problem of measuring 
understandings. Third, they had to possess a rare degree of ingenuity 


and originality in order to capitalize on their first two qualifications 
and to formulate the needed types of measurement devices and pro- 
cedures. For financial reasons the chapter committees could hold no 
group meetings, but they overcame this handicap effectively. Through 
correspondence they worked together as units, so that each chapter 
represents the co-operative industry of some of the best minds in the 
country. It would be a poor reward indeed for their enlightened and 
unselfish efforts if the measurement of understandings in the class- 
room should not be greatly changed for the better. 





Director, College of Education 

University of Colorado 

Boulder, Colorado 



Principal, University Elementary School 

State University of Iowa 

Iowa City, Iowa 

"Knowledge is power" is a familiar maxim, but it is not always a 
sound maxim. It is not a sound maxim when "knowledge" is made 
to mean merely the possession of a great many facts. Such "knowl- 
edge" affords one little "power." To have real power in the sense of 
the maxim one must know, besides the facts themselves, the relation- 
ships which link them together; and one must know when and how 
to use them. In a word, the kind of "knowledge" which makes for 
"power" is that which includes understanding. 

We were told long ago that "understanding passeth knowledge." 
Today the man in the street recognizes full well the distinction be- 
tween knowledge as information and knowledge with understanding. 
He cares little for walking encyclopedias. On the other hand, he ad- 
mires those who can put their knowledge to work. He realizes that 
effective living is dependent, among other things, upon a large store 
of understandings. He gives evidence of this feeling in the phrases he 
uses to identify the competent individual: "He knows his business," 
and "He knows his stuff." These statements, it should be noted, are 
equally applicable to the competent farmer, grocer, baseball pitcher, 
teacher, and school pupil. The man in the street employs other ex- 
pressions, too, which testify to the worth he attaches to understand- 
ings as prerequisites for effective living: "He has the idea all right." 



"Do you get the sense of it? 7 ' "I savvy." "Catch on?" "I don't see 
it."J'Do you follow me?" 

The man in the street is not deluding himself when he places value 
on understandings. There is good reason to prize them. Without 
understandings both the range and the quality of our adjustments are 
greatly limited, for without them we can react only to familiar situ- 
ations and then in a routine manner. It is, of course, possible to con- 
ceive of a life composed of nothing but such situations, in which case 
understandings would need to be neither full nor numerous. But few 
of us live such lives, and few of us would want to. Typically, life 
steadily confronts us with relatively unfamiliar situations, and we 
must be able to meet them confidently and intelligently. We cannot 
do so if we are equipped only with barren facts and formal skills. Our 
only insurance for rich and satisfying lives lies in a stock of under- 
standings. Understandings, then, are not luxuries but practical neces- 

Perhaps an illustration will serve to give meaning to this generali- 
zation. We may be called upon to make a decision upon such national 
policy as compulsory military training. Or, the demand may be 
less severe, and we may be called upon only to have an opinion (not 
simply a prejudice) about the worth and functions of such agencies. 
In either case understandings are obviously essential. To increase our 
understanding we may read. Even so, we are again at the mercy of 
understandings, for without them our reading will accomplish little. 
As our eyes focus upon successive words and word groups, we undergo 
a series of experiences. The nature of these experiences, their richness, 
their accuracy, their satisfyingness, and their usefulness all these 
depend upon the understanding which we can bring to the symbols 
we read. 

Little is to be gained by laboring the point that understandings 
are of paramount importance in life; all experience shows that they 
pay dividends. As individuals we early learn this lesson. For this 
reason we, ourselves, seek to grow in understandings, and we approve 
and reward evidence of understanding in others. For this reason, too, 
we look to the school to develop understanding in our children, as 
one of its major responsibilities. 


Neglect of Understanding in Traditional Instruction 
The school has not always given understanding its due emphasis. 
Probably there have always been teachers who have recognized the 


importance of understanding and have consistently striven for this 
goal in their teaching. And probably there have always been teachers 
who stressed understanding part of the time. Still, the statement is 
true that, traditionally, teaching methods^ have .aeglected^ox minimized 
i^derstandingg jaa learnin^outcomes. Instead, they were designed pri- 
marily to develop the ability to recite words or to perform skills in 
response to the specific cues of classroom questions and commands. 
The learning which took place was slight in amount; too often it was 
superficial and artificial; and it was relatively useless. It could be 
applied neither to other segments or units of knowledge nor to life 
needs, and it was soon forgotten. The learning was a learning of words. 

The foregoing criticism may seem unduly harsh; so, suppose we 
consider a few concrete illustrations. To start with arithmetic, in-^ 
struction was concerned chiefly with getting pupils to say the number 
combinations as bare facts, to acquire skill in abstract computation, 
and to develop ability in so-called problem solving (the last named 
being restricted to the artificial, predetermined situations of textbook 
problems) . Little attention was given meanings, either mathematical 
or social. It was not considered essential that children see sense in 
what they learned or that they be able to apply what they learned 
to practical, personal ends. On the other hand, the dignity assigned 
to purely formal skill is illustrated by the then accepted marks of 
distinction the ability to compute cube root and to perform involved 
paper-and-pencil operations with unreal fractions and with absurdly 
complex denominate numbers. 

In the social studies emphasis was placed too exclusively upon 
learning and reciting facts of history, geography, and civil govern- 
ment the names and locations of cities, rivers, and mountains, facts 
of chronology in history, duties and powers of governmental agencies, 
and the like. Cause and effect relationships were seldom pointed out, 
except in neat summaries which could be memorized. Few children 
saw in geography the story of man's evolution as a social being, able 
and anxious to live richly in larger and larger self-governing groups. 

In reading, learners were required to pronounce words as given 
on the printed page with what passed for appropriate inflection, tempo, 
and emphasis. Reading was not viewed as a thought-getting process. 
Rather, the aim seemed to be the development of mechanical pro- 
ficiency in the recognition of the printed word, and it was assumed 
that this proficiency would operate satisfactorily however and when- 
ever reading was engaged in. As a consequence, too few children ac- 
quired the techniques (or even realized the necessity) of understand- 


ing what they read, together with its meanings, its significance, and 
its potential applications to life experiences. 

In biological science, students spent their time in learning to recite 
the names of the bones of the body, simple descriptions of bodily sys- 
tems, and the names and classes and parts of plants. Direct contacts 
with real objects being few, they seldom were able to see in their own 
bodily structures and functions the facts and relationships and 
processes which supposedly they had acquired in mastering the ver- 
balism of physiology. Instruction in physics and in chemistry was 
likewise barren of practical consequence; here again empty facts and 
mechanical skills, including the few acquired in the formalized 
laboratory, were the content of learning, and memorization was the 
method of learning. 

Even the teaching of English gave greater attention to mechanical 
considerations than to matters of understanding. If when asked, 
"What is a sentence?" a youngster could reply, "A sentence is a group 
of words which expresses a complete thought," he was considered to 
have learned the nature of the sentence this in spite of all kinds of evi- 
dence in his oral and written English that he could not formulate or 
recognize good sentences. And the long exercises in diagramming, 
intended to teach the nature of sentence structure, left most children 
untouched. They failed in correct diagramming and in correct writ- 
ing for the same reason, namely, a lack of the essential but untaught 

In the area of esthetic experience, basic understandings (appreci- 
ation is one form of understanding) were likewise withheld. The pure 
joy with which primary-grade children attempted to express them- 
selves in poetry, or in music, or in graphic arts, for example, was 
soon changed, under inappropriate instruction, to hypocrisy and con- 
formity and to indifference or to open dislike. It was the rare upper- 
grade or high-school student who engaged in these activities without 
embarrassment. Happy, creative self-expression, instead of being 
nurtured wisely, was sacrificed to techniques which, unintelligible in 
themselves, had to be mastered if the teacher was to be satisfied. 

A dreary gallery of gloomy pictures? Yes, indeed, but these pic- 
tures are still on view in many classrooms today. Progress has, of 
course, been made in the recent decades toward objectives and methods 
of teaching which give proper place to ideas, to meanings, and to rela- 
tionships; but even now rote learning, parrot-like reciting, and ex- 
cessive verbalism are not uncommon. Evidence of this condition 
abounds. Witness the ever-expanding collections of ''boners" and 


'howlers" which have been assembled from every subject and from 
^very grade, such as the following: 

"The circulatory system is composed of veins, arteries, and artil- 
leries.' 3 

"Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock" 

"Pompeii was destroyed by an eruption of saliva from the Vatican" 

Reasons for the Excessive Emphasis upon Verbalism 

There were, of course, reasons for the rather general acceptance of 
glib verbalism and mechanical skills in the place of meaningful learn- 
ing. All these reasons obtain today in some measure; and some of 
them, as a matter of fact, have been accentuated. On this account it 
is worth while to examine them briefly. Some of the reasons were, 
and are: 

L The prevailing psychology of learning, with its emphasis upon isolated 
units or items rather than upon wholes and relationships. 

I. The rather general dependence upon textbooks which frequently are little 
more than compendia of detailed facts and of generalized summaries. 

3. Overconfidence in teaching by telling, and in learning by memorizing what 
has been heard or read. 

i. The rapidly expanding content of the curriculum, which encouraged 
teachers to attempt the impossible. 

3. The poor quality of teacher-preparation and the limited experiential 
backgrounds of teachers. 

5. The wasteful practice of individual recitations as contrasted with co- 
operative group activity. 

7. The tendency to make of schooling an artificial thing by divorcing it from 
the activities of ordinary life. 

1. According to the psychology dominant during the recent past, 
beaching consisted in calling pupils' attention to significant facts and 
skills and then in seeing that they "mastered" them. Among the pro- 
cedures commonly employed to get pupils to attend to the selected 
items were such instructions as the following: "As you study the next 
chapter, be sure to learn the important points listed on page 146"; 
"For the next time be able to recite the names of the first ten Presi- 
dents"; "Be able to bound the state of Nebraska and to tell its principal 
cities and its main products" ; "Learn how to do long division as shown 
on page 79"; "Be ready tomorrow to tell me the date and place of 
Wordsworth's birth, together with his chief poems and the reasons 
why he is regarded as a great poet." The recitation period was es- 
sentially a "testing" period and gave the teacher opportunity to ask 


specific questions which could be answered with a word, to have pupils 
work set examples, and otherwise to have them demonstrate that they 
had mastered the particular tasks he had set them. ("Go to the black- 
board and draw the figure for today's proposition"; and the textbook 
figure regularly appeared and was accepted.) And all this seemed to 
be consistent with (if indeed it was not required by) the best in cur- 
rent psychological theory with respect to learning. Under these con- 
ditions there is little wonder that verbalism prevailed. 

2. The practice of making textbooks the chief or exclusive source 
of instructional material fits nicely into the oversimplified theory of 
learning just described. Teachers quite generally assumed that texts 
contained all that needed to be learned. But, typically, textbooks are 
condensed accounts or descriptions, consisting of conclusions, sum- 
maries, and generalizations. The latter are of service primarily be- 
cause they are short expressions of relationships which are dependent 
upon many intelligible facts, conditions, and the like. If these last 
are not understood, conclusions and generalizations are necessarily 
deficient in meaning. For this reason textbooks cannot by themselves 
provide a sound and adequate basis for understanding. 

3. Traditional methods of instruction tended to give children 
faulty notions respecting the ultimate authority of textbooks and 
teachers. Things were so because they appeared in texts, or were said 
by teachers. When they supplemented the textbook with other ma- 
terial, teachers told their pupils what to learn, but seldom why they 
should learn it or why they should believe it. While it is, of course, 
impossible for children to reason out all the relationships they must 
know, there is in this fact no justification for disregarding all oppor- 
tunities for them to do so. Failure to encourage this kind of activity 
on their part is tantamount again to fostering verbalism and rote 
learning without understanding. 

4. That the content of the curriculum has expanded rapidly is 
beyond question. And the end is not in sight. The world is becoming 
steadily more quantitative, with new demands upon arithmetic and 
upon mathematics as a whole. The borders of our scientific knowledge 
have been extended in a corresponding manner; and there are growing 
demands that the history, geography, and cultures of the Far East, 
Africa, and South America receive far more attention than they have 
received in the past. The expansion of the curriculum has posed a 
difficult question for teachers and for the school in general whether 
to try to "cover the ground," tremendous as it is, or to select and to 
teach the selected content well Unfortunately, the choice seems to 


have been made more commonly in favor of the first procedure. A 
comprehensive coverage almost inevitably leads to the learning of a 
sampling of facts and little else. Still, it is more economical of time 
and is pleasanter, even if self-delusive, to assume that the ability to 
give back words is evidence of understanding. 

5. The fifth reason mentioned above for overemphasis on ver- 
balism at the expense of understanding is the poor quality of teacher 
preparation and deficiencies in their experiential backgrounds. To 
teach the modern curriculum well one must know far more than the 
subject matter learned in childhood and in youth, and one must have 
had experiences with many things other than books, valuable as they 
are. It is short-sighted policy to think of teacher-preparation too 
much in terms of courses in education and in the subject fields, the 
latter being restricted to the content for which each teacher will be 
responsible. And it is short-sighted policy, also, to think that young 
people who have lived all their lives in the public schools of their 
communities and in the single colleges of their choice know very much 
about the world or about life in that world. It is too much to sup- 
pose that teachers with such inadequate backgrounds will themselves 
appreciate fully the meaning and the significance of what they teach, 
at the same time recognizing its limitations. To believe these things 
and to plan teacher-preparation accordingly is to fasten still more 
closely the grip of verbalism and formalism upon the school. 

6. The class recitation is not often economical of time or con- 
ducive to the development of understanding. One child talks while 
the others listen. Moreover, in the effort to bring into the recitation 
as many children as possible, the teacher tends to ask many short fact- 
questions and to set other tasks which are satisfied by routine, rela- 
tively mechanical responses. As has been suggested above, telling is 
not teaching; nor does listening and watching tend to promote thor- 
ough, meaningful learning. A valuable substitute one which assures 
more general and more active participation, and hence, in all prob- 
ability, more meaningful learning is the co-operative group project 
or problem. In such circumstances, purely rote and mechanical per- 
formances are likely to be shown up precisely for what they are. 

7. Last, of all, verbalism has been encouraged by the separation 
of schooling from the ordinary activities of life. Some, unfortunately, 
have done too good a job of selling the public the notion that edu- 
cation is one thing and life quite another thing. As a consequence, 
parents have come to prize unduly a sterile type of learning. An 
anecdote, admittedly extreme, will serve to illustrate the awe with 


which many parents regard knowledge which they themselves do not 
have or understand. A mother was entertaining the Ladies 7 Aid when 
her son came bounding up the steps and through the front door. The 
proud lady remarked, "That's Henry. Henry's in high school this 
year. He's studying foreign languages. Henry! come here and speak 
some algebra for the folks." 

Advantages of Learning with Understanding 

The two immediately preceding sections of this chapter have been 
largely negative. Their purpose was to show that both in the past and 
in the present, though to a less extent, understandings have not been 
given adequate prominence as learning outcomes; and they have dis- 
closed some of the chief reasons for this comparative neglect. It is 
time now to turn to positive considerations and to see why under- 
standings are important in teaching and in learning. 

Meaningful Learning Is Economical Learning. For this statement 
there is ample support in both psychological and educational research 
on learning. To establish its truth in a less formal manner, it is sug- 
gested that the reader write out and attempt to memorize a series 
of fifteen nonsense syllables (e.g., gup, laj, ped, etc.) or a passage in 
a foreign language which he cannot translate. He will discover, or 
rediscover, that what he does not understand he must learn labor- 
iously. On the other hand, by appropriate procedures he can demon- 
strate to himself that what he does understand he learns easily. Com- 
pare in terms of time, effort, and happiness the attempts of two chil- 
dren to learn a passage from Bryant's "Thanatopsis." Let one of the 
children be taught or otherwise grasp the meanings involved; let the 
other have only a vague understanding of the words and phrases he 
memorizes. The contrast should give convincing evidence of the con- 
tribution which understanding makes to learning. 

There are learning tasks in which the element of understanding, 
being necessarily very slight, can make for but little economy in 
learning. (These tasks, for the most part, involve the establishment 
of arbitrary associations, as in learning that this object is called 
"horse/ 7 that one "box.") There are many other learning tasks in 
which understanding may seem to slow up rather than to facilitate 
learning. For example, any first-grade child after a few repetitions 
can say, "Two and three are five." To take time to build meaning 
into the expression may be thought wasteful. This view comes from 
oversimplification of the learning task and of the desired outcomes. 
In this case and in the many other similar cases in which this over- 


simplification may occur we need to recognize that learning involves 
more than the acquisition of the ability to repeat a verbal formula. 
The combination 2 + 3 = 5 will be used in countless ways; it can be 
so used only if it is understood; hence, in the end, time spent in en- 
gendering meaning is time well spent. 

Learning with Understanding Is Relatively Permanent. Meaning- 
ful learning is, then, more economical of time and effort than is sense- 
less learning. But it has other values as well. One of them is that 
meaningful learning is retained longer and more accurately. Again 
there is plenty of research, psychological and educational, to confirm 
this statement. The reader may, however, verify the truth of the 
statement from his own experience. One has only to recall one's dif- 
ficulty in repeating a list of nonsense syllables, the names of persons 
met casually at a social function, or an ill-understood poem one week 
after committing it to memory. On the other hand, one can generally 
bring to mind with comparative ease after the lapse of a week ma- 
terial that was meaningful and of continuing value at the time of 
learning. The implication for teaching is obvious: whatever we would 
have children remember, we must help them to understand; and the 
longer the desired retention, the more essential is understanding. 

The Effects of Learning with Understanding Are Cumulative. This 
statement means that understanding facilitates the learning not only 
of the immediate task but of subsequent tasks as well. Its effects may 
extend far in time. This fact is well illustrated in the case of the social 
studies. If basic concepts are given meaning on their first occurrence, 
the sense of the reading matter then being studied is naturally ap- 
prehended so much the better; but so is the sense of reading matter 
containing these concepts which is encountered at a later date. The 
cumulative effects of understanding are also well illustrated in the 
case of mathematics. We have long known that, in such logically 
organized subject matter, foundations are of critical importance. With 
a solid background of meanings sound progress is at least possible; 
without it, learning must continue to be blind, superficial, and com- 
paratively useless. Diagnosis of learning shortages very commonly 
reveals the real cause in some but vaguely understood process or 
principle which had been "taught" years before. 

Learning with understanding has (or may have) the effect of 
establishing in children the habit of expecting to understand. Having 
this habit, children insist upon mastering each new task in a mean- 
ingful manner. Several groups of children who had learned arith- 
metic as a meaningful system for two and a half years were suddenly, 


and deliberately, taught a new process without explanation. They 
were told what to do and shown how to do it; that was all. These 
children made the lives of their teachers miserable when they (the 
teachers) for experimental reasons refused an explanation. And many 
of the children, denied help from this quarter, sought it in other places 
or discovered the relevant reasons by their own efforts. Few long- 
time learning outcomes are as valuable as is the habit of expecting to 

Understanding Results in Learning with Functional Value. Noth- 
ing, whether idea or skill, which is acquired in school is ever used in 
precisely the way in which it was learned. There are always differ- 
ences, no matter how minor, between the learning situation and the 
situation of use. If the gap is bridged at all, it is bridged by the dis- 
covery of relationships. We deal here with the psychological phe- 
nomena of transfer. 

It is characteristic of that learning which is devoid of understand- 
ing to be inert, not susceptible to transfer and application. The child 
may be able to make correct statements using the terms "tons," 
"legislation," and "acid" without at all understanding their nature. 
He may not know what they are, how they behave, what their uses 
are. Such a child is scarcely apt to make intelligent use of these terms 
in solving life problems, or for that matter in understanding and as- 
similating information involving these terms. Their knowledge is, in 
a word, functionless. It is like the "learning" mentioned by Quick 
in his Educational Reformers: 

In an elementary school when the children "took up" geography for the 
inspector, I once put some questions about St. Paul at Rome. I asked in what 
country Rome was, but nobody seemed to have heard of such a place. "It's 
geography!" said I, and some twenty hands went up directly. Their owners 
answered quite readily, "In Italy." 

On the other hand, it is characteristic of learning with understand- 
ing to be functional, transferable. The broader the meaning of an 
idea, the greater the understanding of a skill, the larger is the prob- 
ability of its usefulness outside the classroom. There is nothing mys- 
terious or magical about this business. Think, if you will, of an idea 
(or skill) as having tentacles. Then the richer its meaning, the more 
tentacles it has. And the larger the number of tentacles, the more 
objects it can reach and hold. 

The modern conception is that education is the acceleration and 
the direction of the growth of each individual. According to this con- 
ception, the curriculum is no more than the provision of educative 


experiences appropriate to this end. It includes anything which will 
enable the child as a child and later as an adult to act, feel, and think 
as we believe he should act, feel, and think. The school is no longer 
concerned with closed systems and compartments of learning; it is 
concerned with ideas, attitudes, and skills which influence actual liv- 
ing both now and in the future. On this account it is but natural that 
increasing attention be given to learning which is accompanied with 
understanding. Such learning functions. 

Comparative Neglect of Understandings in Current 

Evaluation Practice 

It needs to be said again that there is a proper, a necessary, place 
in evaluation for the measurement of factual knowledge and of skills. 
It happens that this yearbook deals with a different problem, namely, 
the measurement of understanding. Hence, when it is said, as in the 
caption above, that understandings a<re neglected in current evaluation 
practice, there is no implication that the evaluation of facts and skills 
must be abandoned. The import of the statement is, rather, that mean- 
ingful outcomes of learning need to be measured more carefully and 
more extensively than is now the case. 

With this explanation out of the way, let us consider the evidence 
that understandings are not evaluated as they should be. For obvious 
reasons it is impossible here to assemble what would amount to proof 
of the statement. Instead, it must suffice to examine samples of tests 
on the assumption that they are typical of current practice. The reader 
must satisfy himself as to the validity of this assumption. On this 
point there is no doubt in the minds of the writers. Let us begin with 
four samples of tests or parts of tests which were prepared by class- 
room teachers. 

Sample 1. Classroom test in second-grade reading. To determine 
the status of her pupils in reading, a second-grade teacher used the 
written test below. It is'the whole of her test. 
The reading selection: Father was going to the store. 

Jane was going to school. 

Father walked. 

Jane rode on a bicycle. 

Mother waved to Jane. 
The questions: 1. Who rode on a bicycle? 

2. Who waved to Jane? 

3. Who walked? 

4. Where was father going? 


Note that in making these test items the teacher merely substi- 
tuted the question words "Who?" or "Where?" for the nouns in the 
sentences read. Therefore, in answering the questions, the child had 
only to find the statements which contained the last words. Little 
reflective thought was required, and indeed correct answers for the 
questions might have been found with but the slightest amount of 
understanding of the reading selection. 

By contrast, the following questions, or others like them which 
might have been used, measure higher levels of understanding: 

1. Was Jane going to the store? 

2. Did mother go with Jane? 

3. Was father going to school? 

4. Did mother wave to Jane? 

Sample 2. A complete classroom test in fourth-grade science. 
After several days of study of a unit on magnets, the teacher gave the 
following test: 

1. What color is the north pole of a compass needle? 

2. Is the compass needle a magnet? 

3. What shape are magnets? 

4. Will a magnet pick up sticks? 

5. Will a magnet pick up paper clips? 

6. Where is the Magnetic Pole? 

The study of the unit had included activities which provided every 
child with the specific information he needed to answer the questions. 
Here is no measurement of understanding, or at least there is measure- 
ment of only the lowest levels of understanding. Higher levels could 
have been tested by the use of such questions as: 

1. What is a good reason for coloring the north pole of a compass needle? 

2. How can you show that a compass needle is a magnet? 

Sample 8. Part of a classroom test in ninth-grade history. Di- 
rections: Match the numbered items in the first column with the cor- 
rect lettered items in the second column. 

1. Birthplace of Napoleon a, Belgium to France 

2. Treaty of Campo-Formia b. Marengo 

3. The treaty of peace with the church c. Corsica 

4. The Cisalpine Republic d. Milan 

5. The second invasion of Italy e. Naples 

6. Parthenopean Republic f. The Concordat 

The rest of the test, not reproduced here, was similar in character; 


it called for the supplying of pat answers; the items of the test had 
been learned almost as paired associates from the history text. 

Sample 4. Part of a classroom test in economic geography. At 
the conclusion of a unit on wheat, the teacher used a true-false test 
as her sole means of evaluation. Some of the questions, typical of the 
rest, follow: 

1. Wheat was first grown in Egypt. 

2. In the Bible the word "corn" means "wheat" most of the time. 

3. The center of wheat production in the U. S. crossed the Mississippi River 
in 1880. 

4. Russia leads the world in the production of wheat. 

5. Ontario is the leading wheat province in Canada. 

6. The simplest of wheat milling devices is the mortar and pestle. 

The criticism to be offered of the four classroom tests above is not 
that they are worthless. On the contrary, the items in general seem 
to call for important facts, and they are constructed adequately. The 
trouble is that, however well they measure factual knowledge, they 
measure little if anything else; and yet these teachers were content to 
limit evaluation to this one kind of learning outcome. The fallacious 
assumption implicit in their practice is that they had measured all 
that needed to be measured. 

At this point, a digression may be permitted. The objective test 
has not proved to be an unmixed blessing in the hands of many teach- 
ers. Convinced by apparently authoritative statements that the essay 
test is unreliable and consequently valueless and that the weaknesses 
of such tests can be avoided by using objective tests, teachers in in- 
creasing numbers adopted one or more of the new-type test forms. 
They soon discovered great difficulty in framing "thought questions" 
in the pattern of these test forms. On the other hand, they found the 
new forms admirably adapted to the testing of factual knowledge. 
The result of it all has been that too frequently objective testing has 
become exclusively fact-testing. This trend is unfortunate, and it is 
unnecessary. The new types of test items can be utilized to measure 
meaningful outcomes, and they should be so used. One of the major 
aims of this yearbook, especially of Section II, is to show the possibili- 
ties of objective testing in this connection and to encourage its wider 
use for this purpose. 

Procedures other than paper-and-pencil testing are, of course, em- 
ployed in the classroom to evaluate learning. Among them is the prac- 
tice of questioning pupils orally. If these other procedures but served 
to measure learning outcomes in the form of understandings, the de- 


ficiencies of classroom tests would not be too serious. But such does 
not seem often to be the case. Far more common than questions and 
exercises which call for meaningful reactions are those which, as men- 
tioned earlier in this chapter, can be satisfied with memorized state- 
ments and mechanical skills. The same criticism applies many times 
to a wide range of "work products" by which we undertake to judge 
learning. The "composition" is likely to be evaluated in terms of its 
mechanical excellence rather than as evidence of understandings gained 
through experience. And the "bird house" may be appraised purely 
as a well constructed or poorly constructed job, although the teacher 
may have had in mind certain understandings as desired outcomes. 

To come now to standardized tests: How well do these instru- 
ments evaluate understanding? Space permits but two exhibits which, 
however, can safely be said to be typical of most standardized tests. 

Sample 5. Part of a standardized geography test. The following 
six items appear consecutively in the geography section of a widely 
used test battery: 

1. Raisins are dried (1) plums (2) cherries (3) grapes (4) blackberries 
(5) loganberries, 

2. The smallest of the continents is (1) North America (2) South America 
(3) Europe (4) Africa (5) Australia. 

3. The natives of Central Africa value elephants chiefly for their (1) ivory 
tusks (2) milk (3) meat (4) work in farming (5) strength in helping to 
fight off attacks. 

4. The ocean that is around the North Pole is called the (1) Atlantic (2) 
Arctic (3) Pacific (4) Antarctic (5) Indian. 

5. The body of water that lies between North America and Europe is the 
(1) Indian Ocean (2) Arctic Ocean (3) Atlantic Ocean (4) Pacific Ocean 
(5) Antarctic Ocean. 

6. The most important fruit that we get from the Hawaiian Islands is (1) 
grapefruit (2) pineapples (3) oranges (4) lemons (5) bananas. 

Sample 6. Part of a standardized test in science. Following are . 
five consecutive items from the science section of another well-known 
test battery: 

1. The heart pumps (1) water (2) air (3) blood. 

2. A bird that builds its nest on the ground is the (1) meadow lark (2) blue 
jay (3) oriole. 

3. Nicotine is (1) a drink (2) drug (3) food. 

4. Reading lights generally should be placed (1) at the rear (2) in front 
(3) below. 

5. If you suspect a gas tank leak (1) look for it with a match (2) do noth- 
ing (3) report it. 


The material of neither Sample 5 nor Sample 6 has been chosen 
to discredit the standardized test in question; other parts of the 
same test batteries or items from many other available tests could 
have been selected with the same results, for they also would have 
demonstrated the tendency of such tests to measure unrelatd facts 
and to neglect more meaningful learning outcomes. If we could be 
sure that the possession of facts is a guarantee of equal facility in 
their use, the neglect of understanding could be overlooked. We have 
no such assurance, however, for research has found the relationship 
between the two to be slight. 

To conclude: Tests made by teachers, other forms of classroom 
evaluation, and standardized tests are alike in giving little attention 
to understandings. This evil condition needs to be corrected, for the 
effects on teaching, on learning, and on research are unfortunate. 

The Effect of Measurement upon Instructional Procedures 

It is a common practice of the supervisory or administrative staff 
of a school system to collect evidence on pupil achievement. The 
effects of this practice may be more far-reaching than is anticipated. 
If the tests used measure the learning outcomes which a teacher has 
been trying to achieve with his pupils, then he is encouraged to con- 
tinue and even to intensify his efforts in that direction. But the tests 
may measure outcomes which the teacher has not endeavored to stress. 
In such cases almost anything may happen. 

Consider the following instance. As part of the midyear survey 
of achievement a reading test was given to a certain sixth-grade class. 
This test contained many items such as: (1) Which conclusion based 
on the facts in the article is sound? (2) What is a good title for this 
selection? (3) What is the main idea of paragraph 2? (4) For what 
paragraph could "Deposits of Bentonite" be a heading? (5) What is 
the author's purpose in paragraph 1? (6) In preparing an outline of 
paragraph 4, what main points should be included? 

Throughout the next semester this teacher placed major emphasis 
upon getting the main thought of paragraphs, upon drawing conclu- 
sions from material read, upon discovering relationships between para- 
graphs, and upon selecting the main points of paragraphs, the last 
as a step in outlining. The influence of the measurement program 
upon instructional procedures in that class is clearly observable. In 
this case, the effects may be called beneficial, for the teacher was 
driven to teach reading skills which he had previously neglected, in 


spite of their obvious values for pupil achievement in science, 
geography, history, and other content subjects. 

The effects, however, can just as possibly be detrimental. Two 
cases of this kind should be mentioned. The one occurs when the 
measurement program confirms teachers in injudicious or in inade- 
quate instructional procedures. If, for example, the teacher stresses 
factual knowledge in his instruction and the tests used measure only 
this learning outcome, damage has been done. Factual knowledge 
will continue to be stressed, and meanings and relationships will con- 
tinue to be neglected. Nothing else should be expected. The teacher 
whose pupils satisfy the criteria of learning which are approved by 
the administrative staff has no reason to change his instructional pro- 
cedures or the goals which he seeks to attain; quite the contrary. 

A second case in which the influence of the administrative measure- 
ment program may be harmful occurs when the teacher is discouraged 
from emphasizing proper learning outcomes and from employing in- 
structional techniques which are adapted to this end. Imagine the 
chagrin of both students and teacher in an American history class in 
which understandings have been consistently developed, when, at the 
end of the term, the quality of achievement is evaluated by some 
school official purely in terms of students' ability to answer simple 
factual questions. That this teacher will put emphasis upon under- 
standings in his next history class is scarcely a reasonable inference. 

Rather, in all probability, this teacher will adopt factual knowl- 
edge as his objective in instruction. Regrettable as this may be, it is 
certainly understandable. By stressing facts, the teacher knows that 
he will give his pupils the preparation they need to succeed on the 
tests they will have to take. By so doing, too, the teacher protects 
himself, especially when, as is sometimes true, he knows that he will 
be rated according to the relative achievement of his pupils on factual 
tests. No small part of the blame for exaggerated concern about the 
learning of facts and mechanical skills is chargeable to the practice 
of administrative officials in stressing verbalism to the disadvantage 
of meaningful learning in their testing programs. 

The implication of the foregoing paragraphs is clear: The meas- 
urement program planned and executed by the administrative staff 
has direct effects upon instructional practices. These effects may be 
beneficial, or they may be harmful Obviously, they should be bene- 
icial. They may be made so if the administrative staff is careful to 
evaluate not only factual knowledge (which is important in its own 
right) <but also understandings and meaningful learning in general. 


The Effect of Measurement upon Learning Procedures 

Children soon discover the wisdom of learning what they will be 
tested on. For this reason the kind of evaluation employed affects 
children's learning procedures and determines their actual learning 
objectives, regardless of the objectives that may have been set in 
theory. Few intelligent children continue long to tease out relation- 
ships and to understand principles and processes when their learning 
is evaluated according to other criteria, And we accomplish nothing 
at all by exhorting children to understand what they learn if we do 
not measure their understanding. 

Tests and the activities called for by other evaluation devices give 
children their most tangible cues to the goals they are to achieve. It 
follows, therefore, as certainly as night follows day that evaluation 
must be designed so that children may identify the right goals for 
their learning. If understandings are our goals, at least in part, our 
practices of evaluation must include means of measuring such out- 
comes. If they do, children will quickly enough adapt their learning 
procedures to meet this demand. 

Effect upon Research 

The inadequate representation of understandings in standardized 
and other tests has affected educational research adversely. The worth 
of experimental programs is almost invariably appraised in terms of 
test data. Quite frequently a standardized achievement test of the 
type illustrated above is the most important, if not the only, instru- 
ment used to measure outcomes. Even in investigations where the 
experimenter makes his own tests, the practice of measuring only 
unrelated facts and formal skills seems to be prevalent. Data ob- 
tained from such tests may not show significant differences between 
experimental and conventional procedures even when such differences 
actually exist; and, conversely, they may show differences which are 
not educationally significant when other outcomes are taken into ac- 
count. As a consequence, in many experiments evaluation has been 
incomplete or inappropriate. There is, of course, no implication that 
this condition, however common, is inevitable. It is possible to devise 
instruments and procedures to assess meaningful learning outcomes 
and to use them in experimental inquiries. Indeed, precisely this im- 
provement is to be increasingly noted in the more careful investiga- 
tions of the past decade. Nevertheless, it remains a fact that the de- 
velopment of means to judge understanding more adequately will for 
a long time continue to be an important aspect of educational research. 


Importance of Knowing Initial Status with Respect to 

For many years we have believed that good teaching begins where 
the child is, at the point to which his achievement has brought him. 
We realize that we must take into consideration what a pupil already 
knows if we are to guide his learning from then on in an effective 
manner. A fifth-grade teacher, in trying to teach the use of guide 
words in the dictionary, discovered that several members of her class 
did not know alphabetical order. Not only would it have been dif- 
ficult in these circumstances for the children to learn much about 
the use of guide words, but their learning, in view of their lack of a 
basic understanding, would have been quite useless to them. 

The principle of good teaching cited above is of general applica- 
tion. Certainly it holds with special force in the case of learning 
which involves understanding. For meaningful learning it is essential 
that the child have the proper background. Knowledge of children's 
status at the outset of any new unit of learning protects the teacher 
from both of two errors in instruction: teaching "over their heads," 
on the false assumption that they have already attained the requisite 
level of understanding; and wasteful and boring reteaching, on the 
equally false assumption that they lack understanding which they 
actually possess. 

Importance of Knowing Status of Understanding at Later Stages 
The implications of the principle, "Begin where the child is," do 
not stop with initial instruction. As part of his job the teacher must 
continually check to make sure that he is "losing" none of his 
pupil,s, that all of them are extending their understanding as learn- 
ing progresses. This day-by-day checking and probing is a form of 
measurement; it is also an integral part of teaching. Fortunately, 
the procedures for this continuous checking of understanding are al- 
ready in use among good teachers. 

A child in reporting on irrigated farming in the Rio Grande Valley 
made the statement: "It's a great place for growing alfalfa. They 
get two tons per acre." The teacher then asked how this yield of two 
tons per acre compared with the local yield. (In asking this ques- 
tion, be it observed, she was requiring the child to relate his state- 
ment about an unfamiliar section of the country to conditions in 
his own section.) The child could not answer the question because 
he did not know the average local yield. After some discussion, the 
class decided to postpone further consideration of the statement until 


they could investigate. The next day local yields of two, two and a 
half, and three tons were reported. The conclusion was reached that 
the irrigated country of the Rio Grande was not an especially good 
place for growing alfalfa. 

The teacher, realizing that the child who made the report had not 
stated all the facts, asked: "Then, why did the reading material that 
Bill consulted say that that was good alfalfa country?" Careful re- 
reading of the article disclosed that four cuttings were made per year 
along the Rio Grande. The class then realized that they had to com- 
pare the local yield of perhaps three tons per year per acre with an 
annual yield of eight tons per acre and agreed that the Rio Grande 
Valley was after all an excellent region for alfalfa. 

Schoolroom procedures like that just described are not uncom- 
mon. They might well be commoner. The best means of combatting 
inefficient, erroneous, meaningless, and incomplete learning is to ob- 
tain daily evidence. And the process of obtaining this evidence, of 
understanding as well as of other aspects of learning, is measurement. 
The wise and artistic teacher will make the most of every opportunity 
to maintain a constant watch, by whatever means, over the continu- 
ous development of understanding. 


The purpose of this chapter is to explain why understandings must 
be taught and must be measured. The reason which gives importance 
to these educational tasks is the fact that understandings are basic 
to rich and effective living. Yet, in spite of their demonstrable values, 
understandings have been neglected in the school and they still are 
too often neglected in favor of other learning outcomes, such as 
verbalism, barren factual information, and mechanical skills. In the 
foregoing discussion, attention is given to several factors which have 
produced this relative neglect, among them : an inadequate psychology 
of learning, over-reliance on textbooks, the tendency to teach by tell- 
ing, the tremendous expansion of the curriculum, etc. This discussion 
is intended partly to account for failure to stress understandings ade- 
quately and partly to warn teachers against these continuing factors 
and so to check their influence. 

It is also shown that understandings are not likely to be taught 
if they are not also evaluated. When administrative officers of a school 
devise testing programs without including meaningful types of learn- 
ing outcomes, they encourage the teacher to disregard such outcomes, 
and in turn the teacher encourages his pupils to point their energies 


in other directions. And when the teacher himself initiates measure- 
ment and excludes meaningful outcomes, the effects in terms of pupil 
behavior are the same. In the end, children tend to learn what they 
believe they are expected to learn. The implication of this fact is that 
in measurement, whether planned by the teacher, by an administra- 
tive superior, or by the two in conjunction, a prominent place must 
be accorded to understandings. 




Professor of Educational Psychology 

Duke University 
Durham, North Carolina 



Professor of Psychology 

University of Alabama 

University, Alabama 

When a geometry student sees the usefulness of the Pythagorean 
theorem for laying off the corners of a tennis court, we may be sure 
that he has some understanding of that theorem. When a fifth-grade 
pupil by means of his maps discovers for himself a probable con- 
nection between the physical features of a region and the manner of 
life of its inhabitants, we may be sure that he too has some under- 
standing, in this case of the geographic principles involved. And when 
a primary-grade pupil translates the statement 5 + 2 = 7 into a 
concrete representation, by setting up one group of five objects and 
another of two objects and then combining them into a new group 
of seven, we may be sure once again that he also has some under- 
standing, this time of the abstract relationships in the statement. 

A technically exact definition of "understand" or "understanding" 
is not easily found or formulated. No attempt will be made in this 
chapter to arrive at such a definition. Quite apart from the difficulty 
of the undertaking, it would seem to be unnecessary, for the terms 
are employed by most people, school people included, with consider- 
able agreement as to meaning. For the purposes of this yearbook it 
will suffice to consider this practical concept of "understanding" in 
a critical but nontechnical manner. We shall begin with a broad state- 
ment (not a definition) about the nature of "understanding." We 
shall then both elaborate and limit this statement in a series of seven 
related propositions. By the time the reader has reached the end of 
the chapter, it is hoped he will have, not a precise definition of the 



word, but rather a clear and useful conception of the essential char- 
acteristics of "understanding" as a psychological process and as an 
educational outcome. 


1. As a start, we may say that a pupil understands when he is able 
to act, feel, or think intelligently with respect to a situation. 

Without explanation, this statement what psychologists call an 
imperfect operational definition would amount to little more than 
the substitution of several undefined words for the word which is to 
be defined. Two terms in the statement need to be considered further, 
namely, "intelligently" and "situation." Let us begin with the latter 

"Situation" is used here to mean any set of circumstances which 
call for an adjustment. Several illustrative situations have already 
been mentioned. They serve to show that situations differ greatly in 
kind, and therefore in the demands which they make upon us. Some 
situations are primarily intellectual; some, primarily emotional; some, 
primarily mechanical; some, primarily social. The child who is as- 
sembling the parts of a puzzle faces a situation. So does the child 
who out of sheer curiosity wants to know more about something he 
has heard discussed; so does the child who is learning the names of 
new schoolmates; and so does the child who is studying a reading as- 
signment. Situations, then, are infinite in their variety. Moreover, 
their variety does not stop with differences in kind, for within any 
given type of situation there are large differences in complexity, in 
urgency, in familiarity, and in the degree to which we are concerned 
with success in adjustment. 

According to our preliminary definition, we react with under- 
standing to such varied circumstances as have been suggested when 
we do so "intelligently." To make an intelligent adjustment to a 
situation, we must "know what it is all about;" we must see the im- 
mediate situation in terms of some larger whole; we must have some 
grasp on the relationships involved, be they social, intellectual, emo- 
tional, or mechanical. 

These statements do not imply that we must always work out the 
essential relationships fully and logically and then utilize them as 
thoughtfully. Indeed we may not consciously identify as such the 
relationships we use or know that we are employing relationships at 
all, for that matter. As a matter of fact, many of our routine re- 
actions are based upon understandings. When we put on a shoe be- 


fore lacing it, it is because we understand the correct sequence of 
events. When we write a letter to a friend, without deliberate choice 
we use words which we understand and which we hope he will under- 
stand. When we behave properly in a social group, we are able to 
do so because we understand the conduct of others and know how to 
interpret its significance almost "without thinking." And when we 
casually check the coins given us in change after making a purchase, 
we are again employing understandings, even if unwittingly. In all 
sucK well-habituated reactions, then, understanding is to be found if 
we but look for it, and it is perfectly correct to speak of our behavior 
in these situations as intelligent. Neither "intelligent" nor "under- 
standing" is appropriate, however, when by accident we hit upon some 
form of successful adjustment quite without knowing what we have 
done or why it is effective. 

In the foregoing discussion it has been pointed out (a) that all 
behavior, all adjustment of whatever kind, starts with a situation. 
This situation creates on our part a feeling of need, or, to be technical, 
it establishes what the psychologist calls a state of disequilibrium. At 
times the feeling of need may be highly crucial, and it may lead us 
to formulate and to seek a definite goal. At other times, by contrast, 
it may be but dimly identified and recognized for what it is. But in 
any case something must be done about it; an adjustment is called 
for. Now, under what conditions may we behave intelligently? 

The next point to be made is (6) that we can adjust intelligently 
to a situation to the extent that we have had the essential relevant 
experience. There is nothing magical about intelligent adjustment. It 
does not appear suddenly and inexplicably out of the nowhere. In- 
stead, it is made possible by previous learning. The geography pupil 
referred to in the opening paragraph of this chapter is able to discover 
a relationship between the physical features of a region and the mode 
of life in that region because his earlier experiences have equipped 
him with the required knowledge and skills and with an eagerness for 
more knowledge. The small child laces his shoe after putting it on 
rather than before because through experience he has learned this to 
be the correct order of activities. In the absence of such experience, 
he would be as likely as not to do the lacing first. To repeat, adjust- 
ment can be intelligent only when the doer has had relevant experi- 
ence. The effect of relevant experience is to produce in the learner 
changes which he can carry over to new situations. As will be made 
amply clear later in this chapter (point 6), sheer amount of experi- 
ence is by itself no guarantee of intelligent adjustment. 


Suppose now (\a) that the pupil faces a situation, and so has a 
need or purpose, and (b) that he had the necessary relevant experience. 
Can he be expected to behave intelligently? Not necessarily, for sev- 
eral other conditions must be met: (c) he must be able to identify 
the critical aspects of the situation; (d) he must find appropriate ways 
to attack these critical aspects; (e) he must want to satisfy the need 
presented to him by the situation; and (/) all other factors in the 
situation must be favorable. If any of these conditions, is not satis- 
fied, his adjustment may not be intelligent. 

Many a pupil possessed of the requisite relevant experience never- 
theless fails in intelligent adjustment because he is unable to analyze 
the situation confronting him and to pick out the element or the ele- 
ments which call for special attention. This difficulty does not, of 
course, arise in the case of completely familiar situations. By defi- 
nition such situations contain no obscure or hidden features; on the 
contrary, they are all understood, and accordingly the ensuing be- 
havior may be intelligent in the fullest sense of that word. But to the 
degree that situations are new and complex, to the degree that they 
present problem situations, this difficulty does appear. The geography 
pupil, for example, may not be able to isolate the aspects of his problem 
to which he should attend, and so may not be able to use his knowl- 
edge to establish the relationship in which he is interested. He just 
does not know "where to work." The geometry student may see no 
resemblance between the tennis court and the abstract textbook figures 
by means of which the Pythagorean theorem was developed. In such 
instances the function of the teacher is clear. He must not only assist 
the learner to identify the critical features of his particular problem, 
but he must help him to develop habits of analysis which will be use- 
ful in similar problem situations. This teacher responsibility is dis- 
cussed at greater length further on in this chapter (point 7), 

Having located the significant aspects of the situation, the pupil 
must next find a way to deal with them. Again, when the situation 
is simple and familiar, the pupil is in no difficulty at this point; he 
possesses, and he knows he possesses, the needed forms of reaction. 
He has only to make use of them, and he is apt to do so successfully 
in a routine fashion. In problem situations, on the other hand, his 
search for appropriate reactions is not so easy. At times he may 
actually have the needed facts and skills somewhere in his behavior 
repertoire. If so, this step is for him one of selection. At other times 
he may not be so fortunate, and he must combine and integrate facts 
and skills into what is really a new reaction. Thus, the process, of 


finding ways to meet a need takes either of two forms: the selection 
of a reaction which one has already learned, or the evolving of a new 
form of attack. 

The existence of a situation calling for adjustment, with the resul- 
tant feeling of need, the possession of the necessary relevant experi- 
ence, the discovery of the critical aspects of the situation, and the 
finding of appropriate methods of attack all these assure only readi- 
ness to behave intelligently. The reader will note that we have said 
the pupil understands when he is able to act intelligently. Whether 
that kind of behavior ensues may involve other factors. The pupil 
may not want to behave intelligently, or obstacles of one kind or an- 
other may prevent his doing so. Time limitations, for example, may 
interfere; there may be emotional blockings; a new need may super- 
cede the one which first stimulated activity. For example, the child, 
knowing better, may lace his shoe before putting it on just to see what 
will happen. The geometry student may not like his teacher; or, the 
bell may ring, meaning that he must goto work on some other subject. 
The geography pupil may be afraid to risk criticism in case of failure, 
or may not want to appear "too smart" among his schoolmates. In 
all these cases the actor may have been able to react intelligently; 
but he did not. This fact carries the implication that absence of in- 
telligent behavior does not necessarily signify lack of understanding. 

2. Rather than being aH-or-none affairs, understandings vary in 
degree of definiteness and completeness. 

The foregoing statement is not in accord with the commonly ex- 
pressed notion that either we understand or we do not understand. A 
moment's consideration will verify the falsity of this latter notion 
and the truth of the italicized statement. We may not know much 
about the "stratosphere" certainly much less than does the aviator 
who takes his plane to heights of 25,000 and 30,000 feet; but we are 
not wholly without understanding. Our understanding is, rather, in- 
complete and lacking in detail. On the other hand, our understand- 
ings of "school" and "mother" are remarkably rich and full. Again, 
we are not without some understanding of 250,000,000,000; but our 
understanding of this number is vague and indefinite as compared 
-tfith our understanding of, say, 10, or 36, or 85. In general, the com- 
pleteness and definiteness of our understandings vary directly with 
th Amounts "and kinds of experiences we have had. 
In a given situation, the degrees, qualities, and kinds of under- 
standings manifested by the several members of a group of "children 


will be quite unlike. This condition prevails even when their ex- 
periential backgrounds are closely comparable, for there are certain 
to be marked differences in their purposes. Three third-grade children 
may have to solve the problem: "How much must I pay for three 
19^ booklets?" Pupil A's purpose is limited to securing the correct 
answer. In the problem he recognizes a cue which means to multiply; 
he multiplies, and he satisfies his purpose. His understanding of the 
mathematics involved is very low indeed, but it is commensurate with 
his purpose. Pupil B ; s purpose is also to get the correct answer, but 
he is interested as well in the mathematics of the computation. He 
multiplies 19tf by 3 and secures 57$, but he does not stop here. Further 
study shows him that this answer is & less than 60^, a product he 
might have obtained by multiplying 20tf by 3; and so, he discovers a 
short cut for mental multiplication which he may use at other times. 
Pupil C has still another purpose in finding the answer for 3x19^: 
he wants to know whether he has enough money to buy three such 
booklets. While his activity in solving the problem may yield him 
little of Pupil B's mathematical insight, nevertheless he adds a bit 
to his understanding of the economics of buying and selling. 

As a matter of strict fact, all learning produces some understand- 
ing. The memorization of a list of nonsense syllables, however worth- 
less the accomplishment, still gives the learner a new and appropriate 
way of reacting (and so, some amount of understanding). He can, 
for example, respond correctly to the direction, "Repeat the syllables 
you have just studied." Since understanding in some measure accom- 
panies all learning, the profclem of education cannot be defined as the 
creation of understanding. As has been stated, some degree of under- 
standing is inevitable if a child learns at all. The problem of educa- 
tion, rather, is to make sure that children possess the kinds and de- 
grees of understanding which are essential to intelligent behavior con- 
sistent with their needs. 

3. The completeness of understanding to be sought varies from 
situation to situation and varies in any learning situation with a 
number of factors. 

The second italicized statement suggests that understandings oc- 
cupy different points on scales of completeness and definiteness. Some 
("stratosphere") lie well to the bottom near the 0-point; others 
("mother," "school") lie well toward the top in richness and exact- 
ness. Still others lie at intermediate points. The third statement makes 
use of this conception and stresses the fact that in any given instance 


of learning the understandings developed will and should differ in 
the positions they occupy on these scales. 

To understand anything in its completeness, we should have a 
thorough grasp of its function, structure, and incidence. The adult 
in our culture has rather complete understandings of such things as 
hammers, knives, hoes, and the like, although actually he may know 
little of some of their relations, for instance, their origin and history. 
Likewise, the adult in our culture has rather complete understandings 
of such social agents as the policeman, the teacher, and the brick- 
layer, though close scrutiny would reveal large gaps in his knowledge 
even here. These samples of tools and social agents we understand 
pretty completely because we have had numerous and varied ex- 
periences with them, experiences related to differing purposes and ex- 
tending over long periods of time. But it is obvious that, even were 
such complete understandings desirable, they could not be developed 
with respect to all aspects of our culture. Indeed, such understand- 
ings can be developed in connection with comparatively few items in 
our lives. 

The time at our disposal to educate children in school is com- 
paratively limited. This fact gives rise to the necessity, first, for 
selecting the understandings which are to be taught, and, second, for 
determining the degree to which these understandings are to be de- 
veloped. Decisions at these points must be approached with care and 
made with great wisdom. Otherwise, we may be certain both of de- 
ficiencies and of waste in teaching and in learning. On the one hand, 
we shall squander valuable time in developing meanings which are not 
of the first order of importance. On the other hand, by attempting 
an impossibly ambitious coverage we shall fall short of developing 
essential understandings and of carrying these understandings to de- 
sirable levels of completeness and exactness. 

This is not the place in which to catalogue all the criteria which 
should or may be used in selecting understandings for school instruc- 
tion and in determining the degree to which they will be developed. 
Nevertheless, the nature of understanding will become clearer if we 
consider some of them. 

a) How universal is the understanding; that is, how widely will 
it be needed? Clearly, some understandings are of more general use- 
fulness than are others, and for first attention the more generally use- 
ful should be selected rather than the less generally useful. It is, for 
example, highly important (generally essential) that all school pupils 
understand the process of problem solving and the nature of de- 


mocracy and of democratic living. It is not nearly so essential that 
all pupils understand the calculus; relatively few will have any need 
for this aspect of mathematics. 

6) What are the chances that a given understanding will be fully 
learned or extended apart from direct instruction, in and out of school? 
If it is reasonable to expect the incidental experiences of life in the 
school and in the community to present enough opportunities and 
needs to develop an understanding to the desired level of complete- 
ness, there is little point in taking school time for this purpose. 

c) How far are pupils capable of extending any given under- 
standing? In some cases natural limitations of ability will restrict the 
extent to which understandings may be carried. In other cases limita- 
tions with similar effects are imposed by temporary deficiencies which 
will disappear with time. 

d) How far must the understanding be developed to meet the 
present need? As has been stated before, it is practically never pos- 
sible to develop complete meanings, and it is often advisable to stop 
the development even of an essential understanding at a rather low 
level of completeness, with the expectation that the development will 
be continued at later points in school. 

e) On the other hand, what is the likelihood of future needs for 
an understanding? Just as criterion (d) would have us at times halt 
the development of understanding, so criterion (e) would have us at 
other times carry meaningful development beyond the demands of 
immediate needs. Criterion (e) therefore is a caution to provide in- 
surance against future and perhaps unforeseeable demands. 

4. Typically, the pupil must develop worth-while understandings 
of the world in which we Kve as well as of the symbols associated with 
this world. 

To repeat, the number and variety of understandings which the 
successful learner must acquire are very great. For convenience in 
dealing with them we commonly undertake to classify them. The 
basis or bases of classification accepted at any given time vary with 
the purposes of the classifier. For our purpose here, which is to help 
the teacher comprehend the nature of understanding, we call attention 
to two general types of understandings: (a) understandings of the 
world in which we live, and (b) understandings of the symbols com- 
monly associated with this world. . , . ,/,..., 

Many of the understandings which are sought through organized 
education are concerned with, "the world of things, animate and in- 


animate, with the infinite relations which exist among these things, 
and with the operational procedures found in, between, and among 
them. In the sciences, for example, physical and biological, pure and 
applied, the number of such understandings looms large. 

But the world in which we live is likewise a social one. Perhaps 
the most important understandings which the child must acquire in- 
volve people, their relations to one another and to him, and his rela- 
tions to them. Psychologists tell us that such understandings are 
fundamental to the development of the child's personality, and social 
theorists rate them as essentials to successful group life. "Under- 
standing others" as a goal in education has come to have a respect- 
ability equal to that long accorded Socrates 7 "Know thyself"; and 
such current educational phrases as the "community school," "Re- 
source Use Education," "Inter-American Affairs" reflect a well-justi- 
fied if often misplaced emphasis on the importance of social under- 
standing. A functioning knowledge of social and moral issues has be- 
come a responsibility of the modern school. Esthetic values, too, have 
their social aspects. The "beautiful" varies with time and place and 
in terms of existing social understandings. 

Associated with this world of people and things are a great variety 
of symbols, the understanding of which must of necessity be the con- 
cern of the school. Words, numbers, rules, principles, formulas, 
theories are all symbolic representations of things, procedures, and 
relations within the world. It is impossible to conceive of the learner 
behaving intelligently without acquiring an elaborate body of under- 
standings of a symbolic nature. 

Both experimental evidence and common sense justify the con- 
clusion that the understanding of such symbols is necessary in order 
to understand the world of things, procedures, and relations. The 
possession of vocabulary, number facility, knowledge of rules and 
principles and formulas these are all essential for successful ad- 
justment to the problems of a complex life. Meaningful verbalization 
facilitates the acquisition of understandings, aids in their retention, 
and thus makes them available for later use. To accept the truth of 
this statement the reader has but to imagine the geography pupil or 
the geometry student faced with the needs described earlier but with- 
out words, formulas, rules, or other symbols necessary for dealing 
with them. 

5. Mast understandings should be verbalized, but verbalizations 
may be relatively devoid of meaning, 

For the reasons stated, understandings should usually be verbal- 


ized; that is to say, they should usually be reduced to corresponding 
sets of symbols such as words, numbers, or formulas. But this step 
of verbalization should come relatively late in the learning process, 
only after sufficient varied experiences to insure the development of 
the understanding in question. Otherwise, verbalization defeats its 
own ends. 

Symbols acquired without being associated with the realities for 
which they stand are meaningless. As such they are quickly for- 
gotten, or, if retained, they are limited in their usefulness to situ- 
ations which are practically identical with those in which they are 
learned. Several instances of such empty verbalizations have been 
recorded in the second chapter of this yearbook. Perhaps one more is 
justified. It is found in the famous story, now a classic, as told by 
William James: 

A friend of mine, visiting a school, was asked to examine a young class 
in geography. Glancing at the book she said: "Suppose you should dig a hole 
in the ground, hundreds of feet deep, how should you find it at the bottom 
warmer or colder than on top?" None of the class replying, the teacher 
said: "I am sure they know, but I think you don't ask the question quite 
rightly. Let me try." So, taking the book, she asked: "In what condition 
is the interior of the globe?" and received the immediate answer from half 
of the class at once: "The interior of the globe is in a condition of igneous 
fusion." x 

6. Understandings develop as the pupil engages in a variety of 
experiences rather than through doing the same thing over and over 

Further insight into the nature of understanding can, perhaps, be 
obtained through an examination into the conditions under which 
understandings do and do not develop. The educational dictum that 
"practice makes for improvement" does not always apply when it 
comes to acquiring understanding. In the case of skills, repetitive 
experiences may result in increased proficiency, and when this is the 
outcome sought, repetitive experiences should usually be prescribed. 
In acquiring a skill the pupil must initially give a rather high degree 
of attention to the process itself; consequently, changes in the learning 
situation may be distracting and harmful. But once a certain mini- 
mum of skill has been developed, repetitive experiences in and of them- 
selves add little to meaning. To develop meaning the pupil needs a 
variety of experiences, and he must be able to concentrate on the 

1 William James, Talks to Teachers on Psychology and to Students on Some 
of Life's Ideals, p. 150. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1899. 


aspects of the differing situations which can contribute to a higher 
degree of understanding. To illustrate: The novice in cookery may be 
so confused by the complexity of pots and pans, measures and por- 
tions, stirring, mixing, and cooking, that freedom for attending to 
principles, generalizations, and implications is limited. In such a case, 
an essential minimum of repetitive experience is necessary, but, beyond 
this minimum, constant doing of the same thing may actually dis- 
courage further understanding. 

The truth is, it is through varied experience that the child has oc- 
casion to analyze, synthesize, discriminate, compare, generalize proc- 
esses requisite to understanding. Experience in a variety of situations 
is basic to the growth of understanding. The child who meets a given 
formula in one type of situation only, even though he meets it often 
in this situation, does not generalize to the extent necessary to de- 
velop much understanding. The fact that a pupil in algebra must 
often be told the "type" of problem he is facing before he can solve 
it is not always the result of the child's ineptness or his poor founda- 
tion in arithmetic. 

This aspect of the nature of understanding becomes especially im- 
portant when we consider some of the highly complex, yet universally 
essential, understandings with which the school must be concerned. 
Take again as examples the process of problem solving (the scientific 
method) and the process of democratic living. These processes are 
exceedingly intricate. Yet, it is crucially important that all of us 
possess a considerable degree of understanding with respect to these 
processes. These facts together seem to warrant our setting these 
processes as major goals of education, goals for which all teachers, 
teachers of all subjects and of pupils of all ages, might well accept 
responsibility. It is absurd, for example, to imagine that one teacher 
in one or two courses can give children the training necessary for 
adequate understanding of and skill in problem solving in identify- 
ing and isolating problems important enough for study, in assembling 
alternative hypotheses, in evaluating and testing out these suggested 
solutions. Such a task must engage the energies of teachers and pupils 
over a long period of years. 

7. Successful understanding comes in large part as a result of the 
methods employed by the teacher. 

There are obviously factors within the learner which limit the 
number of understandings he may acquire and the degree to which 
he may acquire them. We do not undertake to give the moron an 


understanding of abstract mathematics or of formal grammar; the 
six-year-old is not expected to understand and appreciate the niceties 
of social relations; the child with experience restricted to urban areas 
will get only imperfect understanding of farming methods. 

But within the limits set by the pupil's own capacity and make-up, 
the teaching-learning situation which is created for the pupil de- 
termines the character and the amount of understanding which he will 
acquire. An attempt to elaborate on this point might well develop 
into a treatise on good methods of teaching. Suffice it here to call at- 
tention to a number of elements in the teaching-learning situation 
which must be present if we are to expect understanding. Considera- 
tion of these elements will necessarily duplicate some of the discus- 
sion in the preceding chapter, but the points made need further em- 
phasis, especially since they can contribute to the clarification of the 
nature of understanding. 

a) Understanding depends largely on the degree to which the pupil 
is motivated initially by a recognized need. The relation of understand- 
ing to need was developed in an earlier section of this chapter, but it 
is again the subject of attention because it is exactly the point at which 
teachers so often fail. Whether or not any worth-while learning results 
from activity which is not purposeful to the child, that is, from activity 
which he does not recognize as meeting needs which he considers im- 
portant, we will not dwell upon. Certain it is that only limited under- 
standing comes from such activity. The emphasis on "doing some- 
thing" found in many so-called activity schools does not necessarily 
result in learning that is more meaningful than that which occurs in 
the most highly formalized school programs. The child who builds a 
medieval castle at the insistence of his teacher and according to plans 
developed by the teacher gets little in the way of understanding. As 
a matter of fact, so far as understanding of life in medieval times is 
concerned, he might just about as well memorize a series of verbal 
statements in his textbook. 

One further point concerning the relation between need and under- 
standing should be made. Needs are of different sorts. Some of them 
grow out of meaningful and positive goals which pypils have; for 
example, the desire to build an airplane, to organize a club, to learn 
more and more about science, to prepare for medicine. Others are 
artificially injected into the child's life by parents and teachers and 
are often negative in character. Teachers may create needs through 
withholding approval, through denying privileges, through punish- 
ment; but the understanding which results from learning in response 


to such needs is likely to be of a low order. 

In any given learning situation the teacher's purposes usually 
comprehend and frequently go beyond those of his pupils. On occasion 
the teacher expects, but does not secure, intelligent behavior in re- 
sponse to "problems" which he sets for his pupils. The anticipated be- 
havior may not occur for a number of reasons. One reason, the one 
with which we are here concerned, is that the situation as, arranged 
by the teacher arouses no feeling of need for such behavior on the part 
of the pupils. It follows that, in so far as intelligent behavior and the 
use and development of understandings are involved, teacher-purposes 
and pupil-purposes must always be made to harmonize. 

6) To develop understanding the pupil must possess a background 
of relevant experience sufficient for the needs of the moment. The per- 
son who would understand a particular situation must bring to bear 
on it learning acquired in related but somewhat dissimilar situations. 
No teacher would expect students who cannot add whole numbers to 
understand the addition of the more abstract symbols of algebra; but 
the need for relevant experience is not always so obvious. Social- 
studies teachers who carry their pupils into a complicated analysis 
of Chinese culture prior to adequate experience in and analysis of their 
own immediate environment cannot expect much understanding as an 
outcome. Failure to observe this principle may often be traced to a 
misconception of the term "relevant experience." A child whose ex- 
perience has been limited to the nature of a thing may not be in a 
position to deal successfully with processes which involve this thing. 
A child who has seen automobiles, even ridden in them, may not be 
ready to deal intelligently with the principles inherent in their opera- 

c) To acquire understanding the pupil must focus his attention 
on the aspects or details of the situation which hold the key to under- 
standing. A child may have experience over a long period of time 
with some situation and still get little understanding of it. Even as 
adults, after long familiarity we may get new "insights" from attend- 
ing to something in a new way. 

Teachers have an important role to play in assisting children to 
direct their attention to the critical aspects of a situation. Much of 
the economy accruing from supervised study comes from help given 
at this point. Habits of critical analysis, of classification, of seeing 
relationships, of identifying those that are cause-and-effect in' nature, 
of arriving at sound generalizations, all processes involved in under- 
standing, are susceptible to development under wise guidance. 


d) Understanding increases when a pupil formulates the results 
of his learning in his own words and in a variety of ways. One reason 
for the importance of self-evaluation in learning comes from the exer- 
cise it gives in identifying the desirable understandings which are im- 
plicit in an experience. Such formulations should, however, be in the 
nature of a rehearsal. Throughout any learning experience the teacher 
should encourage his pupils to verbalize, to talk about and write about 
the significant elements in the experience. And in so doing, it is well 
to keep in mind that exact reproduction of materials studied furnishes 
no additional understanding and offers no evidence of understanding. 
To accept such performances is but to condone rote learning. 

e) To get understanding the pupil must make an active, aggressive 
approach to learning. Pupils must be encouraged to "discover" the 
things, processes, or relations of which understanding is sought. Most 
teachers talk too much. They are fearful of silence; they are unwilling 
to allow the learner the time necessary to muddle through. Often- 
times, too, our methods of presentation are such as to prevent personal 
discovery. Recognizing understanding of a certain principle in science 
as the desired outcome of instruction, for example, we too often start 
with it, define it, give our own illustrations, point out important rami- 
fications, then (if there is time left) get a few additional illustrations 
out of the brighter members of the class. It is no accident that from 
such teaching the child often retains nothing more than the memory 
of a specific illustration. 

/) Maximum understanding probably results when the teacher 
works in such a way that the pupil is allowed to participate actively 
and purposefully in planning what should be done at any given time, 
in the doing of it, and in evaluating success and failure. The teacher 
who dominates the learning situation to the extent of deciding exactly 
what will be done, and how and when it will be done, and who, him- 
self alone, passes judgment on the success attained can expect little 
real understanding to take place. This is true whether he dominates 
through force or fear, or through the more subtle device of clever 
salesmanship. It is the nature of understanding that very little of it 
results when pupils work for fear of the teacher or for love of the 
teacher, for fear of low grades, or for desire for high grades. 

"Understanding of a particular kind is most complete when the 
learner himself has had opportunity to make a choice and has come 
to the conclusion that such and such is the important thing to do. 
Contrariwise, understanding is limited when some helper, whether it 
be the teacher or another pupil, does all the work for the learner. 


The teacher who conceives of himself as a "walking encyclopedia" 
or as a "trouble-shooter," who does for pupils the things which they 
cannot or do not want to do, can rest assured that a minimum of 
understanding will result from his teaching. A complaint often heard 
from mathematics teachers that pupils can't understand problems 
until they are read to them might better be phrased: They won't 
understand problems as long as their problems are read to them. And 
why should they, if the teacher is ready and willing to do it for them? 
And, finally, it is in the area of evaluation that many of us err 
most. Traditionally, it has been the teacher's job to evaluate. The 
child writes a letter, works a problem, performs an experiment, cooks 
a meal, translates a French story and the teacher passes judgment 
on accomplishment. We who are teachers must come to see that suc- 
cessful understanding as well as maximum improvement comes from 
pupil participation at the point of evaluation. 

8. The kind and degree of the pupil's understanding is inferred 
from observing what he says and does with respect to his needs. 

We come now to the final point concerning the nature of under- 
standing. It is only through observing the learner's behavior and 
through interpreting this behavior in terms of his purposes that we are 
able to judge concerning the amount and kind of understanding he 
has developed. Understanding is inferred from what the pupil says 
and does, and from what he does not say and do in situations confront- 
ing him. The teacher who would know the progress which he is mak- 
ing in developing understanding must be skilled in recognizing and 
interpreting such signs. 

Some information concerning understandings, it is true, may be 
gleaned from observing the child in the learning situation and from 
inspecting the methods he uses in learning; but the ultimate test is 
his conscious use of his understanding in new but similar situations. 
When a pupil can use a word in places and in ways different from 
the context in which he learned it he may be said to understand it. 
Understanding of a principle means that one can identify its ap- 
propriateness and usefulness in situations where it has not been seen 
or used previously. Understanding of a process implies that one 
knows when and how to use it effectively. 

Attention should be called to the fact that the school must seek 
a degree and kind of understanding which will lead to the use of 
learnings in the normal, out-of-school, life activities of the child. Evi- 
dence of this kind of understanding is not always easily secured in the 


typical classroom situation. The teacher who has attempted to teach 
a principle in science may have to be satisfied with testing the extent 
to which the pupil can apply the principle in paper-and-pencil situ- 
ations, but in doing so he should recognize the limitations of his pro- 
cedure. The pupiFs response in the test situation does not necessarily 
reflect the extent to which the principle will be used outside of the 
classroom. Still, care in constructing test situations will undoubtedly 
increase the degree of correspondence between the use of understand- 
ings in class and out. One purpose of chapter iv and of the several 
chapters in Section II of the yearbook is to show ways in which this 
end may be achieved. 

One reason for the lack of correspondence between the use of 
learnings in the classroom and outside comes from a fact which was 
treated a few pages earlier 'in this chapter. The pupil's purposes in 
learning are factors in the degree and kind of understanding which he 
gets from a given experience. The pupil who acquires an understand- 
ing for the purpose of using it in teacher-made test situations gets one 
kind of understanding. The pupil who studies for the purpose of meet- 
ing some out-of- class need gets a different understanding. This is 
another way of saying that the teacher must be familiar with a pupil's 
purposes before he is in position to judge the nature of that pupil's 

Given such knowledge of purpose, the degree of a pupiFs under- 
standing is reflected in his success in dealing with the understanding 
(a) in situations which are increasingly dissimilar from the one in 
which he presumably acquired it and (b) in situations which are more 
and more complex. The reader will remember from the earlier dis- 
cussion that understandings are not all-or-none affairs. Too often, 
teachers are inclined to place a child in a single situation where suc- 
cess involves use of an understanding and then make judgments in 
terms of whether or not he uses it here. Such testing obviously implies 
that he either does or does not understand. Ideally, we should have a 
series of situations involving the understanding, the situations being 
graded in degree of dissimilarity from the original learning situation, 
and graded from simple to complex. Understanding would then be 
measured by the "distance" at which the pupil could successfully 
meet the situation, and by the "level" of complexity that he % could 
react to successfully. ' Such a plan of testing "would be laborious to 
develop "and, perhaps, is not usually necessary. However, it "is im- 
portant that the teacher who is planning test situations do so with 
these two principles in mind. ' ' k ' < 



To meet the problems which inevitably face all of us, we must 
possess some degree of understanding. The success we enjoy in meet- 
ing these problems reflects; in part at least, the quality and extent of 
our understanding of these problems. For this reason understanding 
should be an accompaniment of all learning, but the understandings 
which we strive to develop in the schools will vary in kind and in rich- 
ness as widely as do other forms of desirable learning. Although the 
completeness of -understanding we seek to engender may depend upon 
a number of factors, in general the more essential the need for any 
particular instance of learning, the greater the need for understanding. 
Finally, if we would develop understandings, we must realize that the 
learning involved is in great part a function of the methods of teach- 
ing and evaluation we use. As learning itself becomes meaningful, 
through being purposeful and being built on a sufficient background 
of experience, and as judgments on the adequacy of learning come 
to be made from data which include evidence of understanding, 
understandings will come to be actual outcomes of education. The 
detailed treatment of the many problems relating to the evaluation of 
understanding is left for consideration in the next chapter. 




Assistant Director, Division of Examinations and Tenting 

State Education Department 

Albany, New York 


Associate Professor of Education 

Duke University 
Durham, North Carolina 

The importance of developing and appraising understanding was 
pointed out in chapter ii. A detailed discussion of the nature of under- 
standing followed in chapter iii. The present chapter is concerned with 
the problem of obtaining evidence to show the degree to which under- 
standing has been acquired. Nine general principles governing the 
evaluation of understanding will be presented and discussed. 

A word of caution is appropriate at the outset. The proposals 
advanced in this chapter, when taken together, set for the teacher 
an ambitious and elaborate program for evaluating understanding. 
On this account they may easily lead to either of two extreme re- 
actions. On the one hand, a teacher may be overawed by the re- 
quirements of an ideal program and, feeling that any effort on his part 
would be fruitless, do nothing at all about the assessment of under- 
standing. On the other hand, the teacher who is exceedingly con- 
scientious may undertake to do all that seems to be called for. In 
such case he will devote a disproportionate amount of teaching time 
to evaluation, leaving insufficient opportunity to help children develop 
understanding. Both of these reactions are undesirable. As previous 
chapters have indicated, understandings are crucial, and they should 
receive emphasis both in teaching and in evaluation ; but this emphasis 
must be kept in proper perspective in view of the many-sided respon- 
sibilities which the teacher carries. It is unreasonable to expect any 
teacher to measure all understandings, or even to measure all aspects 
of single understandings. 



1. In every subject-matter area there are available at present 
many well-known procedures for the evaluation oj understanding. 

The evaluation of understanding does not, in general, require new 
devices and procedures. The teacher should depend upon normal class- 
room opportunities, the examination of pupils 7 work products, writ- 
ten tests of different kinds, pupil interviews, and the systematic .ob- 
servation of pupil behavior. 

While the abundant literature on measurement makes it easier to 
write extensively about paper-and-pencil tests, it should be under- 
stood that the day-by-day observations of alert teachers provide the 
most significant evidence of pupils' understanding. This needs to be 
said, not simply because the written form of the examples that follow 
may make them seem to be test questions, but because the things 
which pupils do and say in the course of the regular daily program, 
when properly noted and interpreted, are the richest source of in- 
formation about what pupils understand, and how the understanding 
is acquired. 

As a matter of fact, some understandings are best assessed when 
they are assessed informally. Written tests and other formal instru- 
ments of appraisal make their unique contributions, but frequently 
the best evidence of a pupil's understanding is reflected in reactions 
that may escape the teacher's notice. There are, for example, many 
personal meanings, sensitivities, appreciations, and values (all involv- 
ing understanding) which are closely guarded by pupils and which 
will not be revealed except when some situation engrosses them so 
completely that they forget themselves. The ordinary school day af- 
fords many such situations, and the occasions thus made available 
for observing significant behavior should be utilized to the full. 

The teacher should not entertain the notion that evidence secured 
by observation is necessarily too nebulous and unreliable to provide a 
satisfactory basis for rating pupils. It is precisely by observation that 
these pupils will be rated later in life; and while observational evi- 
dence should not be used as the sole means of evaluation, it does 
have certain attributes of naturalness which make it correlate highly 
with postschool success. 

During the past decade or so, considerable work has been done with 
respect to the possibility Of systematizing teachers' procedures in tak- 
ing notes on pupil behavior. For example, teachers are increasingly 
being urged to recognize the value of anecdotal reports of incidents 


which reveal a pupil's personality traits, such as dependability, initia- 
tive, industry, or leadership. In the same or in a similar set of forms 
observational evidence of understandings may be recorded in an 
orderly fashion. Such behavior characteristics can be identified as 
they occur throughout the day and reduced to permanent descriptions 
at convenient intervals. These data then provide a substantial basis, 
not only for determining "grades" for pupils, but also for conferences 
with pupils, with the principal, or with parents. 

#. To provide evidence of understanding, evaluation situations 
must contain an element of novelty, but not too much novelty. 

This statement may seem to contradict a statement made in chap- 
ter iii, where it was pointed out that understanding frequently under- 
lies routine reactions performances carried through "without think- 
ing." The apparent inconsistency is not a real one. In chapter iii 
the question at issue was the nature of understanding, and, quite 
properly, mention was made of the fact that understanding is re- 
flected in much habitual behavior. In the present chapter, however, 
the problem is that of securing evidence of understanding. Behavior 
in familiar situations may be based upon understanding, but we can- 
not be sure that it is. On the other hand, effective and intelligent be- 
havior in unfamiliar situations furnishes acceptable evidence of under- 

The Need for Novelty. Much that passes for understanding in the 
school is primarily memorization. On the other hand, understanding 
is attested when the pupil dips into his knowledge and fits it into new 
patterns of thought or action which could not have been directly 
learned. For example, being able to recite a number of reasons why 
something happened is no real assurance that the person comprehends 
why it happened. He may not understand (sense the significance of) 
the reasons that he has learned. It is no more difficult for the pupil 
to learn reasons as facts than to learn names and dates as facts. Any 
genuine test of understanding will, therefore, require that the pupil 
show his ability to utilize knowledge (perhaps of relationships) to 
explain or interpret events in new situations or contexts. Accord- 
ingly, classroom questions and written tests which seek evidence of 
understanding should not emphasize reasons or supposed insights 
which have been taught and learned as facts, but should call for the 
use of abilities, both detailed and general, to cope with situations con- 
taining at least some novel elements. 

As has already been suggested, class discussion offers many op- 
portunities for setting new problems and new contexts. It must be 


home in -mind, however, that the responses of children are affected by 
personality factors as well as by their level of understanding. The 
child who is always eager to respond and who may have good answers 
may not have any better understanding than does the child who never 
volunteers and who may even offer an inadequate response when called 
upon. The first child simply has his understandings in a form that is 
better adapted to social situations. While personality traits are im- 
portant and while we should seek to cultivate good social adaptation, 
for the purpose of evaluating understandings it is necessary to separate 
the various elements which may enter into performance. It is, there- 
fore, desirable to adapt the means of obtaining evidence not only to the 
kind of intellectual outcome sought, but also to the kinds of person- 
ality and behavio.r that are characteristic of particular children. 

The employment of novelty in the evaluation situation is, in sev- 
eral fields, a matter of well-established practice. In mathematics and 
science the test of accomplishment is not the ability to repeat memor- 
ized relationships, but rather the ability to use them in solving "orig- 
inal" problems. In foreign language study, sight translation is the 
most acceptable evidence of ability to read. Tests of reading ability 
in English also include passages which are novel to the pupil. In 
geography, questions based on hypothetical maps may yield evidence 
of something more than memorization. In the social studies, "problems 
of democracy" may be presented in simplified form for solution, or 
at least for the identification of principles which would apply to their 
solution. And, of course, in creative writing, or in other areas of 
creative effort, practically the entire product is expected to be original 
and to some extent individual and personal. 

This requirement of novelty underlies all appraisal of understand- 
ing and will appear in various special forms in the remaining sec- 
tions of this chapter. 

Danger of Too Great Novelty. But the evaluation situation must 
not be too novel; there must not be too great a gap between previous 
learning and the measurement situation. Performance breaks down 
when the situation is too unfamiliar, and one may not be able to 
utilize effectively the understanding he actually possesses. It is easily 
possible to create evaluation situations so foreign to the pupil's ex- 
perienoe that be becomes confused and cannot make use of the under- 
standing which would function in more normal situations. Hence, 
even in "novel" .situations, a certain strong proportion of familiar ele- 
ments must be present if responses are to be intelligent rather than 
random and chance reactions. 


The degree of novelty to be represented by various factors in the 
evaluation situation is dealt with in detail in the following section, 
but at this point one concrete suggestion may be offered: The novel 
elements which are introduced for purposes of evaluation should be 
restricted to a single type at a given time. For example, in arith- 
metic, if the problem involves novel content, the process of solution 
should be familiar to the pupil. If, on the other hand, the process 
of solution calls for ingenuity or special insights, the content should 
be familiar. 

8. Understanding is of many kinds and many degrees, and evi- 
dence is to be sought on appropriate levels. 

The first half of this statement repeats an idea discussed at some 
length in chapter iii, where it was pointed out that situations differ 
in subtlety, in complexity, and in other ways. Not all pupils attain 
the same level of understanding with respect to a single situation; 
nor does any one pupil attain the same level of understanding with 
respect to all situations. These facts are of considerable significanee 
for the problem of evaluating understanding. They explain why "evi- 
dence of understanding is to be sought on appropriate levels." 

Variation in Subtlety and Complexity of Situations. It may be 
well to illustrate what is meant by different levels of understanding 
and by different kinds of understanding. Any of the questions in the 
following list might be asked in United States history after a study 
of the career of Ulysses S. Grant: 

1. Who was the general in command of the victorious Union Army at the 
end of the Civil War? 

2. What generals served under Grant at the Battle of Richmond? 

3. During what years was U. S. Grant President of the United States? 

4. (True or false?) General U. S. Grant's victories during the Civil War 
were an important factor in his being elected President. 

5. (Multiple-choice.) An important factor in General U. S. Grant's election 
to the Presidency of the United States was 

a) his previous career in politics. 

b) Ms successful leadership of the Union Army in the Civil War. 

c) the fact that he was a Democrat. . 

d) the fact that Abraham Lincoln had expressed a strong desire for 
Grant to be his successor. 

6. Compare Grant's success as a general with his effectiveness as President. 

7. In the light of your study of Grant's career, which of the following i* the 
most reasonable inference? 


a) Successful generals are likely to make poor Presidents. 

b) A President who has been a successful general can make consider- 
able use of his military experience in planning to deal with ne^ 
social problems. 

c) The fact that a man is a good general is no guarantee that he wil 
make a good President. 

d) It is not necessary for a man to be a successful general in ordei 
to be. a good President. 

e) Success as a general may reduce a man's prospects of being electee 
President of the United States. 

8. What evidence is afforded by United States history concerning the like- 
lihood that a man who has been a great general will later become a suc- 
cessful President? 

9. By citing examples from different countries and different periods of his- 
tory, indicate whether the preponderance of evidence supports or contra- 
dicts the claim that successful military leaders make effective politica' 

While some of these questions are phrased for paper-and-pencil 
tests, they could all be adapted to oral discussion. Regardless of the 
form they may take, their merits for the evaluation of understand- 
ing may well be examined. 

The first three questions are simple questions of fact. The first 
question calls for information which the average citizen might be 
expected to have acquired in his schooling and is, therefore, an ap- 
propriate question when used in a test covering facts and understand- 
ings at an elementary level. The ability to answer this question is 
not, however, evidence of useful understanding. The information 
sought in the second question is of quite limited value to most stu- 
dents. Only a specialist in military history would likely be able tc 
relate this information to other facts in any significant way. The 
third question relates to a detail of chronology of little importance 
by itself and consequently tends to encourage undesirable methods 
of teaching and learning. Only a historian with a wealth of relatec 
knowledge would be appreciably served by the ability to summer 
up this detail. 

Question four may be assumed to require understanding of an ele 
mentary kind. If the answer had not been taught directly, this ques 
tion might be used, together with similar questions, to test an ele 
mentary level of understanding. Question five makes it necessary fo 
the pupil to weigh alternative explanations of cause and effect. Agair 
if the answer has not been taught directly, the exercise compels th 
pupil, on the basis of his knowledge, to reject several plausibly state< 


possibilities in the process of choosing the correct explanation. Question 
six. requires the summoning and stating of facts and the pronouncement 
of -a simple judgment. If not directly taught, the correct answer to this 
question reflects elementary understanding. 

In question seven the pupil is asked to carry out a process of 
thinking that requires a fair amount of knowledge about Grant's 
career as well as considerable understanding both of the facts in- 
volved and of the logical inferences that may be drawn from them. 
This is particularly so because some of the statements might be re- 
garded as true in general but cannot be deduced from knowledge of 
Grant's career. 

Questions eight and nine necessitate successively broader knowl- 
edge and understanding of military, political, and social history, to- 
gether with an ability to express the understanding effectively. Ma- 
turity of thought may be disclosed in the pupil's ability to hold him- 
self to the precise conditions set by the questions and to suspend 
judgment when the evidence is not clearly in favor of one conclusion 
or another. 

In sum, the appropriate answers to this series of questions illustrate 
gradations of understanding which extend from factual memory, 
through relatively elementary understanding, to a degree of mastery 
approaching that of the scholar-specialist. In the type of appraisal 
here exemplified we are primarily concerned with relations. It is clear 
from the illustration that the understanding of relationship may vary 
greatly in breadth and richness. It should be clear, as well, that 
evaluation must be planned with full awareness of this variability 
and directed toward an appropriate level. 

Variation in Intellectual and Social Distance. From the stand- 
point of learning and so, from the standpoint of evaluation as well 
situations differ not alone in the matter of subtlety and complexity 
of relationships as just illustrated. They differ also, among other 
ways, in remoteness, or in the intellectual and social distance the 
pupil may be called upon to span in his thinking or response. 

a) Intellectual distance. WQ may consider first the matter of 
intellectual distance, as typified in the following graded steps in arith- 
metic. After a pupil has learned to solve a particular problem, the 
first move away from complete reproduction is the application of the 
same method to a similar problem containing different quantities or 
different materials. Having discovered, for example, that multipli- 
cation will yield the answer when he wants to find how much six 
pencils cost at three cents each, the pupil may be asked to find how 


much seven rulers cost at five cents each. At a higher step in the 
scale he may learn to determine the areas of pieces of paper which 
are immediately available for examination and manipulation. Here 
he uses multiplication in a new way and in connection with a con- 
cept (area) which is more abstract than pennies and rulers. Next, 
he may extend this use of multiplication to find the areas of large land 
surfaces which are verbally described, and hence are not subject to 
direct observation. Still further progress in intellectual remoteness, 
though in a different direction and perhaps coming before some of 
the steps just described, is made when the pupil becomes acquainted 
with the inverse relationship between multiplication and division. To 
illustrate: he proceeds from the understanding that he must multiply 
to find the cost of six pencils at three cents each to the realization that 
he must divide $2.80 by four to find the share of each of four boys 
whose expenses amount to that sum. As an extreme of the scale, 
problems may be set in wholly new situations, involving units or 
content the pupil has never encountered, but which he should be able 
to solve by some sort of analogy. For example, his understanding of 
multiplication may need to be applied to ratio and proportion in con- 
nection with problems based on Mendel's Law or with probabilities 
in coin tossing. 

It is obvious that in the foregoing series of arithmetical situations 
the pupil has to react at points that are intellectually further and 
further removed from the simple, familiar situation represented in 
his first learning task. Prom the viewpoint of evaluation it would 
be a mistake to infer that understanding is demonstrated by success- 
ful performance in the last stage only. On the contrary, even the first 
stage in the series calls for some understanding, and each successive 
stage calls for added increments of understanding. The program of 
evaluation must be planned with full recognition of these facts. It 
would be absurd to assume that third-grade children are deficient in 
understanding because they cannot succeed with a task which appears 
well toward the end of the series; but no more absurd than to assume 
'that eighth-grade children have evidenced the expected level of under- 
standing when they succeed with tasks which occur early in the series. 
In a word, evaluation situations must be designed to provide just 
enough intellectual remoteness to evoke the level of understanding 
which should have been achieved. 

b) Social distance. In similar fashion, increases in social dis- 
tance affect the degree of understanding called for. This statement 


may be clarified through the use of a series of graded illustrations, 
this time in the field of social behavior. 

Children may be taught to take turns with play or work equip- 
ment, and in other ways to be fair with members of their group. The 
first step away from the immediate learning situation occurs when 
the teacher has left the room temporarily, or when supervision is 
temporarily relaxed on the playground. The authority of the teacher 
or supervisor has been removed, but the pupils and the particular 
setting remain as familiar elements to sustain the learning. A second 
step in increased distance from the earlier learning situation occurs 
when individual pupils are at home, in the town library, at Sunday 
School, or at a Scout meeting, or perhaps when they are playing on 
sandlots. The original pupil group has now given way to groups in 
which at least some members are not classmates, and the external situ- 
ation has been shifted, although it is still within the range of com- 
munity living. A third level occurs When both one's companions and 
the external situation are new, as when one travels outside the range 
of his customary activities and is associated with new people. A 
fourth level is represented when familiar landmarks and personalities 
are all absent and only impersonal communication and attenuated 
forms of control remain. The acceptance of rationing of food and 
clothing and of other limitations imposed by a wartime economy is an 
illustration. Perhaps we should say that a fifth step is reached when 
one accepts with satisfaction the principle of extending to all people 
in all countries throughout the world equal access to the necessities 
of life or at least to all people who will not grossly abuse the 
privileges accorded them. Lend-lease is the formal device which we 
have adopted during the war in recognition of this principle; we have 
not yet extended it to peacetime situations. Perhaps all of us can 
identify among our friends and acquaintances those who extend their 
understanding in these social matters only as far as one or another 
of the steps in the scale just outlined. 

In passing judgment upon growth in social understandings the 
teacher will take care to obtain a variety of evidence, based on a 
number of situations, before coming to a conclusion about a given 
pupil. The teacher will desire reports from other persons, both in 
the school and without, such as parents, the town librarian, Sunday 
School teachers, Scoutmasters, and even pupils themselves concern- 
ing out-of-school incidents. Some teachers will object that the evalu- 
ation of such understandings lies outside their formal responsibilities. 
But they must be reminded that the goal of the publip schools is to 


make good citizens and not simply to make pupils competent in the 
school subjects. 

Desirable Levels of Understanding. Since there is such wide vari- 
ation in degrees of understanding, the teacher is confronted with the 
question: For what level of understanding should I strive? The 
answer to this question must be practical, based in large part on what 
it is possible to do. Theorists are prone to aim too high and to insist 
upon unattainable ideals. Their admonitions are often of little aid to 
the teacher who has to work with children of ordinary capacities. 

For what level of understanding, then, should the teacher strive? 
The answer may be framed in terms of the series of questions about 
Grant (pp. 48-49) . Teachers may well direct their efforts to the culti- 
vation and the appraisal of the abilities called for by questions five 
and six. These questions require the pupil to incorporate facts into a 
pattern and to distinguish between the values and relationships of the 
facts in a large setting. The criticism of common educational prac- 
tice is that too much teaching and testing have been pitched at the 
level of questions one, two, and three, with comparatively little con- 
cern for abilities at higher, more complex levels. A reasonable and 
desirable departure from this practice would seem to be to retain a 
fair number of factual questions of a justifiable character, such as 
question one about Grant, but to emphasize questions like five and 
six, and include a few of the type represented by question seven. As 
time permits, such questions as the eighth may be included in both 
class and test procedures. 

If this proposal appears to set too modest a goal, especially for 
high-school students, it should be pointed out that concentration on 
questions like seven, eight, and nine in this list is bound to be dis- 
appointing, and the ultimate effect may be a reactionary acceptance 
of the old narrowly factual learning as the best that can be achieved. 
On the other hand, a moderate 1 ' departure will not build false hopes, 
but will serve to focus attention on relations rather than on isolated 
and inconsequential facts. 

Teaching and appraisal goals are subject to modification in ac- 
cordance with the ability and experience of the class. If it is ap- 
propriate to test principally for understanding of an elementary level, 
exercises similar to questions seven and eight may be omitted and 
more of the simple questions of fact may be used. But care must be 
exercised to avoid slipping into the habit of stressing the importance 
of responses to such questions as two and three. Although they are 
easy to make and to answer, the knowledge these questions call for 


will be useless especially for pupils of limited ability. On the other 
hand, if the experience and ability of a class permit, emphasis may 
well be shifted to questions that require evidence of higher levels of 
understanding, though some simple factual questions of real worth 
should always be employed. 

4- Procedures employed to measure understanding should provide 
evidence of appreciation of primary reality. 

The last two sections have stressed the fact that evaluation situ- 
ations should contain an appropriate amount of novelty, and should 
afford evidence that children can handle relations of various types 
and that their understanding extends beyond the bounds of immediate 
circumstances. The higher levels of understanding, it was shown, are 
revealed by ability to deal effectively with increasingly involved situ- 
ations, or those intellectually and socially more remote from the learn- 
ing situation. The "opposite face of the coin" with respect to under- 
standing of this abstract sort is an accurate knowledge and appreci- 
ation of the concrete realities which form the basic elements of rela- 
tionships. Evaluation should be planned so as to include evidence 
that children know and appreciate these primary data. 

The pitfall to guard against is mere verbalization, which often 
passes for understanding. It is all too common for pupils to pass all 
the tests in a course without really knowing "what the subject is." 
A pupil may be able to state that "stone is obtained from quarries," 
but further inquiry may disclose that when he speaks of a quarry 
he has in mind the idea of an aquarium. In mathematics, many pupils 
move on into algebra and higher branches and gain a mastery of the 
techniques of solving formal problems in these areas, while growing 
progressively less able to deal with real problems that can be solved 
by arithmetic. 

The pupil who responds that Grant was a successful general but 
a poor President may have very erroneous ideas of the nature and 
degree of Grant's success in either role. In the traditional notion of 
a military hero, he may picture Grant as a brilliant strategist winning 
battles against overwhelming odds of manpower and materiel. On 
the other hand, he may picture Grant as a President who usurped 
power after the manner of a dictator and was nearly impeached, in 
this last detail confusing Grant with his predecessor, President John- 
son. His appreciation of how Grant's success as a general led to his 
election as President may be meager and quite unrelated in his think- 
ing to recent attitudes toward General MacArthur. 


Sample Procedures. In appraising understanding, then, the teacher 
must be careful that abstractions and generalizations are not attained 
at the sacrifice of appreciation of primary reality. Of great value here 
is the follow-up question in classroom discussion or in interviews, to 
ascertain with certainty whether the pupil really grasps the meaning 
of terms he uses, events to which he refers, or units in which he ex- 
presses his answers. Ability to identify pictorial representations of 
geological formations, art objects, or animal life is one type of evi- 
dence to be used in classroom appraisal or in written tests. Ability 
to give specific examples of general terms is another type of evi- 
dence. If a pupil uses the term "Slav/' let him cite national groups 
that are Slavic ; if he speaks of citrus fruits, let him name some fruits 
that are citrus and some that are not; if he speaks of Romance 
languages, let him make it clear that he does not identify the term 
with modern European languages in general (including German). In 
mathematics, let the pupil be required constantly to refer his newly- 
learned skills to real situations in which they may be used, main- 
taining his elementary skills by frequent application even while 
learning higher skills. 

The same principle holds in the case of understanding which in- 
volves social behavior and attitudes as, for example, learning to ob- 
tain satisfaction in taking turns in games and in the use of materials. 
Here teachers should not encourage progress in the direction of more 
distant, complex, and abstract relations without at the same time 
maintaining and intensifying satisfaction in primary situations. For 
example, the pupil who readily espouses rationing, lend-lease, and 
international co-operation, yet fails to enjoy taking turns and sharing 
in more immediate situations, is building on shifting sands. This ten- 
dency should be checked, and the favorable appraisal that is given 
to the appropriate attitudes of pupils in ordinary situations should 
be withheld. It is not enough that pupils accept remote ideals, 
especially when their satisfaction in immediate situations lacks spon- 
taineity and appears to be dependent on receiving approval. The pro- 
portion of pupils of this kind will generally be small, but this fact is 
no excuse either for neglecting them or for giving them full credit for 
idealism. They should be given special guidance to prevent a psy- 
chological growing-away from reality. Understanding of international^ 
good will should be grounded in an appreciation of good will in ^pri- 
mary face-to-face relationships. 

Both in teaching and in evaluation, emphasis upon reality must 
be kept in balance. If pushed to an extreme, it will defeat its own 


purpose. It can readily degenerate into exaggerated concern about 
facts, about definitions, and about verbalizations in general. Children 
should not be allowed to develop a fearful attitude, an attitude of 
not daring to go ahead lest they be vulnerable at points which are 
actually insignificant. Some caution in pupils is appropriate, but so 
also are purpose and courage, 

5. Since intelligent behavior in many situations involves the ability 
to recognize the relevancy and sufficiency of data, evidence of this 
ability should be sought. 

One phase of understanding is represented in the ability to de- 
termine the relevancy and sufficiency of data, material, or behavior 
for a given purpose. Life situations commonly require a degree of 
understanding that enables the individual to identify and find the 
data necessary to solve his problems. The effective person in life 
must have the ability not only to recognize a need for information but 
also to determine what data will best serve his purpose, as well as the 
ability to apply and interpret the selected data in relation to both 
familiar and novel situations. 

Common Neglect of Principle. Textbooks and tests too frequently 
fail to require the pupil to demonstrate any comprehension of rel- 
evancy. It is common in stating problems in mathematics and science 
to give just enough data to solve the problems; no more, no less. A 
supervisor reports visiting a class where pupils were doing individual 
seatwork problems and going to the teacher for confirmation of their 
solutions. When one pupil came up, the supervisor heard the teacher 
say, "Of course it's wrong. You didn't use that number, did you? 
Well, they wouldn't give it to you if you didn't need it." Life sets few 
textbook problems. Data abound. The successful person recognizes 
crucial data and rejects other material as irrelevant to his purpose. 

Sample Procedures. A beginning has been made in isolating this 
type of evidence of understanding for special appraisal. The Gans- 
Lorge Test of Critical Reading 1 describes situations in which the 
pupil needs to read to obtain information, and is then asked to mark 
several accompanying paragraphs as "Helps" or "Does not help." In 
one exercise a class is described as studying China when the suggestion 
is made that they give a Chinese party for their parents at which 
Chinese food will be served. Among the accompanying paragraphs to 
be read and evaluated for helpfulness in deciding what to serve are 

1 Published by Bureau of Publications, Teachers College, Columbia Uni- 
versity, New York 27, New York. 


some about food but not Chinese food, some about China but not 
about food, some that give fanciful fables about Chinese life, and 
some that tell of Chinese food, its preparation and serving. 

Mathematics Progress Tests prepared for use in the schools of New 
York State include exercises like the following: 

Read each problem below and the facts which follow it. Decide what 
facts you need to solve the problem. After each fact you need, write YES. 
After each fact you do not need, write NO. Then answer the question "Do 
you need more information?" by writing YES if you need more information, 
or NO if you do not. 

How much money do Jack and Fred have together? 

(1) Jack has 10 cents. 

(2) Fred has 15 cents. 

(3) Do you need more information? 

How much change did I get from the storekeeper? 

(1) I bought 15 cents worth of candy. 

(2) I gave the storekeeper 25 cents. 

(3) I put the change in the bank. 

(4) Do you need more information? 

How far did Mr. Day travel on his trip? 

(1) He left Monday morning and returned Wednesday evening. 

(2) He drove 87 miles on Monday. 

(3) He drove 42 miles on Tuesday. 

(4) Do you need more information? 

In the Social Problems Test prepared by the Evaluation Staff of 
the Eight- Year Study of the Progressive Education Association, pupils 
are given short descriptions of fundamental social problems such as 
those pertaining to housing, conservation, capital and labor, and race 
relations, and are asked to choose from sets of reasons those which 
support each of three proposed solutions of each problem. In addition 
to reasons that are valid, several slogans which are mere reiterations 
of the solutions, rather than being reasons, are offered for selection 
or rejection. 

In all the tests described above, the pupil accepts or rejects ma- 
terial as relevant or irrelevant to a purpose. Similar exercises may 
be arranged in connection with projects upon which children are at 
work. The act of choosing appropriate matter and rejecting inap- 
propriate matter may also be assessed informally in class discussion 
or pupil interviews. An excellent framework to use frequently, and 
one for pupils to develop as a habit of thought, is "What do we- need? 
Do we have it? Where can we get it?" 


Class projects and school activities abound in opportunities to 
present this challenge. Scouting and other camping experiences give 
rise to countless occasions for observing and evaluating, as well as 
for helping individuals develop the habit of making choices with dis- 
crimination. Such occasions are natural and normal; hence, they 
present problems of selection and judgment that are typical of life. 

While selection of appropriate data or behavior is crucial in life 
situations, life commonly requires the individual, after choosing his 
data or behavior, to use them to solve complete (real) problems. For 
this reason problems which involve only decisions of relevancy should 
be supplemented by problems which demand finished solutions or a 
full treatment of data. 

6. Evidence of understanding is to be found in originality of per- 
formance on the part of pupils. 

This discussion of the evaluation of understandings would be in- 
complete were no mention made of the understandings which are in- 
volved in the freer area we call creative effort, and which, in the lives 
of all of us, find some expression in the pattern we choose to carry 
out. Understanding of the type referred to here is involved in the at- 
tempt to write an original poem or piece of fiction, in the painting 
of a landscape which is something more than the photographic like- 
ness of what is seen, in the drawing of a cartoon to illustrate the point 
of a paragraph, in the selection of one area of work rather than of 
another area of work as a vocation. 

In all creative work and this includes the making of personal 
choices there is the necessity for a fairly clear understanding of 
goals. Unless one has something in mind which is more ultimate than 
the immediate thing one is trying to judge, the many decisions which 
must be made will not be characterized by consistency. The concept 
of what one ultimately desires must naturally undergo many changes 
in the process of working toward it, but we do not expect pupils be- 
yond the primary grades to start drawing on a piece of paper with 
no idea at all of what they want to draw. 

In the same sense, in the larger sphere of life's choices, we expect 
each individual to have a growing purpose. His interests and his de- 
terminations and decisions should have some coherence, and this can 
be obtained only through relating them to a general goal. 

There is another important type of understanding involved in 
creative work and personal choice. This is a sort of cause-effect under- 
standing. In art, it involves the prejudgment of what a certain line, 


or color, or detail of composition will do to the total pattern when 
all of the rest of the material has been put in. In creative writing 
the same problem is involved. In planning one's life there is the con- 
stant necessity for understanding what the consequences of a par- 
ticular choice will be. 

The ability to produce an alternate proof in geometry, distinct 
from one given in the text, calls 'for greater understanding than does 
the ability to follow a given set of steps. The ability to produce new 
elements of order in material where these have not been given by the 
text calls for more understanding than does the ability to grasp them 
when presented by others. Creativeness and pioneering in any of the 
classes of learning demand more understanding than simply follow- 
ing along. 

Difficulties of Evaluation. In the area of understandings here under 
discussion there are few simple rules and few fixed guides that afford 
more than fragmentary help in evaluation, and the most creative 
persons may reject even these. Decisions made in this area involve 
something of the individual's personality something of his interpre- 
tation of life and of its large values. For these reasons the precise 
evaluation of original and creative behavior is difficult. 

The first step in evaluating such behavior in the school a step 
without which evaluation is impossible is to provide a classroom at- 
mosphere which is conducive to creative and original work on the 
part of pupils. This means that some features of the school program 
will be freed from relatively rigid controls and that self-expression 
will be actively encouraged. When this step has been taken, the 
teacher will at least have opportunity to observe original performance 
in the classroom. 

Since freedom and stimulation are of utmost importance in creative 
work, teachers must guard against the use of evaluative measures 
which may prove to be repressive and restrictive. What has happened 
to the appreciation and enjoyment of literature in the schools, under 
the influence of ordinary written tests and intellectualized objectives, 
is an all too familiar story: The fundamental goals have generally 
been lost sight of. The creative, interpretative spirit, when straight- 
jacketed, is killed. It must have the chance to live and grow and to 
be individual and personal. 

The significant fact is that society will evaluate each individual's 
performance; and this fact should be made plain to every pupil. The 
teacher's role is to attempt to view the original performance of each 
pupil as it will be viewed by society or, more accurately, as it will 


be viewed by some segment of society, for nearly always there are 
wide variations in the evaluations of different persons and groups. 
The teacher will accordingly keep in mind that the final criteria for 
interpretive, original work are the pleasure and satisfaction of the 
individual producer and the acceptance of his work by certain groups 
of persons. The teacher may best serve the purpose of encouraging 
creative activity by gradually making clear to the pupil (a) the char- 
acteristics of work likely to be most acceptable to people in general, 
(6) the groups or kinds of persons who will be interested in particular 
elements (e.g., conventional form, daring individuality, subtle emo- 
tions, intellectual aspects), and (c) the fact that he (the pupil) will 
have to come eventually to rely on his own prejudgment of the value 
of each step in his work. Evaluation by the teacher should be an ap- 
praisal of the degree to which the pupil has developed these under- 

7. Evaluation procedures should be selected with due regard for 
the likelihood of their evoking evidence of the kind of understanding 
that is required. 

No one type of procedure has a monopoly of advantage for the 
purpose of securing evidence of understanding. This statement holds 
true in spite of the common practice among schools of relying almost 
exclusively upon paper-and-pencil tests. Throughout this chapter the 
values of other procedures observation of significant behavior in- 
side and outside the classroom, interviews with pupils, examination 
of work products, and so on have been stressed in the hope of en- 
couraging more general use of these procedures. Each type of pro- 
cedure has its peculiar merits, and all should be employed in reason- 
able proportion. 

In so far as paper-and-pencil tests are used, the measurement of 
understanding does not depend on any one type of test item. While 
it is true that each type of question is based on certain psychological 
considerations and that some types are more useful than others in 
evaluating understandings, the teacher has a wide choice of materials 
and procedures in constructing tests for this purpose. Essay questions 
and multiple-choice questions seem most easily to fit into the plan of 
such testing programs, but true-false questions are also highly 
adaptable. Simple recall questions, completion items, and identifica- 
tion items are likely to be of less value. 

If one has equal facility in making both essay questions and ob- 
jective questions, and if one is testing for an outcome which will fit 


readily into either form of question, the choice will probably be made 
on the basis of the number of individuals who are to be tested. That 
is, in a test which is to be used only for a single class, essay questions 
would normally predominate because of the very great labor of de- 
vising an appropriate number of good objective test items. Where 
essay tests are used, however, it is important that the teacher ex- 
press the question in sufficient detail that it will be clear, and in such 
form that it will indicate to the student the desired structure of his 
response. Many essay questions are unconscionably poor, perhaps 
because it is easy to ask enough questions to keep the pupils busy 
for the allotted time. But the teacher should not assume that good 
essay questions can be prepared without time and careful thought. 

8. In obtaining evidence of understanding, care should be exer- 
cised to insure that the pupil's response reflects his actual level of 

This statement means, essentially, that the pupil must perceive 
clearly what it is to which he is expected to react. Otherwise, the 
response he does make will not furnish evidence of his characteristic 
or true understanding. 

Recognition of this principle is implicit in all that has been said 
in this chapter. It was explicitly enunciated in the discussion of the 
effects of excessive novelty in the evaluation situation. Accidental 
success may erroneously be taken as proof of understanding, or fail- 
ure may be regarded as proof of lack of understanding, when in reality 
some spurious element is the real deciding factor. For this reason at- 
tention is called in this section to several other factors which may 
affect the reliability and significance of pupil responses. 

Naturalness in the Evaluation Situation. Naturalness rather than 
trickiness should be the aim in framing questions for discussion or 
for tests. This point is particularly important in the selection of test 
items. A test is not an effort on the part of the teacher to outguess 
the pupil; nor is it intended that the exercises should be in such un- 
usual form that the pupil is likely to be misled. This does not mean 
that all exercises should be easy, but rather that exercises and tests 
in the school are but substitutes for life situations in assessing the 
practical abilities which need to be used. The more that tests can 
take on the characteristics of normal situations, the better. 

Clearn&ss in Directions to the Pupil. The best guarantee that the 
pupil will know what it is to which he is supposed to react is to pro- 
vide simple and clear directions, especially in the case of tests. Com- 


plicated directions may require "higher" mental processes for their 
understanding and application, but the difficulty and novelty of a test 
should reside in the individual exercises rather than in the under- 
standing of the directions. A teacher is interested in the question, 
"When a pupil understands fully what he is to do, how well can he 
do it?" A test of the understanding developed in a certain subject 
field is not a general intelligence test; it is concerned with the under- 
standing of a particular body of definite principles and relationships in 
a given field. 

Grouping of Items in Tests. It has sometimes been suggested that 
when objective tests are used for evaluation the items should be ar- 
ranged in random order with respect to the topics or the content cov- 
ered, so that each exercise is a "fresh" and independent challenge. 
Such deliberate scrambling of items is undesirable. In life situations 
one normally dwells on thought-provoking material for some time 
and is not required to shift attention spasmodically from one thing 
to another. Any emphasis on instantaneous reactions to mixed items 
is unfavorable to thoughtful response. It places a premium on adapta- 
bility of thought processes quite beyond the ordinary demands of 
thoughtful response. Instead, test items should be ordered in a logical 
manner. A test should start so far as possible with easy items, but 
the items should be definitely grouped around areas of subject matter 
so that the mind can "warm up" on each area and thus be enabled 
to function to full advantage. If some test items are found to pro- 
vide clues for the answers to neighboring items, the matter can be 
remedied by changing some of the items to cover more varied aspects 
of the area to which they relate. 

9. The program of evaluation should be planned so as to foster 
the development of habits of self-appraisal on the part of pupils. 

In life situations we do not always have at hand some "expert" 
(as the teacher) to evaluate our behavior and to tell us whether we 
have acted wisely and appropriately. Indeed, if we are mature and 
competent members of society we do not want any such external au- 
thority to pass continually upon the quality of our performances. We 
recognize the need for a relatively high degree of independence, and 
we insist that to a reasonable extent self-appraisal is our right and 
our responsibility. Acceptance of these views imposes upon the school 
the responsibility of developing in children both the habits and the 
abilities of self-appraisal. 

Partly because of the fact that many of the subtler outcomes of 
learning (such as understandings) are difficult, of appraisal, and partly 


because it is desirable to educate pupils away from a goal simply of 
striving to please the teacher, it is important, certainly by the middle 
elementary grades, to begin the development of self-appraisal. The 
beginnings should be moderate, but it is an important part of a pupil's 
growth that he learn to look at his accomplishments with some per- 
spective. Such growth is an essential aspect of the pupil's under- 
standing of the evaluations which other people throughout life will 
place upon his performance. 

Sample Procedures. The ability to check one's solutions in arith- 
metic and thus to know that they are correct is an elementary step 
in the process of acquiring the habit of self-evaluation. At the com- 
pletion of projects, mutual criticism of products and of presentations 
by the pupils themselves lays a groundwork for judgment other than 
that emanating from the authority of the teacher. Having pupils 
keep records of their progress from test to test or from year to year, 
especially if these records involve plotting curves and profiles of 
achievement, will contribute to the same end. Active participation 
by pupils in the preparation of their home reports is another useful 

Dangers To Be Avoided. In attempting to reach the objective of 
pupil self-appraisal the teacher should avoid certain dangers. It is 
not desirable to ask pupils to mark their own papers and then submit 
the marks for the teacher's revision. Under such circumstances per- 
sonality traits loom large, and the mark which is submitted to the 
teacher may not represent anything like the evaluation which the pupil 
really places upon his work. The conscientious but shy pupil may 
place his mark two or three grades lower than he really thinks it 
should be, and the aggressive pupil, or the one with a different sense 
of integrity, may adopt the opposite procedure. 

Neither should the teacher exploit the work of certain pupils by 
holding it up as a model before other members of the class. If pupil 
models are needed they should be taken from other classes. The 
teacher can, however, do constructive work by emphasizing criteria 
which are definite and specific. Clear goals are important, not only 
for the pupil but also for the teacher, and they are as valuable in 
guiding teaching and learning as they are in appraising the outcome. 
Some of the most effective teaching will consist simply of the expo- 
sition of social goals and ideals, either to the group or to the individual 

The teacher should avoid such emphasis upon self-appraisal that 
the pupil's attention is drawn away from actual doing and learning. 


Only a minimum of introspection is desired. Adults who act courage- 
ously and independently, relying on their own judgment and under- 
standings, are likely to be persons who, as children, were encouraged 
rather than merely rated by others. The best justification of self- 
appraisal as a goal for children is that it contributes to their social 
understanding that they live and work in a world of people, and that 
if they are to be successful they must understand themselves and be 
able to anticipate the reactions of other persons to their behavior. 


To summarize the chapter as briefly as possible, the nine principles 
which have been presented for obtaining evidence of understanding 
are here repeated: 

1. In every subject-matter area there are available at present many 
well-known procedures for the evaluation of understanding. 

2. To provide evidence of understanding, evaluation situations must 
contain an element of novelty, but not too much novelty. 

3. Understanding is of many kinds and many degrees, and evidence 
is to be sought on appropriate levels. 

4. Procedures employed to measure understanding should provide 
evidence of appreciation of primary reality. 

5. Since intelligent behavior in many situations involves the ability 
to recognize the relevancy and sufficiency of data, evidence of this 
ability should be sought. 

6. Evidence of understanding is to be found in originality of per- 
formance on the part of pupils. 

7. Evaluation procedures should be selected with due regard for the 
likelihood of their evoking evidence of the kind of understanding 
that is required. 

8. In obtaining evidence of understanding, care should be exercised 
to insure that the pupil's response reflects his actual level of under- 

9. The program of evaluation should be planned so as to foster the 
development of habits of self-appraisal on the part of pupils. 





Before turning to the subject-matter chapters, the reader is en- 
titled to a few words of explanation. Without this explanation he 
might easily misinterpret both what he finds and what he does not find 
in the various chapters. The following paragraphs are, therefore, in- 
tended to provide orientation and to forestall potential misunder- 

1. To the fullest extent possible, responsibility for the chapters of 
Section II was assigned to the various chapter committees. The year- 
book committee undertook to restrict the purposes of these chapters 
to the general purpose of the yearbook and to assure a high level of 
quality for their content (not an arduous task in view of the compe- 
tence of the chapter committees) ; but it did not try to dictate the 
material to be included or the form it should take. 

In general, the procedure was as follows. Chapter committees sub- 
mitted first drafts of their contributions. The yearbook committee 
scrutinized these manuscripts in the light of the purpose of the year- 
book, asking themselves such questions as: (a) Does this objective 
clearly relate to understanding? If not, should it be omitted, or can 
it be framed in a more appropriate way? (b) Does this evaluation 
device actually get at the understanding in question? If not, can it be 
changed, or can a better device be found? (c) Has use been made of 
all evaluative devices (and not merely of paper-and-pencil tests) which 
can profitably be employed in the given subject-matter area? Chapter 
committees were furnished the criticisms of the yearbook committee; 
at the same time they were told that they had final authority to 
accept or to reject each suggestion the chapters were to be theirs. 

. Chapter committees revised their manuscripts, which were again 
read and criticized by all members of the yearbook committee. A sec- 
ond letter of suggestions went then to chapter committees, once more 



with the understanding that they were free to do as they wished with 
respect to the proffered suggestions. In some cases the second drafts, 
with minor changes, were accepted for publication. In other cases a 
third draft was prepared. 

In view of these facts it should be clear that the major share of 
credit for the chapters of Section II belongs to the chapter committees. 

2. Chapter iv, in which the yearbook committee expresses itself on 
the general problem of "Obtaining Evidence of Understanding," was 
not available to chapter committees until too late to be of much 
service to them. The nine principles governing the evaluation of under- 
standing which are presented in chapter iv are not, therefore, to be 
regarded as the criteria in terms of which the chapters of Section II 
were consciously developed. Never having seen this statement of prin- 
ciples until after they had wholly or practically completed their own 
labors, the chapter committees can properly be bound by these prin- 
ciples only to the extent that they are sound and are generally ap- 
plicable. The critical reader will, however, be impressed by the degree 
to which the yearbook committee and the chapter committees are in 
agreement with respect to practical procedures for evaluating under- 

3. There is considerable lack of uniformity among the chapters of 
Section II. All chapters, except that on language arts, contain the two 
major parts, (a) a list of objectives which involve understanding, and 
(5) sample procedures for evaluating these objectives. Uniformity was 
required in this respect, but in few other respects. The list of objectives 
in some chapters is short, a half dozen or so expressed in broad, general 
terms; in others, the list is long, for the objectives have been analyzed 
in greater detail. In some chapters the objectives are considered in 
succession, and the sample procedures are subordinated to the objec- 
tives. In others, the evaluation procedures provide the basis of organi- 
zation, and the objectives assume a subordinate relationship. Uni- 
formity could have been secured, but perhaps at a price which would 
have made it too costly. The yearbook committee felt that each 
chapter committee should know best how to address the teachers in its 
subject area, and accordingly each committee was encouraged to adopt 
the form of presentation which, in its opinion, would be most effective. 

4. Overlapping will be noted among the chapters of Section II. 
This overlapping is to be expected, for to choose but a few examples 
such pairs of subjects as home economics and health, science and 
agriculture, industrial arts and technical education have at certain 
points similar or identical objectives. The overlapping could possibly 


have been avoided through the expedient of arbitrarily assigning this 
and that objective to some single specified chapter. To the yearbook 
committee this practice seemed unwise. It appeared better to let each 
chapter committee have its say even though to do so meant some 
duplication and perhaps some loss of space. In the end, it was felt, 
it was important for teachers to have as a unit in one place a systematic 
presentation of evaluation in their subject. 

5. It would be a mistake to make invidious comparisons among 
the chapters of Section II on such issues as: the number of objectives 
recognized, the level of understanding evaluated, variety of evalua- 
tion procedures exemplified, and the like. The truth is that the sub- 
jects differ among themselves in the psychological complexity of the 
outcomes to be attained, in the extent and in the direction of research 
on evaluation, in the aspects of behavior which evidence understanding, 
and so on. The measurement of understanding is relatively easy in 
some fields and relatively difficult in others. Students of some subjects 
have for a considerable period of time devoted attention to the develop- 
ment and measurement of understanding, while students of other sub- 
jects have but lately become interested in these problems. In some 
subjects paper- and-pencil tests are more effective and more generally 
useful than in others, where understanding must be identified as a 
subtle aspect of some complicated activity on the part of the pupil. 
For these reasons the reader should withhold judgment, refusing to 
condemn the offering of some chapter committee merely because it does 
not seem to meet the standard set by some other committee. Rather, 
in examining the chapters let him look for what is valuable to him, 
what is new, what is suggestive. 

6. In the space available it was impossible for any chapter com- 
mittee, even the committees in charge of the longer chapters, to exem- 
plify all possible evaluation procedures for all objectives as listed. 
Instead, each committee had to choose among the possibilities afforded 
by objectives and procedures and to limit its exhibit to those which 
could be fairly well dealt with in the allotted number of pages. For 
this reason it becomes the teacher's responsibility to adapt and to ex- 
tend such procedures as could be illustrated. In doing so he may well 
ask himself such questions as: Can the excellent device suggested for 
Objective 3 be used for Objective 2, as well? What changes could I 
make in this device (say, for Objective 5) to make it serve for Ob- 
jective 1? Can I enrich the evaluation situation here used in connec- 
tion with Objective 7 so as to secure evidence also with respect to 
Objectives 4, 6, and 8? If the contents of the chapters of Section II 


are used in these ways, the teacher will be able to do for himself what 
the committees did not have the opportunity to do for him, and in so 
doing will gain in his own insights and in the quality of his evaluation. 

7. Also, space limitations often prevented the illustration of evalu- 
ation procedures for all grade levels. The subject committees recog- 
nized the necessity of adapting evaluation procedures to school-grade 
and pupil-ability levels, and the yearbook committee has discussed 
the point at length in chapters iii and iv. In some cases committees 
were able to designate certain procedures as suitable for either Grade 
V or Grade VIII; but this practice leaves the reader with the ques- 
tions: Does the statement mean that I can use the procedure for my 
Grade VI children? If so, what changes, if any, must I make? If not, 
what can I substitute? Here again reliance must be placed upon the 
good sense and the intellectual and professional qualifications of the 
individual teacher to make up for the necessary limitation on the 
amount of illustrative material the chapter committees could provide. 

8. It would be well for each reader to examine more than the one 
chapter which deals directly with his teaching specialty. There is 
enough in common among understandings as objectives in the different 
subjects to make the suggested evaluation procedures of general use- 
fulness. For example, the teacher of the social studies can find much 
of value in the chapter on language arts, and vice versa; the teacher 
of science can find much of value in the chapter on mathematics, and 
vice versa. This practice, of reading several chapters (even of chap- 
ters which at first may seem to be only remotely related) , offers one 
means of overcoming the handicaps of space under which the com- 
mittees had to do their work. At the same time it assures the teacher 
a greater wealth of evaluation procedures than he could possibly secure 
from a single chapter. 

9. No other limitation imposed on chapter committees was more 
disturbing to them than the lack of opportunity to consider critically 
the evaluation procedures which they illustrated. Many committees, 
for example, recommend the use of some form or other of rating scale. 
All these committees recognized full well the cautions which must be 
observed in order to insure the essential degree of reliability and valid- 
ity of the proposed scales. Most committees also come out strongly for 
the use of the interview, of classroom questioning, and of both informal 
and standardized observation; and here again they realized the perils 
that reside in bias, in carelessness, in incompetence. Yet, they could 
not discuss these matters. Nor could they point out the special ad- 
vantages of one method of evaluation, and the disadvantages of an- 


other method. There were just not enough pages for use in these ways. 
To meet this need the one volume would have had to become two at 
least, and this was impossible. Instead, chapter committees were asked 
to restrain their urge to be critical and were promised this paragraph 
to relieve them of any blame for such omissions. Some chapter com- 
mittees sought relief from this restraint by availing themselves of the 
opportunity to supply short lists of references in which, they hoped, 
their readers would find the cautions and admonitions which would 
have been presented in these chapters, but for the limitations of space. 
Added relief, too, may be furnished by the brief bibliography appended 
hereto, in which the yearbook committee undertakes to supplement the 
chapter bibliographies for the benefit of the interested reader. 

General References 

1. EUROS, OSCAR K. (ed). The 1940 Mental Measurements Yearbook. Arling- 
ton, Virginia: The Author, 301 S. Courthouse Road, 1941. 

2. EAWKES, H. E.; LINGUIST, E. F.; AND MANN, C. R. The Construction and 
Use of Achievement Examinations. Boston: Houghton Miffiin Co., 1936. 

3. LEE, J. MtTRRAY. A Guide to Measurement in Secondary Schools. New York : 
D. Appleton-Century Co., Inc., 1936. 

4. REMMERS, H. H., AND GAGE, N. L. Educational Measurement and Evalua- 
tion. New York : Harper & Bros., 1943. 

5. Ross, C. C. Measurement in Today's Schools. New York: Prentice-Hall, 

6. SMITH, E. R. ; TYLER, R. W. ; AND THE EVALUATION STAFF. "Appraising and 
Recording Student Progress," pp. 23-537, Vol. HI, Adventure in American 
Education. New York: Harper & Bros., 1942. 

7. TRAXLER, ARTHUR E. Techniques of Guidance. New York: Harper & Bros., 

8. TYLER, RALPH W. Constructing Achievement Tests. Columbus, Ohio : Bureau 
of Educational Research, Ohio State University, 1934. 

9. WOFFORD, KATE V. Modern Education in the Small Rural School. New York: 
Macmillan Co., 1938. 

10. WRIGHTSTONE, J. WAYNE. Appraisal of Newer Elementary School Practices. 
New York: Teachers College, Columbia University, 1938. 

Particular Evaluation Devices: Illustrative and Critical 

1. ALILUNAS, LEO J. "What Do Essay Examinations Show?" Social Education, 
VII (November, 1943), 313-14. 

2. ANDERSON, A. C. "Interviews in Social Studies," School (Elementary 
Edition) XXVIII (November, 1939), 255-56. 

3. BARUCH, DOROTHY W. Parents and Children Go to School. Chicago: Scott 
Foresman & Co., 1939. 

4. CHAPMAN, PAUL W. Guidance Programs for Rural High Schools. Vocational 
Division Bulletin, No, 203. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1939. 


5. CURTIS, F. D.; DABLING, W. C.; AND SHEABMAN, N. H. "A Study of the 
Relative Values of Two Modifications of the True-False Test," Journal of 
Educational Research, XXXVI (March, 1943), 517-27. 

6. GUILFORD, J. P. Psychometric Methods, pp. 236-84. New York: McGraw- 
Hill Book Co., Inc., 1936. 

7. HAMALAINEN, ARTHUR E. "Existing Practices in the Evaluation of Pupil 
Growth in the Elementary School/ 5 Elementary School Journal, XL (Novem- 
ber, 1941), 175-83. 

8. Handbook of Cumulative Records. U. S. Office of Education Bulletin, No. 5, 
1944. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1944. 

9. JARYIB, L. L., AND ELLINGTON, MARE:. A Handbook on the Anecdotal Be- 
havior Journal. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1940. 

10. MONROE, WALTEE S. "Educational Measurement in 1920 and in 1945," 
Journal of Educational Research, XXXVIII (January, 1945), 334-40. 

11. HUGH, GILES M., AND SEGEL, DAVID. Minimum Essentials of the Individual 
Inventory in Guidance. Vocational Division Bulletin, No. 202. Washington: 
Government Printing Office, 1939. 

12. SYMONDS, P. M., AND DIETRICH, D. H. "Effect of Variations in Time Interval 
between an Interview and Its Recording," Journal of Abnormal and Social 
Psychology, XXXVI (October, 1941), 593-98. 

13. WEIDEMAN, C. C. "Further Studies of the Essay Examination," Journal of 
Higher Education, XII (November, 1941), 437-39. 

14. WEST, Jo YOUNG. Appraising Observable Behavior of Children in Science. 
Teachers College Contributions to Education, No. 728. New York: Teachers 
College, Columbia University, 1937. 

15. WRIGHT, WILLIAM: A. E. "The Modified True-False Item Applied to Testing 
in Chemistry," School Science and Mathematics, XL (October, 1944), 637-39, 



Cornell University 
Ithaca, New York 


Detroit Public School* 

Detroit, Michigan 


University of Minnesota 
Minneapolis, Minnesota 


The objectives of instruction in the social studies have been stated 
and restated by experts and by scholarly committees working in this 
field. Limitations of space make it impossible to cite these statements 
at length or to make clear the ways in which they differ from one 
another. 1 It is sufficient here to point out that there is general agree- 
ment on three broad goals which are directly related to the develop- 
ment of understandings: 

A. Acquiring functional information 

B. Analyzing social problems 

C. Practicing desirable social relationships 

For the purposes of the present discussion, twelve specific objectives 
are suggested as representative of the most important aims of instruc- 
tion in the social studies. Although these are distributed as subtopics 
under the three broad goals enumerated, it should be clearly under- 
stood that these three categories are not mutually exclusive. 

1 The reader is referred to the following references in the "bibliography at the 
end of the chapter: 1; 3; 4: chaps, vii-x; 11: chaps, ii-v; IS: chaps, v, xv; 21: 
chaps, ii, iii; 15; 22; 23; 27: parts I, 17; 32; 36. 



Acquiring Functional Information 

The sources of information in the social sciences may be classified 
as follows: (1) written records such as documents, books, newspapers; 
(2) pictorial representations such as pictures, maps, graphs; (3) oral 
records such as speeches, broadcasts, recordings; (4) remains such as 
tools, weapons, coins; and (5) the social scene itself. Actually some 
sources of information combine the characteristics of two of the cate- 
gories just listed. A sound film, for example, combines pictorial repre- 
sentation with the spoken word; a map includes a certain amount of 
printed information, and so on. 

The discussion in this section considers only certain types of under- 
standings involved in using sources, and it represents a purely arbitrary 
segregation for convenience in discussion. Actually the material in- 
cluded in this section might just as well have been included in the 
treatment of "Analyzing Social Problems." It is important that pupils 
in social-studies classes understand written and oral presentations of 
social problems. This chapter is not the place, however, for a considera- 
tion of all the abilities needed for the comprehension of materials pre- 
sented orally and in writing. Indeed, the discussion of the first "broad 
goal" mentioned above will be limited to a consideration of four ob- 
jectives which are of particular importance: 

1. Understanding the special vocabulary of the subject 

2. Understanding chronological relationships 

3. Understanding maps 

4. Understanding graphs and tables 

Objective 1: Understanding special vocabulary. There is little 
need to elaborate on the first of these objectives; the other three, how- 
ever, will be developed in sufficient detail to suggest kinds of evalu- 
ation which are appropriate. 

Objective 2: Understanding chronological relationships. Chrono- 
logical information is conveyed by numbers, by words which have 
numerical meaning, and by graphic representation. The last means 
need not be considered at this time since it is discussed in a later 
section (p. 84 f .) . Perhaps it should be added that historical chronology 
need not be conceived entirely in numerical and spatial terms. A 
knowledge of events will make clear a great many relationships of 
order and duration; indeed, if a pupil knew enough history he would 
not find it necessary to rely much on dates, i.e., numbers (34: 33 f.), 

, When a pupil depends on dates for chronological relationships he 
must be able to arrange numbers in order of size if he is to understand 
the sequence of events. In this way he can choose any date-event as a 


reference point and determine whether other events happened earlier, 
later, or at about the same time. He must also be able to subtract 
and to add in order to tell, for example, how long a certain man lived 
or when another man died, such essential facts as date of birth being 
known. The pupil also needs to understand the duration of time be- 
tween two date-events. For example, the statement, "the First World 
War (1914-1918)," makes clear that the First World War lasted from 
1914 to 1918. Anything which happened between these dates, as the 
re-election of President Wilson in 1916, happened during the First 
World War. 

Given a single date-event and information about other events, it 
is possible to infer generalized chronological relationships between the 
date-event and events which are not specifically located in time. For 
example, if the statement were made that Woodrow Wilson was re- 
elected President in 1916 after a campaign in which he claimed that 
he kept the United States from going to war with Germany, certain 
inferences could be made: 

Woodrow Wilson was first elected President in 1912. 

A war involving Germany had raged during his first term, i.e., before 1916. 

This war was not over by 1916. 

Given a certain amount of information, plus a general knowledge 
of history, a reader may be able to infer the date when an event oc- 
curred. For example, a pupil might figure out about when John Quincy 
Adams made the following entry in his diary: "Had an interview with 
M. de Neuville about our affairs with Spain. He says that Spain will 
give Florida to the United States for the debts which are owed to our 
citizens." Certainly that entry could not have been made in 1820 or 
later, and it is unlikely that it was made many years prior to 1819. 2 

Objective 3: Understanding maps. In reading a map the pupil 
must interpret concepts which depend directly on an understanding of 
scale, network, and symbols, as well as those which depend on an 
understanding of interpretative ideas derived from scale, network, and 
symbols (8: 24 ff.). The following outline suggests the variety and 
range of understandings involved. 

l(a) Relative location. City A is located north of the equator. All of country 
JE! lies west of the prime meridian. 

(b) Exact location as expressed in latitude and longitude. 

(c) Interpretative ideas. When H is 3 'P.M. in City A, what time is it in 

'This discussion is based on material. in Wilmeth's dissertation (34: 36-81), 


2 (a) Relative distance. Iowa is longer from east to west than from north to 

(b) Exact distance as indicated by scale or degrees of latitude. (The pupil 
should also know when he cannot use a scale to determine distance.) 

(c) Interpretative ideas. Which city (A or B) has fewer hours of daylight 
in January? 

3 (a) General or relative direction, determined without use of map network. 

City A is at the south end of the island. 
(6) Exact direction, determined by using map network, 
(c) Interpretative ideas. What direction would you travel in going directly 

from City A to City B? (Pupil might be asked to answer this question 

after looking at different projections, e.g., a Mercator, a Mollweide, 

and a polar projection.) 
4 (a) General concepts of areas, 
(6) Exact concepts of area gained from network, 
(c) Interpretative ideas. Is the United States the largest country in the 


5. Advantages and limitations of various projections. How accurately 
does each projection show distance, direction, and area? For example, 
is Greenland larger than Brazil? (Compare Mollweide and Mercator.) 

6. Symbols. 

(a) Natural features, e.g., land, water, rivers, mountains, etc. Both City 
A and City B are on the equator. Which will have the cooler climate? 
(Interpretative idea involving knowledge of how altitude affects climate.) 

(b) Human features, e.g., cities, roads, canals, railroads, etc. Why have some 
political scientists argued that state boundaries interfere with the ef- 
ficient government of metropolitan areas? 

(c) Distributions and utilizations, e.g., rainfall, resources, population, etc. 
Why are the farmers in State A likely to raise hogs? 

Objective 4: Understanding graphs and tables. In this chapter it 
is not possible to take into account the variety of graphic representa- 
tions found in materials used in social-studies classes. The following 
list merely suggests some of the major types of understanding involved 
in reading graphs and tables (21: 45 ff.) : (a) interpreting the legend, 
(b) finding an item of information, (c) comparing two or more items, 
(d) recognizing a trend, (e) comparing trends, (/) restating informa- 
tion in one's own words, (g) making simple computations, and (h) 
making predictions from given data, as in extrapolation and inter- 

Analyzing Social Problems 

Some years ago the Committee on Social Studies of the Progressive 
Education Association made an effort to enlist the co-operation of 


social scientists in determining "(1) what social problems are likely 
to offer the most serious challenges to Americans now in secondary 
schools; and (2) what social-science concepts, generalizations, and 
findings promise to be most helpful in the solution of such problems" 
(23: 24). This task was never completed because it would have re- 
quired the expenditure of greater resources than were available to the 
committee (23: 24 f.). Although the committee published a report 
which outlined broad areas for study (23: 116-311; cp. 4: 195-225), 
areas which would meet the needs of adolescents, it nevertheless ad- 
vised teachers that they, themselves (and their pupils), must assume 
responsibility for selecting the problems to be studied as well as for 
determining what information should be focused on those problems. 

Objective 5: Knowledge of important concepts, generalizations, and 
findings as a prerequisite to reaching valid conclusions about social 
problems. The authors of this chapter regret that it is not possible 
to describe precisely the important "concepts, generalizations, and 
findings" which pupils should master at various grade levels. A recent 
attempt in this direction in the field of American history was made by 
a committee representing the American Historical Association, the 
Mississippi Valley Historical Association, and the National Council 
for the Social Studies (31). 

The general sources of information upon which the social sciences 
(and indirectly the social studies) draw and some types of functional 
information which are of special importance to pupils in the social 
studies, however, have been listed in an earlier section of this chapter 
(see pp. 72 ff.). In the second part of this chapter, which is devoted 
to the presentation of evaluation materials, sample exercises will be 
included to illustrate procedures for evaluating the -understanding of 
"concepts, generalizations, and findings" in areas other than those 
specifically mentioned. 

If the pupil is to learn how to reach valid conclusions about social 
problems, he not only must master certain elements of functional 
information, but also must develop some proficiency in the techniques 
of inquiry used by social scientists. By those means he will be able 
to locate the additional information needed in analyzing a given social 
problem. A pupil who has reached valid conclusions about a given 
social problem also has a rational basis for "dealing effectively" with 
it. Much of the instruction in the schools, however, stops short of 
social action and many of the problems considered by the pupil both 
in and out of class do not permit him "to do anything about them." 

The teacher who is interested in helping a pupil develop the ability 
"to reach valid conclusions on social problems" or "to deal effectively 


with social problems," will find helpful suggestions in various works 
which describe teaching and evaluation procedures in the field of 
critical thinking. 3 In this chapter it is possible only to list the steps, 
i.e., the subobjectives, involved and to describe them sufficiently to 
suggest appropriate procedures for their evaluation. The scheme of 
classification is logical and to some extent artificial. There is no in- 
tention of suggesting that each "step" is taught in isolation or that- 
each "step" must be taught in the order given. Moreover, it is neither 
possible nor desirable to insist on a segregation of "steps" in evalu- 
ation. The behavior of pupils in and out of the classroom provides a 
great deal of information which must be taken into account, and it 
is the rule rather than the exception that such information relates to 
more than one of the "steps of critical thinking." 4 

Objective 6: Locating, selecting, organizing, and evaluating infor- 
mation. The variety of understandings involved in locating, selecting, 
organizing, and evaluating the information bearing on a given social 
problem is suggested in the following outline: 

1. Defining the problem and the terms used in the statement of the problem 

2. Using a variety of appropriate sources 

a. Recognizing the variety of appropriate sources and taking into account 
their comparative availability 

b. Knowing how to use various types of sources efficiently. For example, 
in using 

1) Written records 

a) Understanding how to use card catalogs, bibliographies, ab- 
stracts, etc. 

6) Understanding how to use an alphabetical arrangement, an 
index, a table of contents, etc. 

2) Pictorial representations knowing how to interpret maps, tables, 
graphs, etc. 

3) Remains knowing art periods and handicraft types, for example. 

4) Social scenes knowing how to prepare questionnaires, conduct polls, 
hold interviews, etc. 

3. Selecting information which is pertinent in thinking about a problem 

a. Choosing information which is relevant; discarding that which is ir- 

b. Determining the validity of the relevant information 

1) Understanding the meaning of the information 

2) Getting the worth of the information as evidence by taking into 
account such factors as 

3 See 9; 11: chaps, iii, iv; 13: chap, xv; 21: chaps, ii, iii; 27. 

*The organization used in the following discussion has been adapted from 
materials prepared by a number of authors. See 27: 1-47, 123-74; 28: 65-131, 
133-82; 83. 


a) Opportunity that person giving evidence had to make accurate 

6) Competence of observer in the field hi which he is giving evi- 

c) Objectivity of observer, i.e., whether or not be is biased 

d) Representativeness of data cited as evidence 

e) Need for separating fact from opinion 

/) Need for identifying value judgments implied in statements of 

opinion. These may color the reporting of facts, too. 
4. Organizing information in a way to facilitate the reaching of valid con- 
a. Recognizing the essential aspects of the problem, i.e., preparing an 

outline to be used in studying the problem 
6. Knowing how to take notes 

c. Distinguishing between main points and supporting detail 

d. Arranging major elements or ideas in proper sequence 

Objective 7: Drawing conclusions and stating them effectively. 
The variety of understandings involved in drawing conclusions from 
pertinent information on a given problem is suggested in the following 

1. Relating and comparing specific facts with each other 

2. Recognizing the limitations of the data 

3. Formulating accurate inferences and tenable hypotheses 

4. Avoiding logical fallacies 

5. Recognizing the value patterns which underlie the conclusions reached 

6. Stating the conclusions reached in acceptable form by: 

a. Defining terms 

b. Pointing out underlying values 

c. Supporting conclusions with pertinent evidence 

7. Being alert to recognize new evidence and willing to reconsider con- 
clusions reached 

8. Examining one's own system of values, trying to develop more consistent 
value patterns, and recognizing that a change hi values should call for a 
reconsideration of conclusions reached regarding certain issues and prob- 

Despite limitations of space it seems desirable to comment briefly 
on some of the points just made. This is especially important since 
the outline does not adequately suggest that the pupil, in drawing con- 
clusions about a given social problem, usually evaluates the conclusions 
reached by others who have studied the same problem. Unquestion- 
ably the pupil does "original" thinking on a given issue less frequently 
than he chooses between the conclusions of others. 


In evaluating the conclusions reached by others (and in reaching 
his own conclusion), the pupil must identify the basic assumptions 
upon which a given conclusion rests. Some assumptions are probably 
supported by adequate data; others perhaps can be validated if ad- 
ditional data are found; still others might be proved invalid if further 
research were undertaken. Still other assumptions cannot be checked 
through research as, for example, definitions, value judgments, and 
statements of preference. If the pupil does not agree with the author's 
assumptions of this sort, then he cannot accept the author's conclusions. 
Often the pupil may have to accept or reject assumptions tentatively 
while he plans how to study the problem further. In so doing it is im- 
portant for him to distinguish between fruitful and unfruitful lines 
along which to conduct this further inquiry. 

In recent years many schools have placed increased emphasis on 
teaching pupils to practice logical reasoning and to analyze propa- 
ganda. 5 To use oral and written sources effectively the pupil should 
understand the "if-then" approach, the conditions under which indirect 
argument leads to valid conclusions and the fact that an attack on a 
person or institution, even though justified, does not prove lack of 
merit on the part of the person or institution in a given situation. 

It is not enough for the pupil to recognize forms of argument which 
are intellectually honest; he should also be able to recognize those 
which are dishonest, i.e., propaganda devices. Furthermore, he will 
need to know that certain works, pictures, and symbols can be used 
to create favorable reactions; others to do the opposite. Few persons 
seem to realize the extent to which such procedures are used to in- 
fluence the reactions of the mass of people every day in every way. 
Perhaps still fewer realize the extent to which they, themselves, are 
using such procedures to influence their fellows. 

Objective 8: Applying social facts, generalizations, and value prin- 
ciples to new problems. In the foregoing section it was suggested that 
a pupil cannot study a social problem once, reach valid conclusions 
about it, and then feel that there is no reason for further thinking 
about that particular issue. It is important to recognize also that the 
knowledge and experience gained in thinking about given problems 
should be used by the pupil in thinking about new problems. Some 
of the ways in which the pupil may do this are: 

5 The common fallacies in drawing conclusions are listed and briefly de- 
scribed in Teaching Critical Thinking in the Social Studies (27: 29). For a dis- 
cussion of logical thinking see Stebbing (24) and Thouless (29). See also the 
publications of the Institute for Propaganda Analysis (18) and Faweett (7). 


1.. Detecting the relationship between known facts and new problems 

2. Distinguishing between the known facts and generalizations that are 
relevant and those which are irrelevant to a given issue or problem 

3. Avoiding undesirable forms of thinking, as, for example, mutually con- 
tradictory facts and values, and unfounded generalizations 

Practicing Desirable Social Relationships 

^ The fundamental purpose of instruction in the social studies (as 
it is in general education) is to effect desirable changes in the behavior 
patterns of young people. The Committee on the Social Studies of 
the Progressive Education Association held that "adolescent needs and 
democratic values set the task and define the role of social-studies 

teachers. It is [their] function to use the resources of the 

social sciences in meeting adolescent needs so as to develop the desir- 
able characteristics of behavior essential to the achievement of demo- 
cratic values -within the realities of the changing American culture" 
(23: 23). Charles A. Beard, in his report prepared for the Commission 
on the Social Studies, though he did not place the same emphasis on 
"adolescent needs" as a crucial factor in the determination of objec- 
tives and the selection of content, nevertheless expressed much the 
same thought. "Our fundamental purpose .... is the creation of rich, 
many-sided personalities, equipped with practical knowledge and in- 
spired by ideals so that they can make their way and fulfil their 
mission in a changing society which is part of a world complex" 
(3: 96 f.). 

The knowledge pupils acquire about world affairs, the skills which 
enable them to increase their store of knowledge at will, their ability 
to think effectively about social problems and their disposition to do 
so all are examples of desirable changes which may be furthered 
through instruction in the social studies. Although the authors of this 
chapter do not wish to claim all the outcomes of social education as 
results of instruction in the social studies, they must call attention 
to certain types of behavior which should result from instruction in 
the schools. These types of behavior may be evident in the social 
studies classroom, in the school as a whole, and in the community. In 
large part they cannot be measured by paper-and-pencil tests. For 
evidence of their existence the teacher must depend on observation, 
class discussion and conversation with pupils, analysis of written work, 
and so on. The following statements suggest some of the important 
objectives in the area of social relationships: 

9. Understanding and developing values consistent with the democratic 
way of life. 


10. Understanding the social implication of specific facts and types of be- 

11. Applying democratic values consistently in judging the desirability of 
policies and courses of action. 

12. Understanding the importance of social action to further the solution of 
social problems, and being willing and able to take such action. 


In the pages which follow, specific suggestions are made for the 
evaluation of the objectives listed. Exercises and procedures are pre- 
sented with a minimum of comment, but in many cases published 
tests have been listed and helpful articles cited. An effort has been 
made to provide appropriate material for pupils at three levels of 
advancement in school work: (1) upper elementary grades, (2) junior 
high school, and (3) senior high school. 

Objective 1. Understanding special vocabulary. 

The Commission on the Social Studies sponsored elaborate vocabu- 
lary studies and a variety of vocabulary tests, and the extensive ma- 
terial on this subject in the volume by Kelley and Krey (14: chap, iii, 
appendix ii) will prove helpful to teachers in evaluating the pupil's 
understanding of social-science terms. Some appropriate techniques 
for that purpose are illustrated in a later section of this chapter (see 
p. 87). 

Objective 2, Understanding chronological relationships. 

The following exercise suggests a way of testing the pupil's ability 
to use dates to develop an understanding of the time relationships 
stated and implied in a given reading selection (34: 55 ff.). 

Directions: Bead this selection and whenever you come to underlined words 
put the date which they stand for in the margin at the right. When you see 
an expression beginning "for/' put two dates hi the margin. 

Benjamin Franklin was born hi Boston in 1706. His father taught 

him to read, and when he was eight he started to the Boston Grammar 

School. This cost more than the family could afford, so Benjamin was 

sent to a cheaper school the next year. In a little while he left school 

and was apprenticed to his brother James, who was a printer. The two 
brothers did not get along well and Benjamin at last decided to run 

away to Philadelphia. He was seventeen when he arrived there to try 

his fortune. The year after that he was sent to London to buy a .... 

printing press. 


By 1732 Franklin had a print shop of his own and he began 

in that year to publish the famous "Poor Richard's Almanack" which 

was printed every year for twenty-five years. He was married to Miss 

Deborah Read two years before the first almanac was printed. The 

year after his marriage Franklin helped to establish the first public 

library in America. He became interested in electricity in 1746 and 

six years later he made his famous experiment with the kite. Just the 

year before the kite experiment he had founded a school and a hospital 

Directions: Put a check in front of the event in each pair which happened 

Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President. 
The First World War began. 

Germany accepted unconditional surrender. 
The Second World War came to a close. 

The ability of the pupil to figure out the sequence in which a num- 
ber of more or less related events happened is measured in the fol- 
lowing exercises: 

Directions: Which is the order in which the following events occurred: 
(1) A C D B (2) A C B D (3) D A B C (4) D A C B? 

A. The steam engine was invented 

B. People began to ride on trains 

C. Robert Fulton made his first voyage by steamboat 

D. The first telegraph message was sent 

Directions: The events in the right-hand columns are in the correct order. 
The numbers refer to the time intervals before the first event, between suc- 
cessive events, and after the last event in this column. For each of the events 
listed hi the left-hand column list the number of the time interval when it 


iteration of the Stuarts Defeat of Spanish Armada 


'etition of Right ~ ., , . m* . . 

6 Outbreak of Thirt 


iagellan's Expedition 

Glorious Revolution 

Outbreak of the War of the *- 

Spanish Succession Death of Louis XIV 
Religious Peace of Augsburg -5- 


Objective -3. Understanding maps. 
170 165 160 



This map is from the New York State Regents Scholarship Exami- 
nation 1944 Series, and the following multiple choice questions from 
that examination refer to the map. 


In what direction is city C from city <7? (1) due north (2) slightly west of 

north (3) northwest (4) slightly east of north (5) northeast 

Which of these cities would receive most hours of daylight on December 15th? 

(1) A (2) C (3) D (4) J (5) L 

By what route would machinery from city C probably be shipped most 

cheaply to city Nf (1) C-G-L-N (2) C-B-A-N (3) C-E-D-N (4) C-B-D-N 

(5) C-B-H-N 

If prevailing winds blow from the west, least rainfall may be expected about 

city: (1) A (2) F (3) Q (4) M (5) N 

What is the approximate distance from B to Df (1) 100 miles (2) 1150 miles 

(3) 350 miles (4) 1500 miles (5) 550 miles 

What tune would it be at city A if it were 12:00 noon at Greenwich? (1) 

1:00 P.M. (2) 2:00 P.M. (3) 6:00 P.M. (4) 1:00 A.M. (5) 5:00 A.M. 

One might assume the city with greatest population is: (1) B (2) D 

(3) (4) H (5) L 

Temperature changes will tend to be most rapid near: (1) A (2) B (3) D 

(4) / (5) L 

What agricultural product might be produced in large quantity near city B? 

(1) wheat (2) cotton (3) sweet potatoes (4) rice (5) bananas 

Of the following, the city with the lowest mean temperature is: (1) F 

(2) O (3) H (4) J (5) K 

The teacher does not necessarily construct objective-type ques- 
tions in order to measure the pupil's understanding of maps; nor i 
it necessary to draw a special map for the examination. The follow- 
ing free-response questions are based on the map on p. 82. 
How would one be likely to travel hi going from H to Nf in going from E to Cf 
Why would direct travel between F and G be difficult? 
Which city is likely to have colder winters and warmer summers: A or Cf 
What type of transportation links L and G? M and Hf D and Ef 
What lands of cargo would likely be transported from L to A by water? 
by rail? 

What crops are farmers living in the triangle bounded by A, B, and D 
likely to grow? 

The questions in the following axercise refer to the elevation chart, 
but since they could just as well be based on a relief map, they are 
included in this section. 7000 Feet 

6000 Feet 

5000 Feet 

4000 Feet 

3000 Feet 

2000 Feet 

1000 Feet 

E Caribber- Sea 

Cross Section of Central American Country 
Latitude about 10 N. 


Directions: This is a generalized profile of a country in Central America. 
At the right is a scale showing elevation. Answer the questions on the basis 
of the cross section and the scale, and the statement that the latitude is 
about 10 N. Take into account any other information you may have. 

Where will coffee be grown? A, B, C, D, E, No place 

Where will bananas be grown? A, B, C, D, E, No place 

Where will wheat be grown? A, B, C, D, E, No place 

Where will sugar cane be grown? A, B } C, D } E, No place 

Which place will have the heaviest rainfall? A } B, C, D, E? 

This cross section shows a place how far from the equator? 

a) 10 miles 6) 70 miles c) 700 miles d) 1000 miles 

Directions: You may also find it possible to draw some inferences from the 
chart. Read the following statements. Mark each one T if it is probably 
true, F if it is probably false, and X if you cannot tell. Write in the blank 
space following each statement the reason you think each statement is prob- 
ably true or probably false. 

Write one 
T F X 

One of the main problems of this country will be to secure good 

The density of population will be greatest between B-C and 


If plantation agriculture exists at all, it will be found at C. 

If any of these people are dairy farmers, they will be found at 

A or E. 

On any given day the temperature will be higher at C than 

at E. 

At E the difference in temperature between day and night will be 

greater than the difference between summer and winter. 

Many different types of maps are included in the Map Reading 
section of Test B: Work Study Skills, one of the Iowa Every-Pupil 
Tests of Basic Skills for Grades V, VI, VII, and VIII: elevation, 
temperature, rainfall, population, mineral resources, crops, railroads, 
and so on. Teachers may prepare appropriate questions based either 
on mimeographed maps or on maps found in the textbook. Some ex- 
cellent suggestions on concepts to be tested are provided by Edith 
Putnam Parker (14: chap, iv) . 

Objective 4. Understanding graphs and tables. 

The teacher should note the sample test exercises provided by 
Morse and McCune (17: 42, 44, 45-50, 52-54, 64-66). These include 



items based on bar, circle, line, and profile graphs, as well as on charts 
and tables. Test B: Work Study Skills, has a section on ''Reading 
Graphs, Charts, and Tables." 

The following test exercises are from Test Two: Interpretation of 
Reading Materials in the Social Studies, one of the Tests of General 
Educational Development prepared by the Examinations Staff of the 
United States Armed Forces Institute. Although these questions are 
taken from the college-level edition of the test mentioned, they are 
not too difficult for high-school pupils. They are included here to show 
the wide range of questions which may be asked from finding an item 
of information to inferential thinking based on general information 
plus the data provided. 


Dcmbtr, Yr 10=100 















; ^ 





1 * t 5 3 1 t 4 1 i 

1A 17 18 

In this (imaginary) graph, Year 16 refers to a year 6 years after Year 10, Year IT 
to the next year, and so on. Assume that the period covered lies somewhere be- 
tween 1900 and the present time. In answering these questions, draw inferences 
wherever possible on the basis of your knowledge of changes normally associated 
with the changes shown in the graph. 

How much higher were prices in July of Year 18 than, they were ia January 
of Year 16? (1) 33% higher (2) 50% higher ((3) 66% higher (4) six 
times as high 

Which probably decreased in the period covered by the graph? (1) unem- 
ployment (2) wages (3) dividends (4) interest rates 
Which of the following people, as a class, would most probably be hurt by the 


price changes in this period? (1) Those living on dividends from stocks 
(2) Those living on interest from bonds (3) Those who had to repay in 
Year 18 debts incurred in Year 10 (4) Salesmen whose income consisted 
largely of commissions earned by selling consumption goods 

Which is shown conclusively by the graph? (1) The government tried to 
control inflation during this period but failed. (2) Most people were better 
off in Year 18 than in Year 16. (3) The price of some commodities was at 
least twice as high in July of Year 18, as in December of Year 10. (4) All 
retail prices increased between January of year 16 and July of Year 17. 

Which is shown conclusively by the graph? (1) Prices were about twice as 
high in Year 18 as they were in most years between 10 and 18. (2) In Year 18 
prices were too high, (3) The purchasing power of money decreased between 
Years 16 and 18. (4) Prices in Year 18 were higher than at any time between 
Years 10 and 16. 

The following table contains information about a large northern city in 
the United States and about three of the many sections or communities 
within it. 







Median rental 





Birth per 1,000 
inhabitants . , r , T 





Per cent of families 
on relief 





Infant deaths per 1,000 
live births 





In answering these questions, draw wherever possible on your knowledge 
of conditions usually associated with the conditions shown in the table. 

Which of these sections of the city probably has the highest rate of juvenile 
delinquency? (1) Section A (2) Section B (3) Section C (4) Impossible 
to tell from the data given. 

Which is probably the section that has a population largely composed of skilled 
and semiskilled nm-mml workers? (1) Section A (2) Section B (3) Sec- 
tion C (4) Impossible to tell from the data given. 

Which of these sections is most likely to have the largest proportion of high- 
school graduates among its adult population? (1) Section A (2) Section B 
(2) Section C (4) Impossible to tell from the data given. 

la which of these sections did the largest proportion of people benefit directly 


from New Deal policies? (1) Section A (2) Section B (3) Section C 
(4) Impossible to tell from the data given. 

Which of these sections of the city is probably least crowded, i.e., has the 
smallest number of persons per square mile? (1) Section A (2) Section B 
(3) Section C (4) Impossible to tell from the data given. 

Which of these sections probably has the highest tuberculosis rate? (1) Sec- 
tion A (2) Section B (3) Section C (4) Impossible to tell from the data 

Which one of these statements about these sections is most probably true? 
(1) Section B is farther from the center of the city than is Section C (2) On 
the average the adults who live in Section C had wealthier parents than the 
adults who live in Section B (3) Affection for children is a trait more char- 
acteristic of Section C than of Section B (4) Inborn tendencies to laziness 
and shiftlessness are more characteristic of the people in Section B than of 
the people in Section C. 

Objective 5. Knowledge of important concepts, generalizations, and 

The items included under this objective represent types of ques- 
tions and exercises which measure reasoned understanding rather than 
simple recall. This statement assumes, of course, that the answers to 
questions have not been directly taught and that they cannot be figured 
out from any extraneous clues, specific determiners, and so forth, to be 
found in the test material. 

Directions: Draw a line under the word which most nearly means the same 

as the first word: 

Consumer: buyer, owner, user, producer 

Treaty: law, truce, agreement, charter 

Directions: Draw a line under the word which does not belong with the other 


Ranch: plantation, fazenda, hacienda, peon 

Mountain: plateau, peninsula, hill, plain 

Directions: Choose the word or phrase which is most like the italicized word 

or phrase: 

( ) The mKtarism of Assyria: (1) bravery (2) cruelty (3) love for war 

(4) success in ruling 
( ) Babylonian records of contracts: (1) purchases (2) agreements 

(3) loans (4) payments 

Directions: Choose the word or phrase which most correctly completes each 

( ) Men who did not help in building and furnishing houses were: (1) 
artisans (2) merchants (3) legislators (4) architects 


( ) Men who did not help people to maintain their rights were: (1) judges 
(2) policemen (3) lawyers (4) inventors 

Directions: Write in the parentheses the number of the best answer to each 
question or statement: 

( ) Dispersed rural settlement is common to all but one of the following: 

(1) United States (2) China (3) Australia (4) Uruguay 

( ) Road patterns are related to both geographical and historical conditions. 
A distinctly rectangular road pattern is most likely to be found in which 
of the following places? (1) New York (2) Virginia (3) Massachu- 
setts (4) Iowa 

( ) As the number of mechanical inventions increase and society becomes 
more complex: (1) Each worker does more specialized work. (2) Each 
person takes care directly of more of his needs. (3) People depend less 
on each other. (4) Each worker does a greater variety of work. 

( ) Tokyo is about the same latitude as: (1) Toronto (2) Havana (3) 
Washington, D. C. (4) Juneau 

( ) The adoption of the Constitution was generally opposed by (1) prosper- 
ous merchants (2) frontier farmers (3) professional men (4) holders 
of securities of the national government 

( ) Which has been a result of this country's policy of maintaining a high 
protective tariff? (1) higher prices for domestic goods (2) lower prices 
for foreign goods (3) increased foreign trade (4) higher prices for 
farm products sold in foreign markets 

( ) In which order did these inventions come into common use? (1) tele- 
phone, wireless, telegraph (2) telegraph, telephone, wireless (3) wire- 
less, telephone, telegraph (4) telgraph, wireless, telephone 

( ) Which is the order, from large to small, of the colonial possessions held 
by the following powers in 1914? (1) Great Britain, Germany, France 

(2) France, Great Britain, Germany (3) Great Britain, France, Ger- 
many (4) France, Germany, Great Britain 

( ) The United States and the U.S.S.R. are great world powers. Which state- 
ment about the two countries is not true? (1) The UJ3.S.R. has the 
larger population (2) U. S. industry has greater productive capacity 

(3) Both countries are leading maritime powers (4) Both countries are 
comparatively self-sufficient 

Directions: Concentration and decentralization are two conflicting move- 
ments in American industry today. Put a "C" in front of conditions which 
are most likely to lead to concentration of industry. Put a "D" in front of 
conditions which are most likely to lead to decentralization. 
( ) Nearness to raw materials ( ) cheap electric power ( ) high tax 
rates in city ( ) supply of labor skilled in industry 

Directions: Here are four pairs of cities. One in each pair is located in Can- 
ada, the other in the United States. Explain two or more ways in which the 
cities in each pair are alike. 


Ottawa; Washington, D. C. 
Vancouver; Seattle 
Toronto; Chicago 
Minneapolis; Winnipeg 

The teacher will find practical suggestions for building effective 
objective-type test items in chapter iii of The Construction and Use of 
Achievement Examinations (10). In order to see more clearly the 
difference between test questions which deal with isolated information 
and those designed to measure the understanding of important con- 
cepts and generalizations, he should examine carefully a selection 
of the published tests which are in general use. 6 

Objective 6. Locating, selecting, organizing, and evaluating informa- 

Defining the problem. The need to define the problem arises both 
in social situations which are of direct concern and in the case of issues 
which, though they are important, do not touch one directly. In a 
given class, for example, the pupils may wish to determine, "What is 
the best way to pass from the room in going to the next class?" The 
same group may also wish to study, "Why did the German generals at 
the close of the Second World War try to surrender to the Western 
Allies rather than to Russia?" 

In either type of situation the problem is defined properly when it 
means the same to other persons as to the one who poses it. Such 
agreement is possible only when significant terms are defined and the 
scope of the problem is indicated, and this agreement often is reached 
through oral discussion. To evaluate understandings involved in defin- 
ing the problem the teacher will need to get at the extent to which 
pupils (1) recognize the terms which need definition, and (2) are able 
to segregate the elements directly related to the problem. A written 
assignment may be used for that purpose. To determine how accu- 
rately pupils can define important terms one may ask for oral or 
written definitions, request that terms be used hi original sentences, 
and note how accurately terms are used in the course of oral and 
written discussion. Certain types of vocabulary tests are also helpful. 
The following are examples. 

Marfced differences: (1) decided (2) small (3) unaccountable (4) variable 7 
What is a "ticket"? (a) the candidate who has been nominated (6) a presi- 

8 See, for example, Test 1: Understanding of Basic Social Concepts in Form 
Y-l, Iowa Tests of Educational Development (Grades IX-XTCE, inclusive). 

T Iowa Every-Pupil Tests of Basic Skills (Advanced Battery Grades V, VI, 
VET, and VH[), Form M. Test A: Silent Reading Comprehension, p. 10. 


dent before election (c) a list of people to be voted on (d) an imwritten 
law 8 

Using appropriate sources effectively. In determining the sources 
to be used in studying a given problem one should consider (1) their 
general dependability, (2) their appropriateness for the particular pur- 
pose, and (3) their comparative availability. To evaluate the pupil's 
understanding of these criteria the teacher may assign a problem which 
requires the use of a variety of sources and note how effectively he 
identifies and uses those which are appropriate, or he may provide 
the pupil with a list of problems and ask him to indicate useful sources 
in studying each of them. It is possible to use objective-type exercises, 
for example, to discover (1) whether the pupil can distinguish between 
source and secondary materials, and (2) whether he can gauge the 
comparative value of sources. 

Directions: Put an x in front of the sources which are primary sources. 

The Treaty of Versailles 

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, a book depicting conditions in the 

South at the time of the Civil War 

The newspaper text of one of President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats, a radio 


A history textbook 

The Dictionary of American Biography 

A photograph of the burning of the airship "Hindenburg" (17: 34). 

Directions: Number sources listed in the order of value in studying about the 

living conditions of the ancient Romans. 

An epic poem written by a Roman which mentions some family customs. 

Excavations of the buried Roman city of Pompeii. 

A novel about the fall of Pompeii (17: 551). 

The "Test on Sources of Information, Form 7.1," developed in con- 
nection with the evaluation program growing out of the Eight- Year 
Study, uses a similar approach except that the pupil is asked to mark 
"A" if it is a good place to go for helpful information, "B" if it is 
helpful but not a very good place to go, "C" if it is not worth using in 
studying the question. 

The following test items from the Iowa Tests of Educational De- 
velopment for Grades IX-XIIP suggest various factors to consider in 
choosing sources of information. 

In which could you find the most recent information about Negro schools in 
the South? (1) a history of American education (2) an American history 

* See 14: 189, <r Test of Concepts Used in the Social Studies" by I/. C. Pressey. 

*Forra Y-l, Test 9, Ute of Sources of Information* pp. 50 fL 


textbook (3) bulletin of U. S. Office of Education (4) an encyclopedia 

From which could you obtain information concerning the location of the prin- 
cipal oil fields of the United States? (1) Department of State ( 2) Depart- 
ment of Interior (3) Department of Education (4) Department of Agri- 

Test items of a similar sort, designed for use in Grades VI-VIII, 
are included in the section "Use of References" in Test B: Work- 
Study Skills of the Iowa Every-Pupil Tests of Basic Skills. 

It is important, also, to evaluate understandings involved in using 
sources efficiently, e.g., how to use an index, a card catalog, and so on. 
The Iowa Work-Study Skills Test contains a section, "Part III, Use of 
Index," which is too long to reproduce in this chapter. This section 
includes an index and a series of questions. The pupil is expected to 
write the number of the page reference listed in the index which is likely 
to contain the best answer to a given question. 

The following test items from Test 9 y Use of Sources of Informa- 
tion in the Iowa Tests of Educational Development are concerned with 
the pupil's ability to use an alphabetical arrangement, his knowledge 
of the kinds of information found in various types of aids, and so on. 

In which tray in the card catalog would you look to find the author card for 

the following reference? 

Thorpe, Thomas Edward, A Dictionary of Applied Chemistry 

(1) the AA-Buc tray (2) the Buc-Cop tray (3) the Dod-Fin tray 

(4) the SuirUiti tray 

Suppose you were looking in the library for information about university 
education in the Middle Ages under the subject card Middle Ages in the card 
catalog, and were unable to find a suitable book. Which of these would be 
the best procedure for locating such a book? (1) turn to the author cards 
in the catalog and examine titles (2) turn to the Readefs Guide to Periodical 
Literature (3) turn to related subject cards in the card catalog, for example, 
Universities (4) examine the bibliographies of your world history textbook 
for suitable books 

Selecting and organizing pertinent information about a given prob- 
lem. Although the teacher may use a number of objective and semi- 
objective procedures in evaluating the pupil's understanding of how to 
select and organize information, the ability can best be appraised in 
a work situation. To get help in developing evaluation materials, the 
teacher should study carefully the exercises reproduced in the Thir- 
teenth Yearbook of the National Council for the Social Studies 

When a problem is defined clearly it suggests the organization 


which is appropriate and, therefore, what information is relevant. 
The ability to derive meaning from relevant information, however, 
depends on the pupil's understanding of the information and his skill 
in gauging its worth. That is, meaning is in part a matter of inter- 
preting words and phrases correctly, but it also involves "over-all" 

The Thirteenth Yearbook of the National Council for the Social 
Studies contains a variety of materials designed to help pupils develop 
criteria for judging the worth of information as evidence (27: 68-82). 

The following exercise (6) deals with the incident which took place 
on Memorial Day in 1935 in a field near the Republic Steel Corpora- 
tion in South Chicago. About 400 parading strikers clashed with about 
200 police, and many strikers were killed or wounded. Edgerton in- 
cludes the following in a list of those who testified or were used as 

1. Police: Captain TCilroy and others 

2. Marchers 

3. Onlookers 

4. Ralph Beck, reporter, stood near Captain TCilroy 

5. Newspaper photographs and Paramount Newsreel 

6. Police Investigation: Testimony of marchers and Capt. Kilroy's report 

7. Coroner's inquiry into deaths 

8. Medical testimony 

9. George Jolly, Jr., high-school student who lived nearby 

10. U. S. Senate Civil Liberties Committee-- made an investigation 

Before reading the fact sheet which contains excerpts from the tes- 
timony of the authorities listed, the pupils were asked to estimate their 
worth as "sources" of valid evidence. After reading the testimony, 
the pupils were asked to make a re-evaluation. The following items, 
among others, were to be considered: 

Position makes testimony probably unreliable (or reliable). 

Character of testifier makes testimony probably unreliable (or reliable) . 

Testimony is prejudiced by participation in dispute (or by relationship to a 

party in dispute). 

Time at which testimony was given increases (or decreases) its reliability. 

Method of obtaining evidence increases (or decreases) its reliability. 

Testimony is probably colored by emotional bias. 

Testimony is probably motivated by desire to serve society. 

Testimony is too incomplete to be reliable. 

Age and experience of testifier affects reliability of his testimony. 

Social pressure probably influences testifier. 

Training of witness probably adds to (or subtracts from) the reliability of 



If the foregoing exercise seems complicated, the following approach, 
reported in the Twelfth Yearbook of the National Council for the 
Social Studies (26), may prove helpful. 

A 6A class was studying the geography of Europe and the land of the 
Butch people. Someone in the class said that the homes of the Dutch people 
who live in America are always neat and clean. The teacher asked this ques- 
tion, "What reasons can you give for thinking that they are always neat 
and clean?" 

Here are some of the reasons the children gave. Read them carefully and 
decide which are the best and which are the poorest. 
I heard someone say that they were neat and clean. 
I was in one Dutch home and it was clean. 
Our geography book said they were clean. 

I have been in many Dutch homes and all of them were neat and clean. 
I read in the story book that these houses were always neat and clean. 

Objective 7. Drawing conclusions and stating them effectively. 

It is impossible to discuss and illustrate all the types of under- 
standings involved in drawing valid conclusions and to suggest how 
these may be evaluated. The teacher therefore is urged to read the 
Thirteenth Yearbook of the National Council for the Social Studies 
(27: 82-92, 138-49), chapter ii in Appraising and Recording Student 
Progress (21: 35-157), and the chapter by Marion Clark in Tests and 
Measurements in the Social Sciences (14: 302-39). 

The following is an example of an exercise used to evaluate the 
ability of elementary-school pupils to draw conclusions from evidence 
(14: 306 f.). The exercise includes a picture of a horn book. 

This is the only book the little children in America had in early colonial 
schools. It was called a horn book. On a thin, piece of wood, usually about 
four or five inches long and two inches wide, was placed a sheet of paper a 
trifle smaller than the wood. The alphabet was printed at the top in large 
and grnall letters. Below were simple syllables such as ab, eb, ib, etc. Then 
came the Lord's Prayer. This printed page was covered with a thin piece of 
yellowish horn which showed the letters through so they could be /read. 

After you have looked at the picture and read the story about it care- 
fully, place a check in the proper place after each statement. 



True Tell False 

1. The children in colonial schools did not learn to read. 

2. The people in colonial days thought it was important 

for children to learn their letters. 

3. The paper used in the horn books was made in 




4. Many interesting stories were written for the boys and 

girls in the American colonies to read in school. 

Interpretation oj data. Form 2.52, one of the tests developed by 
the Evaluation Staff in the Eight- Year Study of the Progressive Edu- 
cation Association , provides the following problem and directions 
(27: 1451): 

Problem V. The table below shows the combined expenditures of all state 
governments in the United States for various governmental services. Amounts 
are in thousands of dollars. 


















1. General govern- 
ment expenses . . . 
2. Protection 

$ 43,400 


$ 74,053 


$ 125,000 


3. Health 

4. Recreation ... 

5. Highways 

6. Welfare 

7. Education 







For the purpose of checking the statements at the end of this problem, 
the data alone: 

(1) are sufficient to make the statement true. 

(2) are sufficient to indicate that the statement is probably true. 

(3) are not sufficient to indicate whether there is any degree of truth or 
falsity in the statement. 

(4) are sufficient to indicate that the statement is probably false. 

(5) are sufficient to make the statement false. 

Mark each of the following statements with the number of one of the 

foregoing statements which indicates your interpretation of the data in the 


( ) In 1935 less was spent for general government expenses than for high- 

( ) The highway expenditures of New York, Ohio, and Illinois together were 
at least twice as large in 1930 as in 1910. 

( ) The large increase in state expenditures for education between 1910 and 
1930 was mainly due to the increase in high-school enrolment. 

( ) In 1930 more than five times as much money was spent for highways 
as for health. 


( ) Our state governments do not spend a large enough portion of the tax- 
payer's money for health. 
( ) In 1929 at least 35 per cent of the total expenditures of the states was 

for education. 
( ) The expenditures for each type of service shown in the table increased 

between 1910 and 1930. 

The teacher does not have to construct elaborate objective-type 
tests to measure understandings of the type illustrated in this section, 
Oral discussion and written work also afford opportunities for this type 
of evaluation. 

It is important to teach pupils not only to reach conclusions about 
social problems but also to evaluate the conclusions reached by others. 
In order to learn something about the values which underlie the pupil's 
reactions to social problems and his reactions to the conclusions about 
social problems reached by others, the teacher may wish to make use 
of attitudes tests, scales of beliefs, and so on. The teacher will also 
want to evaluate the pupil's understanding of the nature of proof, of 
the principles of logical reasoning, and of the devices used in propa- 

The following is an exercise from an "Evaluation of Arguments 
Test" published by the Institute for Propaganda Analysis, Incorpor- 
ated, in 1938: 

Mary has been making a study of different forms of government. She 
prepared a report which she gave before her social studies class. In conclu- 
sion she said: "There are three types of government hi power today: com- 
munist, fascist, and democratic. The government of Russia is communist. 
The governments of Italy and Germany are controlled by Fascists. The gov- 
ernments of England and the United States are democratic. I have given 
facts to show that the governments of Russia and Italy and Germany are 
really unsatisfactory for the common people. If you accept these facts and 
this conclusion, then it follows that the democratic form of government is the 
only satisfactory form for the common people." Now let us assume that the 
facts Mary has presented concerning the three types of government in power 
today are accurate. Let us assume that these facts actually do show that the 
governments of Russia, Italy, and Germany are really unsatisfactory for the 
common people. Assuming these things, check the conclusion with which you 

(1) Mary proved that a democratic government is the only satisfactory kind 
for the common people. 

(2) Mary did not prove that a democratic government is the only satisfactory 
kind for the common people, 

(3) Further information is needed before we can decide whether Mary really 
proved her conclusion. 


Check any statements which you would use to explain or support your con- 

a) Mary has not considered all possibilities. Conceivably there are govern- 
ments in countries she has not mentioned which are even more satisfactory 
than the democratic form of government. 

b) The conclusion is not necessarily true, but if we accept the assumptions, 
then logically the conclusion does follow from these assumptions. 

c) We need to know exactly what words like "communist," "fascist," and 
"democratic" really mean before we can decide. 

d) No foreign country has a government which is as good for the common 
people as ours is. 

e) Mary is not an authority whose arguments can be trusted in matters of 
foreign affairs. 

Limitations of space make it impossible to illustrate procedures de- 
signed to evaluate the pupil's understanding of the principles of logical 
reasoning. 10 Until specific instruction is provided in this field pupils 
can scarcely be expected to demonstrate any great capacity for logical 
reasoning, and some of the published tests doubtless will prove difficult 
for them. 

The techniques of persuasion used by propagandists are described 
in the publications of the Institute for Propaganda Analysis, Incorpor- 
ated (18). 

Objective 8. Applying social facts, generalizations, and value principles 

to new problems. 

The most appropriate test of the ability to apply social facts, gen- 
eralization, and value principles to new problems is actual behavior 
in a problem situation. Certain paper-and-pencil tests which may be 
used to this end are described in the Thirteenth Yearbook of the Na- 
tional Council for the Social Studies (27: 153-60). An example of an 
objective-type approach is the following exercise from one of the tests 
developed in connection with the Eight-year Study of the Progressive 
Education Association. 11 

Suppose that you are a candidate for treasurer of the Senior class. Of 
the other candidates there is only one, a boy, who is popular enough to be 
dangerous as an opponent. A few days before the election you learn from a 
source you can trust that this boy is an ex-convict, having served a year in 
the state reformatory for theft. Would you (Check one) 

M See Application of Certain Principles of Logical Reasoning, Test 5.12, 
Progressive Education Association, Evaluation in the Eight-Year Study. Chicago : 
University of Chicago; Goodwin Watson and Edward N. Glaser, The Logical 
Reasoning Test. Yonkers-on-Hudson, New York: World Book Co. 

u Test of Consequences. 


A. Confide in the school principal and follow his advice? 

B. Tell everybody about it? 

C. Say nothing to anybody about it? 

D. Have a confidential conference with the boy and see if he will withdraw 
as candidate? 

Which course (A, B, C or D) is most likely to make Write whether 

each of the following things happen? desirable (D) or 

undesirable (U) 

( ) The boy will have to leave school. ( ) 

( ) Your classmates will take more interest in the election ( ) 

( ) You will get the habit of letting older people help you with diffi- 
cult problems. ( ) 
( ) The boy will stop trying to fool people about his record. ( ) 
( ) The faculty will regard you as a trustworthy student. ( ) 
( ) You will get the reputation of being one who carries stories. ( ) 
To illustrate how oral and written discussion may enable the teacher 
to get important information about the pupil's ability to detect the 
relationship between known facts and new problems, consider the fol- 
lowing example from the field of American History. 

The class was discussing the importance of maintaining so-called "full 
employment" after the war. One pupil brought out the fact that because of 
mental and physical defects some persons are unemployable. Another re- 
marked that regional population shifts are certain to result in some unem- 
ployment; a third, that labor turn-over is not only inevitable but desirable. 
In this way the members of the class worked out the real meaning of the con- 
cept "full employment." 

In proceeding to a consideration of why "full employment" is desirable, 
one pupil mentioned the fact that the country will have a national debt of 
350 billion dollars and an annual interest charge of perhaps 7 billion dollars 
after the war. Another suggested that taxes must remain high to pay interest 
and to reduce the debt and to maintain an adequate defense force. He 
"guessed" that the federal budget just after the war would be over 20 billion 
dollars. Another pupil recalled that during the great depression the national 
income fell below 60 billion dollars and that one-fifth of the workers were 
unemployed and, therefore, unable to pay taxes and to support themselves. 

During the discussion one pupil expressed approval of "full employment" 
by saying that he felt "most workers didn't know how to use their spare time 
to advantage," and that he was "glad they were now going to have to work a 
much longer day." One of the boys blurted out that he opposed "full employ- 
ment" because he believed that "a woman's place is in the home." 

The teacher who closely follows class discussion and analyzes the 
written work submitted by pupils is sure to learn a great deal not only 
about what pupils know but also about how effectively they think and 
what values they cherish. 


Objectives 9 to 12. Practicing desirable social relationships. 

Through observation, the teacher may form an impression of the 
professed attitudes and the actual behavior of his pupils. The observa- 
tion may be general or limited to a consideration of behavior reflecting 
given values; it may be comparatively undirected or focused on spe- 
cific items included in a rating scale. In any event, the validity of the 
observational record depends on such factors as (1) the accuracy of 
the observation or of the observer, (2) the accuracy of the observer 
in reporting what he saw and heard, (3) the observer's ability to in- 
terpret correctly what he saw and heard, and (4) the representative- 
ness of the observed behavior. 

Anecdotal behavior records. The following is an illustrative entry 
in an anecdotal journal. 

October 10. John lingered after school today and in our conversation it came 
out that he can see no reason for learning about the people of Mexico. He said, 
"My father had Mexicans working in the orchard last summer. He says 
they're no good lazy and dirty. My mother says she won't have them around 
this year if all the fruit rots on the trees!" 

November 15. In the discussion of transportation problems in Peru (following 
the showing of a film), John remarked, fr Well, why don't they get busy and 
build some railroads? These mountains aren't worse than the Rockies, and we 
have trains running over them." 12 

Rating scales. If the teacher is concerned with observing the spe- 
cific reactions of pupils in a given situation that is, reactions which 
reveal the presence or absence of socially significant understandings 
he may save time and make more accurate observations if he first con- 
structs a simple scale. He must, however, exercise considerable care 
in constructing such scales, for the situations selected must be such as 
to afford opportunity for understandings to operate. Moreover, he must 
exercise corresponding care in recording and interpreting his observa- 
tions, for he must not be distracted from his search for evidence of 
understanding by extraneous factors or considerations. 

In a fifth-grade class where committee and group work is in prog- 
ress, the teacher might wish to discover whether his pupils are (to some 
extent at least as the result of understandings) making sound social 
adjustments. For this purpose he might make observations of the fol- 
lowing types of behavior: 

5. Heads a group easily without nervousness or aggression 
4. Beacfe a group, but occasionally has difficulty 
3,. Works with other individuals 

** The following references suggest how to interpret anecdotal records: 12; 
20; SO. 


2. Works alone 

1. Works neither with group nor alone; drifts 

October 1 

















Mary and Lois talked to- 
gether in their group, and 
went to library to search for 
more material. 

George moved from one 
group to another. Stood be- 
fore aquarium for five min- 

^ The following are some commercial rating scales: Haggerty-Olson- 
Wickman, Behavior Rating Schedule. Yonkers, New York: World 
Book Co.; Eugene R. Smith, Behavior Description Form. Chestnut 
Hill, Massachusetts: Beaver Country Day School; Winnetka Scale 
jor Rating School Behavior and Attitudes. Winnetka, Illinois: Win- 
netka Educational Press. 

The following example is from a "role taking" scale (25: 50 ff.), 
i.e. ? a scale developed to help teachers measure the extent to which 
pupils can put themselves in the position of another person. It was 
used at a sixth-grade level. This scale is presented here, as are also 
the similar scales which follow, because the behavior of pupils in the 
situations described may shed light on the degree to which they are 
"practicing desirable social relationships" (Objectives 9 to 12). If 
the scales themselves yield ambiguous evidence with respect to the 
possession of the essential understandings, they can at least provide the 
basis for more intensive study of individuals. Personal conferences re- 
lating to the scale records can yield a good deal of evidence in the 
matter of social understandings. 

In forming two teams on the playground at noon, several children are 
overlooked by the captains choosing sides. Would the child being rated note 
the omission and call attention to these children? (Rate according to fol- 
lovring scale.) 

Very likely Likely Uncertain Unlikely Very unlikely 

5432 1 

The following examples are taken from scales designed to measure 
phases of democratic behavior in the classroom: own rights, others' 
rights, share in decisions, and independence of teacher (25: 62 ff.) 

The children are supposed to wait their turn in line to get the paints they 
need. The teacher is busy hi another part of the room when some of the 
children step ahead of this child in the line. Would the child being rated 


Very likely Likely Uncertain Unlikely Very unlikely 

5432 1 

Three groups h,ve been working on plays. The children find that only 

one play can be given in the school assembly. Would the child being rated 

suggest that the teacher decide which play should be given? 

Very likely Likely Uncertain Unlikely Very unlikely 

5432 1 

The following problem situations were included in a rating scale 
designed to measure certain aspects of school citizenship: tolerance, 
school rules, school responsibility, courtesy, co-operation and social 
participation (19: 131 ff.). 

A minority of the pupils have taken an unpopular position on a debatable 
question. They insist on stating their arguments. Would this pupil help create 
a situation in which they might express their opinions? 
Very likely Likely Uncertain Unlikely Very unlikely 

5432 1 

A visitor is walking down the hall, apparently looking for a certain class- 
room or teacher. He walks up to a group of pupils who have a chance to note 
that he needs direction. Would this pupil be likely to ask the visitor if he 
might be of service to him? 
Very likely Likely Uncertain Unlikely Very unlikely 

5432 1 

Tests of attitudes. Although many studies have revealed a low 
correlation between professed attitudes and actual behavior, tests of 
attitudes have value in that they reveal what pupils claim that they 
approve or reject. The use of attitudes tests serves the further purpose 
of causing pupils to recognize issues, to discover inconsistencies in their 
value patterns, and to reflect on the differences between what they 
accept in theory and what they actually do. 

The simplest form of attitudes test is a list of stimulus words. The 
pupil is asked to underline each word which he does not like or which 
bothers or disturbs him. 

Sunday School Communist 

Germany War 

Cigarette Soldier 

Republican Invasion 

Alcohol Strike 

Democrat Peace 

Russia Mob 

Capitalist Negro 

Labor union Black market 

Socialist OJPA. 


The following are some uses which may be made of free-response 
type attitudes tests (16; 5). 

What are your feelings about war? (Use desired stimulus words, as for ex- 
ample, Japan, Kussia, Negroes, and so on.) Write down all the things you 
feel about war, and put down your reasons for feeling that way. 

In analyzing the answers to such questions, the teacher (1) makes 
a count of adjectives and (2) notes attitudinal words expressing love, 
hate, fear, and so on. He may also construct attitudes scales based 
on the free responses. 

On attitudes scales used at the upper-grade levels the pupil often 
is asked to check for each item or statement the one of five responses 
which states most accurately how he himself feels about it: "Strongly 
agree," "Agree," "Undecided," "Disagree," "Strongly disagree." 13 
No group should be ridiculed because of its religious practices. (Tolerance) 
A school strike would be a good way to protest against an undesirable school 
regulation. (School rules) 

A student should pick up another student's waste paper without being asked 
by the teacher. (School responsibility) 

No one should be expected to pay attention hi class to anything which is 
uninteresting. (Courtesy) 

A difficult task should be worked out by a group of students. (Co-operation) 
The chance to attend a school party thrills me. (Social participation) 


Conclusions and Recommendations of the Commission. New York: Charles 
Scribner's Sons, 1934. 

Items in American History. National Council for the Social Studies, Bulletin 
No. 6 (April, 1940). Washington: The Council (1201 Sixteenth St., N.W.), 

3. BEARD, CHARLES A. A Charter for the Social Sciences. A report of the Com- 
mittee on the Social Studies of the American Historical Association. New 
York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1932. 

4. . The Nature of the Social Sciences. A report of the Committee on the 

Social Studies of the American Historical Association. New York: Charles 
Scribner's Sons, 1934. 

5. CORET, STEPHEN M. "Measuring Attitudes," Elementary School Journal, 
XLIH (April, 1943), 457-61. 

6. EDGERTON, DONALD. "Weighing Evidence from Different Authorities/' Ma- 
terials by Participants in the Social Studies Group of the PJS^A. Summer 
Workshop at Sarah Lawrence College, pp. 210-12. Columbus, Ohio: Evalua- 
tion in the Eight-Year Study, Ohio State University, 1937. 

18 The following items are taken from the study by Pugh (18: 48 ff.) 


7. FAWCETT, H, P. The Nature oj Proof. Thirteenth Yearbook of the National 
Council of Teachers of Mathematics. New York: Bureau of Publications, 
Teachers College, Columbia University, 1938. 

8. FORSTTH, ELAINE. "An Experiment in the Teaching of Certain Map-Heading 
Skills at the Junior High School Level." Unpublished Doctor's dissertation, 
Cornell University, 1943. 

9. GLASER, E. M.- An Experiment in the Development of Critical Thinking. 
Teachers College Contributions to Education, No. 843. New York: Teachers 
College, Columbia University. 

tion and Use of Achievement Examinations. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co 

11. HORN, EENBST. Methods oj Instruction in the Social Studies. New York: 
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1937. 

12. JARVIB, L. L., AND ELLINGSON, MARK. A Handbook of the Anecdotal Behavior 
Journal. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1940. 

13. JOHNSON, HENRY. Teaching of History in Elementary and Secondary Schools, 
New York: Macmillan Co., 1940. 

14. KELLEY, TRUMAN L., AND KRET, A. C. Tests and Measurements in the Social 
Sciences. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons., 1934. 

15. KELTT, MART G. Learning and Teaching History in the Middle Grades, 
Part I. Boston: Ginn & Co., 1936. 

16. KTJHLEN, RAYMOND G., AND THOMPSON, GEORGE G. "Studying Attitudes in 
the Classroom," Educational Method, XXII (May, 1943), 359-65. 

17. MORSE, HORACE T., AND McCuNE, GEORGE H. Selected Items for the Testing 
of Study Skills. National Council for the Social Studies, Bulletin No. 15 (Sep- 
tember, 1940). Washington: The Council (1201 Sixteenth St., N.W.), 1940. 

18. Propaganda: How To Recognize It and Deal with It; also, Propaganda 
Analysis Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 2, 1937. New York: Institute for Propaganda 
Analysis, Inc. (211 Fourth Avenue). 

19. PUGH, DELBERT J. "The Validation of a Technique for Measuring Certain 
Aspects of Civic Attitude of Ninth-Grade Pupils." Unpublished Doctor's 
dissertation, Cornell University, 1940. 

20. RANDALL, J. A. "The Anecdotal Behavior Journal/ 1 Progressive Education, 
XHI (January, 1936), 21-26. 

21. SMITH, ETTGENE R.; TTLEB, RALPH W.; AND OTHERS. Appraising and Re- 
cording Student Progress. New York: Harper &, Bros., 1942. 

22. The Social Studies Curriculum, chaps, i-iv. Fourteenth Yearbook of the De- 
partment of Superintendence of the National Education Association. Wash- 
ington: American Association of School Administrators of the National 
Education Association, 1936. 

23. The Sodal Studies in General Education. Prepared by the Committee on 
the Function of the Social Studies in General Education of the Progressive 
Education Association. New York: D. Appleton-Century Co., 1940. 

24- STEBBING, L. & Thinking to Some Purpose. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, 
England: A. Lane, 1M1. 


25. STTJLL, HABRTKT C. "A Study of the Relation between Sympathetic Role- 
Taking Behavior and Certain Aspects of Democratic Behavior of Sixth-Grade 
Students." Unpublished Doctor's dissertation, Cornell University, 1943. 

26. TABA, HILDA. "General Principles and New Practices in Evaluation," The 
Social Studies in the Elementary School, pp. 221 ff. Twelfth Yearbook of the 
National Council for the Social Studies. Washington: The Council (1201 Six- 
teenth Street N.W.), 1941. 

27. Teaching Critical Thinking in the Social Studies. Thirteenth Yearbook of the 
National Council for the Social Studies. Washington: The Council (1201 
Sixteenth St., N.W.), 1942. 

28. The Teaching of Reading: A Second Report. Thirty-sixth Yearbook of the 
National Society for the Study of Education, Part I. Chicago : Distributed 
by the University of Chicago Press, 1937. 

29. THOULESS, R. H. How To Think Straight. New York: Simon & Schuster, 

30. TRAXLER, A. E. The Nature and Use of Anecdotal Records. Supplementary 
Bulletin D. New York: Educational Records Bureau, 1939. 

31. WESLEY, EDGAE B., Director of the Committee. American History in Schools 
and Colleges, chap. vi. New York: Macmillan Co., 1944. 

32. r . Teaching the Social Studies. Part VIE: Evaluation and Measure- 
ment in the Social Studies, chap. vi. Boston: D. C. Heath & Co., 1942. 

33. WILLIAMS, JAY, AND ABRAHAM, HERBERT J. "Evaluating the Course in Prob- 
lems of Democracy," Social Education, (April, 1945), 167-72. 

34. WILMBTH, JOHN R. "An Experiment in Teaching Time Relations in Junior 
High School American History." Unpublished Doctor's dissertation, Cornell 
University, 1943. 

35. WRIQHTSTONE, J. WAYNE, AND CAMPBELL, DQAK S. Social Studies and the 
American Way of Life. Part HE: Evaluation of Growth in Social Education, 
chape, i, ii, iv-vii. Evanston, Illinois: Row, Peterson & Co., 1942. 



Louis M. HEIL, Chairman 

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art 
New York, New York 


State University of Iowa 

Iowa City, Iowa 


Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art 
New York, New York 


Altoona. High School 
Altoona, Pennsylvania 

The development of understandings in the context of the material 
and method of science is one of the most important objectives of science 
instruction. Although the emphasis in this chapter is placed on under- 
standings from science instruction, other important outcomes such as 
desirable attitudes and interests are also assumed to be necesary if 
science instruction is to result in happiness for the individual as a mem- 
ber of a democratic society. 

A useful definition of understanding as an outcome of science in- 
struction is given in the report of the Committee on the Function of 
Science in General Education (6) : "The term 'understanding 7 is used 
to denote a major conception so grasped as to illuminate its connec- 
tions with related conceptions and to result hi significant changes in 
the individual's behavior." 

A distinction between the term "understanding" as it has been 
already denned and the term "generalization" will probably serve to 
sharpen further the concept of understanding as it is used in this 
chapter. A person's actions and his behavior may be based on an 
understanding which is completely valid for his particular level of 
development. He may not, however, have verbalized the understand- 
ing which is the basis of his action or behavior. On the other hand, 
another person may be able to verbalize the same understanding with- 


out recognizing its application to problems and experiences which are 
constantly occurring about him. 

The term "generalization" as it is used subsequently in this chapter 
means a purely verbal statement of a potential understanding. An 
illustration of this distinction is the following generalization: "The 
production of the various kinds of goods needed by modern society 
depends upon the use and control of a wide variety of materials." The 
person who possesses an understanding of this generalization would be 
able to document it with certain relevant facts and information; he 
would also be able to use the generalization in making predictions 
about the future and in giving explanations of trends and other spe- 
cific illustrations of the generalization as they occur in his everyday 
life. According to this distinction, therefore, the actual verbal restate- 
ment of a generalization is less important as an outcome of science in- 
struction than is the ability to use such generalizations. 

Potential understandings (generalizations) may be classified into 
two broad categories: generalizations concerning facts about matter, 
energy, and organisms which pertain to problems of living; generaliza- 
tions concerning the methods of science which also pertain to problems 
of living. An example of a broad generalization of the factual type is: 
"Diet has important effects on growth, disposition, complexion, and 
disease." An understanding of this statement implies an adequate 
background of information, attitudes, and habits. Two examples of 
generalizations concerning the method of science are: (1) "The method 
of varying single factors (as in the diet of animals) makes it possible 
to discover the effects of each factor," and (2) "The technique of 
evaluating authorities is an indispensable part of the layman's equip- 
ment hi selecting the more reliable from a mass of information and 
misinformation with which he is presented." 

For the purposes of evaluation, the definition of understanding 
must be stated more explicitly with regard to expected outcomes. Such 
definitions are concerned with two major aspects of behavior: the 
nature of the behavior expected if understanding exists; and the context 
in which the specific behavior is expressed. 

Nature of the Expected Behavior 

Factual Understandings. An understanding of factual generaliza- 
tions may be defined 1 with respect to such activities as: 

1 The definitions which follow will be restated in more specific terms at later 
points, when each is considered from the viewpoint of evaluation devices. 


FU-a. Giving specific illustrations or examples of factual generaliza- 
tions and concepts of science. 

FU-b. Using factual generalizations for the purpose of making pre- 
dictions in new problems. 

FU-c. Using factual generalizations for the purpose of explaining a 
given phenomenon, or for the purpose of judging the validity of 
a given prediction, conclusion, course of action, or practice. 

FU-d. Using factual generalizations in formulating hypotheses. 

FU-e. Using factual generalizations as one basis for judging the 
validity of sources of information. 

Method Understandings. An understanding of generalizations con- 
cerning the method employed in scientific analysis and problem solv- 
ing may be defined with respect to such procedures as: 
MU-a. Making proper qualifications when interpreting data. This 
general characteristic of behavior evidencing understanding of 
method in science involves the following procedures: cautious 
extrapolation and interpolation, recognition of the adequacy 
or inadequacy of a sample of data, care in reasoning by anal- 
ogy, avoidance of the practice of imputing purpose or a pre- 
determined plan on the basis of data, and the establishment 
of relations between data and value judgments. 
MU-b. Identifying necessary and unstated assumptions involved in 

a conclusion, prediction, course of action, or practice. 
MU-c. Recognizing and using defensible arguments or reasons when 
justifying a prediction, conclusion, course of action, or practice. 
MU-d. Identifying valid cause-and-effect relationships when inter- 
preting a given phenomenon. 

Context in Which Expected Behavior Is Revealed 

The second major factor involved in the definition of understand- 
ings as desired outcomes of instruction in science is the context in which 
both factual and method understandings should be revealed. The con- 
clusions of many educational organizations and committees indicate 
that such understandings should be expressed in the context of the 
most common activities of the individual. 2 An authoritative list of 
such needs is presented as a report of the National Committee on 
Science Teaching (5). This report comprises a check list of functional 
outcomes designed to meet needs in the following areas at the pre- 
school^ primary, intermediate, junior high, senior high, and junior 

1 fbr & more detailed analysis of needs, the f oHoiring references axe sug- 


Qollege levels: health, safety, recreation, maturing interpersonal re- 
lations, responsibility in socio-economic activities, consumership, ma- 
turing philosophy of life, work, and conservation. 

The two major factors involved in the definition of desirable out- 
comes in science may be summarized in the following diagram: 

Outcomes Representing Science Understandings 

A. Behavior desired + B. Context in which desired be- 

havior should be demonstrated 
Factual Understandings: 

FU-a. Giving illustrations of 
factual generalizations. 

FU-b. Using factual generali- 
zations to predict. 

FU-c. Using factual generali- 
zations to explain a phe- 
nomenon, to judge the 
validity of a prediction, 
course of action, etc. 

FU-d. Using factual generali- 
zations to formulate hy- 

FC7-6. Using factual generali- 
zations to judge the val- 
idity of sources of infor- 

Method Understandings: 

MU-a. Making proper qualifi- 
cations when interpret- 
ing data. 

MU-b. Identifying unstated as- 
sumptions in conclu- 

MU-c. Recognizing and using 
defensible argument 
when justifying a con- 

MV-d. Identifying valid cause- 
and-effect relationships. 



Maturing interpersonal rela- 

Responsibility in socio-econom- 
ic activities 


Maturing philosophy of life 



Any technique employed for the purpose of appraising the degree 
of understanding should take account of both factors (behavior ex- 
pected and context). According to the summary above the most de- 
sirable science understandings are represented by the behavior de- 
fined in the first column and demonstrated in the context of the various 
activities of living as represented in the second column. The first two 
illustrations given in the following section of this chapter indicate how 
the behavior and context are taken into account. 


The techniques which follow are classified broadly into two groups 
in which emphasis is placed on the expected behavior: 
FU. Illustrations of techniques for measuring factual understandings. 
MU. Illustrations of techniques for measuring method understandings. 

The suggestions, offered in conformity with the ideas expressed in 
Section I of this yearbook, represent possible devices for obtaining 
evidence concerning many of the elusive but important outcomes re- 
lated to understanding. No consideration is given to questions of re- 
liability. A maximum effort is made, however, to present illustrations 
of the 'kinds of behavior described above. 

Factual Understandings (FU) 

FU-a. Giving specific illustrations or examples of generalizations. 
Possession of this understanding is attested by a person's ability to 
illustrate a major generalization with concrete examples. Such ex- 
amples may be specific facts or minor principles which have consti- 
tuted a part of the learning experience. In addition, they may be new 
illustrations in the sense that an understanding is enhanced by a 
recognition of specific instances not formally dealt with at the time 
of learning. 

Exercises 1 to 3 show how the ability to illustrate a generalization 
may be detected. One of the illustrations deals mainly with materials 
pertaining to public health, and another primarily with generalizations 
involving a world picture. 

Exercise 1* 

"Are you learning to recognize examples of generalizations?" From your 
work in this course you have had the opportunity to summarize many of 
your experiences in the form of generalizations. Four of these generalizations 
are listed below as A, B, C and D. 

*H. G. McMullen, "A Unit on Public Health," (6). 


A. Public hygiene is mainly useful in prohibiting acute infectious diseases. 

B. Difficulties created by the size of large cities are often met by applied 

C. Institutions and patterns tend to remain fixed as the conditions which 
created them change. 

D. Individual hygiene is mainly concerned with the prevention of chronic 

The following statements may or may not represent illustrations of these 
generalizations. In the appropriate columns to the left check those which 
you believe are illustrations of these generalizations. 


A B C D 

a) Smallpox is now a relatively rare disease. 

6) In present-day practice, most people are buried in ceme- 

c) Many people ride on subways. 

d) Children work in factories. 

e) Millions of dollars are spent each year for patent medicines. 

/) Very many cases of syphilis are present in the United States. 

0) The sick child is sent home from school. 

h) Large milk trucks and trailers are often observed on the 


i) A person doesn't worry about the water he drinks from a 


;) Most people go to a family physician for all their ailments. 

k) Many cases of death for women result from abortion at the 

hands of quacks. 

I) Evolution i* not taught in many schools. 

Exercise 2. 

Which of these statements illustrate the principle: "The environment 
acts on organisms, and organisms act on their environment"? 

1. Air is not one of the three great environments. 

2. Oxygen unites with food and releases energy in living things. 

3. Some organisms can live without "free" oxygen. 

4. There are many different kinds of ticks. 

5. Parasites often make their hosts ill or even kill them. 

8. An environment includes such factors as light, heat, food, air, and water. 

7. Grasshoppers require open, sunny places and food for their active bodies. 

8. Land, fresh water, and salt water are the three great environments. 

Exercise 5.* 

"Understanding of Principles." In the following exercise a number of 
statements are given. At the top of the list of statements you will find two 

* Materials prepared by the Cooperative Study in General Education, Ameri- 
can Council on Education, University of Chicago, 193d. 


principles or generalizations of which the statements below may or may not 
be illustrations. 

You are to decide which of the statements represent illustrations of the 
stated generalizations. 

If you believe a statement represents an illustration of generalization 
(A), check the space in the first column corresponding to the number of the 
statement. If you believe the statement represents an illustration of generali- 
zation (B), check the space in the second column. If you believe a statement 
is not an illustration of either generalization (A) or (B), check the space 
in the third column. [In case you believe a statement represents both prin- 
ciples (A) and (B), check the spaces hi both the first and the second columns.] 

Principle or Generalization 

(A) Every particle in the universe attracts every other particle with a force 
proportional to the product of the masses divided by the square of the 

(B) A nearby body exhibits an apparent motion with respect to a more 
distant object as the position of the observer changes. 


A B Neither 

1. The distance to the nearer stars can be measured. 

2. The earth moves through space unaffected by other planets. 

3. The moon has little or no atmosphere. 

4. Mercury may appear as a morning or as an evening star. 

5. The mean density of the earth as a whole is approximately 

six times that of water. 
6. The lengths of light waves emitted by a star moving toward 

the earth appear to be shorter than those emitted by the 

same star if it is moving away from the earth. 

7. It has been proved that the earth moves around the sun. 

8. The diameter of the earth's orbit is sometimes used as a 

"base line" in astronomical calculations. 

FU-b. Using generalizations for the purpose of making predictions 
in new problems. Understanding factual generalizations means that 
the student should be able to employ such generalizations in a variety 
of ways. He should be able to make predictions of an exact type such 
as those which frequently occur in problems of physical science as well 
as those of a more qualitative type such as the more than, less than, 
or same as type. He should also be able to make predictions concern- 
ing how a process or device would operate, or what should be done in 
a given situation. 


The following examples indicate how the behavior described above 
has been evaluated by measuring devices. 

Exercise 4- 5 

"Applying Principles." John prepared an aquarium as follows. He care- 
fully cleaned a ten-gallon glass tank with salt solution and put in a few inches 
of fine washed sand. He rooted several stalks of weed (elodea) taken from a 
pool and then filled the aquarium with tap water. After waiting a week, he 
stocked, the aquarium with ten one-inch goldfish and three snails. The 
aquarium was then left in a corner of the room. After a month the water had 
not become foul and the plants and animals were in good condition. Without 
moving the aquarium he sealed a glass top on it. 

What prediction, if any, can be made concerning the condition of the 
aquarium after a period of several months? 

If you believe a definite prediction can be made, make it and then give 
your reasons. 

If you are unable to make a prediction for any reason, indicate why you 
are unable to make a prediction (give your reasons). 

An analysis of the student's reasons will reveal the extent to which 
he explains his prediction in terms of valid biological principles or 
generalizations. Frequently the unacceptable reasons given by stu- 
dents fall into definite types. Among the most frequent types are: 
assuming the conclusion, using incorrect analogy, citing incorrect au- 
thority, and resorting to teleological reasoning. 6 The alert instructor 
can quickly detect such erroneous reasoning and show its fallacy. 

Exercises like the one described above may be developed in such a 
way that the situation is inadequately described. The student is ex- 
pected in such exercises to indicate that a prediction is not possible 
and also to indicate why a prediction is not possible (5:81). 

Essentially the same behavior as that requested in the preceding 
exercise is involved in the following item in which the response is of 
the short answer (objective) type. 

Exercise 5. 

John prepared an aquarium as follows. He carefully cleaned a ten-gallon 
glass tank with salt solution and put in a few inches of fine washed sand. He 

"Adapted from Test 1.3B, "Application of Principles in Science," Progressive 
Education Association, Evaluation in the Eight-Year Study, University of Chi- 
cago, 1940. 

For a more detailed analysis of desirable and undesirable behaviors in- 
volved in the application of principles as well as further testing examples the 
reader should refer to 1: 247; 3: 413-18; 7t 81-111. 


rooted several stalks of weed (elodea) taken from a pond and then filled the 
aquarium with tap water. After waiting a week, he stocked the aquarium 
with ten one-inch goldfish and three snails. The aquarium was then left in 
a corner of the room. After a month the water had not become foul and the 
plants and animals were in good condition. Without moving the aquarium he 
sealed a glass top on it. The sealed aquarium will probably remain in good 
condition for several months. ( ) 

Directions: If you are uncertain about the truth or falsity of the under- 
lined conclusion either because the problem is inadequately stated or for any 
other reason, indicate your uncertainty by placing the letter "U" immediately 
after the underlined conclusion. 

If you believe that the underlined conclusion is quite likely to be true, 
place a "T" immediately after the underlined conclusion. 

If you disagree with the underlined conclusion, place a "D" after the 
underlined conclusion. 

Reasons: If you were uncertain ("U") about the conclusion, select from the 
first 10 reasons given below all those which help you explain why you were 
uncertain. Indicate each reason so chosen by placing a check mark in the 
parentheses in front of the reason. 

If you believe the conclusion to be true ("T") or if you disagree ("D") 
with the conclusion, select from reasons No. 11 through No. 24 all those 
which help you to explain your decision thoroughly. Indicate which reasons 
you choose by placing a check in front of each. 

Reasons to be used if you are uncertain: 

( ) 1. Many people who keep fish in bowls change the water frequently. 

( ) 2. It is difficult to know what is meant by the term "good condition." 

( ) 3. Not all of the aquaria I have seen were sealed. 

( ) 4. The amount of exposed water surface is an important factor in 

keeping a sufficient amount of oxygen in the water to support life. 
( ) 5. Some water plants produce more oxygen than others. 
( ) 6. Two few fish in a large aquarium will affect the condition of the 

plants in the aquarium, 

( ) 7. The amount of direct sunlight the aquarium receives is an im- 
portant factor in determining whether or not the aquarium will 

remain hi good condition. 
( ) 8. Some fungi harmful to aquatic life develop more rapidly when the 

oxygen supply is cut off. 
( ) 9. I do not know how sealing an aquarium would affect the plants 

and a.TnTr>fl.] in it. 
( ) 10. It is important to know the amount of harmful chemicals, such as 

chlorine, used in the tap water. 
Reasons to be used if you agree or disagree: 
( ) 11. The balance between plants and animals is attained in an aquarium 

when each supplies the needs of the other. 


( ) 12. The water plants and micro-organisms would not grow rapidly 

enough to supply sufficient food for the fish. 
( ) 13. Aquaria in biology classrooms are often kept in balance for several 

months even though sealed. 
( ) 14. Plants in a sealed aquarium continue to manufacture food that is 

utilized in their growth, and they hi turn serve as food for animals. 
( ) 15. Just as organisms live at great depths in the ocean where there is 

little oxygen, so can fish live in a sealed aquarium. 

( ) 16. Clerks in pet shops say that a balanced aquarium can be main- 
tained for a long time even if sealed. 
( ) 17. In a sealed aquarium, sufficient oxygen cannot be absorbed from 

the enclosed air to supplement the oxygen given off by the plants. 
( ) 18. A balance in an aquarium tends to be maintained as long as one 

of the interdependent factors does not become predominant. 
( ) 19. It is possible to maintain a balance in a sealed aquarium for sev- 
eral months. 
( ) 20. If undisturbed, nature will strike a balance between plants and 

animals in a region. 
( ) 21. Just as one does not need to feed fish in a pond, so one does not 

need to supply food in an aquarium containing an abundance of 

plant and animal life. 
( ) 22. Anyone who has studied biology should know that a sealed aquarium 

can be maintained in balance for several years if undisturbed. 
( ) 23. The snails in an aquarium can devour the solid waste material and 

excess algae in the water. 
( ) 24. The animals in the sealed aquarium can breathe dissolved oxygen 

supplied by the plants. 

In this exercise an effort has been made to state a situation with 
sufficient completeness that a definite conclusion is possible. The stu- 
dent is, therefore, expected to recognize that probably all of the rele- 
vant factors are taken into account. Some students, however, either 
because of overcautiousness or because they do not possess an adequate 
understanding of facts, will take advantage of any opportunity to 
avoid making a decision. Thus, in giving an apparently plausible 
reason for being uncertain, a student may say, "Some water plants pro- 
duce more oxygen than others." Although this statement is true, other 
factors are sufficiently well stated in the exercise for the purpose of 
reaching a definite conclusion. 

A definite plan has been followed in preparing reasons to be used 
for agreeing with or disagreeing with the conclusion. Reasons 11, 14, 
18, 23, and 24 represent valid statements of biological principles used 
to justify the correct judgment concerning the conclusion, namely, that 
it is probably true. In addition, reasons 13 and 21 represent auxiliary 


evidence which a student might rightly submit for the purpose of 
justifying a correct prediction. Reasons 15, 16, 19, 20, and 22, al- 
though they apparently support the correct conclusion, represent in- 
correct types of reasoning, namely, poor analogy, poor authority, as- 
suming the conclusion, assuming that everything works according to 
a predetermined plan, 'and the use of ridicule. 

In this type of measurement exercise it is thus possible not only 
to have students make a prediction, but also to have them analyze the 
kind of reasoning which they employ when justifying their prediction. 

Certain revealing information concerning the student can be ob- 
tained by means of an appropriate summary of his responses to a 
series of test items like the one described. A suggested summary to- 
gether with interpretations may be found in Appraising and Recording 
Student Progress (7: chap. ii). Briefly, such a summary consists of 
right and wrong predictions and reasons, an analysis of wrong re- 
sponses, and indices of the extent to which the reasons consistently 
or logically support the suggested predictions. 

FU-c. Using generalizations for the purpose of explaining a correct 
conclusion or prediction. The following exercise represents one effort 
to determine how a student would justify a conclusion which is as- 
sumed to be correct. 

Exercise 6. 7 

The italicized statement at the end of the problem is assumed to be a 
correct answer. You are to explain the italicized conclusion by selecting 
statements from the list following the problem/' [The student checks the 

"If a person is planning to bathe in the sun, at what time of day is he 
most likely to receive a severe sunburn? He is most Ukdy to receive a severe 
sunburn in the middle of the day (11 A.M. to 1 F.M.) because: 

( ) We are slightly closer to the sun at noon than in the morning or 

{ ) The noon sun will produce more "burn" than the morning or afternoon 

( ) When the sun's rays faH directly (straight down) on a surface, more 
energy is received by that surface than when the rays fall obliquely 
on the surface. 

( ) When the sun's rays fall directly (straight down) on a surface, less sun- 
shine is reflected from the surface than when the sun's rays fall obliquely 
on that surface. 

'Taken from Inventory 1.5, Analyzing Health Problems; Cooperative Study 
in. General Education. American Council on Education, University of Chicago, 


( ) When the sun is directly overhead the sun's rays pass through less ab- 
sorbing atmosphere than when the sun is lower in the sky. 

( ) Just as a bullet shot straight into a block of wood penetrates farther 
into the wood, so will the direct rays at noon penetrate more deeply 
into the skin. 

( ) The air is usually wanner at noon than at other times of the day. 

( ) The ultraviolet of the sunlight is mainly responsible for sunburn. 

A procedure which has been used with marked success in measur- 
ing understanding in science is very similar to tests of reading com- 
prehension. Most of the questions based on the following passage test 
the student's ability to use scientific information for the purpose of 
explaining a given phenomenon (FU-c). Some of the questions test 
the student's ability to make proper qualifications when interpreting 
data and identifying valid cause-and-effect relationships (MU-a and 
MU-d) . In actual practice it may not be necessary for a teacher to 
classify all questions used as fitting under this or that category. The 
following device illustrates well the advantages of the method de- 

Exercise 7. 

Read the following article and then answer the questions by placing an 
"X" in the parentheses kt front of what you consider to be the best answer 
for each question. You may look at the article as often as you care to. 

Two boys, Bill and Tom, were playing with a small horseshoe magnet when 
one of them suggested that they try to make a compass. 

Tom said, "III get the stuff if you tell me what to get." 

Bill said that they needed a needle, a cork, and a pan of water. Tom 
got the needle, and Bill started stroking it on the magnet. He stroked in 
only one direction. 

"Why do you rub it that way?" asked Tom. 

"The needle won't be a good magnet unless you rub it this way," was 
Bill's reply. 

Tom had not been able to find a pan, but Bill said that a big bucket 
would be all right. Bill thrust the needle through the top of a fiat cork and 
carefully placed it on the water in the iron bucket Tom brought. The cork 
immediately started toward one side of the bucket. When the needle reached 
the side, it seemed to stick there. Bill picked up the cork with the needle 
in it and put it in the center of the bucket again, but once more it went to 
the side and stuck. This time it did not stick in the same place as on the 
first trial. 

Finally Bill said, "I don't know what's wrong. It certainly isn't acting 
like a compass." 

"Perhaps you should have rubbed the needle both ways on the magnet/' 
offered Tom. "Let's try that." 


"OIL," said Bill, and he started stroking the needle on the magnet again. 

1. Do you think the needle worked as a compass after the boys had stroked 
both ways on the magnet? ( ) Yes ( ) No ( ) Cannot be sure. 

2. What part of Bill's plan for making a compass was most likely to cause 
trouble? ( ) Using a cork. ( ) Using a pan or bucket which was made 
of iron. ( ) Using a needle. 

3. Which of these things was probably responsible for the boys' failure? 
( ) Stroking the needle only one way. ( ) Using a cork to float the 
needle. ( ) Using a bucket made of iron. ( ) Using a bucket that was 
permanently magnetized. 

4. Do you think the needle was magnetized? ( ) Yes ( ) No ( ) The 
article did not give any clue. 

5. The usual compass has a magnetized needle which is balanced on a pivot, 
so that the ends are free to swing in any direction. What in the boys' 
plan took the place of the pivot? ( ) The water. ( ) The needle. 
( ) The bucket. 

6. Why might stroking the needle only one way make it a stronger magnet? 
( ) It drives the magnetism deeper. ( ) It arranges the particles that 
make the needle a magnet. ( ) It gives every part of the needle a 
chance to be touched the same amount of time. 

7. Which of these changes in the boys' plan would be most likely to bring 
success? ( ) Using a nail instead of a needle. ( ) Stroking or rub- 
bing in all directions. ( ) Using oil instead of water. ( ) Using a 
glass bowl instead of the iron bucket. 

8. Why do you thhilr the needle moved toward the side of the bucket? 
( ) The needle, being a magnet, exerted a pull on the iron hi the bucket. 
( ) The needle being free to move started moving toward the north 
magnetic pole. ( ) The boys probably left their magnet on that side 
of the bucket. 

9. If the compass the boys made had worked, would the needle have pointed 
directly north and south? ( ) Yes ( ) No ( ) The article does not 
give enough information to answer. 

It should be noted that the various questions call for different de- 
grees or levels of understanding and that each question is independent 
of the others. Thus, an indication of the student's degree of under- 
standing can be obtained without using the unnatural and often com- 
plicated procedure of having hhn tell why one response instead of 
another is to be chosen. 

D. K. Curtis has developed tests designed to measure the ability 
to apply scientific generalizations at the intermediate-grade level. 


The following sample test items are taken from a test included in 

Curtis' 8 master's thesis. 

Exercise 8. 

The things we have read and talked about and the things we have seen 
on our trips should help us understand things we see. We should know more 
about the "why" of the things we see everyday. You should be able to give 
the correct "why" for each statement written on these pages. I have written 
four "whys" below each statement. See if you can find the correct one for 
each statement. Place an X in front of the "why" that is correct. 

The streams cut deep into the land in our community causing the land 
to be very hilly. Why? 

a) We have so much more rain than other places in the country and these 

rapidly moving streams carry more soil away. 
6) The rock under the soil in our community is sedimentary rock which is 

rather easily cut through by the streams. 

c) The rainfall of this community is so small that there isn't enough vegeta- 
tion to keep the soil from washing away. 

d ) The winters are not cold enough to keep the ground frozen and this per- 
mits streams to wash the soil away all year round. 

Most of the water that enters the coal mines west of Kirksville runs down 
the shaft. Why? 

a) The ground water moves along layers of shale and into the mine shaft. 
6) The sides of the mine shaft are sprayed with water to prevent the dirt 

from caving into the mine. Much of this water runs into the mine. 

c) The water runs down the surface of the hills and into the mine shaft. 

d) Water is pumped down the shaft and into the mine to settle the coal dust. 

Many times we see trees only along the banks of streams. Why? 
a) Trees grow faster along streams and provide the fanner with more fuel 

in less time. 
6) The trees along the streams prevent the soil from washing away so easily. 

c) The trees along the streams provide shade for the farmer's cattle. 

d) The trees along the stream prevent the wind from blowing the farmer's 
corn down so badly in nearby fields. 

When the fanner plants corn on hilly land the crop is usually better on 
the level land at the top of the hill than on the side of the hill. Why? 

a) The level land at the top of the hill receives more sunshine than the side 
of the hill. 

b) Water has washed more good soil from the side of the hill than from the 
level land at the top of the hill. 

*D. KL Curtis. "The Geological Interpretation of Geography in the Inter- 
mediate Gi&des of the Elementary School." Master of Arts dissertation, State 
University of Iowa, 1936. 


c) More of the corn is blown down on the side of the hill than on the level 
land at the top of the hill. 

d ) The crops have taken more fertility from the land on the side of the hill 
than from the land at the top of the hill. 

FU-d. Using factual generalizations in the formulation of hypoth- 
eses. "Factual generalizations are frequently involved in the formula- 
tion of tentative hypotheses concerning the solution of a problem. Such 
problems differ somewhat from the more straight-forward application 
of principles in problems such as those indicated above in that they 
are usually more complex. They frequently involve what seems to be 
an inconsistency and, most important, they offer the possibility of sev- 
eral alternative solutions. 

The following exercises were taken from a trial test prepared by 
the Evaluation Staff of the Eight- Year Study. 

Exercise d. 

The formulation of reasonable hypotheses. A housing concern has made 
some experiments on methods of heating houses. A room was constructed 
with walls that could be heated or refrigerated at the same time that air of 
any temperature was being circulated through the room. Several individuals 
were asked to record their sensations as the conditions were varied as follows: 
Wall Air 

Trial Temperature Temperature Sensations 

1 85 85 Uncomfortably hot 

2 85 50 Uncomfortably hot 

3 70 85 Comfortable 

4 70 70 Comfortable 

5 70 50 Comfortable 

6 50 50 Very cold 

7 50 70 Uncomfortably cold 

8 50 85 Cold 

How can you explain the sensation of "coldness" by a person in a room 
where the air temperature is 85 and the watt temperature is SO (all tempera- 
tures Fahrenheit) ? Consider the following questions and organize your 
thinking under the outline given below. 

a) Make all the suggestions you can which you believe will explain why a 
person is cold in a room where the air temperature is 85 and the wall 
temperature is 50. Give your reasons as to why you believe each of these 
suggestions will explain the phenomenon. 

b) What kinds of evidence would you want to collect which would enable 
you to decide among your suggested hypotheses? 

c) Now go over the suggestions which you have made above and select the 
one, which you believe to be the **best" explanation and give your reasons 
for your selection. 



l(a) Hypotheses suggested to explain why the person is cold in a room 
where the air temperature is 85. 
Hypothesis 1. 

Hypothesis 2. 

Hypothesis 3. 

1(6) What kinds of evidence would you want to gather which would enable 

you to decide among the suggested hypotheses? 
l(c) Which of the hypotheses above is the best, and why? 

FU-e. Using factual generalizations as one basis for judging the 
validity of sources of information. Students frequently have difficulty 
in judging the objectivity or reliability of the references consulted, 
particularly in relation to writings pertaining to controversial subjects. 

Exercise 10. 

One teacher employed class discussion and examined the notebook 
of the secretary of a student group to obtain evidence concerning stu- 
dents' ability to evaluate authorities. Their judgments were formed 
during the study of certain controversial topics, such as cancer, heredity 
and environment, and fossil remains of man. These topics offered an 
excellent opportunity to consider the motive, standing, and training 
of an authority as well as the factual basis which he presented. After 
several discussions of this kind which dealt with a variety of articles 
and books used as references, the class as a whole, again through dis- 
cussion, attempted to formulate in their own words a summary of 
statements to be their guides in evaluating references in the future. 
The discussions themselves enabled the teacher to estimate improve- 
ment in the students 7 thinking. When their notions concerning the 
validity of authorities were found to be hazy, further occasions for 
making judgments were provided, and specific areas of difficulty were 
considered until class discussion indicated acceptable understanding 
of the main ideas. The following statements were found in the secre- 
tary's notebook: 

1. To develop general understanding of a broad subject it is usually neces- 
sary to consult many references. 

2. A science textbook or journal is more likely to contain accurate informa- 
tion concerning a scientific subject than is a popular book or magazine. 

3. Recent science publications often have more science information than do 
older publications. 


4. Encyclopedias are useful for information on many topics. 

5. The best basis for the judgment of the value of a source is the training 
and purpose of the author. 

6. In science there are some subjects on which equally good authorities do 
not fully agree. 

Method Understandings (M U) 

MU-a. Making proper qualifications when interpreting data. 
This outcome has been defined in tejms of seven specific principles: 
extrapolation,, interpolation, sampling, reasoning by analogy, purpose 
and predetermined plan, value judgment, and cause and effect. The 
reader is urged to make a careful examination of the statement of 
these principles made by the Evaluation Staff of the Eight- Year 
Study. 9 This specific recommendation is made because many indi- 
viduals who have considered the analysis and the associated testing 
materials regard this objective as the most important aspect of wjiat 
is commonly known as the "scientific method." 

Exercise 11. 

One exercise is given below which has been taken from Test 2.52, 
"Interpretation of Data." In the "short answer" form of this test, 
fifteen statements follow each of ten sets of data. These statements 
have been constructed so as to involve the principles of interpretation 
indicated above. 

Since a more complete description of the entire test can be found 
elsewhere, 10 only the coded answers to the statement are presented 
below. The purpose of this presentation is to indicate how the prin- 
ciples of interpretation are built into this particular test. 

(1) are sufficient to make the statement true. 

These (2) are sufficient to indicate that the statement is probably true. 
Data (3) are not sufficient to indicate whether there is any degree of truth or 
Alone falsity in the statement. 

(4) are sufficient to indicate that the statement is probably false. 

(5) are sufficient to make the statement false. 

PROBLEM II. Below are given the results of an experiment with four groups of 
rats which were treated in various ways after being infected 
with, pneumonia germs. 

LOT I Of the ten rats in Lot 
Ten rate were infect- >*~X s~^~\ ^^ *' ** recovered and 
ed with pneumonia ^^^^^^ Z^& one died from the in- 
germs, and immedi- ^/\ 's&X$ fectl . on wlth P neu ~ 
ately given anti-pneu- ^--^-V^- ^-y-V^L- moma germs, 
monia serum. 

'Interpretation of Data, Test 2.52. Evaluation Staff of the Eight-Year Study, 
University of Chicago; 1: 240; 7; chap. ii. 
10 Ibid. 




Ten rats were infect- 
ed with pneumonia 
germs and were inocu- 
lated with anti-pneu- 
monia serum, in the 
same manner as Lot I, 
twelve hours after in- 
oculation with the 


Ten rats were infect- 
ed with pneumonia 
germs and were inocu- 
lated with anti-pneu- 
monia serum, in the 
same manner as Lot I, 
twenty-four hours aft- 
er inoculation with 
the germs. By this 
time, thirty to sisty 
per cent of the lung 
tissue of each rat was 


A control experiment 
was set up in which 
ten rats were infect- 
ed with pneumonia 
germs at the same 
time and in the same 
manner as Lot I, but 
were not given anti- 
pneumonia serum. 





Of the ten rats in Lot 
II, seven recovered 
and three died from 
the infection with 
pneumonia germs. 

Of the ten rats in Lot 
m, five recovered and 
five died from the in- 
fection with pneu- 
monia germs. 

Of the ten rats in Lot 
IV, nine died and 
one survived the in- 
fection with pneu- 
monia germs. 

16. Anti-pneumonia serum was most effective in curing rats infected with 
pneumonia germs when the serum was given immediately after infection. 

17. Infection and subsequent survival resulted in the development of an im- 
munity to pneumonia in the sole surviving rat in Lot IV. 

18. If the rats in Lot IV had been treated with anti-pneumonia serum imme- 
diately after being infected with the pneumonia germs, only one of the 
rats in Lot IV would have died. 

19. No treatment at all was as effective as treatment with anti-pneumonia 
serum in reducing the death rate in rats that were infected with pneu- 
monia germs. 

20. Experiments in which animals are infected with harmful germs should be 
confined to rats. 

,21, If ten rats, similar to those in Lot II, had been infected with pneumonia 
germs and treated with anti-pneumonia serum twenty-four hours after 
infection, all of the rats would have survived. 


22. The death rate in Lot II was due to the fact that from thirty to sixty per 
cent of the lung tissue was affected. 

23. Human beings suffering from pneumonia would be likely to recover if they 
were given anti-pneumonia serum immediately. 

24. If anti-pneumonia serum had been administered to the rats in Lot II six 
hours earlier, more than seventy per cent of the rats would have survived. 

25. Such experiments as the one described in this problem are performed to 
show that early diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia are essential to 

26. If twice as many white rats had been used hi Lot III, about fifty per cent 
of the rats would have survived. 

27. If a larger number of rats similar to those used in this experiment were 
infected with pneumonia germs and were not treated with anti-pneumonia 
serum, most of them would survive. 

28. Nine of the ten rats in Lot I survived, but only one of the ten in Lot IV 

29. Other similar rats subjected to the same treatment as that used on Lot I 
would become ill, but most of them would survive. 

30. In Lot I, if five hours had elapsed between the time of infection with 
pneumonia germs and the time of the inoculation with anti-pneumonia 
serum, all of the rats would have recovered from the infection. 

Type of 









Comparison of 






Comparison of 






A major trend 

or gen- 






















































Evidence concerning the student's understanding of principles of 
interpretation of data can also be obtained through written responses 
to a number of questions so directed that students must use certain 
principles of interpretation. 

The following exercise consists of a series of questions which have 


as their basis the "rat" data around which the test shown above was 
constructed. The analysis of written work such as that called for by 
Exercise 12 frequently throws considerable light on the student's under- 
standing of principles of interpretation because he has the opportunity 
to explain his interpretation. 

Exercise 12. 

You are to comment on every question. Leave no question unanswered. 
If you do not understand what is asked for, or are unable to make the state- 
ment as indicated, be sure to state such difficulty. 

1. In terms of these data alone, what do you believe you can say about the 
number of survivors in Lot I compared with the number of survivors in 
Lot IV? 

2. In terms of these data alone, what do you believe you can say concerning 
the relation between (a) the effectiveness of anti-pneumonia serum and 
(b) the time elapsed between infection and inoculation? 

3. In terms of these data alone, what do you believe you can say concerning 
the immunity to pneumonia of the surviving rats? 

4. In terms of these data alone, what do you believe you can say concerning 
the desirability of infecting animals with harmful germs? Give reasons 
for your answer. 

5. In terms of these data alone, what do you believe would have happened 
to the rats in Lot II if the anti-pneumonia serum had been administered 
six hours later than it was? 

6. In terms of these data alone, what do you believe you can say would have 
happened if the number of rats in Lot III had been doubled?" 

Exercise 13. 

Certain distinctions between statements in Test 2,52 {pp. 120-22) 
are frequently difficult for students at the junior high school level. 
Particularly do students at this level find difficulty in distinguishing 
between a category in which they are to say that the evidence is totally 
insufficient, and one in which they say that the evidence suggests the 
probable truth or probable falsity of such a statement. 

To overcome this difficulty another test 11 has been developed in 
which the student classifies an interpretation in one of three ways, such 
as in the following example: 

A enough information is given to make the statement true 

U not enough information is given to decade 

D enough inf onnation is given to make the statement false 

* Test 2.71, Evaluation Staff of the Eight-Year Study, University of Chicago. 




The above map shows for each region the percentage of in- 
crease or decrease in motor fatalities in 1939 as compared with 
1938. A minus per cent means a decrease in deaths due to 
motor fatalities; a plus per cent means an increase in deaths 
due to motor fatalities. The per cent for the United States as 
a whole for 1939 is 2%, which means there were 2% less 
motor fatalities in the whole of the United States in 1939 than 
in 1938. 


1. In 1939, there was a decrease in motor fatalities in most of the regions of 
the United States. 

2. The per cent of decrease in motor fatalities was greater in the South 
Central region than in the North Central region. 

3. The general decrease in motor death, toll in the United States in 1939 is 
due in part to improved traffic laws. 

4. The largest decrease in the per cent of motor fatalities in the regions of 
the United States occurred in the North Atlantic region. 

5. In 1939, there were three times as many deaths due to motor accidents in 
the South Central region as in the North Central region. 

6. There was a two per cent decrease in motor fatalities in Florida. 

7. There were more motor fatalities in the Pacific region in 1939 than there 
w'ere in 1938. 

8. In 1939, more people were killed in motor accidents in the Pacific region 
than in the North Atlantic region. 

9. The death rate due to motor fatalities is decreasing from year to year. 
10. Such records will encourage traveling in the North Atlantic region. 


An examination of the statements of the exercise above reveals that 
the same principles of interpretation, namely, principles of sampling, 
extrapolation and interpolation, cause and effect, etc., are built into 
this test as In the case of the previously discussed Test 2.52. The main 
distinction between the results expected of students in the two instances 
is that tjie level of discrimination in the applications of these principles 
is definitely lower in the last exercise. 

Exercise 14. 

The following exercise illustrates another test form used to collect 
evidence concerning the student's ability to interpret data (6: 403). 

Directions: In each of the following exercises, an experiment is described. 
Below the description of the experiment are several statements which have 
been suggested as interpretations of the experiment. Assume that the facts 
given in the description of the experiment and in the results obtained are 
correct; then, on the basis of these facts only, consider each statement. 

Mark with "1" every statement which is a, reasonable interpretation of the 
results obtained. 

"2" every statement which might possibly be true but for which 
insufficient facts are given to justify the interpretation. 

"3" every statement which cannot be true because it is contra- 
dicted by the results obtained in the experiment. 

The sample shows what you are to do. 

Sample: In an experiment some white starch was treated with brown 
iodine solution. This was done ten times and each time a blue color was 

Later some white starch was mixed with saliva. The mixture was left 
for a time and then it was treated with brown iodine solution. This was done 
ten times and each time no blue color was formed. 

a) The starch was changed to sugar by the action of saliva (2) a 

6) Saliva digested the starch (2) b 

c) Starch acted upon the iodine (1) c 

d) Saliva produced a change in the starch , (1) d 

e) Starch mixed with iodine solution did not turn blue (3) e 

Exercise 15. 

In a unit on living and nonliving things, students were asked first 
to indicate specific differences and similarities between fish and water. 
Such differences and similarities were recorded on the board as they 
T^ere stated. The students were then asked to make an interpretation 
of the available evidence, following these instructions: "On the basis 
of this analysis alone write a generalization about the difference be- 


tween living and nonliving things." Students' responses showed varying 
degrees of recognition of need for qualifying their generalizations on 
the basis of the inadequacy of the sample. Some students wrote, "Living 
things are yellow, spindle-shaped, move rapidly, breathe; while non- 
living things have no definite shape or color, cannot move, do not see, 
eat, or breathe." More cautious students answered as follows: "From 
one example of each type, no generalization can be made," or "If all 
these things are like fish, then all nonliving things are like water, then 
all living things are yellow, spindle-shaped, etc." This analysis was 
extended into a discussion of the Gallup and Literary Digest Polls con- 
cerning methods of obtaining evidence, together with the conclusions 
to be drawn from such evidence. 

At the end of several days of work during which attention was 
given primarily to the issues involving the adequacy of the sample, the 
secretary of one class summarized the discussion as follows: 

1. The more representative a sample is, the more acceptable the generaliza- 
tion made on it. 

2. The less representative the sample, the less certain one can be of the truth 
of a generalization from the data. 

3. A large sample is not always a good representative sample. 

4. One sample is sufficient if a substance is homogeneous. 

5. If samples are well chosen and fairly large, they will represent the entire 
group faithfully. 

MU-b* Identifying necessary and unstated assumptions involved 
in a conclusion, prediction, course of action, or 'practice. Another out- 
come involving a method of science consists of abilities and attitudes 
toward the identification of unstated assumptions implied in a con- 
clusion or course of action. Such abilities and attitudes mean, for 
example, that the student recognizes that a conclusion is no stronger 
than the weakest assumption in the line of reasoning utilized in arriv- 
ing at the conclusion. Frequently, it is necessary to identify what are 
called necessary and sufficient conditions or assumptions. Other as- 
sumptions involve the competence and integrity of a source. 

The following samples have been taken from certain testing ma- 
terials which have as their purpose the recognition and, in some cases 
the appraisal, of assumptions. 

Exercise 16. 

In this part of the test 12 you are given a statement of facts and a con- 
clusion which has been drawn from the facts. The conclusions are not com- 

""Ohio Every Pupil Tea*," 1938. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State Department 
of Education. 


pletely justified by the facts given. They may be justified, however, if certain 
assumptions are made; that is, if certain factors not given in the statement 
of facts are taken for granted. You are to select those factors which have been 
taken for granted by checking them on the line at the left of the statement. 
In some of the problems you are asked to select only one assumption and in 
others more than one. 

Statement of Facts: The following table represents the relationship between 
the yearly income of certain families and the medical attention they receive. 

Per Cent of Family Members 

Family Income Who Received No Medical 

Attention During the Year 

Under $1200 47 

$1200 to $3000 40 

$3000 to $5000 33 

$5000 to $10,000 24 

Over $10,000 14 

Conclusion: Members of families with small incomes are healthier than mem- 
bers of families with large incomes. 

Assumption: (Select one) 

(1) Wealthy families had more money to spend for medical care. 

(2) All members of families who needed medical attention re- 
ceived it. 

(3) Many members of families with low incomes were not able to 

pay their doctor bills, 

(4) Members of families with low incomes often did not receive 

medical attention. 

Exercise 17. 

Test items of the essay or verbal type in which students are asked 
to make essentially the same type of response as that requested in the 
above exercise are relatively easy to construct The following example 
is illustrative. 

Statement of Facts: 

Per Cent of Family Members 

Family Income "Who Received No Medical 

Attention During the Year 

Under $1200 47 

$1200 to $3000 40 

$3000 to $5000. 33 

$5000 to $10,000 24 

Over $10,000 14 

Conclusion: Members of families with small incomes are healthier than mem- 
bers with large incomes. 


The conclusion is not completely justified by the facts given. It may be 
justified, however, if an assumption is made; that is, if a factor not stated 
in the given facts is taken for granted. What is this factor? That is, what 
must be assumed in addition to the facts given in order that the conclusion 
be true? 

In the following exercise the student is asked to indicate assump- 
tions stated in the form of questions. Some of the questions challenge 
the data given, but most of them represent unstated assumptions in- 
volved in the conclusion. 

Exercise 18. 13 

A number of diseases have been identified as deficiency diseases ; that is, 
they result from a deficiency of certain substances in the diet. The better 
known of these substances are vitamins A, B, C, and D. During recent years 
these vitamins have been placed on the market in the form of capsules which 
are sold widely. The unrestricted sale of these capsules has been of some con- 
cern to the medical profession primarily because of a possible tendency on the 
part of people to consider the vitamin capsule as a drug preparation and as 
a "cure-all" for digestive disturbances, run-down feeling, etc. Recently the 
following statement appeared in the magazine, Eygeia: 

"The doctors have no quarrel with vitamins. Every man, woman, and 
child needs a normal supply every day to keep well. A lack of vitamins may 
result in what doctors call 'deficiency diseases. 7 But the reason these defi- 
ciency diseases are not common in America is that most people get all the 
vitamins they need simply by eating three adequate meals a day. This is just 
the way grandpop got his vitamins before they were discovered." 

A person reading this selection decided that buying vitaman capsules is 
a sheer waste of money because "deficiency diseases" are practically non- 
existent in America. 

Part A. In judging the truth of the conclusion that "buying capsules is sheer 
waste of money because deficiency diseases are practically non- 
existent in America," what questions do you believe should be an- 
swered before making a decision? From the following list select not 
more than four questions you believe most pertinent. Place a check 
mark in the parentheses preceding each question you select. Pay no 
attention now to the columns numbered 1, 2, 3. 

""Health Inventory," 1.5. Cooperative Study in General Education, Uni- 
versity of Chicago. 



( ) Would a company make and sell vitamin capsules if it did 

not believe there was a real need for them? 

. ( ) Will the use of vitamin capsules be harmful to one's health? 

1 ( ) Are deficiency diseases uncommon in America? 

( ) Is the medical profession in a position to know whether de- 
ficiency diseases are practically nonexistent? 

( ) Do people use vitamin capsules as a cure for digestive dis- 
turbances and a rundown feeling? 

( ) Is it generally true that companies sell any product they 

can regardless of the need for or the effect of the product? 

( ) Is it not probable that doctors will be ignorant of many cases 

of deficiency disease because such people cannot afford a 

( ) Is a substance prepared artificially, such as vitamin cap- 
sules, harmful if it is not needed by the body? 

( ) Does everyone receive necessary vitamins by means of three 

adequate meals daily ? 

Part B. After you have made your selection in Part A you are to judge all 
of the questions in the following manner. Check the space corre- 
sponding to the number of the question in: 

Column 1, if you are quite sure that* the answer to the question is yes or 
usually yes. 

Column 2, if you are quite sure that the answer is no or usually no. 

Column 3, if you are uncertain about the answer to the question. 

The following item 14 was taken from a test used with junior high 
school students. 

Exercise 19. 

Judging evidence and conclusions. In a radio broadcast the following story* 
was told by the speaker: 

"A little mining town in Pennsylvania gets all of its water from a clear 
mountain stream. In a cabin on the bank of the stream above the town one 
of two campers was sick with typhoid fever during the winter. His waste 
materials were thrown on the snow. In the spring the melting snow and other 
water ran into the stream. "In several days after the snow melted typhoid 
fever and death struck the town. Many of the people became sick and 114 
people died." The speaker then said that this story showed how the sickness 
of one man caused sickness and death among many people. 

u "Evaluation of School Broadcasts." Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State UnrVersity. 
Bureau of Educational Research Bulletin No. 1, May, 1939. Columbus, Ohio: 
Ohio State University (mimeographed). 


Part A. Directions: Below is a list of Part B. Directions: If you were to 
statements about the story. If you decide that the man's sickness caused 
were to say that the man's sickness the sickness and death in the town, 
caused the sickness and death in the you would want to be sure about sev- 
town, you may believe some or all of eral things before you made that de- 
the statements, If a statement says cision. Read the statements below 
something that an intelligent person again and check ( \/) the three which 
should believe, then mark it as true, you believe are the most important to 

be sure about before you should de- 
cide that the man's sickness caused 
the sickness and death in the town. 
Do not check more than three. 

Part A Statements Part B 

I believe the 
statement is true. 

Yes No 
a. Water in mountain streams usually becomes pure 

as it runs over rocks. a. 

b. Typhoid fever germs in drinking water may cause 

typhoid fever. 6. 

c. All of the drinking water of a small town like this 

one came from the mountain stream. c. 

d. In a small town like this one there would not be 

nearly as many people sick at the same time with 

typhoid as the story tells. d. 

e. Typhoid germs were the only kind of germs in the 

water. e. 

/. There was no other possible way of getting typhoid 

such as an impure milk supply in the town. - /. 

g. Typhoid fever germs did not get into the stream 

from some source other than from the sick man. g. 

h. A person by himself, like the camper, can get 

typhoid. h. 

t. Typhoid fever would break out hi several days 

after the snow melted. {. 

j. The typhoid fever germs are not killed when 

thrown on snow. ;. 

The distinction between the assumptions or postulates involved in 
major theories of science and the evidence also supporting such theories 
is asked for in certain kinds of test items developed in the .University of 
Chicago general course examination. 15 One illustration of how such 
distinctions can be made is given in the following example: 

** Physical Science Examination, University of Chicago, 1940. 


Exercise 20. 

Understanding of theories. In this question you are to give the experi- 
mental bases for and the assumptions involved in several different theories of 
physical sciences. 

Observational basis for the Kinetic-Molecular theory. In the Kinetic- 
Molecular theory the assertion is made that the molecules are in continual 
haphazard motion. 

Which one or ones of the following statements represent observational 
evidence which helps to justify the above assertion? 

A. Cyclones often produce serious destructive effects. 

B. Air warmed by the radiator in a room rises to the ceiling. 

C. Very small particles of carbon in suspension are observed to execute irreg- 
ular motion (Brownian Movement). 

D. A quantity of a gas like chlorine, when released, diffuses through another 

E. On colliding, molecules lose no energy. 

In the Kinetic-Molecular theory the assertion is made that attractive 
forces exist between the molecules of a substance. 

Which one or ones of the following statements represent observational 
evidence which helps to justify the above assertion? 

A. By a sufficient increase in pressure and a sufficient decrease in temperature, 
a gas may be liquefied or solidified. 

B. Heat must be supplied to change water into steam. 

C. Hydrogen and oxygen combine to form water. 

D. One gas released in the presence of a second gas quickly mixes with the 

E. Many real gases obey the General Gas law ( ~- = K) . 

Assumptions involved in the Kinetic-Molecular theory. In the Kinetic- 
Molecular theory the assertion is made that the pressure of a gas is due to 
the impact of molecules against the sides of the container. Which of the 
following statements represent assumptions (not observational evidence) 
involved in the above assertion? 

A. The pressure of a gas is proportional to the absolute temperature. 

B. Molecules are in motion. 

C. Molecules of a gas have mass. 

D. There exist attractive forces between the molecules of the gas. 

E. Newton's laws of motion apply to molecules. 

In the Kinetic-Molecular theory the assertion is made that, when partial 
evaporation of a liquid occurs in the absence of an external source of heat, 
the average kinetic energy of the molecules of the liquid is reduced. 

Which one or ones of the following statements represent (s) assumption(s) 
(not observational evidence) involved in the above assertion? 
A. Not all molecules move with the same speed. 


B. The faster-moving molecules escape from the liquid. 

C. Molecules of a liquid, when moving in the region above the liquid, give 
rise to a vapor pressure. 

D. Heat must be supplied to vaporize a liquid at constant temperature. 

E. Much less space exists between molecules of a liquid than between mole- 
cules of a gas. 

MU-c. Recognizing and using defensible arguments or reasons when 
justifying a prediction } course of action, or practice. An understand- 
ing of the elements of the scientific method enables the student to 
justify his conclusions on a rational basis. Such elements mean that 
the student can organize an argument by citing relevant evidence and 
the assumptions upon which a conclusion 'rests, by recognizing valid 
and invalid analogy, by avoiding argument which essentially repeats 
the conclusion, by proper use of the "if-then" principle of argument, 
and by other elements of proper reasoning. 

The following example represents a problem taken from an early 
form of a test, "Nature of Proof/ 7 developed by the Evaluation Staff 
of the Eight- Year Study. For a more complete analysis and definition 
of desirable outcomes, the reader is urged to read the discussion of the 
nature of proof in the report of the Commission on^the Relation of 
School and College (7: 126-54). 

Exercise 2L 

Are you learning to recognize and evaluate assumptions? 

A small piece of magnesium will ignite and burn with a bright light in an 
atmosphere of chlorine gas, leaving white ashes. Bill secured some chemicals 
which, when mixed together and heated, gave off a colored gas. He collected 
some of this gas in a bottle. The chemistry teacher gave him ajsmall piece 
of magnesium. Bill put it in the bottle of colored gas. The magnesium 
ignited, burned with a bright light, and left white ashes. Bill told his friends 
that his results conclusively proved that the colored gas was chlorine. 

Part 1. Directions: Read each state- Part 2. Directions: Read over again 

ment below. Is the statement a only those statements which you have 

PACT, or is it an ASSUMPTION? marked as assumptions. Place a check 

Place a check mark (V)^ the ap- mark (V) after those TWO AS- 

propriate column before the state- SUMPTIONS which are absolutely 

ment. necessary in proving that the gas was 

chlorine. Do not mark more than two. 


Assump- Statements 
Fact tion 
a. Chlorine is not the only gas in which magnesium 

will burn with a bright light and leave white ashes a. 

b. The material the chemistry teacher gave him was 

magnesium. ' b. 

c. Chlorine gas is the only gas in which magnesium 

will ignite. c. 

d. Chlorine gas is the only gas in which magnesium 

will ignite, burn with a bright light, leaving white 

ashes. d. 

0. Bill mixed and heated some chemicals which gave 

off a colored gas. e. 

/. A small piece of magnesium will ignite and burn " 

with a bright light in an atmosphere of chlorine 

gas, leaving white ashes. /. 

g. Chlorine gas is the only gas in which magnesium 

will J3urn with a bright light. g. 

_! h. Bill collected some of the colored gas in a bottle. h. 

i. The properties of the colored gas in the bottle were 

the only cause of the magnesium igniting, burning 

with a bright light, and leaving white ashes. i. 

;. Bill put a small piece of magnesium in the bottle. j. 

k. The properties of the colored gas in the bottle were 

not the cause of the magnesium igniting, burning 

with a bright light, and leaving white ashes, k. 

I. The magnesium ignited, burned with bright light, 

and left white ashes. Z. 

Are you learning how to develop a logical proof? 

When arguments for or against some proposition are presented in news- 
papers, magazines, speeches, or textbooks, we often feel that the discussion 
could have been made more logical. Authors sometimes put in statements 
that are really unnecessary to prove their point; at other times they leave 
out important arguments; on still other occasions they arrange their state- 
ments in such poor order that the conclusion does not seem to be based on 
or to grow out of the arguments. 

Part 3. Directions: Suppose you were describing this experiment in order 
to prove that chlorine gas was collected. What are all of the absolutely neces- 
sary statements in the complete development of the proof? Use as many 
of the above statements as are necessary and place the letters of these state- 
ments in their proper order 16 on the line below. Do not use any unnecessary 

"Although the test requests "proper" order, various orders are equally ac- 
ceptable and the test has been scored in terms of whether all relevant facts and 
assumptions are included. 


Are you learning to support your own conclusions with sound arguments? 

Part. 4. Directions: In Part 3 of this test you presented a logically de- 
veloped proof which reached the conclusion that the colored gas Bill made 
must be chlorine. You may or may not believe that it has been adequately 
proved that the colored gas must be chlorine. Check the following statement 
which best represents your own personal opinion as to the nature of the gas. 

a. I believe that the colored gas Bill made was chlorine. 

b. I do not believe that the colored gas Bill made was chlorine. 

c. I do not believe that it has been adequately proved that the colored 

gas Bill made was chlorine. 

Write out the reasons you have to support your opinion. 

Evidence concerning the student's understanding of good and poor 
analogy, avoiding a repetition of a conclusion and certain other ele- 
ments of good reasoning may be obtained from an analysis of his 
responses to test items constructed like one described under FU-b, 
"Applying Principles." 

MU-d. Identifying valid cause-and-effect relationships when inter- 
preting a phenomenon. Cause-and-effect generalizations which relate 
important scientific phenomena are difficult for students to grasp. Such 
relationships require caution as well as a clear-cut understanding of 
valid physical and biological science principles. 

The following exercises have been selected from tests designed to 
obtain evidence concerning the student's understanding of cause-and- 
effect relationships, 

Exercise 22. 

Directions: One characteristic of a scientist is that he believes that every 
effect has a cause and he tries to discover these cause-and-effect relationships. 

For example: When a piece of iron is heated, it expands. 
Heating the iron is the cause. 
Expansion of the iron is the effect. 

Below are statements similar to the above. Read each statement. On the 
line at the right, place the capital letter corresponding to one of the following 
relationships t 


A. The first part of the statement is the cause of the second part. 

B. The first part of the statement is the result of the second part. 

C. The two parts have no cause-and-effect relationship. 
B. One part of the statement contradicts the other. 

"^Ninth-Grade Science Examination," 1935. Rochester, New York: Board 
of Education. 



1. Plants make food when the sun shines. 1. 

2. Air contains oxygen and also nitrogen. 2. 

3. A bulging forehead indicates a brilliant mind. 3. 

4. John walked under a ladder and he failed in science. 4. 

5. The draft is opened; the fire burns more rapidly. 5. 

6. When the moon passes between the earth and sun, the sun is 

not visible. 6. 

7. When a dish full of cold water is heated, the water overflows. 7. 

8. When cold air is heated, the relative humidity increases. 8. 

9. Growing yeast plants give off C0 2 ; therefore, there are holes 
in the bread. 9. 

10. Wiley Post wore an oxygen helmet; his plane worked per- 
fectly. 10. 

Exercise 23. 

Tell whether each of the statements following the fact is (A) a cause of 
the fact, (B) a result of the fact, or (C) not related to the fact. 18 

PACT: A flash of lightning occurs. 


3. A roar of thunder can be heard. 3. 

4. Electricity passed between clouds and the earth. 4. 

5. It is dangerous to stand under a tree during a rainstorm. 5. 

FACT: Metals expand when heated. 


12. The molecules of metal become farther apart when heated. 12. 

13. When the temperature increases, the mercury in the therm- 
ometer rises. 13. 

14. Telephone wires are slack in summer and tighter in winter. 14. 

Exercise 24- 

The State Science Committee of Wisconsin 19 has designed a test in 
which a list of paired occurrences is given, and students are asked to 
check indicating whether: 

A. The first is the sole cause of the second. 

B. The first is one of a number of contributing causes of the second. 

C. The first contributes slightly to the second. 

D. Both are results of the same cause. 

** Eighth Grade General , Science Examination, 1936. Rochester, New York: 
Board of Education. 

" The Science Committee, Wisconsin State Education Association, Madison, 


E. The first bears no causal relationship to the second. 
Sample test items : 

1. The branches of a tree move to and fro; a nearby windmill 

turns. 1. 

2. Heat of sunlight; warmth of earth. 2. 

3. A woman dropped a dish on the floor; the dish broMe. 3. 

4. A fruit can was opened; the fruit in the can spoiled. 4. 


The foregoing suggestions for evaluating understandings which re- 
sult from science instruction obviously represent but a sample of those 
which have been developed by test constructors and classroom teach- 
ers. Furthermore, no effort has been made to present tests which are 
complete from the standpoint of sampling a variety of situations or 

Two points, almost axiomatic but frequently overlooked, should 
be noted in connection with the use of evaluation devices. First, the 
particular devices used for evaluating a student's understanding in 
science should correspond to the ideas dealt with directly in day-by- 
day instruction. If an objective such as "applying principles to new 
problems" is not a real part of everyday instruction, there is little 
reason to expect students to demonstrate any appreciable proficiency 
in applying principles. Important objectives must be "taught for" 
directly they are not by-products of instruction. To insure a maxi- 
mum amount of achievement in any important objective, it is also 
imperative that a continuous cycle of teaching-evaluation-teaching 
occur. Only in this way can a significant improvement in the student's 
understanding take place (see chapter ii). 

A second point concerning the use of evaluation devices involves 
their construction. The alternative responses of an objective test 
should be planned in such a way that "wrong" responses are as re- 
vealing as are right ones. This means that the teacher has the respon- 
sibility of indicating both to himself and to his students the basis 
of failure in achieving understanding. In the case of "essay" or 
"verbal" testing devices, the questions to which students are to re- 
spond must be directed toward the specific desired behavior, although 
'the student himself may or may not be conscious of this "direction." 

One last word: The material presented in this, chapter has empha- 
sized formal paper-and-pencil testing. Some of the illustrative tests 
are rather elaborate and complicated, such, for example, as Exercises 

5. 11, 18, and 19. Tests of this kind are difficult to prepare, and in- 
terpretation of the responses secured is no easy matter. They have 


been included here, however, to show the possibilities of such tests in 
the hands of the expert to set, as it were, a sort of "ceiling" for 
practice. On the other hand, paper-and-pencil tests which get- at 
understanding but are of a simpler character, well within the capacity 
of the average classroom teacher to construct, have also been exempli- 
fied. Other illustrative techniques, few in number, have- shown how 
the out-of-school activity of students may be examined for evidence 
of understanding (Exercise 8) and how class discussion and class re- 
ports may be used to the same end (Exercise 10) . Nevertheless, the 
fact remains that this chapter has stressed paper-and-pencil testing. 

Yet, as stated in chapters iii and iv, much evidence of growth in 
understanding is available in the everyday activities of the classroom. 

Some teachers keep permanent records of their observations, hav- 
ing a folder for each of their students. At the end of the semester or 
of the year, these folders are sources of rich information with regard 
to students 7 changes in understanding. But such permanent records 
are not essential for the purposes of evaluation. The alert teacher of 
science, by noting occurrences of student behavior which signify in- 
sight into what is being taught, can from day to day secure concrete 
data to broaden and deepen his knowledge concerning his students 7 
progress in understanding. 


1. The Construction and Use of Achievement Examinations. H. E. Hawkes, 
E. F. Lindquist, and C. H. Mann, Editors. New York: Houghton MifSin Co., 

2. CURTIS, DWIGHT K. "The Contribution of the Excursion to Understanding." 
Ph.D. Dissertation, State University of Iowa, 1942. 

3. Science, Vol. IV: Proceedings of the Workshop in General Education. Chi- 
cago: University of Chicago, 1940. 

4. A Program for Teaching Science. Thirty-first Yearbook of the National So- 
ciety for the Study of Education, Part I. Chicago: University of Chicago 
Press, 1932. 

5. Redirecting Science Teaching in the Light of Personal-Social Needs. A re- 
port sponsored by the American Council of Science Teachers of the National 
Education Association in co-operation with nine national societies of science 
teachers. Washington, D.C.: American Council of Science Teachers of the 
National Education Association, 1942. 

6. Science in General Education. Report of the Commission on the Secondary- 
School Curriculum of the Progressive Education Association. New York: D. 
Appleton-Century Co., Inc., 1938. 

7. SMITH, EUGENE R.; TYLER, RALPH W.; AND OTHERS. Appraising and Record- 
ing Student Progress. Adventure in American Education Series, Vol. 3H. 
New York: Harper A Bro., 1942. 



BEX A. SUELTZ, Chairman 

State Teachers College 

Cortland, New York 


State Teachers College 

New Hayen, Connecticut 


Detroit Public Schools 

Detroit, Michigan 


During the past decade an increasing number of schools have been 
using the term elementary-school mathematics to replace arithmetic 
in courses of study and in school reports. This change is no mere 
whimsey. It is indicative of a corresponding broadening of our vision 
of the content and function of arithmetic or mathematics in the ele- 
mentary school. To many school people the word "arithmetic" was 
synonomous with computation; and arithmetic was merely a tool to 
be called forth when a need was recognized. More recent literature 
has called attention to the breadth of arms that should be achieved. 
For example, in one discussion of curriculum problems in this field, 
the following classification of aims is employed: (a) concepts and 
vocabulary, (6) principles and relationships, (c) social and economic 
information, (d) factual information and materials, (e) processes and 
manipulations, (/) problems and basic thought patterns, and (0) re- 
flections and judgments. 1 

The breadth of aims and their interrelations may be illustrated by 
a discussion of the unit of measure quart. The concept of quart func- 
tions in descriptive situations that range from simple visual and manual 
impressions to a mental visualization which must be conjured out of 

1 Arithmetic in (General Education, p. 21. Sixteenth. Yearbook of the National 
Council of Teachers of Matbematka New York: Teachers College, Columbia 
University, 1941. 



a complex situation presented in either oral or written form. The con- 
cept of quart involves impressions of its size; of size in relation to 
shape, to use, and to weight. The concept is developed in relation to 
quarts of things, in relation to other standard measures such as pint 
and gallon, and to such less definitive units as cupful, canful, and 
other containers used in the home and school. Closely associated with 
the concept of quart is a wealth of information about its use. It may 
be a measuring can, a tall bottle of gingerale, a squat can of paint, 
or a brick of ice cream. Further associations are of the type, "A quart 
of ice cream is enough for six people/' "We use two quarts of milk 
per day," and "A quart of paint is not enough for this floor." 

The quart becomes involved in mathematical relationships of the 
type, "A quart is a quarter of a gallon," and the reciprocal, "A gallon 
equals four quarts." These relationships lead to computations of mul- 
tiplication and division as quarts are changed to pints, gallons, or 
other units of measure. Out of these changes comes the generalization, 
"In any given quantity, the smaller the unit of measure the more of 
them, and the larger the measure the fewer of them." The quart be- 
comes further involved in commutations as quarts of things are com- 
bined (added), removed or compared (subtracted), combined in equal 
multiples (multiplied), and sectioned or compared as ratios (divided). 
Many other computations arise as quarts of things are bought and 

Attitudes and appreciations are developed in relation to the quart. 
The child who is required to drink daily a quart of milk that he does 
not relish develops a different attitude toward quart than does the 
child who shares liberally in a quart of ice cream that he enjoys. 
Frequently it is found that children do not fully understand quart. 
Many do not know that the liquid quart differs from the dry quart 
in size and uses. Likewise it is not uncommon to find pupils who do 
not comprehend the sameness of a quart of milk in a bottle, a quart 
of paint in a can, and a quart of water spilled on the floor. In Grades 
VII and VIII the quart becomes further involved in mathematics as 
the principles of percentage are developed and used. 

It is the interrelationship of the mathematical elements that lifts 
arithmetic from the tools-jor-use level of education and makes it im- 
perative that the teacher be thoroughly schooled in its subject matter. 
The teacher must know these mathematical elements as well as their 
social, cultural, and economic uses and implications. 

Not many statements of aims and objectives have been formu- 
lated and published since our vision of arithmetic has broadened and 
since meaning and understanding have come to be stressed. A very 


full list of goals .can be found in the "Sequential Learnings Chart" 
of the New York State Syllabus. 2 For the discussion here, we have 
chosen BrownelPs statement of aims published in the Sixteenth Year- 
book of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 5 

Aims or Desired Outcomes 

1. Computational skill: 

Facility and accuracy in operations with whole numbers, common frac- 
tions, decimals, and per cents. (This group of outcomes is here separated 
from the second and third groups which follow because it can be isolated 
for measurement. In this separation much is lost, for computation with- 
out understanding when as well as how to compute is a rather empty 
skill. Actually computation is important only as it contributes to social 
ends) . 

2. Mathematical understandings: 

a) Meaningful conceptions of quantity, of the number system, of whole 
numbers, of common fractions, of decimals, of per cents, of measures, 

b) A meaningful vocabulary of the useful technical terms of arithmetic 
which designate quantitative ideas and the relationships between them. 

c) Grasp of important arithmetical generalizations. 

d) Understanding of the meanings and mathematical functions of the 
fundamental operations. 

e) Understanding of the meanings of measures and of measurement as a 

/) Understanding of important arithmetical relationships, such as those 
which function in reasonably sound estimations and approximations, 
in accurate checking, and in ingenious and resourceful solutions. 

g) Some understanding of the rational principles which govern number 
relations and computational procedures. 

3. Sensitiveness to number in social situations and the habit of using num- 
ber effectively in such situations: 

a) Vocabulary of selected quantitative terms of common usage (such as 
kilowatt hour, miles per hour, decrease and increase, and terms im- 
portant in insurance, investments, business practices, etc.) 

b) Knowledge of selected business practices and other economic applica- 
tions of number. 

c) Ability to use and interpret graphs, simple statistics, and tabular pre- 

* Mathematics JOT Elementary Schools, insert p. 34. Albany, New York: 
University of the State of New York, 1937. 

8 Op. cit., pp. 231-32. Consult the latter part of the chapter for a large number 
of suggested evaluation procedures. 


sentations of quantitative data (as in study in school and in practical 
activities outside of school). 

d) Awareness of the usefulness of quantity and number in dealing with 
many aspects of life. Here belongs some understanding of social insti- 
tutions in which the quantitative aspect is prominent, as well as some 
understanding of the important contribution of number in their evolu- 

e) Tendency to sense the quantitative as part of normal experience, in- 
cluding vicarious experience, as in reading, in observation, and in 
projected activity and imaginative thinking. 

/) Ability to make (and the habit of making) sound judgments with re- 
spect to practical quantitative problems. 

g) Disposition to extend one's sensitiveness to the quantitative as this 
occurs socially and to improve and extend one's ability to deal ef- 
fectively with the quantitative when so encountered or discovered. 


Understandings in "Computation 

The Role of Computation. In the real world (outside of schools 
and workbooks) computation usually follows a preliminary judgment 
or it comes as a step in reaching and checking a final judgment. In 
other words, one seldom, in the practical affairs of life, computes 
merely for the sake of computing; computation is not an end in itself. 
For this reason, computations in school should not be viewed merely 
as mechanical skills which justify themselves. Instead, computations 
should be taught and learned as parts of complete mathematical situ- 
ations in which the computations are called into use. In order to obtain, 
correct and effective final judgments and answers in a mathematical 
situation the pupil must (a) know what computational processes to 
use and (6) use these processes with facility and accuracy. In both 
of these stages it is the presence of the factors of meaning and under- 
standing that raises the performance of the pupil above that of a com- 
puting machine. 

Modes of Measuring and Evaluating Computations. The usual 
procedures for evaluation include (1) the use of written tests, (2) 
observation of the daily work of pupils, (3) interview of the pupils 
during and after their work, and (4) self-evaluation by the pupils 
themselves. For the measurement of understanding, a combination of 
all of these methods is most fruitful. Written tests are useful when 
they have been prepared for a specific purpose. Observation and inter- 
view are particularly valuable because they reveal when and how 
errors have been made. This is true for errors both of procedure and 


of basic computations. For example, to find the cost per pound of 
frozen lima beans when a 12-ounce package sells for 27^, the follow- 
ing wrong procedures were used by certain pupils in a class. 

(1) 27 - i 

3 i 

__ X = 36 

4 27 


(2) 2 

12) 27 

2 X 16 = 32 





An interview showed that each pupil had a plan or reason. Pupil 
(1) said, "I changed the fractions. Isn't 36 the right answer?" He 
was disturbed because on many occasions he had been getting correct 
answers by his method which the teacher now explained to be wrong. 
Pupil (2) said, "You add in the remainder." Pupil (3) said, "You 
times it, don't you?" He was not even conscious of the fact that a 
pound should cost more than a fraction of a pound. 

Measurement and evaluation are really stages of a complete learn- 
ing process and not ends in themselves. Hence it is most important 
that the errors of understanding as well as those of abstract process 
be discovered when they are made so that correct learning may pro- 
ceed. The exercises described above show how important it is for a 
school to provide instruction in the developmental phases of computa- 
tional procedures. 

Real and Reasonable Computations. Pupils grasp and understand 
exercises with small whole numbers much more readily than they do 
those with large numbers, fractions, and decimals. However, if they 
really understand the principles involved, they should be able to ex- 
tend these principles into both (a) more complex socio-economic situ- 
ations and (b) exercises with large or peculiar numbers. Both of these 
extensions may be measured either orally or by written exercises. For 
example, exercises (2) and (3) in the following list are extensions of 
exercise (1). 

1. How much will a dozen pencils cost at 5# each? 

2. A truckman can haul six loads of gravel in the forenoon and six more 
loads in the afternoon. His truck holds six tons. How much can lie plan 
to deliver per day? 

3. If a boatload of 264,780 pounds of bananas is sold at $X)5i per pound, 
what is the total price? 


Pupils may be asked to state problems similar to a type problem 
that uses a particular process. These may be fanciful and unreal, for 
pupils generally have not had sufficient experience with trades and 
professions and with business practices to know which combinations 
of numbers may be reasonable and which do not ordinarily exist. 

It has become school practice to limit computations to such as may 
reasonably occur in the more common trades and businesses. A com- 
prehensive knowledge of many social, economic, and cultural situations 
is necessary in order to understand whether or not a particular abstract 
computation is a reasonable one. Consider the following problems. 

'" + 8 (2) - g (3 > H x 208 (4> "* * 

" ~ oX 

Exercises (1) and (2) rarely, if ever, occur in the real world. The 
real fractions that are added and subtracted are usually related: 
they come in families, as, for example, halves, fourths, and eighths. 
Exercises (3) and (4) are real, the former in the case of a fractional 
part of a month's production, the latter in work with circles. In the 
multiplication and division of fractions large and peculiar combinations 
of numbers arise. Although the pupil cannot understand many of 
the limitations and uses of numbers in processes, his arithmetic will 
be more meaningful if, through discussion, he develops an alertness 
to reality. 

Understanding in computations. There are several kinds of under- 
standing associated with computations. One kind is understanding 
the usefulness of a process, as, for example, that addition is used for 
combining and grouping. Questions such as the following are suitable 
for this group of understandings and may be used in paper-and-pencil 
tests followed by discussion. 

1. John has 7 marbles, George has 15, and Pete has 12 marbles. How can 
you find how many all three boys have? 

2. If you know how many baby chicks Mr. Allen bought and how many 
have died, h'ow can you find the number he has left? 

3. Can you state a problem that uses multiplication? Now make one that 
uses both multiplication and subtraction. 

4. Can you make a list of ten different kinds of problems? Use the signs 
+, , X, and -r- to show how these problems should be solved. 

Here it should be pointed out that a given mathematical situation 
need not call for a unique solution. The resourceful pupil frequently 
finds an "easy way." To find which is the better value, (a) 2 cans 
for 15^ or (b) 3 cans for 25^, the following methods were used by 
different members of a class. 


(1) 71/2 8& (2) 3 X 15 = 45 (3) 25 - 15 = 10 

2) 15 3) 25 2 X 25 = 50 

The pupil who used method (3) arrived at the correct answer by 
reasoning that the IW extra for the third can in "3 for 25^" was too 
much. Observation and interview of pupils will frequently reveal an 
ingenuity based upon real understanding. 

A second type of understanding in computations is based upon 
the relation of one process to another, as, for example, the relation 
of addition to subtraction or to multiplication. Questions of this type 

1. 6 + 18 = 24 18+7 24 24 6 ? 

2. Karen's allowance for the past 7 weeks was 25tf per week. Find the total 
amount of her allowance in two different ways. 

3. How many 3%-yard dress lengths can be sold from a 15-yard piece of 
cloth, and how much will remain in the remnant? Show how to do this 
by (a) measuring, (6) subtracting, and (c) dividing. 

4. Show how to check a multiplication exercise by dividing. Why does this 
check work? 

A third type of understanding deals with the technical mathe- 
matical relationships in a process, such as "carrying" in addition. 
Questions such as the following may be used. 

1. Have you watched the mileage register on a speedometer? What hap- 
pens when a 9 in one space changes to the next higher number? How 
is this like carrying in addition? 

2. To find the cost of 6 things at 12 each, you multiply, as: 12 
How would you find the cost of 125 papers at 3^ each? Does X 6 
125 X 3 = 3 X 125? 

3. How can you pay me a dollar and a quarter when all you have is a $5 
bill? Show how the number 5 must be changed when you want to sub- 
tract, as in 5 II. 

In exercises such as the above, interview and discussion serve best 
to show degrees of understanding by individual pupils. 

A fourth type of understanding associated with computations de- 
pends upon a general mathematical sensing of the number relation- 
ships and leads to an appreciation of reasonableness in results, as, 
when a number is multiplied by four the answer should be jour times 
as large and not forty or one-jowth times as large. Exercises such 
as the following are suggestive. 
1. Henry worked several problems and obtained these answers. Which 

answers do you t.hi-nk are correct? 


a) Bicycle costs $295 6) Can of peas costs $0,18 
c) Man weighs 192 Ibs. d) Boy walks 30 mi. per hr. 
2. In the following exercises, the word numbers includes whole numbers 
fractions, and decimals. Pick out the statements that are always true. 
Make an example to illustrate those that are sometimes false. 

a) When a group of numbers is added, the sum is always larger than 
the largest number. 

b) The product of two numbers is more than the larger of the two num- 
bers which were multiplied. 

c) Any number divided by itself has a quotient of 1. 

d) When any number is multiplied by 1, the product is 1 larger than 
the number. 

e) When the same number is added to both terms of a ratio, the value 
of the ratio is increased.. The reverse is true when the same number 
is subtracted from both terms. 

/) When zero is added to a number, the answer is the same as it would 
be if zero had been subtracted from the number. 

In general, observation, discussion, and interview serve better than 
paper-and-pencil tests in evaluating a pupil's ability to understand 
the principles and procedures he uses in computation. Paper-and- 
pencil tests have their special functions and values. They readily 
yield a mark or a score, as for example, 60 or 85 on the percentage 
scale and "D" or "C" on a letter scale. These marks or scores mean 
something to the one who gives them and they are also understood 
by other teachers and supervisors. On the other hand, the teacher 
who works closely with his pupils should be able to form judgments of 
their understanding of computations that are fully as reliable as are 
the scores obtained from written tests. Furthermore, the teacher's 
judgment may be recorded by the use of letters, as for example, "E" 
for excellent, "S" for satisfactory, and "U" for unsatisfactory. All 
of our evaluation procedures are based upon sampling. They require 
a f rich background in mathematics on the part of the teacher if under- 
standing as well as mechanical skill in computations is to be evaluated. 

Mathematical. Understandings 

Teachers generally are not as familiar with tests of mathematical 
understanding as they are with tests of computation and problem 
solving. Tests in the realm of understanding may be constructed so 
that they measure' degrees of understanding and hence are useful for 
diagnostic purposes. Unfortunately, space does not permit the presenta- 
tion of more than a sampling. These sample items will suggest both 


(e) types of items that can be used and (b) the range of materials 
that can be covered. 

The following items have been constructed so that they may be 
used in paper-and-pencil tests for groups of pupils. In general, the 
smaller the group of pupils to which a test is given, the more valuable 
are the test results if the teacher observes the pupils while at work. 
If possible, a simple interview afterward will enable the teacher to 
discover why a pupil rejects some answers and why he finally selects 
what he considers the correct answer to a test item. The point of 
departure in reteaching is then clear. 

Understandings Developed from Computations. The exercises be- 
low illustrate a method of extending understandings beyond abstract 
computations, and then of measuring them, 

1. Work the following examples. 

a) 3.4 b) 3.4 c) 9.6 d) 9.6 e) 9.6 /) .75 g) .75 h) .75 
X 8 X .8 X.35 X3.5 X 35 X 9 X .9 X.90 

2. Questions for discussion after the pupils have worked the examples. 

a) In which of the examples are the multipliers larger than 1? 

b) Are the products for examples (a), (d), (e), (/), and (h) larger or 
smaller than the multiplicands? 

c) Which of the examples have multipliers of less than 1 ? 

d) Are the products for examples (6), (c), and (g) larger or smaller 
than the multiplicands? 

e) Which word (larger or smaller) belongs in each blank in the follow- 
ing statement? 

When the multiplier is less than 1, the product is than 

the multiplicand. When the multiplier is more than 1, the product 
is than the multiplicand. 

Meanings of Whole Numbers. The exercises in this and subsequent 
sections have been taken from longer and more complete tests. The 
original item numbers have been retained so that the reader may see 
that greater comprehensiveness and finer gradation are represented in 
the complete test. Directions are here omitted. The items are "mul- 
tiple choice." 

2. Which of the following numbers is smaller than 800? 

a) 867 6) 799 c) 820 d) 900 

5. Which of the following numbers equals 5 hundreds, 4 tens, and 6 ones? 

a) 645 6) 456 c) 564 d) 546 

9. When we count forward by Ts, what number comes next after 399? 

a) 490 b} 409 c) 400 d) 401 



13. Which of the following numbers has a 9 in thousands' place? 

a) 6790 b) 5409 c) 9005 d) 7906 

18, What number is 100 smaller than 7008? 

a) 6908 6) 7098 c) 7007 d) 6008 

Meanings of Processes with Whole Numbers. The following are 
suited for Grades IVA to VA. 

1. Three facts are given in the box. Which of the fol- 
lowing belongs with the facts in the box? 

a) 9 + 3= 12 6) 27-^3 = 
c) 27 3 = 24 d) 9-7-3 = 

3 X 9 = 27 
9 X 3 = 27 

27 -r- 9 = 3 

3. Which of these examples is written correctly for subtracting? 
a) 437 b) 294 c) 243 d) 427 



- 89 

- 8 

10. Which of these examples will have the same answer as the 
example in the box? 

a) 27 6) 27 c) d) 27 

3 + 3 3)27 X 3 

The following exercises are suited for Grades VA to VIA. 

1. In the example at the right, the first figure in the answer 
will be placed over which figure in the dividend? 

b) 6 

a) 2 

c) 9 

d) 7 

2. What is the next step to take in the example at the right? 
a) Bring down the 5 
6) Write in the quotient over the 7 
c) Divide 43 by 37 
^d) Multiply 43 by 2 

8. Which of these examples is wrong because the quotient figure is too 







Generalizations with Whole Numbers. In the first three 
exercises choose the correct figures from the box at the right. 
Insert the figures in the blanks. 



2. The quotient of any number divided by itself equals 

6. When any whole number is multiplied by 5, the product will have 

or in ones' place. 

11. In a division example, if we cannot divide after we have brought 

down a figure, we place a ii the quotient. 

18. In a division example, if a remainder is equal to or larger than 

, the divisor, the quotient figure is 

a) the right one b) too large c) too small 

21. Without dividing, tell which of these examples will have the largest 

a) 82)4136 b) 69)4136 c) 71)4136 

d) 80)4136 

Recognizing Fractional Parts. Draw a circle around the letter 
(a } 6, c, or d) which indicates the correct answer to each question. 

10. Which line below is % 3 as long as line X? 
X - [ - i - 1 - 1 - 1 
a) - 1 - 1 


16. Which box below shows that *% equals 2 wholes? 

18. What part of the dots in the 
rectangle is black? 

a) % b) 3/4 c) % 







24, These are Mary's dolls: A A These are Jane's dolls: 

n <-V 
What part of all the dolls belongs to Mary? 

a) y 2 b) % c) % d ) y 3 

Meanings of Fractions. The following examples are suitable for 
Grades I-IV. 

2. Jane's mother cut a pie into six equal pieces. She gave Jane a piece to 
eat. What part of the whole pie did Jane eat? 
*) ^4 b) % c) % d) % 


3. Which of the following pieces of ribbon is shortest? 
a) y 8 yd. 6) y e yd. c) i/ 4 yd. d) %yd. 

7. Helen wanted to give three-eighths of a cake to her sister. Into how 
many equal pieces should she first cut the cake? 
a) 3 6) 5 c) B d) 11 

Technical Terms and Generalizations for Fractions. In the fol- 
lowing exercises more than one answer may be correct or true. Pick 
out all the correct answers. 

5. In which of the following groups are the fractions like or similar fractions? 

*) %, %, % b) 3/4, %, % C) %, %, 7/ 8 d) 3/ 10) 7 /10; 9 /1Q 

6. In which of these examples can one of the given denominators be used 
as the common denominator? 

5 , 


&) 1 , 

1 , 1 

6 H 

r 12 

2 H 



, 1 

d) 3 


2 H 

h io 

8 H 

h 3+2 


11. Which of the following are true? 

a) 3 _ 3 + 4 6) 3 


c) 3 





d) 3 



Meanings of Decimal Fractions. Draw a line through the letter 
(a, b, c, or d) which indicates the correct answer to each question. 
2. In which circle below is .4 shaded? 

10. The decimals in the box at the right are supposed to be 
arranged in order of size from the largest to the smallest. 
One of the decimals is out of place. Which one is out of 

(a) 2.9 

(6) 1.3 

(c) .9 

(d) .058 

(e) .71 
(/) -1 



15. The mixed number 6% 00 equals which decimal below? 
a) 6.3 b) 6.03 c) .63 d) 603 

Meanings of Processes with Decimals. 

1. Which of the following is not written in correct form for adding? 

a) 3.50 6) .48 c) 2.0 d) 4.98 

2.17 59.6 7.2 .67 

.85 45 6.9 .08 

6.90 9.3 .8 9.00 

6. Study the example in the box at the right. What must the 
divisor .9 be multiplied by to make it a whole number? 

c) by 100 6) by 10 c) by 1 d) by 1000 

10. Which of the following examples will have the same answer 
as the example in the box? 

a) .12) 9.6 6) 12) 9.6 c) 12) 96 d) 1.2) .96 

Generalizations with Common and Decimal Fractions. In the blank 
space at the end of each numbered statement write the letter (a, b, c> 
or d) which indicates the correct way to complete the sentence. 
2. If the numerator and the denominator of a fraction are the same, the 

value of the fraction is . 

a) greater than 1 6) less than 1 c) equal to 1 d) cannot tell 
4. Multiplying the numerator and denominator of a fraction by the same 


a) increases the value of the fraction. 
6) decreases the value of the fraction, 
c) does not change the value of the fraction. 

9. Moving the decimal point in a number two places to the left 

a) divides the number by 100 
6) divides the number by 10 

c) does not change the value of the number 

d) multiplies the number by 100 

11. In a division example, multiplying both the dividend and the divisor 
by the same number . 

a) increases the quotient 

b) decreases the quotient 

c) leaves the quotient the same 

Meanings of Per Cents. 
4, What per cent of the picture is shaded? 

a) Vs% b) 1% c) 12y 2 % d) 100% 



7. Every one of the pupils in Tom's room gave to the Junior Red Cross. 
What per cent of the pupils gave to the Junior Red Cross? 
a) 1% &) 10% c) 100% d) cannot tell 

12. George weighs 150% as much as Tom. George's weight is how many 
times as much as Tom's weight? 

) l a /2 &) % c) 15 d) 150 

Meanings of Processes with Per Cents. 

13. Which of the examples in the boxes would you work to answer the 
questions below the boxes? 

a) $28 
+ 12 

e) $12 
X .28 

6) 28) 12.00 

c) .28) 12.00 

d) 12)28 

(1) What does 28% of $12 equal? 

(2) $12 is what per cent of $28? 

16. When we find 105% of $80, the answer will be 

(Choose the answer to fill the blank from the statements below.) 
d) larger than $80 b) smaller than $80 

c) exactly $80 d) there is no exact answer 

24. In making candy, Jean used 3 cups of white sugar and 1 cup of brown 
sugar. What per cent of the sugar was brown? 
a) 33%% b) 25% c) 66%% d) 50% 

Meanings and Uses of Measures. 

1. If you measured the length of a table, with which of the following units 
of measure would you get the largest number? 
a) inch 6) foot c) yard d) mile /"" 

5. At the right, a part of a ruler is pictured. 
The arrow points to what measure on the 

a) y 2 in. 6) % in. c) % in. 1 

d) none of the preceding answers. 

9. Which of the following fractions of an hour is most difficult to find on 
a clock by noting the minute hand? 
a) % hr. b) i/ 4 hr. c) % hr. d) % hr. 

13. A meter stick equals 39.37 inches. A centimeter is a hundredth part of 
a meter. To the nearest tenth inch, how long is a centimeter? 
a) 39.4 in. 6) 3.9 in. c) .4 in. 

d) cannot tell from the information given above, 


Mathematical Understandings in Social Situations 

Here we are concerned with the measurement of a pupil's sensi- 
tivity to number in social situations and with his habit of using num- 
bers effectively in such situations. Formal tests reveal only a portion 
of a pupil's ability and desire to use his mathematical information in 
social any. economic situations. The ideal way to judge a pupil's sensi- 
tivity to mathematics is through observation of his behavior as he 
proceeds normally in his accustomed environment. 

For exampie 7 Kenneth was telling his playmate about some cats 
in the neighborhood and remarked that Blackie was about a third as 
big as Ginger and that Fluff was about two-thirds as big as Ginger. 
When Kenneth was interviewed it was discovered that he used "one- 
third" for anything less than half and "two-thirds"* for fractional 
parts larger than half. He was seven years old at the time. Further 
investigation revealed that he had heard his father using "thirds" 
but had had no explanation thereof. When he was givep. a mathe- 
matical explanation of "thirds" he easily grasped the idea and asked 
if there were "fourths" and other fractions. Kenneth was sensitive to 

Unfortunately it is difficult for a teacher to observe many children 
in their natural out-of-school habitats. However, school situations are 
available to the teacher who is looking for them and knows how to 
capitalize upon them. A fourth grade was planning for a Valentine 
box. How big should it be? Pupils showed with their hands their 
ideas of size for the box. Two girls were to get a box of about the 
right size. One pupil suggested writing down the measurements. The 
teacher had each pupil write down his estimate of the length, width, 
and height. Then measurements were made of the size shown by one 
of the pupils with his hands. Estimates were compared to measure- 
ments. Other estimates and judgments were made by the pupils when 
the box was decorated and a slot cut in the top. Thus, this teacher in 
many ways appraised her pupil's sensitivity to and judgment about 
mathematical relationships. 

Written tests are particularly useful in measuring pupils' abilities 
to use mathematics if the testing is followed by discussion. The test 
then serves as a step in teaching as well as a measuring instrument. 
The following sets of exercises of the "multiple choice" type are sug- 

Knowledge of Vocabulary of Quantitative Terms. ' 

1. Mary read iihat New York is the largest city in the United States. What 
does 'largest city" mean? 



a) has the tallest buildings 6) has the most people 

c) has the most land d ) is worth the most money 

2. Peter said, "It is a very hot day." How warm is "very hot"? 
a) 90 C 6) 68 c) 120 d) cannot tell exactly 

3. The local newspaper reported that the city had balanced its budget. 
What is meant by "balanced budget"? 

a) has collected all debts 6) is starting a new year 

c) has an income equal to expenses d) has lowered expenses 

4. What do we call the money one pays for protection on an insurance policy ? 
a) premium b) dividend c) discount d) commission 

Knowledge of Business Practices and Economic Uses. 

1. For which of the following size packages of breakfast food would you 
expect the price per pound to be lowest? 

a) 12 ounces b) 1% pounds c) 5 pounds 

d) the price per pound is always the same for all sizes 

2. Last year there was a large crop of potatoes and this year there is only 
a small crop. How would you expect the price this year to compare to 
price last year? 

a) the same b) less this year c) more this year 

3. The P.-TA. held a food sale. In order to find the net profit from the 
sale, which of the following do they need to know? (Select all the answers 

a) the total amount of money taken in 

6) the total number of people who bought things 

c) the total cost of the foods 

d) the total number of things given to the P.-T.A. 

4. When eggs sell for 50tf per dozen at the place where they are produced, 
what is likely to be the price in a city 150 miles away? 

a) 484 b) 50tf c) 58tf d) $1.50 

Interpretation of Data Presented Graphically and in Tables. 

1. According to the chart, 
which food changed most 
in price? 

Price of Foods 





Last year 





This year 





a) eggs b) bread c) milk d) roast 

2. If the prices in the chart above are considered a fair sample of the cost 
of living, how does the cost this year compare to the cost last year? 
a) the same b) less c) more d) cannot tell 



3. In social studies we have made a line along which we will arrange dates 
in history. The line begins with the year 1700 and ends at 2000. What 
letter on the line is at the year 1812? 

a) A 6) B c) C d) D 

1700 2000 
1 A | B C ! D | 

A ox j ^ i. t Alberta's Weight 
4. Study the graph of Po , 

Albertfl/S weight, -J-JQ .. , 

During what year 
did she gain most in 1rt/N 




. iuu 

a) 10 to 11 90 


6) 11 to 12 

c) 12 to 13 OQ 


d) 13 to 14 "" Age 10 n 12 13 14 

5. How old was Alberta when she weighed approximately 100 pounds? 
a) 11 yr. 6) nearly 12 c) exactly 12 d) a little more than 12 

Usefulness of Quantity in Many Aspects of Life. 

1. In which of the following tasks of a nurse is arithmetic used? (Select all 
correct answers from the list.) 

a) taking and recording temperatures 
6) bathing a patient 

c) mixing medicines and solutions 

d) making beds 

2. In taking and recording a pulse rate which of the following are used? 
(More than one answer may be correct.) 

a) counting 6) reading Boman numerals c) weighing 
d) making a chart or graph 

3. How many days are included from the tenth of one month to the tenth 
of the following month? 

a) 28 days 6) 30 days c) 31 days 

d) it depends upon which months are used 

Using Number in Normal and Vicarious Experience: Judgments. 

1. Johnny, aged 6, said, "My father makes millions of dollars/' Which state- 
ment below is probably true? 
a) His father is a counterfeiter. 
6) Johnny doesn't know how much a million is. 

c) His father works hi the UB. mint. 

d) Johnny saw his father counting a million dollars. 


2. Julia has a "7-day book" from the library. It has 300 pages. She read 
100 pages the first day. To finish within the 7-day limit she 

a) might continue at the same reading rate. 

b) must read an average of 50 pages per day. 

c) should take the book back immediately. 

d) must read the remainder at the rate of 42% pages per day. 

3. The Carlson family was planning to visit their uncle George. In deciding 
whether to go by bus or by car, which one of the following is least im- 
portant to consider? 

a) Cost of bus fare compared to expense by their own car. 
6) Time schedule of bus. 

c) Number of people in the Carlson family. 

d) Uncle George was president of the bank. 

4. To walk a half mile without dawdling would take about 

a) 2 min. b) 5 min. c) 10 min. d) 20 min. 

5. If you wished to help in building a small table quickly^ how many people 
would you ask to help you? 

a) 1 person 6) 6 people c) 12 people d) 50 people 

6. If you were planning to serve lemonade to a class of 35 children, about 
how much should you provide? 

a) 1 gal. b) 3 gal. c) 8 gal. d) 25 gal. 

Disposition to Extend One's Sensitiveness to the Quantitative. 
Many alert observers have noted how young children are sensitive to 
size, shape, weight, surface, and quantity. Early impressions are com- 
binations of manual and visual avenues of learning. They are ex- 
perimental and tend to imply increasing degrees of organization. An 
experimental procedure seems best adapted for evaluation in this 
realm, especially with young children. Several illustrations follow. 

1. Tracy, aged 5, was given some metal soldiers. He arranged two armies 
of about equal number. Then he was observed trading soldiers from one 
army to the other. His trading involved exchange of two small soldiers 
for one large one. Finally he was ready for battle with almost equal 
strength in each army. He was sensitive to both size and quantity. 

2. Donna, aged 6, opened the drawer of playthings and took out a box of 
blocks and a box of marbles. She did a little experimental building, 
discovered that cylindrical blocks had to stand a certain way, that marbles 
would not stay on top of blocks, and developed a crude sense of "center 
of gravity." After a time she quit building and sorted the blocks by size 
and shape. When she started arranging marbles, she made several ex- 
perimental attempts, based apparently on color and size. She put two 
steel marbles off to one side. The observer, on questioning, learned that 
Donna had considered the factor of weight. 


3. Lawrence', aged 7, came to an observer in his room and said, "Can I ask 
you a question?" He then asked, "How much is six times four?" He 
was given the answer, 24. Later he asked, "How much is four times six?" 
Instead of supplying the answer the observer showed him how to maJce 
four piles of six books and how to get the answer to his question. Inci- 
dentally the meaning of the question was also demonstrated. Lawrence, 
with a little help, developed "six times four" with piles of books. That 
evening, when his mother returned from work, she found Lawrence with 
dominoes on the table. He said to his mother, "We haven't got many 
books; don't touch the dominoes." After dinner he said to his father, 
"Dad, now you ask me 'times anything'; just ask me times anything." 
The father asked several questions and the boy proceeded to arrange 
dominoes and get the right answers. The climax came when Lawrence 
discovered that 6X5 = 5X6 and exclaimed: "Jimminy Jeepers! the 
same 30." 

4. Alice, in grade five, beamed with a discovery. She had been doing long 
division. Impatiently, she told her teacher, "When the remainder is small, 
the next answer number is small, and when the remainder is large the 
next answer number is an eight or a nine." 


Attention has been directed toward two general methods of evalu- 
ating understandings in elementary -school mathematics (1) by use 
of paper-and-pencil exercises and (2) by observation, discussion, and 
interview. Usually it is most fruitful to combine both methods for 
comprehensive evaluation. A thorough knowledge of the nature of 
mathematical learning, particularly of understanding and meaning, 
enables a teacher to determine when one technique of testing is superior 
to another. 

Teachers are counseled to observe and to discuss with their pupils 
the developmental and understanding phases of mathematics. Further- 
more, the well-trained and experienced teacher should give marks or 
scores on these phases of mathematics just as he does on abstract 
computations. Usually it is found that pupils who have not developed 
meanings and understandings as they are learning mathematics do 
not learn to compute well and do not sense the essential mathematics 
in a social or economic situation. 

The measurement of meanings and understandings is beginning to 
creep into research in arithmetic. Of twenty-seven studies examined ? 
eight showed that the author was deliberately trying to measure 
beyond the traditional scope of computations and problem solving. 
New procedures in teaching and evaluation will need to be de- 
veloped as the schools broaden their vision of the function and scope 
of mathematics. 




University of Chicago 

Chicago, Illinois 



Ohio State University 

Columbus, Ohio 


The most authoritative modern statement of the objectives of math- 
ematical instruction at the secondary level is doubtless to be found in 
the Final Report of the Joint Commission of the Mathematical Asso- 
ciation of America and the National Council of Teachers of Mathe- 
matics (8). In this formulation the specific objectives are grouped 
under seven major headings as follows: 

I. The field of number and of computation 

II. The field of geometric form and of space perception 

III. The field of graphic representation 

IV. The field of elementary analysis 

V. The field of logical (or "straight") thinking 
VI. The field of relational thinking 
VII. The field of symbolic representation and thinking 

Within these groups the objectives are further classified in terms 
of several different types of behavior. One of these types is concerned 
with the acquisition of basic concepts and principles, another is con- 
cerned with the development of fundamental skills, and a third in- 
cludes the ability to make application of facts, concepts, and principles 
in practical situations. 

In the present discussion, emphasis is placed on the understanding 
of basic concepts and principles. The objectives and measurement 
techniques relating primarily to fundamental skills and processes fall 



outside the scope of the yearbook. Since the ability to apply is 
closely related to any reasonably satisfactory notion of understanding, 
this ability is discussed from the point of view of evidence of under- 
standing. Certain other types of objectives discussed by the Com- 
mission, such as the development of desirable attitudes, interests, and 
appreciations, are important but cannot be considered here. 

A discussion of an objective as broad as "the understanding of con- 
cepts" usually necessitates some ranking or weighting of the concepts 
themselves. Consider, for example, the concept of ratio and the con- 
cept of proof. It is useless to try to decide which is more "basic" or 
"fundamental." It is, however, easy to recognize that ratio is a rela- 
tively simple notion, while proof involves a number of subconcepts and 
abilities. The report of the Joint Commission met this difficulty by 
selecting for separate treatment in the major fields V, VI, and VII 
certain comprehensive notions and abilities which might have been 
denoted by terms like proof, relation, and symbolism. The discussion 
which follows will also pay special attention to these particular major 
fields or concepts. 

The objective relating to basic concepts of the less complex sort 
will be given first, and six subtypes of behavior which reveal under- 
standing will be listed. This analysis is applicable to concepts from 
any of the seven major fields mentioned above. Objectives which de- 
pend upon the understanding of fundamental principles relating to 
fields V, VI, and VII will next be considered. Statements of the prin- 
ciples themselves will appear later in connection with evaluation tech- 
niques. Third, the objective relating to practical application will be 
explained and discussed briefly. 

Understanding of Basic Concepts 

"A clear understanding of the meaning of the basic terms and the 
ability to recognize their actual occurrences and their bearings in life 
situations. Examples of such concepts are: assumption or postulate, 
proposition, converse, conclusion." 1 Evidence of this understanding 
may be given by: 

a) Associating a word with an example. 
6) Providing an example to illustrate a term. 

c) Developing a formal definition of a basic term. 

d) Indicating, by means of a diagram, an example, or a statement, a 
knowledge of the meaning of a w^prd presented in context. 

1 The wording of the objectives relating to basic concepts and principles by the 
Commission (8: 66-67) varies somewhat from field to field. The quotation is from 
Field V. 


e) Associating a word with a situation in which the figure, relation, 

operation, etc., it represents or symbolizes might be used. 
/) Recognizing the misuse of a word in context-. 2 

Understanding of Fundamental Principles 
In connection with the Field of Logical Thinking: 

"A clear grasp and appreciation of the assumptions and principles 
on which the structure of mathematics rests. This involves considera- 
tions such as the following: 

a) "A knowledge of the principles underlying the manipulative tech- 
niques of mathematics, such as those relating to order, grouping, 
distribution, and the like. 

6) "The realization of the logical implications of related propositions, 
such as those involving a given theorem, its converse, its opposite. 

c) "The realization of the economy resulting from such an organizing 
principle or assumption as that of continuity." 

Such abilities as the following should be gradually developed: 

d) "To recognize and formulate the assumptions underlying an argu- 

e) "To recognize terms that require precise definition. 

/) "To organize statements in a coherent logical sequence." 3 

In connection with the Field of Relational Thinking: 

g) The ability to recognize relationships between variables. 

h) The ability to interpret relationships expressed in symbolic form, 

including representation in the form of tables, graphs, formulas, and 

verbal statements. 4 

In connection with the Field of Symbolic Thinking: 
i) "An appreciation of the economy and the power resulting from the 
correct use of symbolic techniques" (8: 68). 

Understandings Involved in Practical Applications 
"The ability to recognize and use arithmetical facts, concepts, and 
principles in everyday life situations" (8: 62). 

* The first three of these six subtypes of behavior are explicitly mentioned by 
the Commission (8: 62-68). The last three types of behavior usually involve 
more complete understanding than do the first three (5). 

* Following this, the Commission (8: 67) listed three additional abilities not 
entirely distinct from the first three. They are omitted here because of limitation 
of space. For discussion and illustrative measurement devices, consult (3, 7, 9). 

* Objectives (g} and (h) are typical of statements found in various sources 
(4 8* 10). 


The report of the Joint Commission mentions practical application 
in connection with each field, but does not elaborate. The quoted 
statement was made in connection with the field of number and of 
computation, and there is emphasis of the same sort in connection with 
the fields of logical and relational thinking. The ability to make appli- 
cations may or may not involve much understanding of fundamental 
principles or basic concepts. For example, some people learn to use a 
slide rule (or other computing devices) with little or no understanding 
of why it produces results. They only know how to use it and that 
"it works." If, however, in making the application there is evidence 
that the appropriate concepts, principles, and related subabilities are 
consciously associated with the situation, the successful application 
provides a highly desirable form of evidence of the understanding. 
Therefore, in the measurement of the ability to apply, the understand- 
ing of principles and concepts may be inferred when the technique 
insures the association or provides supplementary evidence showing 
that the appropriate concepts and principles are related to the opera- 
tion, conclusion, or solution which resolved the problem. 

It should be obvious that the illustrative evaluation devices which 
follow can only serve to help show that evaluation of understanding 
calls for something in addition to the usual testing techniques. The 
evaluation need not be elaborate and formal, but it should stem from 
a careful analysis of what is wanted. Although it should be as direct 
and simple as possible, it must dig into essential elements. 


In the following pages a variety of techniques for obtaining evi- 
dence of understanding are suggested and, in some cases, briefly dis- 
cussed. The examples are paired with the objectives listed above, and 
for easy, reference the same numbering is used here. 

Understanding of Basic Concepts 

a) Association of a word with an example of the class that the word 
denotes. The familiar "multiple-choice" or "completion" testing tech- 
niques, in which a group of geometric figures or algebraic expressions 
is given and the pupil is asked to identify a particular one by name, 
are well suited to the measurement of this behavior (5) . 
Example: Which of the following figures is a parallelogram? 

(1) (2) 


Example: Which of the following expressions is a binomial? 

a + b 


(1) p-3q; (2) 


(4) x 2 + 2xy + y 2 

6) Providing an example to illustrate a term. The direct technique 
of giving a list of terms and asking the student to give examples is 
obviously suitable. 

c) Developing a formal definition of a term. 5 No easily applicable 
testing technique is suitable for this objective. Evidence of achieve- 
ment may be secured by repeatedly observing and recording the per- 
formance of individuals during discussions of new concepts. Or, more 
formally, the teacher may approach the new concept by a relatively 
strict adherence to the inductive method, discouraging oral generaliza- 
tions or definitions, but encouraging comparisons between examples 
as well as the formulation and revision of written definitions by each 
member of the group as the presentation proceeds. The written defi- 
nitions may then be collected and evaluated later. 

Example: Present (on the blackboard or on paper by duplicating machine) 
several figures illustrating adjacent angles in different positions. 

9 B 


P A 

( i ) In each figure, angles APB and BPC are called adjacent angles. Write a 
definition which will apply to all of these figures. 

(ii) Does your definition also apply to angles APB and CPD in the figures 




f " C A 

If it does, it is not good, for usually ZAPS and ZCPD are not called 
adjacent angles. Revise your definition so that it does not apply to these 

8 It is important to recognize that this behavior is not the same as giving, 
or recalling, a previously learned definition. 


(iii) Does your definition also apply to angles APE and BCD below? To 
angles APE and RQB1 



R Q P A 

P A 

If it does, it is not good, for usually these are not called adjacent angles. 

Change your definition so that it does not apply to these two figures. 
Now read your definition again and make sure it covers the first four of 
these figures and does not cover the last four. 

d) Indicating by means of a diagram, an example, or a statement } 
a knowledge of the meaning of a word presented in context. 
Example: In the paragraphs of the test certain words are underlined. These 
same words appear in the same order on your answer sheet. First, read the 
paragraphs. Next, write on your answer sheet the meaning of each word as 
it is used in the reading materials. You may draw a diagram, give an example, 
describe a situation, or write a sentence in order to show the meaning which 
you give the word. Give the meaning which the word has for you in the 
sentence in which it appears. 

"John wished to make a scale drawing of the airplane which he was study- 
ing. The length of the wing spread was 77 feet. He found it necessary to 
represent this by 11 inches on his drawing. From this he figured the ratio of 
the length in the airplane to length in the drawing. Part of the work of making 
the drawing required a knowledge, of how to reduce a fraction." 6 (A separate 
answer sheet, containing a list of the underlined terms and spaces for the 
responses, may be provided.) 

e) Associating a word with a situation in which the figure, relation^ 
operation, etc., it represents might be used. 

Example: Which of the following sentences describes a situation in which the 
word "quadratic" would be used? 

(1) The second term in the equation contained the unknown. 

(2) The equation which was necessary used the second power of the unknown, 
but higher powers were not needed. 

(3) Tom found that the use of an equation gave him greater power. 

(4) The fifth exercise was the most difficult equation in the whole list. 

(5) In none of these situations would "quadratic" be used. 7 

* Thomas Hastings, "The Evaluation of Techniques for Testing Mathematical 
Concepts," Form D. Unpublished master's thesis, Department of Education, Uni- 
versity of Chicago, 1940. 

T These directions and test items are adapted from those used by Hastings, 
Op. cti* f Form E, p. 1. His complete test covered thirty-five terms, and rather 
than, repeat the question and sentences each time, he included them in his gen- 
eral directions to the student. 


/) Recognizing the misuse of a word in context. Each of the fol- 
lowing selections is about some mathematical situation. The activities 
described and the numbers used are correct, but in some cases the 
wrong term (mathematical word) is used. You are to read the selec- 
tions and underline the terms which you believe have been used in- 

Illustration: In a problem which John was working it was necessary to add 
618, 431, and 215. He added them and found their product was 1164. He 
checked by adding them over. (The word product was underlined in this 
selection. When numbers are added, their sum, not their product, is found. 
Product was used incorrectly.) 

Example: In making arrangements to redecorate his home, Mr. Gray found 
that he needed to use some mathematics. The ratio between the height, 12 ft., 
and the width, 10 ft., of a certain room was 2 ft. It was also necessary to find 
the area of the air in the room for purposes of heating. To solve the problem 
of lighting the room, Mr. Gray had to determine certain angles formed by 
lines drawn from various points in the room to the center of each window. 

Example: In the equation 2xy = 32, the exponent, x, represents velocity, and 
y represents time. The root of the equation is the time-rate-distance formula, 
d ~ vt* 

An informal modification of the preceding technique may be used 
to good effect. At the beginning of certain new units (e.g., in informal 
geometry) prepare with the students a list of mathematical terms which 
they think will be involved. Encourage them to write sentences, para- 
graphs, short essays, playlets, poems, or cartoons in which some of 
the terms are used in context. It will ordinarily be found that a con- 
siderable number of the terms are used incorrectly. This fact should 
be deliberately overlooked until the end of the unit, at which time 
selections from the students 7 products can be duplicated and the tech- 
nique described above employed. Discussion of the results with the 
class can bring out the growth in understanding of the mathematical 
meaning which has resulted from the unit. 

Understanding of Fundamental Principles 
For the Field of Logical Thinking: 

a) Principles underlying the manipulative techniques of mathe- 

First, in preparing test items, try to modify the conventional forms 
of presenting exercise material so that rote learning is less likely to 
provide successful responses and that more thorough understanding of 
principles is rewarded (6) . 

1 Hastings, op cii., Form F, p. 1. 




Conventional : 


( i ) The fractions and 
x 2x 


(n) Solve for x: Bx + 2 = 536. 
(in) In A ABC, DE // AC, and 

How large 


D B 

combined by addition into a 
single fraction expressed in low- 
est terms. What is the numer- 
ator of this fraction? 

( ii ) For what value of e does 36 + 2 
represent 536? 

(iii) In a A ABC 9 L C = 35; point 
D moves along AB but DE re- 
mains parallel to AC. Then 

(1) keeps getting smaller. 

(2) keeps getting larger. 

(3) remains the same size. 

(4) is larger or smaller than 35, 
depending upon where D is. 

Although somewhat dependent upon verbal abilities, the device of 
asking students to state the situation in their own words provides evi- 
dence of understanding. They should, for example, be able to state 
the question which corresponds to the equation Zx + 2 = 536 in some 
such form as follows: "What number, if it is multiplied by 3 and 
the result is increased by 2, gives 536?" Also, in example (iii) above, 
a student may be expected to say "ABC represents any triangle which 
has L C = 35. DE represents a line parallel to AC. Then no matter 
where D is on AB, LDEB = LACB." 

Second, require an explicit indication of the association of principles 
with operations, and assign scoring values so that each principle cor- 
rectly associated increases the score. 9 In the case of operations with 
equations, the association may be indicated by the student through 
the use of standard symbols adopted by the text or the class (e.g., M 2 
for "multiplying both sides by 2"). However, this practice compli- 
cates scoring, since some students may use different methods and more 
steps than others. Moreover, in the case of many types of work other 
than equations, standard symbols are seldom used. Consequently, a 
slightly more formal method such as the following is recommended. 

Example: In solving a problem a student substituted _7_ for 21o Which of 
the following rules applies to this situation? 8 24a 

* This is a form of application, but it is at a theoretical rather than practical 


A. If both numerator and denominator of a fraction are multiplied by the 
same number (not zero), the resulting fraction is equal to the original 

B. If both the numerator and denominator of a fraction are divided by the 
same number (not zero), the resulting fraction is equal to the original 

C. If the same number is added to both numerator and denominator of a 
fraction, the resulting fraction is not equal to the original. 

D. If the same number is subtracted from both numerator and denominator 
of a fraction, the resulting fraction is not equal to the original. 

If many exercises or items of similar type are to be given, the 
principles- or rules need not be repeated with each exercise. They can 
be drawn together into a single list to which the student refers in con- 
nection with each problem. 

Example: In the first column below is a list of algebraic expressions. Op- 
posite each and in the second column is a new expression obtained from the 
original. (Pay no attention now to the column headed Rule.) 

If the new expression is always equal to the original, put a check mark 
(\/) in the third column. If the new expression is not always equal to the 
original, put a zero (0) in the third column. 

Now fill hi the column headed Ride. 

Below is a list of rules or principles used in algebra. Put, in the 
parenthesis of the fourth column, the letter of the rule (A, B, etc.) which 
applies to each problem. If none of the rules seems to apply, leave the 
parenthesis blank. 

List of Rules. (Here would appear statements of principles of the type 
illustrated by statements A, B, C, and D, in the previous example.) 

Put check (V) 
Original ' New or (0) here: Rule 

(D | V (B) 

(2) +J| ' (C) 

(3) - 

(4) V (A) 

(6 ) *" + *" V (B) 

nr + m n 



In a complete test many more exercises of this sort may be given. 
It should be noted that in addition to indicating the principle used, 
the student is here asked to decide whether the old and new forms are 

This basic technique may be modified in various ways. For ex- 
ample, the third column (and the corresponding directions) may be 
omitted. Other rules or principles may be used, either in a new group 
or as additions to this list. The principles selected can be duplicated 
on a separate sheet of paper. This plan simplifies the appearance of 
the test, is more convenient, and permits the same sheet to be used 
with other tests. When employed with equations, a separate line should 
be used for each step of the solution shown. For the purpose of evalu- 
ating understanding it is not necessary that the complete solution be 
shown. One or two steps may be sufficient. As an additional modifi- 
cation, the student can be asked to indicate in another column the 
multiplier, divisor, etc., which has been used (e.g., in the first exer- 
cise in the preceding example the divisor used is 3a.) 

b) Realization of the logical implications of related propositions, 
such as those involving a given theorem, its converse, its opposite. 
List a number of simple propositions (i.e., only one hypothesis and 
one conclusion) and ask students to state the converse and the inverse 
for each. Provide spaces in which they can record their judgment of 
the truth or falsity of the various propositions. Study the pattern of 
responses, since the converse and the inverse are either both true or 
both false. (Illustration is here completed; only the propositions would 
be given.) 





Proposition: All plephftnts aTfi Jft^gs animate, , T - - , 


nwDersfi ' All laTgf 51 fttiTTn^ls are filfiphiVltS- 


Inverse: All ^piTnals that are not elephants are not large. . 


Proposition: All triangles which have two equal sides have 
two equal angles 


Converse: All triangles which have two equal angles have 
two equal sides 


Inverse: All triangles which have no two sides equal have 
no two ansdes ecnial 


c) Realization of the economy resulting from organizing principles. 
E.g., "In introducing new numbers to the system, the rules for using 


them are so chosen as to involve a minimum of modification or change 
in the existing set of rules." 

Illustration. In algebra it is usually agreed that "the product of two nega- 
tive numbers is a positive number, or ( a) ( b) = + ab" This agree- 
ment is: (check one) 

(1) absolutely necessary and also desirable. 

V (2) not necessary but desirable in order to be able to use, with signed 

numbers, most of the same rules as in ordinary arithmetic. 
(3) not necessary and not desirable because it makes algebra more 

(4) absolutely necessary but not desirable. 

Illustration. In algebra it is usually agreed that a = 1. This agreement is: 
(check one) 

(1) absolutely necessary and also desirable. 

(2) not necessary and not desirable; it would be more sensible to 

agree that a = 0, 

V (3) not necessary but desirable in using the rules for exponents. 
(4) absolutely necessary but not desirable because it is confusing. 

d) To recognize and formulate the assumptions underlying an 
argument. An associated principle may be stated as follows: If a con- 
clusion follows logically from certain assumptions, then one must ac- 
cept the conclusion or reject the assumptions. 

In blackboard work students are usually expected to discover er- 
rors in the work of others. Such incorrect responses are, however sel- 
dom used by teachers as material for a more formal evaluation, pos- 
sibly because a written test is time-consuming to construct and is also 
space-consuming. However, if student papers which contain typical 
errors (as in the example below) are duplicated, a very discriminating 
testing device becomes available. 

Example. This is the way one student gave the statements of a proof for 
an exercise in geometry. 

Given data: In circle P, AB 
and CD are chords. AB//CD. 
Conclusion: AB = CD. 



1. Draw radii PA, PB, PC, PD. 

2. PA = PB = PC = PD. 

3. LAPB = ZCPD. 

4. /. A AP ^ A CPZX 

5. /. AS = CD. 

Do you accept the proof given in the above problem? 

State below any assumptions made in the proof which you do not accept. 

In a complete test some acceptable proofs should be mixed with 
unacceptable ones. The responses of the students do not need to be 
put on the same paper as the problems. A separate answer sheet may 
be provided, or students may use their own writing paper. In this way 
the same set of problems may be re-used with different sections or 
from year to year, and the device thus made quite practicable. 

e) To recognize terms that require precise definition. Associated 
principles may be stated as follows : Crucial words and phrases must 
be precisely defined. A change in a definition may result in a change 
in the conclusion although the argument from each definition is logical. 
In situations in which precise definition is important, two or more con- 
flicting interpretations may be set up and presented to the student 
as in the examples below. 


Triangle ABC is isosceles, 
with AB = AC. 

A B 

Student X said: "ZA = ZB, because the base angles of an isosceles triangle 
are equal." Student Y said: "ZB = Z C, for the same reason." Student Z 
said: "Therefore, all three angles are equal, and the triangle should be 

Was the statement of Student X correct? Yes ; No ; Uncertara___, 

Was the statement of Student Y correct? Yes ; No ; Uncertain 

Was the statement of Student Z correct? Yes ; No ; Uncertain 

If you t.hinV one or more of the statements is not correct, or if you are 
vncert can, state below what the trouble seems to be. 10 

10 In some cotirses the term tc b&se angle" as used by Student X, and similar 
difficulties, would be avoided. In the objective under consideration, however, the 
aim is to help the student recognize such possible sources of ambiguity when 
they are encountered for example, in later courses, the shop, or the laboratory. 



Looking at this figure, Student 
X said: "The tangent from B is 
BC." Student Y said: "The tan- 
gent is 1 -T- BC." Student Z 
said: "The tangent is BC -r- 1." 

Was the statement of Student X correct? Yes ; No ; Uncer 

Was the statement of Student Y correct? Yes ; No ; Uncertain 

Was the statement of Student Z correct? Yes ; No ; Uncertain 

If you think one or more of the statements is not correct, or if you are 
uncertain, state below what the trouble seems to be. 

/) To organize statements in a coherent logical sequence. An asso- 
ciated principle may be stated as follows: A logical demonstration 
usually involves a chain of syllogisms. 

The device of presenting the numbered statements of a proof in 
jumbled order and asking the students to organize them logically is 
sometimes used to measure achievement of this ability. The technique 
is complicated by the fact that several different orders or arrange- 
ments may be equally logical. Also, it may not provide a valid meas- 
ure of the understanding that a formal logical demonstration (as in 
geometry) involves a chain of syllogisms. This understanding may 
be measured fay adopting a scheme of notation which enables the stu- 
dents to identify elements in the proof. For example, P x for major 
premise 1, p x for minor premise 1; C x for conclusion 1; P 2 for major 
premise 2, etc. The statements and the reasons of the proof should be 
numbered, and these symbols placed in columns beside the numbers. 
The pattern of the responses must be studied. To avoid this and other 
difficulties in scoring arising from different methods of attack, some 
proofs may be duplicated and the students directed to mark in ac- 
cordance with the scheme suggested, The remarks on practicality made 
in connection with (d) also apply here. 

For the Field of Relational Thinking: 

There is an extensive body of material now available on "func- 
tional thinking," including several published tests. It is not possible 
to give here an analysis of the numerous subconcepts and understand- 
ings involved (4, 7, 10) or to exhibit more than a few examples. For 


purposes of illustration, suggestions will be given which involve ability 
to recognize and to interpret relationships. 

g) The ability to recognize relationships. First, problem situations 
may be presented and the students asked to list factors on which the 
result depends. 

Example: Bill has decided to ride his bicycle from his home to his grand- 
mother's house in a nearby town. How long will it take him? List the things 
you need to know in order to answer this question. 

Second, true or false statements of relationships may be formu- 
lated and presented in one of the usual forms. 

Illustration. The longer you travel at a constant rate, the greater the 
distance that will be covered (T) 

If an order is placed for "two kinds of candy which are to total 24 
pounds," the clerk will know how many pounds of each kind to send (F) 

The area of a regular polygon can be found if the perimeter and 
number of sides is given. (T) 

Third, either insufficient data or unneeded data may be systemat- 
ically presented in problem situations, and papers scored on the ability 
of students to state what is needed or not needed. 11 

Example: In each of the following statements either too little information 
is given to justify the conclusion, or more than is needed is given. Rewrite 
each statement so that the information given is just enough to justify the 
conclusion. 12 

(1) If the angles of a triangle are in the ratio 1:2:3 and one of the angles 
is 30 more than another, the number of degrees in each angle can be 

(2) If the first term and the number of terms of an arithmetic progression 
are known, then the sum of the terms of the progression can be de- 

(3) If two circular disks of metal, each 1 inch in diameter and tt i&eh 
thick, are melted and made into a single circular disk of the same thick- 
ness, the ratio of the diameter of the new piece to the diameter of the 
original disks is ^/2: 1. 

11 Exercises of this kind may now be found in teaching materials, but the 
ability is seldom tested. 

11 These directions and the statements following them are taken, with slight 
adaptations, from recent New York Regents* examinations. It may be noted 
that, strictly speaking, the student should add phrases to make explicit certain 
implicit relationships (e.g., the sum of the angles of any triangle is 180 ), as well 
as delete or add certain other items of data. This type of response does not seem 
to be expected, and the students' recognition of the role of the relationships must 
be inferred. 


h) The ability to interpret relationships. Among the principles 
involved in the interpretation of relationships are the following: 

Between any two given numbers there are many relations. For 
example, given the pair 24 and 3, among the relations are the follow- 
ing: 3 is less than 24, or 24 is 8 times 3, or 24 is 21 more than 3. Often 
there is more than one pair of numbers connected with a problem, and 
the relationship between the numbers is the same (constant) for all 
of the pairs, e.g., proportion (4:41). The following example illustrates 
a form of interpretation exercise which has been used successfully with 
tables, graphs, and other presentations which involve several items 
of data and exhibit trends (9). 

Example. The students in a health class were studying the 
number of hours of sleep needed by boys and girls. One 
student brought in the table at the right showing the num- 
ber of hours of sleep needed at several different ages. The 
students noticed some definite relationships between pairs 
of numbers. Directions: Study the table and the state- 
ments below. Suppose the facts stated in the table are 
true. If you agree with a statement which follows, put A 
on the line by the statement. If you disagree with a state- 
ment, put D on the line. If you can neither agree nor dis- 
agree, but are uncertain, put U on the line by the state- 








No. of 






. (1) As the age increases from 6 to 16, the number of hours of sleep 

needed decreases. 

(2) The number of hours of sleep needed at any age is greater than 

the age. 

(3) In this table the ratio of the number of hours of sleep to the 

age is constant. 

(4) A four-year-old should have 15 hours of sleep. 

(5) A twelve-year-old only needs about half as much sleep as a six- 

(6) From age 6 to age 16, for every 2 years that your age increases 

you need one hour less sleep. 

(7) A person 30 years old needs very few hours of sleep, 

(8) If the number of hours of sleep needed is subtracted from 17, 

the result is half the age. 

(9) A person 15 years old should have about 9% hours of sleep. 

(10) If the number of hours of sleep needed is subtracted from 17, 

the ratio of the result to the age is constant for all ages in the 


Another principle useful in interpreting relationships may be stated 
as follows: When a number of computations follow a similar pattern , 


the work can often be greatly simplified by use of relationships which 
exist between the results. 

Example. Joe's class was studying pyramids and decided to compare the 
volumes of three different pyramids, as shown in the table below. All three 
have the same height, 15 in., and the base edges of all of them are the same 
length, 10 in. 

Base of Pyramid 

Fonnnla for Area > 
of Base [ 


Volume : 


(1) Square 

B = 2 ! 


(2) Equilateral triangle 

B = .433 S 2 i 


(3) Kegular pentagon 

B - 1.720 S 2 | 


You are to compute the volume of each pyramid. 

(1) The volume of the triangular pyramid is approximately what per cent 
of the volume of the square pyramid? 

(2) It is easy to get the answer to question 1 without pencil and paper. Ex- 
plain how. 

(3) The volume of the pentagonal pyramid is approximately what per cent 
of the volume of the square pyramid? 

(4) The answer to question 3 is also easy to get without pencil and paper. 
Explain how. 

(5) The volume of all three pyramids may be found by only five multipli- 
cations (or by four multiplications and one very easy division) . Explain 
how this can be done. 

(6) Another set of three pyramids like these has the same bases, but the height 
of each is only 3 inches. If the correct answers are already in the table 
above, what is the easiest way to find the volumes of this new set of 

For the Field of Symbolic Thinking: 

i) Increasing appreciation oj the economy and the power resulting 
from the correct use of symbolic techniqites 

Example. Which three of the following are the best reasons for using letter 
symbols like x 3 y, a f and 6 ? to represent numbers in algebra? 

(1) They make it possible to indicate relations or operations with unknown 

(2) They make it possible to solve problems that could not be done by 
arithmetic alone. 

M Tnis objective is included under "principles" because an analysis of the 
meaning of the term appreciation as used in this context indicates that certain 
or "principles** are basic to tlie desired "-appj-edation-" 


(3) They make it possible to discover other number relationships in a 
problem by using those that can be recognized easily. 

(4) They are needed because negative numbers are used in algebra. 

(5) One letter may be used to represent or stand for many different numbers. 

It seems, however, that rather than seek always to measure the 
associated understandings by short-answer techniques, the teacher 
would^be better advised to: (a) be on the alert for problem situations 
in which ^ the understandings are useful; (6) analyze very carefully 
the way in which the understandings are related to the problem; (c) 
formulate one or more direct questions which seek to bring out the 
understanding. The teacher should ask for the usual solution of the 
problem, and, in addition, for answers to the questions he has formu- 
lated.^ A slight modification of this method, and a set of illustrative 
questions, is given below. 

Example. In solving a problem hi science, Bill had to multiply two numbers. 
He wrote them in "standard form" as follows: 

a = 2.18 X 10*; 6 = 4.09 X 10*; 
ab = 2.18 X 10* X 4.09 X 10* = 8.92 X 10* 

(1) If there were no knowledge of exponents, how would these numbers be 
written? Write them here in that way. 

a = ; b = ; Product = 

(2) What advantages are there in writing numbers as was done in the solu- 
tion above? 

(3) Does the "standard form" method save any work in the process of 
multiplication? If so, how? 

Understandings Involved in Practical Applications 
The examples which follow were selected to show that the measure- 
ment of application can rise above the level of formal textbook exer- 

At the close of a unit of work, use an assignment of the following 
type. (1) The pupils should make a list of the principles which have 
been studied; (2) each pupil should select three (or some other con- 
venient number) of the principles and find a good practical applica- 
tion of each; this application should be different from any given in 
his textbook. See that materials in the form of other textbooks and 
references (e.g., books on aeronautics) are available in the school 
library or in a classroom library. These applications are to be ex- 
plained in writing. In addition, each student may give an oral presenta- 
tion to the class of one of his applications. Class and teacher should 


evaluate the presentation in terms of clarity, understanding of the 
principle shown, interest of the application selected, use of charts, 
drawings, pictures, to make the explanation clear, etc. 

Encourage the students to bring in pictures or clippings from news- 
papers and magazines which illustrate the application of mathematical 
principles. Such materials are commonly used for bulletin board dis- 
plays and motivation. They are increasingly common in textbooks. 
If one or more pictures or clippings illustrating the application of a 
mathematical principle are available, and have not been previously 
discussed by the pupils, they may be used for evaluation. Post them, 
or have them passed around, and direct the students in turn to examine 
them and then write a sentence or two which indicates the main mathe- 
matical principle illustrated. If an opaque projector is available, pic- 
tures or clippings may be thrown on a screen and viewed by the entire 
class simultaneously. The clippings should, of course, be filed for 
future use and a collection thus built up. 


1. BBESLICH, E. R. The Technique oj Teaching Secondary-School Mathematics, 
pp. 147-83. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1930. 

2. BUTLEB, C. H., AND WEEN, F. L. The Teaching of Secondary Mathematics, 
pp. 174-96. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc., 1941. 

3. FAWCETT, H. P. The Nature of Proof. Thirteenth Yearbook of the National 
Council of Teachers of Mathematics. New York: Bureau of Publications, 
Teachers College, Columbia University, 1939. 

4. HAMLET, H. R. Relational and Functional Thinking in Mathematics. Ninth 
Yearbook of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. New York: 
Bureau of Publications, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1934, 

5. HASTINGS, J. T. "Testing Junior High School Mathematics Concepts," School 
Review, XLIX (December, 1941), 766-76. 

6. HAWKES, H. E.; LESTDQUIST, E. F.; AND MANN, C. R. The Construction and 
Use of Achievement Examinations. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1936. 

7. Mathematics in General Education, pp. 338-82. Report of the Committee 
on the Function of Mathematics in General Education for the Commission 
on Secondary School Curriculum. New York: D. Appleton-Century Co., 

8. The Place of Mathematics in Secondary Education. Final Report of the 
Joint Commission of the Mathematical Association of America and the 
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. New York: Bureau of Pub- 
lications, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1940. 

9. SMITH, E. R., AND TTLEB, R. W. Appraising and Recording Student Progress, 
pp. 35-156. New York: Harper & Bros., 1942. 

10. The Teaching oj Algebra. Seventh Yearbook of the National Council of 
Teachers of Mathematics. New York: Bureau of Publications, Teachers 
College, Columbia University, 1932. 



HARRY A. GREENE, Chairman 

State University of Iowa 

Iowa City, Iowa 


University of Chicago 

Chicago, Illinois 

The language arts as a field of instruction may be considered as 
comprising two main areas of communication skills: (1) the expres- 
sional skills, involved in writing and speaking, and (2) the receptive 
skills, involved in reading and listening. Each presents somewhat dif- 
ferent problems in the analysis and appraisal of meanings. The objec- 
tives of the language arts outlined in this chapter are grouped, there- 
fore, under these two headings. 

All language- arts objectives and outcomes are stated in terms of 
the student's relative growth. At an elementary stage of the develop- 
ment of a specific skill or ability, the teaching may include only one 
objective, or even be limited to a very simple phase of a single objec- 
tive. At later stages, other objectives are added until at the more 
advanced levels there may be a complex series of interrelated objec- 
tives. Furthermore, a given objective will acquire increasingly complex 
meanings and higher standards of expectancy at progressive stages in 
the development of the skills. 

The question of whether or not the specific language objectives and 
skills actually involve meaning and understanding depends upon how 
they are attained. In this discussion it is assumed that the phases of 
method that develop meaning in the study of the communication skills 
are (1) the utilization of real and lifelike situations within the pos- 
sible experience of the learner which call for communication, (2) the 
creation in the individual of a feeling of the importance of communi- 
cation in these situations, and (3) the presentation of instruction 
organized around both of these phases of the real situation. 

The organization of this chapter follows the natural two-fold divi- 



sion of the subject. First, there is a statement of the objectives of 
written and oral expression, followed immediately by selected examples 
and suggestions of appraisal methods and evaluative techniques paral- 
leling these objectives and their related skills. These examples of 
evaluative procedures vary in form from subjective estimates and 
opinions to testing devices of high objectivity. Second, the objectives 
and the evaluative procedures in the fields of reading and listening are 
presented in a similar manner. 


The primary purpose of instruction in language expression is to 
equip individuals with the power to use language effectively as a tool 
of communication in all of the customary situations of life which de- 
mand expression. The closer instruction can come to creating lifelike 
situations in which expression is required, the more meaningful such 
instruction will be. Consequently, in this discussion, the objectives of 
language teaching are grouped in terms of expressional needs in the 
belief that instruction and evaluation will, therefore, be built around 
needs rather than around isolated skills and abilities. Thus, in this 
outline the functional objectives (life needs) of language expression 
are stated first. Then each general objective is broken down to show 
the special skills, abilities, and knowledge by which that objective is 
attained. It is largely in terms of these specific skills and abilities that 
appraisal of the end products is possible. 

The three main divisions of this section present (A) the functional 
objectives of oral expression and the enabling objectives or skills and 
abilities that are related primarily thereto, (B) the functional objec- 
tives of written expression and the enabling objectives that are iden- 
tified primarily therewith, and (C) those general and underlying skills 
and understandings that (1) are present in all oral expression, (2) are 
involved in all written expression, or (3) are essential to both oral and 
written expression. The social importance of oral language justifies 
the presentation of its list of life needs before introducing the objec- 
tives of written language. The third division of section (C) is con- 
cerned with certain of the broader, more general elements of expres- 
sion, often difficult of evaluation but none the less basic to effective 
expression. Appraisal of certain of these general objectives is natur- 
ally much more difficult than in the case of many of the more specific 
skills and abilities which are related to the objectives of oral and 
written expression. 

1 Prepared by Hairy A. Greene, State Uhrrersity of Iowa, witk helpful 
tkms from Kobert C. Pooley, UaiYeraity of Wisconsin. 


Illustrative appraisal and evaluative techniques are presented in 
this chapter in connection with the outline of expressional objectives. 
In many instances the suggested procedures are quite general and often 
almost entirely subjective. This is particularly true in the case of the 
appraisal of many of the general knowledge objectives and skills that 
underlie all types of expression. For the most part the final appraisal 
of expression involves some method of evaluation of the total product, 
as well as of the skills and abilities which are related to the stated 

Objectives and Evaluative Procedures in Language Expression 
A. Functional Objectives (Life Needs) of Oral Expression. 

1. To greet others easily and courteously in social situations. 

Evidence of adequate social adjustment is best shown by the ease 
and courtesy of the individual in meeting others in all types of social 
situations. Appropriate criteria of evaluation are: 

a) Does he sense the relation of existing conditions to the suitability of 
the greeting? 

b) When strangers meet is he sensitive to the need for and the proper 
form of introductions? 

c) When entering or leaving a social group can he do so without unduly 
interrupting the conversation? 

2. To use the telephone courteously and efficiently. 

Courteous and efficient use of the telephone involves a mastery of 
many mechanical skills, speech skills, and good manners. The follow- 
ing are examples of evaluative devices. 

a) Demonstration check on placing a telephone call. Send a pupil to 
the telephone instrument at front of classroom. Have members of 
the class mark him plus or minus on the following points: 

(1) Lifts and holds instrument properly 

(2) Gives number to operator clearly 

(3) Dials a number, or explains how to dial a number on a dial 

(4) Operates, or explains how to operate, a coin-box telephone 

(5) Speaks directly to mouthpiece 

(6) Asks clearly for the person he wants 

(7) Identifies himself after being connected with the person called 

(8) Concludes his call courteously 

6) Check test on good form in answering the telephone. 

(1) When answering a ringing telephone, which of these actions are 
to be preferred? 

(a) Lift the receiver and wait for the person to speak. 
(6) Say, "Hello." 
(c) Say, "Hello, this is Bill Smith." 


(d) Say, 'The Smiths 7 house, Bill speaking." 

(e) Say, "Guess who this is." 

(2) When asked to call someone else to the phone, which answers 
are preferred? 

(a) "Just a minute please, I 7 !! call her." 
(6) Make no answer, but call, "Hey, Mom, you're wanted on 
the phone." ' 

(c) "Who is this please? Yes, Mrs. Smith, 111 call her." 

(d) "111 get Mr. Brown for you. Hold the line, please." 

3. To tell a story or personal experience effectively and interestingly. 

The success of an oral story rests upon the audience appeal of the 
incident, the selection and arrangement of details, and the animation 
of the narrator. The following criteria may be used for evaluating 
pupils' presentations. 
a) Standards for selecting a good topic for an oral story: 

(1) Was the incident unusual, startling, or very amusing? 

(2) Did you see it, or take part in it yourself? 

(3) Can you make the characters of your story speak for them- 

(4) Does the story end well a surprise, or a satisfactory outcome? 

6) Points for arranging the details of a story: 

(1) When, where, and under what circumstances did the incident 
take place? 

(2) Who are the characters? Does each one have a distinctive 

(3) What fact or happening started the incident? 

(4) What facts complicated the incident? 

(5) What did the incident lead to? 

c) Standards for judging an effective story teller: 

(1) He looks directly at the audience. 

(2) He speaks clearly and not too rapidly. 

(3) He avoids "and-uh" and other sounds between sentences. 

(4) He uses descriptive words. 

(5) His face reflects his thoughts. 

(6) He uses appropriate gestures. 

(7) He is relaxed and at ease. 

4. To report information gained by observation, interview, or reading. 

A check list may be used for evaluating an oral report. For example, 
the teacher or class may be asked to place a plus or minus sign after 
each point in the following outline to indicate the success or deficiencies 
of the pupil's report, 
o) Title: Descriptive ( ); specific { ); interest-provoking ( ); 

accurate for content of report ( ). 


b) Plan: Opening sentences reveal plan of report ( ); divisions of 
report are clearly indicated ( ) ; transition from one step or part 
to the next is shown ( ) ; a definite conclusion is reached ( ) ; 
the plan is appropriate to the material ( ) . 

c) Facts and Sources: Sources of information are named ( ); quo- 
tations are clearly cited to their sources ( ) ; facts are presented 
clearly, with figures, diagrams, etc. ( ) ; facts are reported accu- 
rately ( ). 

d} Delivery: Speaker addresses audience ( ); material is presented 
convincingly ( ) ; speaker is relaxed and at ease ( ) . 

5. To give clear directions, explanations, or announcements. 

This objective may be evaluated hi terms of the ability to collect 
essential information and to present it hi orderly, condensed form. 

a) Have pupils prepare to give oral directions to a stranger to reach 
the nearest railway station, or other significant point, from their 
homes. Check the directions for these qualities: 

(1) Is the presentation clear? 

(2) Is all of the information given in correct order? 

(3) Is all the needed information given? 

(4) Are the directions given without hesitation, interruptions, or 

b) Have pupils prepare announcements suitable for a school assembly. 
Check the announcements for these qualities: 

(1) Does the opening statement arouse interest? 

(2) Are the facts clearly presented? 

(3) Are all essential facts given? 

(4) Is the announcement made briefly and with enthusiasm? 

6. To participate hi conversation, group discussion, and meetings. 

Appraisal procedures involve consideration of attitudes as well as 
a) Standards for checking participant hi a conversation, meeting, or 

panel discussion: 

(1) Willingness to listen while others speak. 

(2) Courtesy hi interrupting or correcting a speaker. 

(3) Conciseness in presenting his own views. 

(4) Willingness to yield the floor, or give way in conversation, when 
it is appropriate to do so. 

(5) Willingness to accept and weigh opinions contrary to his own. 

(6) Sensitivity to the right of all in a group to participate freely 
and equally. 

6) Check list of parliamentary procedures for teacher or class: 

(1) To address the chair correctly. 

(2) To nominate a person to office. 

(3) To close nominations. 


(4) To second a motion which has been made. 

(5) To make an original motion. 

(6) To move to adjourn. 

To these fundamentals may be added: 

(7) To amend a motion. 

(8) To refer a motion to a committee, to postpone, or to lay on 
the table. 

(9) To rise to point of order, or to ask special privilege. 

7. To take part in a dramatic production. 

Pupil achievement may be evaluated on the following bases: 

a) To project the character of a play to the audience, the pupil must: 

(1) Understand the character he is presenting. 

(2) Enter imaginatively into the life of the fictitious character. 

(3) Subordinate or eliminate personal idiosyncracies. 

(4) Work co-operatively with other members of the cast. 

b) Ability to read lines convincingly is the product of speech skills and 
imagination. The successful pupil will: 

(1) Forget that the lines are printed, and read or deliver them as 
natural speech. 

(2) Use dear articulation to make his words audible to a large 

(3) Reinforce the lines with natural and appropriate movements 
and gestures. 

(4) Play to and with the other characters of the play as though 
they were the actual characters they represent. 

B. Functional Objectives (Life Needs) of Written Expression. 

1. To use correct form and content in all social and business correspond- 

This objective calls for the exercise of good judgment, the use of 
special knowledge of different forms, and a mastery of the important 
mechanical skills of capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. 
Examples of evaluative procedure are: 

a) The following informal friendly letter is not written in good form. 
Study it carefully. Find the parts of the letter. Then write the 
letter correctly on a suitable sheet of paper. Use capitals and punc- 
tuation marks correctly. Sign your own name. 

room 302, maplewood school pocono city texas June 11 1945 dear mr. 
ray our class voted your explanation of the way the gyro-compass 
works one of the most interesting talks we have had in our room 
this year we would like to have you visit us again some time thank 
you so much for your trouble yours very sincerely 

b) Which of the following types of headings (A, B, or C) would be 
required in a friendly letter from tiie Fourth Grade to the Third 
Grade in the LoweE School? 


(A) (B) (C) 

1013 Market Street Lowell School 1401 Cedar Street 

Lansing, Georgia Boom 4 April 28, 1945 

April 28, 1945 April 28, 1945 

c) Which of the above headings (A, B, or C) would be suit- 
able for use in a business letter? 

d) Study the following situations. Which would be suitable 
for use in an informal friendly note to Bob Snow? 

(A) (B) (C) (D) 
Dear Sir: Dear Mr. Snow: Dear Bob, Gentlemen: 

e) Which of the above salutations would be suitable for use 
in writing a friendly letter to Mr. Robert Snow, an older 
business man? 

/) Which of the above salutations would be suitable for use 
in writing a business letter to the firm of Snow, Brown, 

and Company? 

2. To fill in certain forms and items of information as evidence of under- 

Filling hi forms requires an understanding of the facts called for 
and the ability to write them briefly and correctly in the proper places 
and in keeping with the purpose to be served. Two examples are noted, 
a) Fill the following blanks correctly. Use information about yourself. 

Name Age Grade 

Street Address 

City or Town State. 

Name of Parent Telephone Number^ 

6) Manuscript form is largely a matter of local school practice and 
approval. Evaluate it mainly in terms of the consistency with which 
the policy of the local school is followed by the individual. 
8. To write creatively a story, essay, or verse for personal pleasure, or 

for the entertainment or information of others. 

The success of creative writing rests upon (a) the selection of a 

suitable topic or title, (6) the selection and organization of suitable 

and pleasing details, and (c) a spontaneous interest in the production 

and a desire to create for enjoyment. Results may be judged on the 

following bases: 

a) Standards for choosing a topic for a creative effort in writing. 
Check for affirmative responses: 

(1) Is the incident, the thought, or the plot unusual, startling, or 

(2) Is it real to you as an author? 

(3) Will its telling give you and others pleasure? 

6) Points for arranging the details of the story for effectiveness of 
presentation. Check for affirmative responses. 


(1) Who are the characters? Is each distinct? 

(2) When, where, and under what circumstances did the incident 
take place? 

(3) What started or complicated the incident? 

(4) What did it all lead to? 

4. To write a telegram, notice, announcement, or advertisement. 

This type of writing is dependent upon the ability to select only the 
essential facts, and to choose words that express the meaning briefly 
and concisely. Simple exercises may be used to determine the pupil's 
understanding of these requirements. 

a) You have missed a train connection in Chicago and will be delayed 
twelve hours in arriving home. List the facts you would include in 
a telegram to your parents explaining the delay. 

(1) (3) (5) 

(2) (4) (6) 

b) Write a telegram of ten words or less telling the facts in (a) above. 

c) As chairman of the committee on arrangements you are to write 
a brief announcement stating the essential facts regarding a class 

5. To outline content and factual material from sources. 

The ability to select and organize essential facts in their proper re- 
lationships is closely related to understanding. Evidence of under- 
standing is best shown by skill in the use of correct outline form as 
required in the following exercises. 

a) In making an outline, which should be used to indicate main heads? 
(1) Roman numerals (2) Capital letters (3) Small letters 

b) Which of the above (1, 2, or 3) should be used to indicate two or 
more subheads under a main head in an outline? 

c) Read the following paragraph. At the right is an outline form partly 
filled in. Complete the outline. 

Preparing Rice for Market Preparing Bice for Market 

From the fields the grain is I. Functions of Rice Mills 
taken to the rice mills where it 

is threshed, cleaned, and husked. * " 

Next each little grain is polished ** 

by a special process. Finally C. 

the rice is graded, weighed, and B. 

packed for the market. E. 

Many of the rnills are small -p 
and limited hi capacity, turning 

out less tfwi 1,000 bushels of * 

rice per day. Some of the TT ^ . . ^. ,,.,, 

larger ones prepare as many as U ' Ca ^ acity of Elce MlHs 

10,000 bushels of rice for the A. 

market every twenty-four hours. B. 



6. To prepare a bibliography or selected list of reference sources. 

^The preparation of a bibliography or list of reference sources - 
quires the ability to select and evaluate the materials and to present 
them in correct bibliographical form. The following are examples of 
appropriate testing procedures. 

a) You are looking for information to answer the following questions. 
Under which of the items following each question would you be most 
likely to find the answer? 

(1) How does U. S. rank among the countries of the world in oil 

(1) Russia (2) Petroleum in U. S. (3) South Amer- 

ican Oil (4) British Control of Oil in Iran _ 

(2) How much does the Suez Canal reduce the distance 
by water from London to Calcutta, India? 

(1) Water routes to the Orient (2) Suez to India 

(3) Panama Canal (4) South Africa _ 

b) The book "Lasius: The Lucky Ant 33 was written by Nina A. Frey. 
It was published by E. P. Button and Company in 1938. 
Rewrite this information correctly in bibliographical form. 

7. To keep records and minutes of group meetings. 

Success in recording minutes of meetings depends upon an under- 
standing of the essential facts and procedures in parliamentary prac- 
tice. A check list is a convenient device for testing understandings of 
this type. 

Check each item below that must be included in the record 
(minutes) of a club meeting in order that the full purpose of the meet- 
ing may be recorded exactly. 

_ (a) The name of the club 

- (b) The name of the founder of the club 

- (c) Where or when the meeting took place 

- (d) Who presided at the meeting 

- (e) The name of the president and vice-president 

- (/) Reading and approval of minutes of last meeting 

- (g) The list of all members present 

- (h) Each motion with resulting action; the names of its 

maker and those who seconded it 

- (i) The nature of the program if one was given 

- (;*) The time of adjournment 

- (k) The secretary's signature 

- (I) The president's signature 

8. To sense the need for certain types of written communication and the 
suitability of materials to be used. 

Evidence of an understanding of materials used in writing is shown 
by the individual's response to writing needs and by his use of suitable 


materials for the purpose. The following test exercise illustrates one 
method of evaluating understanding in this area. 

Show for each of the following the proper material to be used in 
writing. Write the correct number on the line before each exercise. 

(1) Written on plain paper 

(a) A note to the grocer (2) Written in longhand 

boy to put the meat in with a pencil 

the icebox on the porch (3) Written in longhand 

(6) An application for a with blue or black ink 

position in an office on plain note paper 

(c) A note of thanks to (4) Written in longhand 

your hostess for dinner with blue or black ink 
(d) A formal note of re- on tinted note paper 

gret (5) Written in longhand 
(e) A cordial letter to a with brown or green 

friend ink on tinted paper 

C. General and Underlying Skills and Understandings 

1. Skills and abilities common to all oral expression 

a) To use a clear, properly modulated voice in all oral expression. 

The use of a pleasantly pitched, properly modulated voice affects 
the interpretation of the meaning of the thoughts expressed by the 
speaker. Check for affirmative answers to these questions as evi- 
dence of understanding: 

(1) Does he appear to "hear" his own voice in each speaking 

(2) Does he unconsciously adjust his voice placement as required 
by the speaking situation? 

b) To enunciate clearly and pronounce words correctly. 

Clear enunciation of aU verbal sounds and the omission of all 
non-verbal sounds are evidence of understanding as well as of skill 
in oral expression. 

2. Skills and abilities common to all written expression 

a) To master and use correct general manuscript forms required in all 

Understanding of techniques of presenting ideas in written form 
is indicated by neat legible writing, correct spelling of essential 
words, recognition of demands for good manuscript form, and the 
use of capitalization and punctuation as required by the meaning 
situation. The best evidence of such understanding is the use of a 
quality in one's daily work which is adequate to make his meaning 
dear. Such exercises as ihe following may be used in this connection. 


(1) In the following sentences some words are written with small 
letters that should be capitalized and some are written with 
capitals that should begin with small letters. Go through the 
following story carefully correcting all mistakes in using capitals. 

(a) did jack ride to town with father? 

(b) no, but i think your Mother went with him. 

(c) she probably took the Baby in to see dr. scott. 

(2) In each of the following sentences one or more punctuation 
marks have been omitted. Place the correct punctuation marks 
where they belong. 

(a) Werent you expecting me 

(6) Be careful That dog is cross 

(c) Dont you hear me Mother called Joan 

(3) The following story is not written in good paragraph form. 
Write the story correctly on a sheet of paper, using appropriate 
margins and correct paragraph form. 

The fact that my kitten is black is not the reason why I call him 
Bad Luck. He is always in trouble. Saturday he broke one of 
Mother's best flower pots. Yesterday he scratched the baby's 
hand. Today he chased Potsy, my puppy, right through our 
front door screen. Everyday he is Bad Luck. 

3. Skills and abilities common to all language expression 

a) To use courteous and correct attitudes and expression in all types of 
social situations. 

Courteous attitudes involve awareness of the rights of self in rela- 
tion to others. Suitability of expression is a matter of understanding 
what the situation calls for as well as of knowing what is correct. 
Check for affirmative answers to such questions as: 

(1) Does the individual utilize only Ms fair share of time as a 
speaker in conversational groups? 

(2) Is he willing to be listener part of the time? 

(3) Does he sometimes intentionally throw the conversational activ- 
ity to another in the group? 

(4) Does he stimulate a group or a speaker by appearing to be an 
interested listener? 

(5) Does he understand that there are times and places when it is 
better to keep silent? 

(6) Is he familiar with the forms of expression which are appro- 
priate to the audience situation? 

(7) Is he sensitive to the need for the use of certain forms of ex- 
pression for the prevailing purposes? 

6) To select suitable and pertinent material. 

The selection of suitable material and pertinent facts is a matter 
of understanding and judgment developed through training and 


experience. Check for affirmative responses to the following ques- 

(1) Does the individual choose simple and even commonplace 

(2) Does he select fields in which he is informed? 

(3) Does he recognize the audience appeal of experiences common 
to all? 

(4) In the selection of facts and illustrations is he sensitive to the 
maturity and interest levels of his audience? 

(5) Does he completely grasp the point of a story or joke before 
proceeding to relate it to others? 

(6) Does he investigate the correctness of the facts used in state- 

(7) Does he know where to look for interesting, essential, and cor- 
rect facts? 

(8) Is he a master of the tool skills required in the location and 
verification of facts? 

(9) Is he sensitive to the differences in the materials required by 
fact and fiction? 

(10) Does he sense the elements of propaganda? 

c) To organize and express thoughts logically, clearly, and effectively in 
sentences or in larger units. 

The logical organization of thoughts into clear and effective sen- 
tences and paragraphs includes a clearly defined sentence sense based 
upon an understanding of word meanings and of the use of words as 
expressive and connective devices. Use tests such as the following. 

(1) Are these groups of words sentences? Draw a line under Yes 
or No. 

(a) On the way to school. Yes No 

(6) He has lost his pencil. Yes No 

(c) Please be quiet. Yes No 

(d) Baseball in the park. Yes No 

(2) In each exercise below part of a sentence has been cut off by a 
period. Write each sentence correctly. 

The pup grabbed the bone. And ran out into the yard. 
With a cross growl. Dixie started after him. 

(3) Put a cross through every and that is not needed in the story 
below. Put in capital letters and periods where they are needed 
to make good sentences. 

I have a big white rabbit and his name is Bumpo and every 
morning he sits up and be^ for a handful of clover and one day 
I went to feed him and he was gone and I found that he had dug 
out of his pen. 

(4) Race an x before the one sentence in each group of three that 
represents the best sentence structure. 


* counted six paintings walking down the stairs. 
While walking down the stairs six paintings were 

While I was walking down the stairs I counted six 

e dropped the bundle he was carrying to his mother 
in the mud. 

The bundle fell into the mud which he was carrying 

to his mother. 

Into the mud fell the bundle which he was carrying 

to his mother. 

d) To clarify meaning through variety. 

Variety in sentence structure and form is the result of skill in the 
arrangement of words and phrases in effective order, the use of com- 
pound subjects, compound predicates, and compound and complex 
sentences. Such skill with sentences is the best evidence of the under- 
standing of the speaker or writer, and may be measured by such de- 
vices as: 

(1) Bewrite these sentence to make each more interesting by chang- 
ing the position of certain words or phrases. 

(a) The doorbell rang last night just as I was going up to bed. 
(6) A boy stood there with a telegram in his hand. 

(2) Combine these pairs of sentences into single sentences using 
compound subjects. 

(a) The tomatoes in my garden were damaged by the hail. The 

cabbage was damaged also. 
(6) The Seventh Grade class is having a sleighride party Friday 

night. The Sixth Grade class is having a sleighride party 


(3) Combine these pairs of sentences into compound sentences, 
(a) The clouds were tossed by the wind. 

The storm did not strike us at all. 
(6) The band was playing hi the park. 
Music seemed to fill the air. 

(4) Rewrite the following sentences, changing one of the inde- 
pendent clauses in each to a dependent clause. 

(a) Mr. Steele is our school principal, and he is also our football 

(b) The storm began at eight o'clock, and it lasted until the 
show was over. 

e) To clarify meaning by choosing suitable, concise, simple, colorful 

The use of effective, concise, and colorful words results from sen- 
sitivity to the utility and artistic values of words, and skill in the use 


of the dictionary and other sources in the extension of word mean- 
ings and vocabulary. Rewriting exercises may be used in evaluating 
these abilities. 

(1) Read this sentence: The frightened fox ran into the woods. 
Ran is not a particularly exact or vivid word. Write as many 
sentences as you can using exact, vivid, and interesting verbs 
in place of ran. Use your dictionary to locate synonyms if you 
need to. 

Example: The frightened fox sneaked into the woods. 

(2) Read this sentence: A stream wound through the meadow. 

With the help of your dictionary to locate synonyms choose 
colorful and vivid pairs of adjectives to add to this sentence to 
make a clear picture. Write the sentence several times using 
different adjectives to change the picture. 
Example: A deep dark stream wound through the meadow. 

(3) Rewrite the sentences in (1) and (2) above adding vivid ad- 
verbs telling how in the sentences. 

/) To clarify meaning by following correct language usage. 

Correct usage of pronoun and verb forms, subject-predicate rela- 
tionships, the avoidance of miscellaneous errors, such as double nega- 
tives, vague antecedents and redundancy, is a matter of correct habit 
closely related to understanding in expression. The following are ex- 
amples of appropriate test items: 

(1) Rewrite the following sentences, selecting the correct pronoun 
from those in the parentheses. 

(a) (He, Him) and (I, me) were born in the same town. 

(b) Mother sent (we, us) girls to the store. 

(2) Rewrite the following sentences using the correct verb forms 
from those in the parentheses. 

(a) (Was, Were) you at the show last night? 

(b) It (doesn't, don't) seem so cold now. 

(3) Faulty expressions appear in these sentences. Rewrite the sen- 
tences correcting all Tmstftlrgg 

(a) Where did you see Him at? 

(b) We haven't hardly no time left. 

o) To clarify meaning by audience appeals. 

SMll in sensing audience reactions and in the use of devices such 
as anecdotes, humor, illustrations, sentence variety, and similes to 
create interest is related to the total meaning of the expression situ- 
ation. Positive answers to the following check questions are evi- 
dence of understanding. 

(1) Does the speaker or writer react sensitively to audience inter- 
ests and moods? 


(2) Does he quickly adjust the tone of his presentation to that of 
his audience? 

(3) Does he sense the need for the use of anecdotes and humor? 

(4) Does he properly evaluate the suitability of anecdotes and stor- 
ies to the audience situation? 

(5) Does he appear to understand the situation clearly enough to 
make proper use of sentence variety, similes, and illustrations? 


One of the chief purposes of instruction in the arts of reading and 
listening is to enable individuals to understand and react intelligently 
to all they hear and read in customary life situations. Thus con- 
ceived, reading and listening comprise the basic aspects of the recep- 
tive language arts. The closer instruction can come to creating pur- 
poseful life situations in which reading and listening are required, 
the more meaningful and effective such instruction will be. Accord- 
ingly, the objectives of reading and listening with special reference 
to meaning are listed here in terms of life situations which call these 
arts into use. These life situations, of which only a few typical ex- 
amples can be mentioned, are classified as (A) those which relate to 
practical needs and (B) those which relate to recreational purposes. 

Following the list of functional objectives an effort has been made 
to identify the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and procedures that are 
involved in effective reading and listening. In this connection it has 
seemed advisable to identify in Section A those that are common to 
both reading and listening, thereby emphasizing the similarity of the 
two processes and the common problems involved in promoting ef- 
ficiency in the two phases of the receptive language arts. The analysis 
is extended in Section B to include supplementary attitudes, skills, and 
procedures of major importance in many silent reading activities, and 
in Section C, to those essential in effective oral interpretation. 

The number of functional Objectives of reading and listening, and 
of related skills and abilities, is very large. Unfortunately, space will 
not permit reference to all of the important objectives or illustrations 
of all the useful evaluative techniques. It seemed advisable, there- 
fore, to limit examples of evaluation techniques to selected sections 
of the outline. Because of its wide application, the section of the 
outline entitled "Essential Knowledge, Attitudes, Skills, and Pro- 
cedures," was chosen. It was necessary also to limit examples to the 
field of reading only, rather than to include both reading and listen- 

* Prepared by William S. Gray, University of Chicago. 


ing. The examples were further limited to one type of evaluation tech- 
nique in each situation, whereas many are often possible. 

As in the case of the section on oral and written expression, the 
proposed evaluative procedures are often quite general, and more or 
less subjective. This is particularly true of those relating to "Motive, 
Problem, or Purpose in Reading," "Attention Directed to What Is 
Read," and "The Integration of the Ideas Gained through Reading 
with Previous Experience." For the most part, the appraisal techniques 
suggested are designed to evaluate pupil accomplishment, or progress, 
in terms of some form of behavior response. 

Objectives and Illustrative Procedures in Reading and Listening 

A. Typical situations which lead children and adults to read or listen in 
meeting practical life needs. 

1. To find out what is going on, by 

a) Identifying appropriate sources newspapers, magazines, people. 

b) Understanding clearly what is read or heard. 

2. To find one's way about, by 

a) identifying appropriate sources signs, folders, maps, guides, in- 
formation centers. 
6) Interpreting accurately the various types of information provided. 

c) Translating the information secured into appropriate action. 

3. To understand assignments and directions, by 

a) Securing a clear grasp of the meaning of what is read or heard. 

b) Seeing its implication with respect to one's procedures or actions. 

4. To verify spellings, pronunciations, meanings, uses of words, by 

a) Finding and interpreting accurately the information needed. 

b) Checking previous spellings, pronunciations, meanings, and uses 
of words in the light of information secured. 

5. To secure answers to specific questions, by 
a) Identifying appropriate sources of help. 
b} Understanding what is read or heard. 

c) Selecting the items that answer factual questions. 

d) Selecting and interpreting the items that help answer a judgment 

6. To gather information for fuller understanding or for talking or writ- 
ing on one's hobby, for preparing assigned papers and discussions, or 
for informing or convincing others, by 

a) Identifying appropriate sources. 
6) Interpreting what is read or heard. 

c) Selecting what is appropriate for the purpose at hand. 

d) Organizing the information secured into the form desired. 


7. To learn how to act in new situations, by 

o) Locating and interpreting pertinent items of information. 

b) Formulating a plan of action. 

8. To work out complicated problems, by 

a) Identifying the kind of information needed. 
6) Locating needed sources. 

c) Understanding what is read or heard. 

d) Seeing the implications or bearing of the ideas secured on the 
problem at hand. 

9. To reach conclusions as to guiding principles, relative values, or cause- 
and-effect relationships, by 

a) Securing a clear grasp of the meaning of what is read or heard. 

b) Ascertaining its accuracy, relevance, significance, value. 

c.) Organizing relevant items into patterns of thought which will re- 
veal the principles or relationships involved. 

10. To identify and resolve propaganda, by 

a) Securing a clear grasp of the sense of what is read. 
6) Identifying the author's intent or purpose through a deliberate 
study of the language used, including words with "loaded" meanings. 

c) Determining the extent to which the views expressed merit con- 

11. To search for and discover the truth, by 

a) Identifying appropriate sources of information. 

b) Securing a clear grasp of the meaning of what is read or heard 
and its relation to the problem at hand. 

c) Weighing carefully all the evidence available. 

d) Isolating truth from fiction. 

B. Typical situations which lead children and adults to read or listen in rec- 
reational mood. 

1. To relive everyday experiences, by 

a) Understanding what is read or heard. 

6) Interpreting the ideas acquired in the light of personal experiences. 

2. To have fun or sheer enjoyment, by 

a) Securing the meaning of what is read or heard. 

b) Recognizing the humor in it. 

3. To escape from real life, by 

a) Reading or listening to materials that afford escape. 

b) Becoming completely absorbed in the theme or events presented. 

4. To satisfy natural and valuable curiosities about strange times and 
places, human nature and motives, by 

a) Locating appropriate materials. 

b) Understanding, often quite fully and in detail. 


5. To enjoy sensory imagery, by 

a) Grasping the meaning of what is read or heard. 
6) Visualizing or in other ways reproducing in imagination some of 
the ideas acquired. 

6. To enjoy ready-made emotional reactions through hearing or reading 
romantic tales, sentimental verses, mystery stories, by 

a) Following the theme presented. 

6) Putting one ; s self in the place of the characters. 

7. To enjoy the sentiments and ideals expressed, by 
a) Understanding what is read or heard. 

6) Reacting appreciatively to the ideas apprehended. 

8. To enjoy the rhythm and quality of expression in both prose and 
poetry, by 

a) Reading aloud or listening to someone render them. 
6) Being sensitive to and appreciative of rhythm and suitability of 

Essential Knowledge, Attitudes, Skills, and Procedures 

A. Basic attitudes, skills, and procedures involved in securing meaning in 
both reading and listening. 

1. To respond to the motive, problem, or purpose. 

Appropriate evaluative procedures are: 

a) A pupil reading voluntarily during a "free reading" or "browsing" 
period answers these check questions: 

(1) Why are you reading at this time rather than doing some- 
thing else? 

(2) For what specific purpose are you reading this book, story, 
or article? 

b) A pupil reading suggested references during a study period answers 
these check questions: 

(1) What do you hope to accomplish by reading these materials? 

(2) Bo you now have any reasons for reading these references that 
you did not have when you first began this assignment? 

c) A pupil doing intensive reading of textbook material answers these 
check questions: 

(1) For what purpose or purposes are you now reading? 

(2) What specific questions do you expect to answer through your 

2. To direct attention to the meaning of what is read. 

Answer these questions as a check on concentration: 

a) Does the pupil appear to read with absorbed attention? 

b) Does he Trw^t-a an attitude of dose attention to his reading over 
a considerable period of time? 

c) Does he resist distractions while engaged in reading? 


3. To develop fluent, accurate perception of word forms. 

This ability may be evaluated in terms of such evidence as: 

a) Accurate discrimination of word forms. 

(Example of test item): Look at the word or phrase in the left- 
hand column, and underline the corresponding word or phrase at 
the right. 

where there, then, where, when. 

elegant elephant, element, elegant. 

at the house at that house, at the house, on the house. 

b) Accurate perception of both form and meaning: 

(Test): Underline the statement that makes the best sense: 
The house was built on a hill. 
The mouse was built on a hill. 
The house was built on a mill. 

c) Association of right meanings with word forms. 

(Test) : After each word in List A write a word from List B which 
has the same, or nearly the same, meaning: 
List A List B 

calm room 


broad quiet 

firm wide 

d) Accurate perception of words in context. 

(Test) : Read the following paragraph aloud just as you would if 
reading to a class: 

The sun pierced into jny large windows. It was the opening of 
October, and the A sky was ^a dazzling blue. I looked out of my 
window<nd)do\vn the street. The white housefi)of the long, stught 
street were (ajlmost painful to the eyes. The clear atmosphere 
allowed full play t^Jthe sjn^brightness. 

Directions for evaluation: If a word is wholly mispronounced (e.g., 
"atmosphere"), underline it. If a word is partly mispronounced, 
(as "pierced," "allowed," "straight," "dazzling") mark it. Mark 
insertions, as in the case of "clear down the street"; omissions, as 
in the case of "of," and "al" in almost; substitutions, as in the case 
of "many" for "my"; and repetitions, as in the case of "to the 
sun's." An analysis of the types of errors made will reveal much 
concerning the nature and extent of the reader's perceptual problems. 

e) Fluent perception of words. 

By keeping a record of the time required to read the above para- 
graph orally, information .can be obtained concerning the fluency 
of the reader's recognition of words in oral reading. By giving a 
timed test in silent reading, a measure of the pupil's fluency in 


perceiving the meanings of words and phrases in context can be 

4. To secure an adequate understanding of what is read. 

Evidence of understanding may be noted in pupils' reactions to ma- 
terials read. 
a) A clear grasp of meaning, involving: 

(1) Selection of meanings of words appropriate to the context. 
For example, "C-3-d," p. 187. 

(2) Fusion of the meanings of words into a chain of related ideas. 
(Test): Read the sentences below, and then fill in the blanks 
with words that make the meaning clear. 

The snow fell all day and all night. Susan had to play in the 
house. She felt sorry for all the birds and squirrels. They had 
to stay outside in the cold wind and snow. 

Susan stayed inside because the was cold and 

the was deep. She was sorry for the 


(3) Recognition of the importance and relationship of the ideas 

(Test) : Many inventions have helped to make flying safer and 
more practical. Dispatchers at all the stations on the routes 
flown keep in touch by radio with pilots during their journey. 
They give information about weather conditions, and check the 
positions of the planes. Frequent weather reports come into 
the central office by teletypewriter, so that a flyer is told the 
weather at any given moment at any place he approaches. 
Planes are guided into the landing field by radio beams, which 
give the pilot a constant stream of dot-dash signals to warn 
him when he is off his course. De-icers for the wings, and auto- 
matic signals to warn of failure to lower landing gear also add 
an extra margin of safety to flight. 

(a) Tell in a sentence the main idea of this paragraph. 

(b) Lost three statements that support the main idea. 
6) Coping successfully with such factors as: 

(1) Unusual word order. 

(Test): Show what the first line of the following sentence 
means by writing it as you would usually say it. 

Fd be out of the wind's and the rain's way, if I had a little, 
tiny house of my own. 

(2) Complexity of sentence structure. 

(Test) : Eead the following sentence, and follow the directions 
given below: 

Even after the first sextant was invented, a British explorer, 
Captain James Cook, saw the pride of Europe's inventive 
genius outdone. 


(a) Show what this sentence means by rewriting it, beginning 
with "Captain James Cook." 

(6) What question does the italicized part of the above sen- 
tence answer: how , when , where , 

why ? 

(3) Abstract ideas. 

(Test): In providing for their children, parents try to deal 

Justly with all of them. 

What is the meaning of the word "justly" in the sentence 


In a courteous manner. 

In an impartial way. 

- In a kindly way. 

c) Interpreting meaning in the light of its broader context. 

This ability implies an understanding of 

(1) The total setting of the ideas expressed. 

(Test) : Read the following sentence and then write as fully as 
you can all that is meant or suggested by it, giving special 
attention to the italicized words and phrases. 

"When Columbus discovered that Queen Isabella had granted 
his request, he was overjoyed because of the possibilities that 
now lay before him." 

(2) The author's mood, tone, intention. 

(Test): Read the sentences below carefully, and then answer 
the questions that follow: 

"We are certainly a brilliant family/ 3 said Father. "We 
asked everyone to remember to put in the matches. Here we 
are ready to build a fire, and no one has a match 1" 
(a) What did father really mean by "We are a brilliant family" ? 
(6) Was it his intention to: 

praise the family? 

scold the family? 

make fun of the family? 

d) Supplementing the specific meanings apprehended. 

Evidence of the following skills should be sought, 
(1) Reading between the lines. 

(Test) : Read the story below, and answer the questions which 
follow by writing "yes," or "no." Then write the sentences, 
words, or groups of words in the story that prove your answer. 
Matthew saw a group of red-coated soldiers marching down 
the road with their muskets gleaming hi the sunlight. His hand 
groped for the powder-horn at his side, and as he did so he 
touched the wallet containing the letter. He felt suddenly cold 
with fear. 
Did Matthew think the soldiers were enemies? 


Is it likely that the wallet contained some secret or special 

Is it likely that this was an incident of the American Revo- 
(2) Seeing implications. 

(Test): Read the following paragraph and answer the ques- 
tion which follows: 

Soviet Russia is primarily a land power, and will keep on 
needing a fairly large standing army to protect her boundary 
lines with neighboring states. Her navy is quite small. There 
is no need for a large navy, since Russia has no distant pos- 
sessions to be reached by sea. We might conclude, therefore, 
that a large Russian army is no threat to world peace. A 
rapidly expanding Russian navy might present a real question. 

What is the implication of "a rapidly expanding Russian 
navy," as stated in the last sentence, that would create a real 

Russia aspires for distant possessions. 

Russia wishes to maintain world peace. 

Russia is afraid of other nations. 

5. To react critically to what is read. 

Such reactions may be evaluated hi terms of the following criteria: 

a) Recognizing the value, usefulness, timeliness, significance of what 
is read. 

(Test): If you wanted to read about aircraft carriers, would you 
rather have a book with 1930 on the copyright page or with 1945 
on the copyright page? Why? 

b) Judging the validity or truthfulness of the ideas presented in a 

(Test) : "You will need to keep your armour bright and your lance 
keen. The King will expect you to defeat all knights in combat, 
and to guard the entrance to the castle with your life. You will 
need to swim like a fish, and run like a deer. To help you, you will 
have the cloak of Prince Stephen to make you invisible, and the 
sword Excalibur, which will cut through wood, or stone, or steel." 
Is this an historical record of a ruler's words? Justify your 

c) Judging the accuracy or completeness of the author's conclusions. 
(Test): All citizens hi ancient Athens were expected to vote, and 
all citizens took a deep interest in their government and their 
courts. No foreigners were allowed to vote, however, nor could 
women or slaves. The slaves did all the work of plowing, harvest- 
ing, and caring for cattle and vineyards. They also made many 
things of use on the farm and in the home. The women of Athens 
were busy at home, spinning, weaving, rearing the children, and 


overseeing the work of the household. Men who were free citizens 
were thus able to give a great deal of their time and attention to 
the business of governing the city of Athens. Each man was care- 
ful to do his share, and took much pride in his great city. 
Mark the following statements: (0) if it might be true, but can- 
not be proved by the facts stated in the paragraph; ( ) if it is 
false according to statements made in the paragraph; and ( + ) 
if it is true and can be proved by statements found in the paragraph. 

Athenian citizens were interested in good government. 

Women in Athens led a very dull life. 

Men who were citizens in Athens did much of the work. 

d) Recognizing whether or not the reasoning of the author is sound. 
(Test ) : Read the paragraph below, and answer the question which 
follows by writing "Yes" or "No." Then write a short paragraph 
of your own to justify your answer. 

Intelligence tests show that the children of doctors, lawyers, and 
dentists are brighter than the children of factory workers and 
laborers. This proves that children of working-class families com- 
prise the most stupid part of our population. 

Wherein is the author's reasoning sound or unsound? 

e) Identifying and resolving propaganda. 

(Test): Read the advertisement below, and answer the questions 
which follow. 

Magic Cream Oil is often used by nurses in big hospitals. A 
famous doctor recommends it for dry, chapped hands. Buy a jar 

Is this advertisment one form of propaganda? 

If so, the use of what words make it such? 

What information would you need before you could accept as 

true the statements made in the advertisement? 

To integrate the ideas acquired with previous experience so that the 
following evidences of understanding may be noted immediately, or 

a) New insights are acquired. 

Do the pupil's reports and discussions of materials read show 
an enlarged understanding or clearer insights? 

b) Previous understandings are reaffirmed or modified. 

Does the pupil appear to be more convinced than before of the 
soundness of his position, or has he modified it? 

c) Challenging problems are solved. 

Does the pupil show evidence through oral reports, conversa- 
tion, or written assignments that he has made progress toward 
a clear-cut solution of one or more problems or, indeed, that he 
has reached a solution? 

d) Rational attitudes are acquired. 


Does the pupil show increased ability to give reasonable explana- 
tions in support of his expressed views or attitudes? 
e) Behavior is modified. 

Does the pupil adopt a new or modified course of action as a 
result of his reading? For example: 

(1) Does he make better choices leading to a vocation? 

(2) Does he now pursue recreational activities and hobbies, whereas 
he formerly did not? 

f) Interests are broadened. 

Does the pupil evidence in hjs conversation, and by the books 
which he reads, an increasing range of interests and curiosities? 

g) Richer and more stable personalities are developed. 

Do comments by parents, other teachers, or playmates, as well 
as your own observations, indicate that the pupil may have achieved 
growth in desirable personality traits and in stability of character? 
For example is there evidence of 

(1) Happier and more cordial relations with others? 

(2) An apparent feeling of greater self-confidence and security? 

B. Supplementary attitudes, skills, and procedures essential in many silent- 
reading activities, 

1. To locate needed information. 

Evaluation may be based on pupil's procedures in: 

a) Using an index. 

b) Using a table of contents. 

c) Using the dictionary. 

d) Using card files. 

e) Using reference books. 

2. To gather and evaluate information in the light of a given purpose. 

Appropriate evaluative criteria are: 
a) Recognizing the purpose to be achieved, such as 

(1) To find answers to specific questions. 

(2) To find the central thought of the selection. 

(3) To follow a sequence of related events. 

(4) To enjoy the facts or story presented. 

(5) To identify important points and supporting details. 

(6) To select facts relating to a problem. 

(7) To solve a problem. 

(8) To understand and follow directions. 

(9) To compare the views of two or more authors. 

(10) To find support for a point of view or course of action. 
6} Applying appropriate fact-finding techniques, as, for example, 

(1) Studying the title for a cue to its meaning. 

(2) Reading carefully to find out what the author plans to do or 


(3) Giving special attention to topic sentences or paragraphs. 

(4) Reading on through the selection to note how the author ar- 
rives at his point. 

(5) Grasping the author's organization of ideas. 

(Note: The techniques used vary with the purpose.) 

c) Sorting essential from nonessential information. 

d) Judging the validity and significance of relevant information. 

e) Organizing the information in terms of the purpose or problem. 
/) Drawing tentative conclusions. 

g) Deciding when the purpose has been achieved. 

3. To adjust reading attitudes and procedures to different purposes. 

These adjustments are indicated by such reactions as: 
a) Modifying interpretative processes in light of the purpose to be 
achieved. As, for example, 

(1) Reading to answer factual questions. 

(a) Selecting relevant facts. 

(b) Remembering them until needed. 

(2) Reading an organized body of material to report. 

(a) Grasping the author's point of view and organization of 

(b) Selecting points for presentation to class. 

(c) Associating ideas together into a coherent report. 

(d) Remembering them. 

(3) Reading to determine the accuracy of the facts or events de- 
scribed. Illustrations are 

(a) Selecting relevant facts. 

(b) Comparing them with other known facts. 

(c) Making judgments concerning their validity. 

6) Adjusting rate of reading to the purpose. This involves 

(1) Reading slowly and carefully when a thorough understanding 
of relatively difficult material is desired. 

(2) Reading rapidly merely to find out what is in an article or 
to enjoy a story. 

(3) Skimming to determine if an article contains relevant material 
or to locate specific items of information. 

C.' Supplementary attitudes, skills, and procedures essential in interpretative 
oral reading. 

1. All those listed in "A" above (pp. 190 ff.) to insure a thorough grasp 
of the author's meaning. (See also "A-7" of the section on Expres- 
sional Language Arts, p. 180.) 

2. All those common to oral expression as listed in the section of the 
chapter entitled "General Expressional Knowledge, Skills, and Abili- 
ties," for example: 


a) Using a dear, pleasant, properly modulated voice. 

6) Enunciating words clearly and pronouncing words correctly. 

3. Having a compelling motive for reading to others. 

4. Sensing the importance of the message for the audience to whom it 
is read. 

5. Adjusting manner and speaking voice to size of room, character of 
selection, and needs of the audience. 

6. Modulating the voice to bring out thought relationships clearly. 

7. Adjusting the voice to changes in character and mood. 

8. Adjusting rate of reading and the grouping of words to the rhythm 
of poetry. 

9. Using appropriate facial expression and gesture, subordinated to the 
thought of the selection. 

10. Controlling bodily movements and breathing. 

11. Feeling confident of one's ability, free from tension, convincing in 
manner and speech, and natural and sincere. 



Teachers College, Columbia University 
New York, New York 

A discussion of measurement with emphasis on understanding as 
presented in Section I of this yearbook has great significance for 
teachers of the arts. Of particular value to them are the varied pro- 
cedures indicated for obtaining evidence of understanding: observation 
of individuals during regular day-by-day class work, oral questions, 
class discussions, reports, and other non-group testing procedures. Too 
often when measurement is considered teachers think only of ad- 
ministering to their entire group of students a paper-and-pencil test 
in which there is one best answer to each item. Teachers of the arts 
have not been enthusiastic about such tests, which in their field of 
work have been far from satisfactory. The truth is that in the arts 
any extreme emphasis on uniformity, objectivity, and ease of ad- 
ministration in the making of tests easily leads to a concentration on 
the most mechanical and superficial aspects of the learning process, 
and the result can be the development of a measuring instrument not 
only useless, but positively dangerous and misleading. Accordingly , 
emphasis is here placed upon criteria and procedures for measurement 
which a teacher may fruitfully use to judge the endeavors and pro- 
ductions of learners in the arts, because they discriminate and reveal 
the essentially meaningful aspects of artistic learning. 


In general, it seems clear that all significant progress and learning 
in any of the arts must be regarded primarily as progress and learning 
in aesthetic insight and power. This can properly be described as an 
advance in understanding since it means an increasing power to dis- 



criminate and respond to essential aesthetic values, and to realize those 
values in action. Thus, the use of the word "understanding" is entirely 
legitimate, so long as its true meaning is kept steadily in mind. 

Technical or intellectual progress that is to say, advance in sheer 
skill and dexterity, or in knowledge about the arts, or in capacity to 
analyze an art work structurally or historically must, however, be 
regarded as secondary. In and of itself, no such advance can be taken 
to constitute progress in artistic understanding, because the very es- 
sence of the arts is omitted. Technical or intellectual learning, there- 
fore, should never be given a primary place by any teacher who wishes 
justly to evaluate a pupil's progress in any of the arts. The first con- 
sideration must always be advance in aesthetic insight and power. A 
brief explanation of what this means is in order before passing on to 
criteria and procedures for measurement. 

The essence of the aesthetic process in all its manifestations and 
at all levels is the objectiflcation or projection of emotional experience 
in and through organized design. The medium in which the design 
is fashioned may be visual, as in painting, sculpture, or architecture. 
It may be auditory, as in music. It may be verbal, as in poetry and 
prose. It may involve many sense media, as in drama, opera, or the 
motion picture. Sometimes the precise nature of the sensory medium 
out of which the design is built may be open to debate, as with the 
dance, which presumably combines the kinaesthetic and the visual. 
But in any case, the point and function of the design is that it em- 
bodies and renders public a way of feeling. In this lies the distinction 
between what can and cannot properly be termed "art." A system of 
geometry or an administrative arrangement is a design or pattern just 
as genuinely as the plot of a play or the organization of a picture. 
But in the two former cases its function is entirely different. It does 
not embody and make public a way of feeling. Indeed the emotion 
of the originator, however deep and strong, does not penetrate the 
result at all, and is irrelevant to it. All authentic aesthetic activity, 
then, from the level of the child to that of the most highly developed 
artist, essentially involves the use of the design for the projection of 
affective values. 

The aesthetic process appears in three closely related yet dis- 
tinguishable modalities. First, there is artistic production, in which a 
way of feeling is exhibited in the f ashiooaing of a wholly new expressive 
design, instances being the composition of music, the painting of pic- 
tures, the writing of poetry, and the like. This is often called "creation" 
par excellence, although the word has come to carry considerably 
broader meanings. Second, there is artistic reproduction or perform- 


ance, in which an expressive design already fashioned is projected 
anew by an individual or a group intent on realizing the emotional 
intimations which it embodies, instances being the performance of 
music, the presentation of a play, or the reading aloud of poetry or 
prose. Performance, or reproduction, of course, has a very minor part 
in the purely visual arts. Third, there is artistic enjoyment (often 
spoken of as "appreciation") in which persons respond to the intima- 
tions embodied in visual, auditory, or verbal design. All three of these 
modalities are involved in any adequate scheme of art education. It 
is of supreme importance that they be treated always as manifesta- 
tions of the aesthetic process, which means that they are authentic 
only as responses to design functionally significant as a carrier of 
emotional values and meanings. 

The furtherance and development of this characteristic process is 
the central purpose of artistic education of all types and at all levels. 
Otherwise it simply ceases to be artistic education, and becomes train- 
ing in skills such as those of descriptive drawing, music reading, con- 
trolled bodily movement, and the like, or the promotion of knowledge 
and intellectual insight. It is not denied that skills related to the arts, 
or knowledge about and intellectual insight into them, may have im- 
portant values. But in and of themselves, they are outside the sphere 
of the aesthetic process and aesthetic experience. They should never 
be used as primary foci for evaluation and measurement in art edu- 
cation. Meaningful learning in the arts must be understood as turning 
upon an increasing responsiveness to and command of design function- 
ing as a carrier of emotional values, in one or all of the three modalities 
of production, reproduction, and enjoyment, or to use the more familiar 
but less exact terms, creation, performance, and appreciation. This 
must be the focus for all significant and valid criteria and procedures, 
a discussion of which now follows. 

In the light of the argument just presented, it appears that art 
education in all fields and at all levels should be determined by the 
following primary objectives. 

1. To elicit and develop discriminating emotional responsiveness 
in connection with artistic undertakings of all kinds and in all modali- 

2. To elicit and develop an individualized and personal quality in 
the learner's responses and in all his work. 

3. To elicit and develop the ability to utilize and respond to form 
in works of art, not as an isolated factor to be studied and classified 
independently, but as an expressive vehicle. 


4. To elicit and develop a discriminating sensitivity to the medium 
in which the aesthetic design is fashioned. 

5. To elicit and develop personal satisfaction in the aesthetic 
process itself, in all of its three modalities. 

6. To elicit and develop a wish to share with others aesthetic ex- 
periences and achievements, and to find satisfaction in their responses 
to one's own endeavors. 


These objectives, around which a program of art education com- 
mitted to the promotion of aesthetic understanding should be organ- 
ized, should also serve as the controlling criteria for measurement and 

1. Evidences of distinctive emotional response are highly sig- 
nificant. When any individual, child or adult, undertakes to paint a 
picture, to compose a piece of music, to write a poem, or to engage in 
any other type of artistic production, he should first and foremost be 
acquiring a selective sensitivity to emotional values. This is intangible 
and hard to define, yet by no means impossible to observe with reason- 
able certainty. The individual choice of a theme and the extent to 
which the theme compels and commands the worker are highly sig- 
nificant indications. Instances might be a child's love for animals, 
for the circus, for war themes as appearing in his picture-making, his 
music-making, his poetry, and so forth. 

Again, when any person, child or adult, undertakes to engage in 
any type of artistic reproduction, he should first and foremost be ac- 
quiring sensitivity to the emotional values of the art work concerned. 
His choice of a poem to read aloud, or of a musical composition to 
sing or play, his selective preference for it as against alternatives, his 
enjoyment of it expressed in words or actions, his awareness of its 
distinctive mood, his endeavor to project that mood which of course 
includes his willingness to study it faithfully, are all significant signs 
of true artistic understanding. 

Similarly in listening, looking, or silent reading for the sake of 
enjoyment, the important indications are those of the authentic emo- 
tional reaction brought about the individual's choices and rejections, 
his facial expression, his comments, his silences, his wish to repeat 
the experience or to enjoy similar ones, the trouble he takes to do so, 
his recollection of the experience after a lapse of time, 

2. Manifestations of individual and personal quality in a learner's 
responses and work are highly significant. Painting, sculpture, -music, 


or poetry produced according to a stereotype cannot well lead to artis- 
tic understanding. While no definitive classification of psycho-aesthetic 
types has yet been made, it is highly probable that such types do exist. 
Some individuals seem predominantly objective, others predominantly 
visual, haptic, or imaginatively fantastic. Such persons must work 
and learn in terms of their own unique and distinctive qualities if they 
are to achieve genuinely meaningful learning. Such differences reveal 
themselves most clearly in visual creation, less definitely in poetic 
creation, and least definitely of all in musical creation, but they are 
probably present throughout. The teacher should consider their 
progressive emergence and persistence an important sign that genuine 
aesthetic understanding is developing, and their failure to emerge as 
a sign that it is not. He should, in other words, look for and set high 
value upon evidence of individuality in the processes and work of his 

In appreciative responses, too, differences in individual type mani- 
fest themselves. Thus, it has been suggested that appreciative re- 
sponses may be classified as objective, intrasubjective, character-wise, 
and associative. Some persons make a purely emotional and almost 
formless response to an art work, others react to its form, its sensory 
content, its "story" suggestions, and the like. The attempt to reduce 
appreciative response to a stereotype certainly hampers meaningful 
experience. On the contrary, the teacher should here again regard the 
emergence and persistent manifestation of a distinctive type of ap- 
preciative response as an indication of growing artistic understanding. 

3. Responsiveness to form is yet another significant sign to be 
noted and heeded in measurement and evaluation. The primary con- 
sideration is not the classification of a work of art according to some 
predetermined aesthetic type as a sonata, an air with variations, a 
sonnet, a ballad, a Gothic building, an impressionist picture, or the 
like. The essential point is to be aware of how the living pattern act- 
ually serves and functions as a vehicle for making manifest an emo- 
tional intimation. The distinction is that between formal and func- 
tional pattern, which is fundamental in both aesthetic theory and edu- 
cational practice. 

Thus, at the beginning, a child may express his emotional reaction 
to a fire simply by a free use of scarlet, but later on he may wish to 
organize his picture so as to make clear that it is the values of fire 
rather than perhaps of war or murder that are to be conveyed. At 
the beginning a child may express his happiness over the freedom of a 
summer day by a very simple and almost incoherent pattern of words, 
but later on come to use refinements of rhythm and imagery to express 


with more precision and discrimination what he has to say. A child's 
early experiences in creating, performing, listening to music may well 
be simple enterprises in utterance or enjoyment, but later on he may 
wish to employ or respond more adequately to the resources of nuance 
and structure to make both utterance and enjoyment more satisfying. 
Here are instances of the acquisition of control over significant or 
functional pattern. The teacher should pay very serious heed to all 
such manifestations, for they are extremely important evidences that 
meaningful learning and artistic understanding are in fact progressing 
well. The child's work should not in the first instance be judged in 
terms of its approximation to the laws of visual perspective, or of some 
fixed verse form, or of musical structure, for these are primarly formal 
rather than functional considerations. 

4. Sensitivity to the medium being used is yet another significant- 
indication of the presence and advance of artistic understanding. The 
essence of the aesthetic process is the use of a sensory medium to con- 
vey emotional values. Thus, sensitive and discriminating responsive- 
ness to the medium is a very important indication of meaningful learn- 
ing, although what is involved is by no means eye-training or ear- 
training as isolated undertakings. Evidence should be noted of the 
child's responsiveness to color and form in his environment, as mani- 
fested in his comments, reactions, choices and uses of color and form 
in his own work; of his responsive awareness of the sound, rhythm, 
and shaded meaning of word-patterns; of his responsive awareness of 
tone-quality, rhythm, harmonic content, and tonal relatedness in 
music; of his responsive awareness of verbal, visual, and auditory 
imagery. All these are highly significant signs of meaningful learning 
and authentic artistic understanding, 

5. Personal satisfaction in the aesthetic process itself is another 
such sign. The aesthetic process, authentically experienced, is exceed- 
ingly satisfying and compelling, and may readily become almost ob- 
sessive. Evidence of such compelling and commanding intrinsic inter- 
est is an important sign of artistic understanding of an authentic kind. 
Does the child, on his own initiative, seek to compose music, to paint 
pictures, to write poetry? Does he, on his own initiative, seek oppor- 
tunity to listen to music, to read poetry, to look at pictures? Does he 
manifest an intrinsic interest in the aesthetic phenomena of everyday 
life? Does he show an eagerness to devote time and effort to develop- 
ing his artistic capabilities? Does he react strongly and positively, 
in word and action and attitude, to opportunity for creation, per- 
formance, and appreciation as furnished by the school program? Do 
his aesthetic interests and concerns have a priority over competing 


interests and concerns? These are the kind of questions the teacher 
should have in mind in seeking to evaluate the authentic meaningful- 
ness of the learning which is taking place and the understanding that 
is being built up. 

6. A wish to share aesthetic experiences and achievements and 
an interest in the responses of others to one's own endeavors is yet 
another significant sign. The aesthetic process is one in which personal 

and private emotional values and intimations are made objective 

that is to say, public and communicable. It is true that the artist does 
not work primarily to please his audience, but sincerely to convey his 
own intimations as perfectly as he can. But the vital meaning of his 
whole enterprise is to say something to somebody. It follows, there- 
fore, that when this is a conscious desire, and when there is a delight 
in fulfilling it, authentic aesthetic understanding is indicated. Also the 
artist, whether child or adult, is deeply and legitimately influenced by 
a sympathetic response to his message. Does the child wish to com- 
pose, to write, to paint, to play, to sing in order that others may listen, 
look, read, and in so doing enjoy and understand? Does he enjoy 
artistic enterprises at least sometimes in collaboration? If he does, this 
is genuine evidence of meaningful learning and authentic aesthetic 

In closing it should perhaps be pointed out that these criteria for 
measurement and evaluation can be embodied in objective testing in- 
struments only to a limited extent. Nevertheless they impose a reason- 
ably definite orientation. They involve such techniques as anecdotal 
records, logs of pupil behavior, and the like. Properly and intelligently 
used, they can enable the teacher to isolate and observe decisive indi- 
cations that the kind of learning desirable in the arts is or is not 
taking place. 

Graphic and Plastic Art 

Explaining the effect of a painting. In a class discussion children 
were comparing the work of different pupils, It had been made clear 
that the purpose of comments and questions was to be constructive. 
Larry's painting, fastened to a board where all could see, was the topic. 

"I like the way Ms picture makes me feel that it is a cold day," remarked 
Mary. (Larry's picture dealt with two boys making a snowman.) 

"I like that too/' said the teacher. "How did he give us that feeling?" 

"The snowman xoakes you feel cold," was Jim's answer to the teacher's 
question. Then, in succession came the following remarks: 


"Just seeing a snowman wouldn't give you that feeling. I ijhink it's the 
color he's used. There's a lot of blue and gray which makes me feel cold.'" 
"I believe it's the mittens and sweater. The boys look all bundled up." 
"There is much more cool color than warm color so that the little bit of 
red in the scarf makes the blues and grays seem all the colder." 

That almost-spontaneous remarks such as these are good evidence 
of understanding goes without question. It should be noted that this 
type of measurement does not require each child to respond with the 
one "correct" answer to some described test situation. In fact, only a 
few pupils were able in the situation described to show that they under- 
stood. However, through use of such informal measurement procedures 
in one class period the alert teacher can gather much evidence of 

A clothing-selection test. This test consists of sets of pictures with 
a specific question relating to each. Several are described here. 

(a) Three blouses and one skirt are pictured (all in color). The problem 
for the pupil to solve is stated in this question: "Which blouse should Sue 
wear with her plaid skirt?" 

(6) Four pair of socks and a man dressed in a brown tweed suit, tan shirt 
with a brown figured necktie, are pictured. The following question was pro- 
vided: "If you were Tom, what socks would you choose to wear with the 
clothes he is wearing?" 

(c) Mary's favorite clothes are pictured on one page; on another are six 
samples of cloth. The problem is stated as follows: "From the samples above 
Mary wishes to choose material for a whiter coat which she could wear with 
all her favorite clothes pictured on the opposite page. Which would you 

Through use of colored pictures such as those described above many- 
situations can be presented in a rather short period of time. The use of 
actual clothing frequently presents better test situations, but the task 
of securing and handling such materials is rather difficult. Teachers 
frequently get further evidence of understanding from such tests by 
asking the students to tell why they think the combinations chosen 
are the most appropriate. Similar tests may be given which cause 
children to choose luncheon cloths which would be appropriate with 
different kinds of dishes white, plain-colored, and patterned cloths 
may be combined with white, .^Iain-colored, or patterned dishes. 

Study of student work- Drawings na&d at th$ beginning, of tine 
year (also paintings and d&si|pas) are compared; with those made -near 
th# end of the year. In detemihing^'&e degree* of understanding ex- 


(a) Effective organization or composition. 
(6) Expressiveness, originality. 

(c) Technical facility (draftsmanship, use of medium). 

(d) Suitability for purpose. 

(e) Acceptability for an exhibition such as the Iowa High School Art Exhi- 

The growth of the pupils during the year as shown by comparison 
of drawings made at the beginning of the year with those made at the 
closing of the year is good evidence of understanding. 

Analysis of pupil responses. The following questions may be help- 
ful in obtaining evidence of understanding in the field of art. These 
questions could be employed as items in a rating scale, with three or 
more categories (such as: poor, average, good). Records of these rat- 
ings, made from time to time, afford a useful ba^is for determining 
growth in understanding with respect to various types of outcome, 
(a) Do the children enjoy their art work? 
(6) Are they observant of the appearance of things? 

(c) Are they original and independent in their expressions? 

(d) Do they communicate ideas clearly in drawings? 

(e) Are they able to criticize their own work and profit by the criticisms of 

(/) Do they see art in everyday living? 

(g) Do they show an understanding of basic principles of organization- 
emphasis, repetition, balance, etc? 
(h) Are they making good choices? 

(i) Are they able to organize forms suitably for given purposes? 
(;) Is art functioning in their activities outside of the art class? 

Evaluation of cover designs. The preliminary sketches of cover 
designs were placed on the bulletin board, class discussion of the prob- 
lem having stressed the following design principles: unity, dominance, 

Child A: "I think my plan has too much in it. People should see right 
away that it's a gym demonstration/* 

Teacher: "How would you change your plan?" 

Child A: "I think 111 make the words 'Gym Demonstration* the center of 
interest and put in just one or two figures instead of so many things." 

Child B: "I don't think my design is well spaced. The parts don't seem 
to belong together. I should make the picture and the lettering fit together 

Child C: "My letters are too crowded to read/' 

Teacher: "Yes, we must always remember that lettering must be clear/' 



Class discussion of music problems. After part of a song had been 
sung the teacher said: 

"Class, that did not sound so very well. What do you t.biTik we could do 
to improve?" 

"I think that last should be sung more softly." 

"Let's try it that way." After the trial the teacher asked, "How about it, 
John? Was that better?" 

"I liked it better. It made me thy we were finishing the thing in the 
right way/' was John's answer. 

Such answers and comments about songs provide the teacher with 
good evidence of pupil understanding. It should be noted that such 
situations furnish opportunity for only a few members of the class to 
respond and that records of such responses are difficult for the busy 
teacher to make. Oh the other hand, a test situation such as this is an 
integral part of teaching, and, therefore, time used for this purpose 
can be easily justified. The records of this type of testing can probably 
best be made at the close of the class period or school day. While not 
all such test situations should be recorded, it is important that a few 
be kept. 

Observation of pupil attitude. The attitude and reactions of chil- 
dren while singing, playing instruments, and listening to music are 
good indications of their understanding. The following are specific ex- 
amples of the type of evidence presented: 

(a) A class had just finished singing "Home on the Range" and had 
started "Camptown Races." Several pupils straightened their shoulders, sup- 
pressed smiles appeared on the faces of many, and the laughter in their eyes 
showed that they were "in tune" with the spirit of the music, 

(6) While listening to a quartette of twelve-year-old girls, one of the 
children in the room unconsciously put his hands to his ears when the voices 
did not blend well. 

(c) In listening to a recording of "Die Man River" the faces of children 
showed in succession, feelings of admiration, wonder, and sorrow; then a sort 
of exultation. 

Observation of pupil reaction when performing for others. Three 
boys who sang solo parts in the "We Three Kings" for a Christmas 
program practiced during the noon hour. The music teacher later per- 
mitted them to rehearse during the music class period. When singing 
for the class, the attitude of the three boys was markedly different 
from that they exhibited when practicing during the noon hour. They 
were conscious of the audience, seemed to sense that their efforts were 


being well received. This being "in tune" with their listeners is evi- 
dence of understanding. 

Record of participation in music. Jim, a student in junior high, was 
reprimanded in music class in the following manner: 

"Why aren't you helping today?" 

"I don't like music," was Jim's reply. The teacher noticed during the year 
that Jim attended orchestra and band concerts voluntarily. One day she said, 
"Jim, you said you didn't like music and yet I see you at orchestra and band 

"Oh, I like that," was Jim's answer. "I just don't like school music." 

Further discussion disclosed that it was the type of songs used in 
class and not just school music that Jim disliked. The record of Jim's 
participation was taken as evidence of Jim's understanding and so 
used by the teacher. 

Children's choice of musical selections. A fifth-grade class in prep- 
aration for a minuet program (traditional fifth-grade program) had 
chosen as their subject, "Musical Moments with Mozart." They de- 
cided to write and enact a play of the life Mozart lived, featuring, 
as indicated in the title, the high lights in his musical life. The dis- 
cussion concerning the selections to be used and the most appropriate 
place for each gave many opportunities for showing understanding. 
Two are given here. 

(a) The children found no record of the selection Mozart and his sister 
used when playing for Maria Theresa. Excerpts from the "Magic Flute" 
were used even though Mozart did not write it until years afterward. The 
children said, "It would have been appropriate to play for the Queen, and 
since we don't know what was played we probably wouldn't have the right 
one anyway." 

(6) These children had learned to sing the "Second Minuet." They wanted 
to use it in their program even though it was not written by Mozart. They 
decided to use it as an introductory number preceding the play, for, they said, 
"After all, Mozart wrote the most famous minuet. This is a good one. It 
will be a good way to lead up to our play." 

Pupil evaluation of performance. The pupil's emotional reaction to 
his own performance frequently gives evidence of aesthetic under- 

(a) Dan, a fourth-grade boy, cried at the dose of his instrumental music 
lesaou. When questioned by his teacher he said, "I played much better last 
night. I could do that second part well. This morning I can't get it right." 

(6) Sarah was asked by her teacher how she was getting along in the 


orchestra. She replied, "Not too well. We just don't seem to be able to play 
well together. We can't seem to put real quality into our work. I practice 
a lot and seem to be able to do the parts, but when I play with the others 
something seems to be wrong," 

(c) Two boys talking in the corridor were discusssing the assembly pro- 
gram. One said, "Boy, our orchestra was really hitting. That's the best we 
have done this year. We have never played that well before, even at re- 



MABEL E. RUGEN, Chairman 

University of Michigan 
Ann Arbor, Michigan 

with the collaboration of 

Health Specialist, Division of Education 

Office of Inter-American Affairs 

Washington, D. C. 

There is considerable agreement in the literature with reference to 
the major objectives that should be attained through health education. 
The extent to which these objectives are attained is dependent on a 
number of factors. These include: the environmental conditions and 
public health procedures which influence the individual's surroundings, 
and the extent to which medical, dental, and other health services are 
actually available, as well as his own health practices, his attitudes, 
and his understanding. 

a The following persons assisted in the preparation of this chapter: Edna 
Bailey, Professor of Education, University of California; Marion Cranmore, 
Teacher, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Public Schools; Mayhew Derryberry, Chief, Field 
Activities in Health Education, U. S. Public Health Service; Marguerite Evans, 
Teacher, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Public Schools; Ruth Grout, Associate Professor 
of Education and of Public Health, University of Minnesota; Howard Holland, 
Teacher, University TTigh School, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Ella E. McNeil, 
Professor of Public Health Nursing,. University of Michigan; Edgar Martin, 
Teacher, University High School, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Harold E. Mitchell, 
New York City Health Department, New York; Jay B. Nash, School of Educa- 
tion, New York "University, New York; Helen Platt, Principal, Eberbach Ele- 
mentary School, Ann Arbor, Michigan ; Arthur Steinhaus, Professor of Physiology, 
George Williams College, Chicago; George M. Wheatley, Assistant Vice-Presi- 
dent, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, New York; Pauline Brooks William- 
son, Chief, School Health Bureau, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, New 



Teaching boys and girls so that desirable outcomes in health will 
be achieved is the responsibility of teachers, administrators, health 
specialists, and other adults who share with parents the guidance of 
youth. Teaching should stress participation in purposeful activity 
which gives practice in solving the health problems of immediate con- 
cern in living. Helping individuals emotionally to accept desirable 
health practices and motivating them to action are likewise basic. The 
individual may be said to have attained health objectives which in- 
volve understanding when he behaves intelligently, that is, according 
to recommended standards or practices in various common as well as 
novel situations. Health practices, skills, attitudes, and knowledge 
are all related to understandings. 

Various methods of appraising progress toward the achievement of 
health objectives have been tried. Much remains to be done to de- 
termine the extent to which different procedures do assist the teacher. 
To extend the successful practices of a number of teachers by influenc- 
ing many others to try them is one way of testing the applicability of 
these procedures. 

The list of objectives generally considered desirable for health edu- 
cation at all levels, as presented here, excludes all items related to 
manners and aesthetics. There has been a tendency to include as 
health objectives such items as care of the clothing, being courteous, 
neat, cheerful, and a good sportsman. As a consequence, these latter 
have sometimes been given more attention than such basic items as 
sleep, rest, exercise, proper diet, and freedom from infection. Like- 
wise, the special objectives relating to mental and emotional health 
are not listed here, because it is assumed that most of the general 
objectives mentioned are connected more or less directly with emo- 
tional or mental health. 

In the area of health education it is generally agreed that behavior 
and attitudes are of greater importance than is knowledge. Knowledge 
of desirable practices with reference to health does not necessarily 
mean that behavior and everyday living are affected positively. On the 
other hand, failure has often resulted from our traditional teaching of 
health because insufficient emphasis has been placed on understanding 
the values of positive behavior and good health habits. The problem 
of teaching, then, is to help the pupil at each succeeding stage of de- 
velopment to improve his understandings and to increase his emotional 
acceptance of proper health behavior in everyday living. 

The objectives are grouped under (a) individual health, (6) family 
health, and (c) community health, on the assumption that a good pro- 
gram in health education will assist boys and girls to acquire under- 


standing with reference to all of these areas. The overlapping of ob- 
jectives which appears is intentional and is employed as one means of 
giving emphasis to certain items. Some of these objectives are less 
likely to be applicable to the elementary- than to the secondary-school 
level, particularly if the pupil is expected to verbalize or generalize 
experiences that demonstrate his understanding of them. 

With Respect to Individual Health 

L To know that every individual has a definite responsibility for 
his own health and must accept this responsibility if he would achieve 
his aims most fully, and that the way he lives is important to his per- 
sonal health and to the attainment of his life goals. He should, how- 
ever, be aware of the fact that health is not a responsibility he carries 
by himself as an individual alone, but one which he shares with all 
members of his social groups. 

2.* To know that physical health is so closely related to mental 
and emotional health that a clear separation between them cannot be 
made; and to accept the idea that keeping one's self in good physical 
health enables one to meet the mental and emotional crises in everyday 
living more successfully. 

3. To know how to organize time to provide for balanced living 
twenty-four hours of the day. 

4. To know the relation of adequate sleep and rest to the physiology 
of tissue functioning and fatigue, and to accept the fact that adequate 
sleep and rest each day is essential for counteracting the undesirable 
effects of fatigue and for promoting normal growth. 

5. To know the importance of a quiet and restful environment in 
contributing to the best conditions for relaxation, rest, and sleep, and 
to know how to provide such an environment. 

6. To know how to participate in play and exercise and to accept 
the fact that vigorous play and exercise, out-of-doors when possible, 
are important for good bodily function, and that the kind and amount 
of exercise desirable for different age and sex groups vary with the 

7. To know that it is through suitable strenuous physical-educa- 
tion activities, exercise, and play, that one acquires endurance, strength, 
stamina, i.e., the physical power to achieve difficult tasks, and to know 

* Objectives marked with, the asterisk are applicable primarily to the second- 
ary school. 


the relationship of this ability to physical fitness and the factors that 
contribute to total body fitness. 

8. To accept the fact that it is important to be able to get along 
with others in work, play, and other social situations. 

9. To know the physiology and mechanics of the skeletal and 
muscular systems, the means to develop and maintain good posture, 
and the relationship of body mechanics to personal appearance, nutri- 
tion, and fatigue. 

10. To know how the various kinds of food function in the human 
body, how to obtain these foods, and how to improve his own habits 
of eating and food selection, and to accept the fact that a well-balanced 
daily diet is essential for his best growth and health. 

11. To understand the importance of the sanitary handling and 
care of food for one's self and others. 

12. To know the importance of cleanliness as a factor in improving 
individual and group living and in preventing the spread of disease. 

13. To know the need for and the essentials of a good periodic 
appraisal of one's own health status, and to understand what the indi- 
vidual, teacher, parent, and health specialists can do in making such 
an appraisal. 

14. To know the importance of getting defects corrected early, as 
well as the importance of early medical attention for illness and the 
means of obtaining the full benefits of the facilities available. 

15. To know the health needs and problems of his own and other 
social groups and to understand what the individual can do about them. 

16. To know that immunization makes it possible to be protected 
against certain diseases, and that it is a mark of good citizenship to 
seek such protection. 

17. To know that communicable diseases are due to specific germs 
(micro-organisms or viruses) and that every individual can do certain 
things to avoid and to prevent the spread of these diseases. 

18. To know that the common cold is a communicable disease, that 
the symptoms usually associated therewith are frequently the same as 
those associated with other communicable diseases, and that mingling 
with others when one has a cold is subjecting them to the risk of 

19. To know the importance of using individual drinking cups, 
towels, wash cloths, toothbrushes, combs, and other personal articles. 

20. To accept the fact that in a democracy all pupils must share 
responsibility for the proper use and care of sanitary facilities in the 


school and for the maintenance of healthful living conditions within 
the classroom. 

21. To know that drugs and treatments are a valid part of medical 
practice, but that in the hands of the layman they may prove danger- 
ous; that self-diagnosis and self-medication in time of illness are un- 
wise and sometimes disastrous. 

22. To know how to prevent accidents and how to give first aid in 
case of accident, and to understand the importance of emotional con- 
trol in case of injury or other emergency. 

23. To know the nature of the human organism, its general and 
variable characteristics with reference to normal growth and develop- 
ment, and the physiological effects of wholesome and unwholesome 
practices of daily living. 

24. To accept the fact that individuals with handicaps such as 
limited vision, blindness, hardness of hearing, deafness, orthopedic 
defects, or speech impediments should be helped to adjust to these 
conditions and to obtain the type of supervision that will make them 
useful members of society. 

25. To know the structure, physiology, and purpose of the special 
organs such as eyes, ears, nose, throat, mouth, and teeth, their economic 
and vocational values, and the methods of caring for these organs. 

26.* To know the role of heredity in health, the principles of 
genetics and eugenics, and their application in improved human rela- 
tionships. This knowledge includes understanding of the structure and 
physiology of the sex organs, the nature of wholesome relationships 
with members of his own and the opposite sex, and means of improving 
those relationships through social activities, sports and games, group 
work, and other experiences. 

27.* To know that scientific information is available concerning 
the effects of alcohol and tobacco. He should know where to find such 
information and why temperance is desirable, and should accept the 
concept that temperance in all things is essential for balanced living. 

With Respect to Family Health 

28. To accept the fact that the health of a family is dependent on 
the healthful or unhealthful living of each individual composing the 

29. To know the family health services available through the local 
health department, visiting nurse association, hospitals, private phy- 
sicians and dentists, or other health agencies or personnel in the com- 
munity, as well as the desirable procedures for selecting, obtaining, 
and using these services. 


30.* To know the principles and procedures for the home-care of 
various age groups subject to illness or accidents, and the precautions 
that help to prevent both illness and accidents. 

31.* To know the principles of child care, "growing up," and prep- 
aration for marriage, as well as their relationship to the establishment 
of one's own home. 

32. To know how to improve environmental health conditions with 
reference to light, heat, ventilation, and sanitation within the home 
and on the home premises, and to accept a share of the responsibility 
for making these improvements. 

33. To know the importance of checking consumer advertising of 
medicine, foods, and treatments before purchasing the product for use 
by any members of the family. 

With Respect to Community Health 

34.* To know the major health needs and problems of the commu- 
nity and the means of assisting professional and lay groups in finding 
these needs and in making plans for community health improvement. 

35.* To know the financial burden placed on the community 
through unnecessary sickness and death, and the means by which the 
individual can assist in reducing this economic waste. 

36.* To accept the facts that public health laws, procedures, and 
programs are designed to protect the health of citizens in the commu- 
nity and that individuals have a responsibility to co-operate in their 

37.* To know the health advancement which has been made in 
modern times for the improvement of individual, family, and commu- 
nity living and to recognize the importance of individual responsibility 
in preserving this heritage and contributing within his own ability 
to further advancements. 

38. To accept the principle that it is important for the school, the 
home, and community groups to co-operate in the effort to improve the 
health program for the total community. 

39.* To know the occupational hazards and the health problems 
of industry in his community, as well as the means for dealing with 
them, and to accept the fact that health is important to job-getting 
and job-holding. 

40. To know how to make his community safe with reference to 
the prevention of accidents due to traffic, fire, drowning, or other 



General procedures for evaluating the extent to which health-edu- 
cation objectives are attained are similar for both the elementary and 
the secondary school. The emphasis given to the various procedures 
and the specific devices used will vary. In this section of the chapter 
the aims are: (1) to list typical general procedures and (2) to present 
examples of how these general procedures, accompanied by specific 
devices, may be applied in estimating the extent to which various ob- 
jectives are attained. It should be pointed out that no one general 
procedure or specific device can completely measure understanding 
as expressed in even one of the objectives. Several different procedures 
and specific devices which supplement each other will give a more 
perfect measure than any one used separately. The procedures and 
devices presented are usually applicable to more than one objective; 
likewise, each objective can and should be evaluated by several differ- 
ent methods. 

It should be pointed out further that the manner in which the 
general procedures and specific devices are used is more important than 
the procedures or devices themselves. The best tools are ineffective 
instruments in the hands of the unskilled worker. The "measurement 
of understanding" demands thoughtful and careful use of the tools just 
as does effective teaching. Indeed, some of the methods suggested 
could be employed as teaching aids as well as for evaluation purposes. 

General Procedures 

The general procedures which are most useful for evaluating under- 
standings in health education may be grouped as follows: 

1. Observation of pupil behavior and the recording of these ob- 
servations in behavior journals, in anecdotal records, or in other ways. 

2. Self-appraisal by the pupil in terms of standards of behavior 
previously agreed upon. 

3. Check lists and survey forms based on accepted "standards" 
and used at periodic intervals. 

4. Interviews with pupils, parents, other teachers, and community 
workers, including home visits and individual counseling. 

5. Health-examination records and reports from physicians, den- 
tists, and nurses. 

6. Reports from local physicians, ophthalmologists, and dentists 
regarding the increase in medical and dental supervision of school-age 


7. Diaries and other autobiographical records of pupils. 

8. Specially created situations within the classroom and school 
which give pupils opportunity to apply voluntarily what they have 

9. Paper-and-pencil inventories aimed at application of principles 
and evaluation of sources of help. 

10. Expression of pupil opinion which considers positive health be- 
havior the "thing to do/' because the natural leaders in the school have 
accepted it. 

11. Records of the sale of milk, salads, fruits, whole-grain cereals, 
enriched bread, etc., in the school cafeteria or in local food establish- 
ments, including dairies and stores. 

12. Samples of pupil creative work, such as drawings, models, ex- 
hibits, photographs, motion pictures, or written and oral reports which 
show sound application of health principles. 

The literature of education and health contains some references 
which furnish concrete illustrations of how these general procedures 
have been applied to specific situations. Some of this literature is 
referred to in the following section. It has been impossible to avoid 
considerable overlapping of objectives and of ways to evaluate them, 
but this overlapping is viewed as desirable. 

Suggested Procedures for Evaluating Understanding in 
Elementary Grades (Kindergarten through Grade VI) 

The procedures here described should be started in the kindergarten 
and continued through the sixth grade by all teachers. They constitute 
one means of insuring individual pupil responsibility for sound health 

Objective 1. Responsibility for own health. Accumulate anecdotal 
records at periodic intervals to be compared with other observations 
made of the same children ; conduct informal "morning inspection" to 
determine whether children need to be reminded of personal hygiene 
delinquencies; make comparison of inspection records from time to 
time to note progress; encourage pupil self-appraisal of personal ap- 
pearance and hygiene to determine if children are ready to begin the 
school day; collect pictorial reminders made voluntarily by children 
and posted in the classroom ; examine reports of parents, church, and 
youth leaders from time to time. 

Objective 3. Organize time for balanced living. Observe the extent 
to which children assume increasing responsibility for planning a bal- 
anced day in school by participating in rest, play, lunch, and work 


periods with decreasing assistance from the teacher. Observe if chil- 
dren rest when they are tired, play with others during recess, eat their 
lunch at noon, and engage in work activities at the times assigned to 
them. Note improvement in the practices of individual children and 
record these observations in behavior journals. Determine through 
reports from parents similar growth in responsibility in home activities. 

Objectives 4 and 5. Rest, sleep, and environment Observe the ex- 
tent to which children contribute to the creation of a quiet environment 
during rest periods in school and the manner in which they rest. Com- 
pare results of observations at periodic intervals. Through interviews 
with parents determine whether children go to bed willingly, give up 
radio programs that may interfere with their sleep, and obtain regu- 
larly the hours of sleep recommended for the age group, 

In interviews with camp counselors, obtain evidence as to under- 
standing of the need for rest shown by the pupil in a camp situation. 
Compare these reports with records of school and home behavior. 

Questionnaires and voluntary reports from parents are described 
by Hardy and Hoefer (8: 65-66) ; and use of the questionnaire, cover- 
ing such items as going to bed early, drinking milk, keeping self clean, 
etc., by Turner (18 : 50-52, and chap, iii) . 

Objectives 10 and 11. Balanced diet and sanitary handling and 
care of food. Determine changes in food practices through periodic 
pupil reports such a& "What I ate yesterday." Discover through 
posters showing well-balanced meals and through notebooks, exhibits, 
menus, or plans for refreshments for a parent-day or children's party, 
as classroom activities, the extent to which pupils seem to understand 
the value of healthful food. Observe what children eat for their lunches 
at school and discover improvements in selection of food and manner 
of eating it. (Consider lunches in relation to breakfasts and dinners.) 
Observe improvements made by children in the handling of foods, 
e.g., the morning milk and the steps taken to keep food sanitary. 

Determine through periodic "taste-it activities," the foods children 
like and dislike. Note the extent to which individuals taste and then 
eat foods they express dislike for. 

Self-appraisals by children may include questionnaires based on 
"What I Usually Do"; "What I Did Today or Yesterday," as well as 
informal reports by children on how they think they have improved 
their health practices. Sample lists of questions are illustrated in 
7: 46-47, and in 2: 167. Questionnaires, too, may discover whether 
pupils apply what they learn. (See also 5: 136-37.) 

Objectives IS and 14- Periodic health examinations and correction 
oj defects. Through the use of daily observation and periodic screen- 


ing, identify children that have improved their health status. Discover 
through interviews or correspondence with parents, physicians, and 
nurses, and through reports from physicians, dentists, or nurses what 
physical defects or other adverse health conditions have been corrected 
and whether the children are examined at periodic intervals by their 
family physician and dentist. 

Reports of medical, dental, and orthopedic rechecks by physicians, 
dentists, and other professional personnel provide clinical evidence of 
understanding. Sample accounts for elementary-school children are 
included in 8 : chap. iii. Items for teachers to observe in physical ex- 
aminations and screening tests are suggested by Rogers (14) ; and 
helpful forms for teacher observation and for physicians 7 examinations 
are provided by Nyswander (12: 64-65, 134-35, and 337). 

Objective 15. Health needs and problems. Through the comparison 
of environmental health conditions of schoolrooms and grounds with 
recommended standards at periodic intervals, determine the health- 
fulness of surroundings and steps taken by children to improve un- 
healthful conditions. Follow a similar procedure in determining health 
problems and needs of various age groups. The following references, 
which suggest items for inclusion, are especially helpful in this connec- 
tion: 7: chap, iii (particularly applicable to elementary grades), 
3: 208-11, and 11 (procurable from state or local tuberculosis associa- 
tions). Closely related to these inventories is the Strang and Smiley 
'Teachers' Inventory of Their Health-Education Activities" (17 : 343- 
47) , which, besides providing a means for analyzing the teacher's health 
program, includes questions relating to children's behavior and their 
health attitudes in the classroom and school environment. The in- 
terested reader should also examine reference 14. 

Objectives 16, 17, 18, 19. Immunization and prevention of commu- 
nicable diseases; the common cold. Determine through a study of 
attendance records the illnesses that keep children at home and 
whether the introduction of a health-instruction program effects any 
change in the number or duration of absences for individual children 
and for the group. 

Observe and record from time to time the behavior of children with 
reference to sneezing, using a handkerchief, putting things in their 
mouths, and using drinking cups and other personal equipment. Com- 
pare with accepted good practices and note changes in behavior. 

Through interviews with parents or with the public health nurse, 
identify the children who have been immunized against small pox, 
diphtheria, and other communicable diseases. Compare the number 
with the record of former years. Study the reactions of children 


toward immunization when it is done at school. Note whether there 
is evidence of a greater acceptance, understanding, and interest on the 
part of parents and children than formerly. 

References included under Objectives 1, 2, and 3 above and under 
Objective 24 below are applicable here, as also are those given under 
Objectives 4 and 5. 

Objective 22. First aid and prevention of accidents. Determine the 
experience children have had in giving first aid. Compare this experi- 
ence with recommended practices. Keep a record of the injuries chil- 
dren report and note whether they show increasing recognition of the 
conditions which require the exercise of care. 

Ask safety patrol members to record violations of safety rules, 
and compare their records from time to time to note evidence of im- 

Through a record of accidents in the neighborhood or at home, with 
suggestions for their prevention, determine improvement following 
safety instruction. The record might include date, nature of accident, 
how it occurred, where, when, extent of injury, and how it could have 
been prevented. 

Study the safety practices of children, such as use of scissors, throw- 
ing stones, leaving materials and equipment where they may cause falls, 
and note improvement throughout the year. 

Observe the reactions of children when they are slightly injured. 
Do they exhibit good emotional control? Do they cry less easily? Do 
they show less anger? 

Reference 1 (chap, iv) is useful in this connection. Also, the Na- 
tional Safety Council (20 Wacker Drive, Chicago 6, Illinois) has a 
number of instruments of value: "Are You Doing Your Part?" (a self- 
check device) , "Keeping Accident Records," and "Tests in Safety Edu- 
cation" (the last-named for various grade levels) . 

Objective 23. Nature of the human organism; physiological proc- 
esses and responsibility of the individual. Determine through group 
discussion or individual interviews if children understand variations 
in growth as expressed in animal or plant experimentation as a normal 
phenomenon which applies also to themselves and their friends. Deter- 
mine if children appreciate variations in height and weight gains among 
their own group through analysis of individual height-weight graphs. 
Keeping growth records may be made a pupil activity. 

Objective 24. Children who are different. Observe pupils' behavior 
toward children with various handicaps or the children of other races 
and those of different social and economic backgrounds. Significant 


traits are: willingness to play in games which require children to 
stand next- to each other or take hands, willingness to share materials, 
to help when help is indicated, or to sit at the same table at lunch. 

Specific illustrations of some of these suggestions will occur to 
teachers from their own experience and reading, especially in the area 
of child growth and development. (See, for example, 15: chaps, xvii, 
xxi.) Types of behavior journals and diary reports, for example, are 
familiar to many teachers. Some writers advocate providing only a 
plain sheet of paper for each child, recording what is observed from 
time to time under specific dates. Others rule the paper to include 
date, incident observed, and comments, such as frequency of incident, 
what was done about it, etc. 

Helpful references are "Teacher Record of Progress" (a three-year 
record form which children can assist in keeping), 7: 47-48; 4, chaps, 
iv, vi; and Strang's "case-study" type of report in Every Teacher's 
Record (16). 

Objective 37. Health advancement for community. Determine 
through creative drawings and exhibits, the understanding of children 
regarding "Health through the Ages," or the application of modern 
science to improved living in the community. 

Paper-and-pencil tests may be helpful for both of these objectives 
and also for Objective 15 (2: 366-73). Standardized tests suitable for 
the elementary grades include: 

Health Awareness Test. New York: Bureau of Publications, Teachers 

College, Columbia University. 
GATES-STRANG. Health Knowledge Test, Forms A, B, and C. New York: 

Bureau of Publications, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1937 

ORLEANS, JACOB, AND SEALEY, GLENN A. Public School Achievement Tests: 

Health, Forms 1 and 2. Bloomington, Illinois: Public School Publishing 

SPEER, ROBERT, AND SMITH, SAMUEL. National Achievement Tests: Health 

Test. Boekville, New York: Acorn Publishing Co. 

Suggested Procedures for Evaluating Understanding 

in the Secondary School (Grades VII-XII) 

Many of the evaluative procedures suggested for the elementary 
grades are equally applicable to the secondary school, especially 
Grades VII and VIII. Observation, for example, continues to be of 
great value, but it is more extensively supplemented by paper-and- 
pencil inventories and tests in the higher grades than in the elementary 


Objective 1. Responsibility for own health. Determine through ob- 
servations made by the homeroom teacher or the first-hour teacher the 
extent to which students assume responsibility for their personal health. 
(This practice can be used in connection also with Objectives 3, 4, 6, 
12, and 19.) Observations may be followed by individual conferences, 
when changes in behavior are noted from time to time. (See 4: 
chap, vii; 19: 130-31.) 

Ascertain through samplings of student opinion and through obser- 
vation, especially of natural leaders, whether good health practices are 
the "vogue," and whether they are considered an important factor in 
school success. 

Health-practice inventories, like that prepared by Ned Johns of 
Stanford University, and health-attitudes tests, like that prepared by 
Oliver Byrd of Stanford University, are useful. Consult also 5 : 136-37, 
and 19: 135-36. 

Reports by pupils of how they believe they have improved in their 
health practices, or what they think they may have learned from in- 
struction in health, may give evidence as to the degree of understand- 
ing they have achieved 2 (19: 132-33). 

Objective 2. Physical health related to mental and emotional 
health. Determine the relationship between physical and emotional 
states from records of absences and complaints of digestive (gastro- 
intestinal) disturbances, headaches, general malaise in school exam- 
inations, plays, parties, athletic or musical contests, or other activities 
which cause unusual fatigue, pressure, or tension. Through individual 
conferences ascertain the extent to which particular students under- 
stand this relationship and do something about improving their regimen. 

Analyze student responses- to the question, "How grown-up am I in 
my emotional expressions when things do not go my way?" Compare 
the responses with check-list standards on "growing up emotionally," 
which students might help prepare. 3 

Objectives 3 y 4, and & Organizing time for balanced living; sleep 
and rest. Determine, through group discussion and individual counsel- 
ing, the extent to which students understand how to budget their time 
to allow adequate portions for sleep, recreation, study, and work. 
Through periodic analysis of pupil reports, such as "How I spent the 
past twenty- four hours" or "How I spent the past seven days," make 

*H. H. Giles; S. P. McCutehen; and A. N. Zechiel, Exploring the Curricu- 
lum, pp. 146-51. New York: Harper & Bros., 1942. 

8 Donald McLean, Knowing Yourself and Others, Unit IV. New York: Henry- 
Holt & Co., 1938; Peter Bios, The Adolescent Personality. New York: D. Ap- 
pleton-Century Co., 1941. This reference illustrates the case-study approach. 


comparisons to indicate improvement. With the aid of circle graphs 
which show desirable distributions of time throughout the day or week, 
have students appraise their own expenditure of time. Collect evi- 
dence from parents, employers, and proprietors of student "hang-outs" 
regarding hours of study, work, and recreation. Note increase or de- 
crease in these hours from time to time. Do the times for study, work, 
and recreation fit into a well-balanced and healthfully scheduled day 
and week? 

Self-appraisal procedures, such as that described by Giles et al* 
and by Weber (19 : Part II, Unit I, and pp. 135-38) are suggestive. 
The latter reference contains questions and check lists. 

The interview as a means of health counseling is discussed by 
Leonard (10 : chap, i) ; and a series of three personal conferences re- 
lating to health, physical development, family relationships, etc., is 
described in some detail by Weber (19 : 138-44) . 

Objectives 10 and 11. Well-balanced daily diet; sanitary handling 
and care of foods. Determine through a study of sales of milk, soft 
drinks, candy, fruit, vegetables and salads, in the school cafeteria, local 
stores, or nearby restaurants whether there has been an improvement 
in the dietary purchases of students or their families. 

Observe periodically methods of food handling and dish washing 
employed by students working in the food services, and compare with 
recommended standards; or use student self- appraisal forms in a like 

Through analysis of sample records of food eaten daily (amount 
and type) and comparison with recommended standards, have students 
appraise their own diets at periodic intervals. 

Weber (19: 133) suggests types of questionnaire and of voluntary 
reports from parents to help appraise health practices. The public 
opinion poll may be adapted as a means to influence pupil behavior, 5 
and home economics departments can contribute suggestions also. 6 

Objectives IS, 14, and 15. Health examinations; correction of de- 
fects; health problems. Determine the number of students who volun- 
tarily see their physician and dentist at regular intervals to obtain a 
health examination or to have known defects remedied. Through the 
periodic use of self-appraisal forms, estimate improvement made in 
health status, including good personal hygiene. By the use of paper- 

*Op. cxt. 

*Paul Guernsey, "The Modern Public Opinion Poll," American Journal of 
Public Health, XXXn (September, 1942), 159-66. 

* Clara Brown, Evaluation and Investigation in Home Economics. New York : 
F. S. Crofts & Co., 1941. 


and-pencil tests (see suggestions under Objectives 23 and 26) or 
through individual interviews or counseling (e.g., Leonard, 10) deter- 
mine if students understand what constitutes a good health examina- 
tion, why periodic examinations are important, how they should go 
about obtaining such an examination and assistance in the correction 
of revealed defects. 

Examine reports of medical, dental, and orthopedic rechecks. 
Sample accounts for high-school students are included in Weber (19 : 
129-30) . Dorothy Nyswander (12 : chaps, x-xii) offers suggestions for 
health examination and home environment (see also 7 : chap, iii) . Many 
of the suggestions may be applied to the high school. Further sugges- 
tions are found in 3: 208-11; 11; and 17: 343-47. 

Objectives 16, 17, 18, and 19. Immunization; prevention of com- 
municable disease; citizenship; the common cold. Determine the 
number of students who voluntarily exclude themselves from school 
when they have a cold or other communicable infection, and how many 
voluntarily participate in a program for finding tuberculosis cases. 
Determine through paper-and-pencil tests if students understand ways 
of spreading communicable diseases, special hazards, methods of pre- 
vention, the age at which immunization should be given, and the re- 
sponsibility of the individual for prevention and control of commu- 
nicable diseases. In physical-education classes and in social situations 
observe the number of students who wear each other's clothes, use com- 
mon combs, lipsticks, towels, drinking glasses, etc. Create classroom 
situations which reveal whether students apply what they have learned, 
and observe the extent to which they carry over health generalizations 
from one situation to another. Illustrations are reported in Science in 
General Education. 7 

Objective 24. Individuals who are different. Observe the behavior 
of students toward those with physical handicaps and those of different 
races and socioeconomic status, as revealed in willingness to participate 
together in athletic and social activities, to elect to school offices, to go 
on excursions in the same group, etc. Laton 8 offers other suggestions in 
this connection and also demonstrates the value of discussions relating 
to such problems. 

Objectives 23 and 26. Nature of the human organism; physiological 

7 Progressive Education Association, Report of the Commission on the Second- 
ary School Curriculum, Science in General Education, p. 434. New York: D. Ap- 
pleton-Century Co., 1938. 

8 Anita Laton, Suggestions for Teaching Selected Material from the Field of 
Genetics, pp. 35-36. Bureau of Educational Research in Science, Monograph No. 1. 
New York: Bureau of Publications, Teachers College 3 Columbia University, 1939. 


processes; sex education; and human relationships. Through paper- 
and-pencil tests determine the extent to which students understand 
bodily changes during puberty and the nature of normal development. 9 
Observe behavior of students in relation to these changes in situations 
like the swimming pool, shower, and dressing rooms where students see 
each other in the nude or scantily clothed. Do students exhibit unusual 
shyness, timidity, curiosity, or concern about their own bodies or the 
bodies of others? Observe also the behavior of students of varying 
ability in motor skills, musical, or scholastic ability toward each other. 
Do they recognize the fact that variations in ability are normal? 

Keep a record of the books on sex education, growing up, boy-and- 
girl relationships, preparation for marriage, child care, homemaking, 
and similar topics, as these are checked out from the school or public 
libraries or requested for use in the library. Is the use of these books 
increasing or decreasing? What types of books are in greatest demand? 

Observe the relationships between boys and girls in various informal 
situations and between high-school students and small children in play 
and other situations to determine the extent to which good judgment 
is present. Determine through paper-and-pencil inventories the atti- 
tude of students toward others in various social situations. With a 
basis of knowledge of home conditions derived from a study of students' 
records, try to discover through individual counseling the attitudes of 
students toward members of their family and evidence of good or poor 
relationships within the family. Analyze autobiographical reports of 

Paper-and-pencil tests may be helpful in determining whether the 
student can apply understandings but do not tell whether he actually 
does make the application in daily life. The types of paper-and-pencil 
tests most useful in evaluating understanding are essay-type, involv- 
ing the application of principles and interpretation of data, as well as 
master-list test forms. Samples of each of these with items related to 
health education are included in Weber (19: 125-30) and in Science 
in General Education. 

Health inventories related to information, practice, and attitudes 
may indicate ability to understand when items are parallel and re- 
sponses to the items are consistent. Pertinent suggestions are presented 
in the Health Inventories* 1 Sample tests for elementary-grade chil- 

* Alice Keliher, Life and Growth. New York: D. Appleton-Century Co., 1938; 
Caroline Zachry, Emotion and Conduct in Adolescence, chap, ii New York: 
D. Appleton-Century Co., 1040. 

" Op Cit., pp. 427-34. 

"Co-operative Study in General Education. Chicago: American Council on 
Education (5835 Kimbark Avenue), 


dren are found in 6: 286-88; and a comprehensive list of the more tra- 
ditional paper-and-pencil tests appears in 2: 370-73. 

Other paper-and-pencil tests that will be helpful include: 
Tests by Byrd and Johns referred to under Objective 1. 
GILL, E. M., AND SCHRAMMEL, H. E. Gitt-Schrammel Physiology Test. Em- 

poria, Kansas: Kansas State Teachers College. 
NEHER, GERWIN. Health Inventory for High-School Students. Los Angeles: 

Test Bureau, Board of Education. 
PROGRESSIVE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION (Evaluation in the Eight-Year Study.) 

Tests on Application of Principles in Science; Interpretation of Data; 

Scales of Beliefs, etc. Chicago: Progressive Education Association (5835 

Kimbark Avenue) . 
TRUSLER, V. T., AND OTHERS. Trusler-Arnett Health Knowledge Test. Em- 

poria, Kansas: Kansas State Teachers College. 

Objectives 22 and 30. First aid; prevention oj accidents and home 
care of illness and accidents. Ascertain the number of students who 
have passed the standard course in First Aid, the school course in home 
nursing of the American Red Cross or its equivalent, and the extent to 
which students apply what they have learned. Use the "Log" in which 
applications are recorded and comparisons made from time to time, 
e.g., "What was learned in class," and "Examples of how it was applied 
outside of school." 

How many students have made a survey of safety hazards in their 
homes and have done something to correct them? 12 

Organize a bicycle traffic squad and trial court and study the quality 
of work done by the traffic "officers" and judgments expressed by the 
jury and court to determine whether safety understandings appear to 
be improved. 13 

Through a study of accidents in the gymnasium, shops, labora- 
tories, on the school grounds, and on streets, discover ways of prevent- 
ing or reducing accidents and of increasing student responsibility for 
doing the same. Aids for evaluating home care of accidents and illness 
are available through local chapters of the American Red Cross. 

Through paper-and-pencil tests and driver tests estimate the ability 
of the students as safe drivers. (See 1: chap, vi.) Study student 
violations of traffic regulations for a number of years to determine 

Objectives 21, 29 } and S3. Drugs, treatment; dangers of self-diag- 

12 See check lists of National Safety Council and National Education. Asso- 

13 The National Safety Council, 20 North Wacker Drive, Chicago 6, Illinois, 
has suggestions. 


nosis; family health services, and consumer advertising. Determine 
through paper-and-pencil tests the ability of the students to evaluate 
sources for medical or dental assistance including advertised remedies. 14 
Study the written reports of students regarding qualifications for good 
professional health personnel (e.g., physician, dentist, nurse, nutrition- 
ist, physiotherapist, ophthalmalogist, et al.) . Do students know whether 
their personal dentists and physicians are members in good standing hi 
their professional groups, e.g., local medical or dental societies? 

If facilities permit, compare advertising claims with the findings of 
experiments in the science laboratories (in school and out) as to what 
constitutes a good product. Find out whether students check their own 
practices with reference to the purchase of cosmetics, cold creams, 
lotions, and dentifrices. 

Determine through student committee or individual reports, panel 
discussions, or other forms of expression the understanding which stu- 
dents have of community resources for health protection, their func- 
tions, and the responsibility of the individual for their support. Health 
inventories suggested above will be helpful; also, those under Ob- 
jective 26. 

Objectives S5, 36, 88, and 40. Consumer advertising of health prod- 
ucts; public health and safety. Appraise each student by a study of 
recommendations he makes for improving public health and for reduc- 
ing health hazards in occupations after he has made an investigation 
of public health laws, workman's compensation, and health and safety 
conditions in the community. 

Through student reaction to comparative studies of health condi- 
tions during various periods of history and in different parts of the 
world at present, discover how well students understand their "public 
health" heritage. 

Paper-and-pencil instruments in the form of multiple-choice and 
identification tests, or of a study of situations, with application of 
principles, will be useful, as will also debates or essays which provide 
the opportunity for students to demonstrate how well they can interpret 


teenth Yearbook of the American Association of School Administrators. 
Washington: National Education Association, 1938. 

2. . Health in Schools. Twentieth Yearbook of the American Association 

of School Administrators. Washington : National Education Association, 1940. 

: ** See Health Inventories of Cooperative Study in General Education, Ameri- 
ii $3J Council in Education, 5835 Kimbark Avenue, Chicago 37, Illinois, 


National Education Association, 1941. 

4. BAILEY, EDNA, AND OTHERS. Outline for the Study of Children. New York: 
McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc., 1939. 

5. CONBAD, HOWARD, AND MEISTER, JOSEPH. Teaching Procedures in Health Edu- 
cation. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Co., 1938. 

6. DOBBS, ALMA. Teaching Wholesome Living. New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., 

7. GROUT, RUTH. Handbook of Health Education. New York: Odyssey Press, 

cago : University of Chicago Press, 1936. 

9. Health in Education. Bulletin 329. Lansing, Michigan: Department of Pub- 
lic Instruction. 

10. LEONARD, MARGARET L. Health Counseling for Girls. New York: A. S. 
Barnes, 1944. 

11. NATIONAL TUBERCULOSIS ASSOCIATION. Healthful School Living. 1938. 

12. NYSWANDER, DOROTHY. Solving Health Problems. New York: Common- 
wealth Fund, 1942. 

13. ROGERS, JAMES. What Every Teacher Should Know about the Health of Her 
Children. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1936. 

14. . Survey of Safety and Health of the School Child. Washington: Gov- 
ernment Printing Office. 

15. STRANG, RUTH. An Introduction to Child Study. New York: Macmillan Co., 
1928 (revised). 

16. . Every Teacher's Record. New York : Bureau of Publications, Teach- 
ers College, Columbia University, 1943 (revised). 

17. STRANG, RUTH, AND SMILEY, DEAN F. The Role of the Teacher in Health 
Education. New York: Macmillan Co., 1941. 

18. TURNER, C. E. Principles of Health Education. Boston: D. C. Heath & Co., 
1939 (revised). 

19. WEBER, LYNDA. Functional Health Teaching Syllabus. Boston: Ginn & Co., 




University of Illinois 

Urbana, Illinois 


University of Indiana 
Bloomington, Tndjg^ia. 


University of Wisconsin 

Madison, Wisconsin 


Teachers College, Columbia University 

New York, New York 


Too many people think of physical education as a means merely 
for producing skilled performances in athletic contests. While such 
performances may be desirable outcomes, physical education, properly 
conceived, includes in its objectives many fundamental understandings 
about sport, about the human body, and about physical fitness and 
recreation which are applicable to the whole span of life. Intensive 
competition lasts only a few years for the small percentage of persons 
who are athletes and plays a very small part in the education of the 
larger proportion of the population for whom sports and physical 
fitness are fully as important as they are for athletes. Physical edu- 
cation is for every man, woman, and child; it is for all ages and should 
be continuous through life to maintain fitness and to provide enjoyable 
recreation. The fundamental purposes of physical education are 
centered on understanding the nature of growth and physical develop- 
ment, understanding the methods of maintaining physical fitness ac- 
cording to individual needs in life, and understanding how to enjoy a 
lifetime of participation in sport for recreation and fuller living. All 
along, under good leadership, there are unusual, if incidental, oppor- 
tunities for character building and personality expression. 



In so far as understandings are involved, the objectives of physical 
education are centered around four main areas. So grouped, the ob- 
jectives are: 

1. Understandings related to physical fitness:* 

To understand the significance of the body-type rating. 

To understand why one is overweight or underweight. 

To understand the effect of fat on or inside the body. 

To understand how to reduce fat. 

To understand the causes of poor posture. 

To understand how to improve posture. 

To understand the relationships of muscular fitness. 

To understand how to develop and condition the muscles. 

To understand how to develop "wind." 

To understand the relations of heart size. 

To understand the relations of the trained versus the untrained state of 
the blood. 

To understand the meaning of adequate circulation at various ages. 

To understand the relations of physical conditioning to low energy and 
chronic fatigue. 

To understand how to develop circulatory-respiratory endurance. 

To understand the causes of poor teeth. 

To understand how to maintain good teeth. 

To understand the cause of poor complexion. 

To understand how to acquire a good complexion. 

To understand the causes of poor eyesight. 

To understand how to conserve the eyesight. 

To understand the adjustments and corrections possible for poor sight 
or hearing. 

To understand the causes of nervousness, temper, and inability to con- 

To understand the facts of sexual hygiene, development, and maturity. 

To understand the meaning of poor motor ability. 

To understand the principal constituents of motor fitness. 

To understand how some people have maintained physical efficiency until 
an old age. 

To understand how much improvement is possible at various ages and 
for different levels of ability. 

2. Understandings related to curriculum and extra-curriculum opportuni- 
ties to become physically educated: 
To understand the courses or activities most suitable for body building. 

1 This is only a partial list. In greater detail the list might contain a hundred 
or more items, all of them desirable objectives. Those listed are among the most 
important, and they will serve to exemplify tJhe kinds of understandings which 
relate to physical fitness. 


To understand the courses or activities most suitable for reducing fat. 

To understand the courses or activities most suitable for developing funda- 
mental motor ability. 

To understand the courses or activities most suitable for developing 

To understand the courses or activities most suitable for developing 
aquatic ability. 

To understand the courses or activities most suitable for developing 
self-defensive ability. 

To understand the courses or activities most suitable for social recreation. 

To understand the courses or activities most suited to a particular 
physical defect or to a given fitness deficiency. 

To understand the courses or activities which are continued longest by 
the most people for fitness and recreation. 

To understand some physical activities for each season of the year. 

To understand how much education and work it takes to be "good" in 
various activities. 

3. Understandings related to social participation through physical education: 

To understand the value of sacrificing self-interest for the good of the 

To understand why rules must be scrupulously followed. 

To understand the place and importance of officials. 

To understand the value and dangers of spectators. 

To understand the rules of sportsmanship. 

To understand how to co-operate with captain, manager, coach, and 

To understand the value of self-control. 

To understand the essential elements in leadership. 

To understand the value of being cheerful and happy. 

To understand the value of honesty. 

To understand the value of relaxation at proper times. 

To understand the dangers of jealousy, suspicion, or "talking-down" an- 
other person. 

To understand the value of play. 

To understand how to secure needed guidance in sex and other health 

To understand the physical requirements of various occupations. 

To understand one's self with respect to group standards in physical 

4. Specialized knowledge of selected activities: 
To -understand the rules. 



To understand the mechanical principles of skill, 

To understand the methods of physiological training. 

To understand the methods of psychological training. 

To understand the kinesiology of movements. 

To understand the relations of body type to performance. 

To understand the significance of standards of performance. 

To understand how long it takes to develop skill. 

To understand the factors from which performance may be predicted, 

To understand the vocational values of the activities. 

To understand the health value of the activities. 

The significance of such understandings for physical well-being and their 
relationship to knowledge, habits, and skills are exemplified in the accom- 
panying chart. 
















Life Savmjo*! Wafer Safety 
5 ~ 






SKiinq *nd inq 
SlWi*3 nd Tob532i>i*3 






T^mbltMg **** * ant * 






HUnt)^", Sk'^t.^ 



RHJinj, Cijclmg 


feoiytina, TeLiie Tennis 

&Ci4l ff^wiC.!, OanCiM^ 







Procedures for evaluating understandings in physical education are 

not as formally organized as in many other fields of education. This 

lag is due to the emphasis on big-muscle activity and to the spontaneous 

interplay of personalities among individuals in games and sports. The 


direct and certain measurement of understanding is seldom possible, 
and devices and procedures are only rarely described in the literature. 
The methods physical-education teachers customarily employ to de- 
termine understanding are: 

1, By observing the correctness with which fundamental principles of action 
(mechanics, psychology, physiology, etc.) are exhibited in performance. 

2, By observing the participation of an individual to see that he knows his 
part in the play with other individuals. 

3. By observing the individual's social behavior before, during, and after 

4. By observing the choices and preferences of individuals for activity in 
relation to their apparent or tested needs. 

Formal paper-and-pencil tests are not generally used by teachers 
and coaches in their classes because of their deliberate intention to 
emphasize action and play in ways different from the activities of 
most classrooms. Personal discussion, man-to-man talks, and exchange 
of confidences mark the daily interchange between players and coach 
or between teachers and pupils in physical education. Also, physical- 
education teachers have been discouraged from using paper-and-pencil 
tests because of the very low correlation found between test scores 
and rated playing ability. Rightly or wrongly, coaches have accepted 
playing ability rather than understanding as their principal goal and, 
in so far as they measure understanding at all, they do so indirectly 
through their evaluation of playing ability. 

With more time available for physical education, knowledge tests, 
attitude tests, and tests of understanding may become much more 
generally used. At present, the methods employed to evaluate under- 
standings in physical education may be grouped into four main types: 

1. Simple observation and rating. Keeping reminders of daily observations, 
usually recorded by marks and brief notations kept in a diary or class- 
book or on a grading chart. The teacher judges the performance, the 
leadership, the co-operation, the talk, and the intelligent or unintelligent 
reactions of the pupil. Allotted points are usually based on such obser- 
vations, but also are sometimes subject to vote by teacher and group 

2. Controlled observations and ratings. Using systematic rating forms for 
noting types of behavior which reflect some degree of understanding. 

3. Standardized written tests. Using standardized knowledge tests or atti- 
tude tests, graded by the teacher. 

4. Performance tests. Using standardized tests in which the performance is 
regulated partly by understanding, and subjecting the results to discussion 
aad interpretation by the teacher or the coach. 



Following are illustrative applications of such techniques to the 
evaluation of objectives which involve understanding in the field of 
physical education. 

Simple Observation and Rating 

a. Monthly rating form for grades. The "Form for Recording 
Monthly Physical Education Grades" used in the Suffield, Connecticut, 
schools is presented here to illustrate a procedure whereby the teacher 
of physical education rates the pupil with respect to various aspects 
of learning and performance. An agreed-upon system of points may 
be used, such as 20 for each aspect; or signs plus and minus may be 
used for unusual behavior. These records are considered when the 
teacher estimates a final mark. 


Department oj Physical Education 
Suffield School, Suffield, Connecticut 








in Activity 

Spirit and 



1st Week 

4th Week 





The categories in the form, it will be noted, are inclusive skill, 
health habits, intelligence in activity, spirit and co-operation, and con- 
structive leadership. Although understanding is specifically measured 
only in "intelligence in activity/' it is indirectly measured as one phase 
of the complexes represented in the other categories. 

b. Man-to-man rating scale. Van Buskirk proposes a simple man- 
to-man rating scale for evaluating the results of physical education. 
The assumption is that the pupil is well known by the rater and that 
in the class there is a normal distribution of ability from poorest to 
best. A part of the Van Buskirk scale is here shown. Other divisions 
of the scale relate to neuromuscular control, recreational information, 
sportsmanship, etc. When this type of scale is used for self-ratings, 
the pronouns are changed to * ( y u /' an( i questions like "Do you 
know ....?" etc., are asked. 



I. Physical information: 
I. Does he know the factors of 
normal growth apd develop merit? . 











2. Does he know a sufficiently large 
number of activities? 






3. Does he know what his strength and 
energy should be? The physical re- 
quirements for different occupations? .... 
4. Does he know his shortcomings 
and deficiencies? How much im- 
provement he can make^ 









5. Does he know physically fit 
people to emulate? . 






II. Physical habits and attitudes: 
1. Does he have an impulse to keep 
Ehysically fit and assume responsi- 
ility to get fit? 










2. Does he feel ashamed when 
found physically unfit? 






3. Has he formed the habit of taking 
a normal Amount of play? 






4. Does he constantly measure his 
physical achievements and know 
relatively hi?? physical ability? 






5. Does he constantly analyze 
his Dhvsical shortcomings? 






c. Point-score system. The point-score system, used rather widely 
and with conspicuous success in small schools, is illustrated in the 
chart, "Physical Education Record," which follows. The total score 
for the year evaluates understanding as revealed through (1) knowl- 
edge, (2) participation, and (3) leadership. 

The results shown in the record indicate the relative success with 
which each individual has applied his knowledge in the physical- 
education activities of school life. For instance, when a student cor- 
rects a physical defect after it has been called to his attention (and 
to the attention of his parents), it is reasonable to suppose that he 
understood that the defect existed, that it was injurious to his record, 
and that by correcting it he gained some insight into the method and 
values of the correction provided. In much the same way, a high rating 
for participation in sports may be assumed to measure understanding 
to some extent, as, for example, understanding of rules, training pro- 
cedures, strategy of play, and sportsmanship. Likewise, points awarded 
for leadership reflect some understanding of such activities, just as 
grades awarded for scholarship reflect, however grossly, some amount 
of understanding. 

* Adapted from L. Van Buskirk, "Measuring the Results of Physical Educa^ 
tion," Journal of Educational Method, VH (February, 1928), 221-29. 




Health and hygiene 200 Health and hygiene 20% 

Leadership 50 Leadership 5% 

Scholastics 200 Scholastic average 20% 

Spirit and co-operation 50 Spirit and co-operation 5% 

Athletics or physical - education Athletics 50% 



Total 1000 




.3 its "3 

iilllllllllllllflllillll liijfi*: 

S3 < gfi II & S & 3 1 1 1 _3 S 1 1 * 

Note: The highest 10% in point score Tvill be eligible for election into Sigma Delta Psi, 
(National Honorary Physical Education Society) 

1. Health and hygiene 200 points 

The physical examination on a 100% basis 100 points 

Health study or lectures requiring examination. .100 points 

2. Leadership 50 points 

Any worth-while example of leadership may be rewarded. 

Team captaincy 25 points 

Managership 15 points 

Student or school council 10 points 

Class officer 5 points 

Social or business \ . 5 points 

3. Scholastics (Maximum, 100 points per semester) 200 points 

4. Spirit and co-operation (by vote of faculty) 50 points 

5. Athletics . . . 500 points 

Major sports: letter, 150; 2nd team, 100; participation 50 
Minor sports: letter, 75; 2nd team, 50; participation 25 
Intramural sports: championship, 50; participation 20 

d. A self-rating scale. A self-rating scale on recreational sports is 
a method of evaluating the success which a student feels he has 
achieved from experience in participation, reading, and discussion, all 
leading to some degree of understanding. For instance, in skiing the 
student learns the meaning of many terms, such as slalom, snowplow, 

* Improvised by the committee contributing iihis chapter. 



telemark, cristy, gelandesprung, as well as an understanding of skills 
and practices related to skiing, such as the different methods of wax- 
ing skiis, the advantages and disadvantages of various turns, types 
of shoes and bindings, the proper length for skiis and poles, types of 
clothing, hazards, dangers in other words, a host of ideas which, all 
together, make for understanding of the sport. The same is true for 
any sport. 

Admittedly, the self-rating scale is not an accurate measuring 
device, but it provides a quicker and easier means of evaluation than 
does any type of examination, when only a rough appraisal is needed 
with large numbers of persons. Provided that a wholesome rapport 
has been established between instructor and students, the student 
with much understanding will rate himself relatively high, and the 
student with little or no experience, relatively low. The records then 
become especially valuable for guidance, particularly when they are 
made the basis for personal interviews and group discussion. A sug- 
gested form for the self-rating scale relating to recreational sports is 
here shown. 


(Encircle Appropriate Number) 








1 Swimming. 






2 Diving ... 






3. Canoeing, boating, and sailing 
4 Gymnastics f circus) stunts. . . 





5 Tumbling 






6 Apparatus (gymnastic*') 






7 Hiking "" .... 






8. Camping out. 






9 Skating 






10. Skiing 






11. Sledding or tobogganing . . 






12 Dancing (social) 






13. Bowling 






14 Golf 






1 f>_ Tftnnis - . T . T 






16. Hunting and shooting . . 






17. Fishing 






18. Cycling. . . 






19. Climbing mountains . . . , 






20. Team games. . 






Total Points, 

Percentile Rating- 

Controlled Observation and Ratings 

a. Blanchard Frequency Rating Scale. Blanchard (1) advocates 
a frequency rating scale for measuring character and personality in 



physical-education classes. The scale covers leadership, positive active 
qualities, positive mental qualities, self-control, co-operation, social 
action standards, ethical social qualities, qualities of efficiency and 
sociability. Each of these nine units is covered by means of from two 
to four positive statements about the behavior to be observed and 
rated. The control is in frequency of observation, and the rating is 
done according to defined standards. The unit on leadership alone is 
as follows: 


No Oppor- 
tunity to 





1 Fairly Often 





Clr a rift Agp 

"NTft.mA nf Ra.tfir 


1. He is popular with, classmates 







2. He seeks responsibility in the class , . 
3 He shows intellectual leadership 

The score is summed at the right for all items rated. A maximum 
score of 120 can be obtained. The reliability is .711 and the validity 
.930, the latter by correlation of one trait action with the rest of the 
items in its category. The whole scale contains twenty-four trait 
actions. The ratings are made by the teacher who uses standardized 
forms. If we can assume that desirable behavior reflects understand- 
ing, then the scale may be assumed to measure understanding. 

6. Self-rating of physical fitness according to definite standards. 
Another type of device which is designed to evaluate the understand- 
ing which adults have of their own physical fitness is a self-rating form 
based on definite standards. An example of this kind of form is pre- 
sented here. An adequate self-rating according to the standards on 
this blank certainly involves some understanding. The person who 
knows the meaning of the physical-fitness standards can rate himself, 
provided he has had experience with the procedure employed in such 
measurement. The extent of his understanding would be revealed, in 
part, by the number of items on which he was able to rate himself 
reliably. On the other hand, the person who does not understand the 
standards or the means to be employed in securing the needed measures 
would be able to rate himself on but a few items. This type of instru- 



merit Is again best suited to the making of rough appraisals and tenta- 
tive surveys, especially when large numbers of persons are involved, 


Aspects of Fitness 


















1. Normal weight Not more than 10 Ibs. over or under 
average weight for skeletal build 
and. ace 






2. Normal adipose tissue Not more than 1 in. (women) 
J in. (men) double fold of skin 
and fat on cheeks, arms, ab- 
domen, waist, buttocks 






3. Normal body type Not extremely frail (ectomorphic) , 
soft and fat (endomorphic), nor 
eztreme in proportions, and mod- 
erately well muscled , 






4 Cheat expansion At least 3.0 inches 







5. Vital capacity At least average for body type 
6. Chest girth (expanded) Greater than abdominal girth 
(normal) by at least 5 inches . . 
7. Muscles: Biceps, abdominals, glutei, thighs, calves 
Hard and well developed under voluntary 












8. Posture Normal head, chest, spine, abdomen, feet 


9. Neuromuscular steadiness Hold full glass of water 
steady 30 sec. at arm's length 






10. Recovery from dizziness Walk 10 ft. on line, 5 sec. 
after 10 turns around finger 
on spot 







1 1 Breath holding W ft&v, after thrift d*=^p breath.? 







12. Breath holding after exercise 30 sec. after 60 sec. run 
in place 







13. Pulse ratio Score 2.5 after 30 step/min. exercise, .... 
14. Schneider Index Score in the 12-18 range 








15. Medical history and inspection Satisfactory rating. . . 


16. Ability to swim 440 yds,, any combination of "strokes . . 
17. Motor fitness screen test: Men's test at least 50% 
efficient. Women's test at 
least 50% efficient 













18. Pick-up and carry partner At least equal of own 
weight, 100 yards . 







19. Mile Walk and Run 10 min. (or 1000 hope, varied) . . . 
20. Agility Exercise 10 times within 60 sec 







(Below 60) 




n n n n n 


(90-100) Date:.. 

Total Points 

Per Cent Score 

As was explained in connection with device (a) above, follow-up 
questioning is especially valuable for increasing sureness of evaluation 
as a basis for sectioning, for guidance, and for further instruction. Not 
the least of the values of this device is its usefulness for purposes of 

4 Devised and used at die McKinley Y.M.C.A., Champaign, Illinois. 


motivation. Many persons, after rating themselves for physical fit- 
ness, have become interested in learning more about physical fitness, 
the standards employed for evaluating it, and the appropriate pro- 
cedure in taking corrective work. 

c. Check sheet for form. Another type of device is the check sheet 
for form, used by coaches, teachers, or squad leaders, to rate perform- 
ance of a player. The sample here given relates to softball, but ob- 
viously similar check sheets can be prepared to evaluate form in other 



Rater's Initials 

Player's name 

Captain's name_ 

Instructions: Rate the player each time he bats. Place a tally mark in the space 
which precedes the best description of player's form in each of six 
categories. Indicate your observation of errors in the right-hand 
half of the page, again with a tally mark. Write in any additional 
errors and add comments below. 

1. Grip 




2. Preliminary stance 



3. Stride or footwork 


4. Pivot or body twist 




5. Arm movement or swing 



-Hands too far apart 
-Wrong hand on top 
-Hands too far from end of bat 

.Stands too near plate 
Stands too far away 

foot closer to plate than forward foot 
-Stands too far forward 
Stands too far backward 
_Bat not in readiness position 

Fails to step forward 
_Fails to transfer weight 
.JL/ifts back foot from ground 

JFails to twist body 

_JFails to wind up 

-Has less than 90 of pivot 

-Arms held too close to body 
-Rear elbow held too far up 
JBat not held parallel to ground 

B M. Gladys Scott and Esther French, Better Teaching through Testing, p. 168. 
New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1945, 


6. General (Eyes on ball, judgment of pitcher, etc.) 

good Jerky action 

fair Tries too hard 

poor Poor selection of bat 

Lacks confidence 

When used by one player to judge another, the form check sheet 
evaluates the rater as well as the one rated. The ability of the rater 
(including his understanding of good form) is revealed by the speed 
and correctness with which he makes the entries. An experienced coach 
can watch a batter, then check his performance on the rating sheet at 
once with considerable accuracy. A novice, who has little understand- 
ing of good form, cannot rate batters in this way. Hence, if the novice's 
ratings are compared with those of an expert, a good measure of the 
understanding of the inexperienced rater is afforded. Of course, the 
player being rated is also appraised with respect to his understanding 
of good form. No separation is obtained between his knowledge of 
good form and his motor ability to demonstrate it, except in the case 
of a relatively few persons of good mental ability who lack motor co- 
ordination, and except, in the case of others, during early stages of 
learning. Once the ideal of good form is known, practice under good 
coaching builds the co-ordinated and integrated motor action which 
results in performance at the level of understanding. 

Standardized Written Tests of Knowledge 

Standardized knowledge tests have appeared in the literature of 
physical education since 1929. The aspects covered in available printed 
form are: badminton, baseball, basketball, field hockey, first aid, golf, 
life-saving, sports interest, soccer, source materials, swimming, syphilis 
and gonorrhea, tennis, and physical training. 

Rodgers and Heath (12) were among the first to develop acceptable 
knowledge tests in team-game activities. Other acceptable tests have 
been devised by French (3), Hemphill (5), Hewitt (6), Murphy (10), 
Scott (13), and Snell (15). A study of these tests shows that they 
adhere to approved types of form 6 as used for academic knowledge 
tests and that they have been developed with adequate regard for 

*G. M. Ruch, The Objective or New-Type Examination. Chicago: Scott, 
Foresman & Co., 1929; H. E. Hawkes, E. F, Lindquist, and C. E. Mann, Con- 
struction and Use of Achievement Examinations. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 
1936; J. M. Lee and P. M. Symonds, "New Types of Objective Tests: Summary 
of Recent Investigations," Journal of Educational Psychology f XXIV (January, 
1933), 21-28. 


validity and reliability. In general the content is proportioned some- 
what as follows: 

1. Historical development of activity 10 questions 

2. Analysis of form (technique, mechanics) 10 questions 

3. Analysis of strategy in game situations 10 questions 

4. Rules of play, fouls 10 questions 

5. How to avoid fouls 10 questions 

6. Area, spacing, dimensions (diagrams) 10 questions 

7. Equipment and supplies 10 questions 

8. Safety precautions 10 questions 

9. Conditioning 10 questions 

10. Terminology 10 questions 

Almost all of the tests are validated by the "expert jury" method, 
although there are examples of correlations with the amount of space 
devoted to given topics in textbooks. Correlations of the scores on the 
knowledge tests with performance in the activity have been very low 
as a rule. Reliability is usually checked by the re-test self-correlation 
method or by the split-halves method, with the Spearman-Brown 
prophecy formula correction. Almost all of the better tests are of the 
true-false or multiple-choice type, but some are of the combination 
"battery" type. The preference is overwhelmingly for quick-scoring 
tests which permit use of a matching key. The essay-type question is 
practically never used because of the time required to read the answers 
of large numbers of pupils. 

It would seem to be desirable to separate tests and test items which 
measure understanding in the ideal sense (an advanced level of com- 
prehension of basic principles) from those which measure merely the 
ability to recall memorized facts. The differences between the two 
extreme types of mental process, and hence between the two types 
of test item, are recognized by the authors of this chapter, but the 
differences are those of degree. Moreover, there is no very satisfactory- 
way to separate memory items from understanding items, save per- 
haps through the use of questions of increasing difficulty and com- 
plexity (see chap, iv) . 

In standardized and locally prepared written tests some plan of 
progressive difficulty should be worked out in physical education as 
has been worked out in the Wood-Lerrigo Health Behavior Scales. At 
least, we should think of questions as testing different levels of under- 
standing, such as: 

Low level Memory of easy rules and simple plays 

(preschool, elementary school) and health rules 


Intermediate level Memory of more complicated rules and 

(high school, general plays; some reasoning in applying rules 

adult population) to hard plays; elementary hygiene and 


High level Fundamental reasons for rules, plays, 

(college teams; profes- training procedures, body mechanics; 

sional-training level) mechanics and kinesiology of skill; physi- 

ology of exercise; advanced hygiene 

Tests Suitable for Classes in High School and College 

a. Multiple- choice type questions 

Baseball. 7 Check the correct response. 

In order to secure the greatest velocity for a pitched ball across the plate, 
the pitcher must throw : 

(1) An outcurve 

(2) A drop 

(3) A straight ball 

(4) An in-shoot 

(5) A fade-away 

For experienced players this question may seem to require only the 
recall of a fact, but for novices it sets up a mental struggle to decide 
which response is correct Thus, we cannot be sure when the answer 
measures simple memory and when it measures a deeper understanding. 
This is one of the outstanding faults of multiple-choice (and of other 
so-called "objective" test) forms. 

The surest way to obtain a real appraisal of understanding is to 
require a response which elaborates the basic principles in terms of 
fundamental reasons (physical, physiological, or psychological) . Some- 
times essay questions will serve this end, as, for example, if the ques- 
tion just above were stated to read: 

Explain in a one-page statement why the fastest curved ball does not 
usually travel over the plate as fast as does the fastest possible straight ball. 

The following type answer shows insight into basic principles and 
a high level of understanding, rather than the recall of previously 
memorized facts. 

For a given amount of spin on the ball, the ball will not "break" if the 
speed is too great; also, a spin ball of the "break" type cannot be thrown 
as fast as a straight ball, because of the compound snap and rotation re- 
quired in the arm acting as a third-class lever. A faster ball is obtained when 

* This sample is chosen from Irene Palmer, "Tests of Knowledge," Tests and 
Measurements, pp. 05-103. New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1932. 


all the available arm force acts to propel the ball rather than to rotate it. 
To make the ball "break," its spin must be fast enough to create a difference 
in frictional resistance so that the air pressure builds up on one side of the 
ball (that revolving forward to create head-on friction with the static air) 
and diminishes on the other side of the ball (that revolving away from the 
head-on friction) . When the spin is fast enough ha proportion to the head-on 
friction, the ball "breaks." 

Golf. 8 Check the proper letter to indicate the answer which is relatively 
most correct. 

Of the flights shown hi the diagram, which most closely approximates 
that of the mid-iron? (Consider all as iron shots.) 


c. , 

' e. . 

a. b c <d 

b. True- false type questions 

Basketball. Mark the statement ( + ) if it is true, but mark it ( ) if 

1. During a pivot one foot should be in contact with the floor 

until the ball is passed. 

2. Tall men should stay away from the backboard on the free- 
throw lane when a free throw is being taken. 

Football. Mark the statement T if it is true and F if it is false. 

1. Ball carriers should keep the ball on the side opposite any 

would-be tackier. 

2. The defensive full-back should wait for the advancing ball- 

Tests Suitable for Professional Courses in Physical Education 

In the professional courses in physical education written examina- 
tions of considerable complexity are used. There are many such tech- 
nical courses, but the examinations used can be exemplified in only a 
few areas in the space allotted. Among the examinations which have 
been published, those for basketball officials 9 may be cited. Esther 

8 M. Gladys Scott and Esther French, Better Teaching through Testing, pp, 
179-209. New York: A. S. Barnes <fe Co., 1945. 

* Women's National Officials Rating Committee of the Women's Athletic 
Section, American Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. 



French 10 has made an extensive study of typical professional examina- 
tions. The questions in these examinations deal with knowledge and, 
as compared with nonprofessional tests, are much more penetrating 
in their intention to search out the reasons behind knowledge about 
the mechanics of skills, physiology of exercise, and related technical 
subject matter. Most professional examinations do not, however, re- 
quire a sufficiently high level of understanding in terms of basic scien- 
tific principles. 

a. Laboratory measurement procedure 

The following questions have been taken from a course in tests and 

measurements. 11 

The understanding of a specialized laboratory procedure may be 

illustrated by the following question: 

(1) Trace and measure a typical heart ogram and insert in the accompany- 
ing tabulation form the raw scores, the standard scores, the correspond- 
ing percentile scores, and the composite and average standard scores 
(use text and any available tables) : 




1. Area under the curve in a single cycle. . 

2. Systolic amplitude 

3. Dicrotic amplitude 

4. Fatigue ratio 

5. Work to rest ratio 

6. Single cycle time 

7 T "R.atft pw mini-ftp T T ,.,,,,,, . r , 

8. Obliquity angle 

Composite Standard Score- 
Average Standard Score 

(2) Write a paragraph interpreting the meaning of the results. 

6. Use of profile chart 

How to rate one's self on a standard profile chart is an important 
type of understanding. It is illustrated by the following question: 

10 Esther French, "The Construction of Knowledge Tests in Selected Profes- 
sional Courses in Physical Education," Research Quarterly, XTV (December, 
1943), 406-24. 

"From Physical Education, 73. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois. 



Using your own raw scores on a variety of physical-fitness and achieve- 
ment tests, obtain the corresponding standard scores from the standard- 
score tables in the physical-fitness workbook 12 and plot these on the standard- 
profile sheet furnished. Plot at least three scores of each of the following 

1. Physique 

2. Organic efficiency 

3. Motor performance. 

c. Determination of improvement 

How to determine improvement by means of standard-score tables 
is an important technique illustrated by the following question: 

Compare your initial and final performances to determine the standard 
score per cent improvement, using the tables and raw data in your own fit- 
ness workbook (2) for any five items. 






Per Cent 

d. Theme-type question 

The understanding that one has of his own physical fitness can be 
evaluated by his ability to summarize his status in a one-page state- 

Write one page summarizing your own physical fitness under the follow- 
ing heads: 

Motor fitness 
Organic efficiency 
Outstanding needs 
Prescription of activities 

Include any objective scores on physical fitness tests taken within the last 
year. (Use of personal workbook is permitted.) 

e. Analytical diagrams 

1. Draw the vectoral diagram which illustrates the physical forces which 
make a baseball curve. 

a Kefers to the Physical Fitness Workbook used in the basic physical-fitness 
classes at the University of Illinois (2). 


2. Draw the analytical diagram which illustrates why the up-Mck is more 
effective for forward propulsion than the down-kick in the swimming 
flutter kick. 13 

3. Draw the projection diagram of a running broad jump and label 
properly to show how the physical law of projection applies to the 
event. 1 * 

Performance Tests 

Physical-education tests in use are principally performance tests. 
These fit in naturally with the fundamental task of providing suitable 
physical activity. Many of these tests involve understanding to a con- 
siderable extent in order to make a good score. For instance, how 
could anyone make a good showing in pole vaulting without under- 
standing how to vault? The performance reflects both understanding 
and physical capacity, though the two aspects are not separated. Such 
performance tests are very numerous in the literature of physical 
education, and good textbooks which describe them in full are readily 


It is clear that opportunities abound for the measurement of under- 
standing in physical education. Examples of such measurement are 
cited in this chapter which exemplify: 

1. Simple observations and ratings 

2. Controlled observations and ratings 

3. Written tests 

4. Performance tests 

Since 1929 the use of formalized procedures for measuring under- 
standing in physical education has greatly increased. Under pressure 
of time and inadequate leadership the formal measurement of under- 
standing by means of written tests usually disappears ; with still greater 
lack of time and leadership, even the performance tests disappear. 
The typical teacher then depends upon spontaneous group comments 
or man-to-man comparisons or conferences, both to develop and to 
measure understanding. Physical-education teachers value the worth 
of their methods to engender understanding in about the order stated 
above. Many are inadequately trained in the tests and measurements 
already published in their own field. Even more have little scientific 
foundation for testing scientific knowledge of particular skills, and 

18 T. K Cureton, "Mechanics and Kinesiology of the Crawl Flutter Kick," 
Research Quarterly, I (December, 1930), 87-121. 

"T. K. Cureton, "Mechanics of tibe Broad Jump," Scholastic Coach, IV 
(1935), 8-0. 


many of them lack the physical capacity and fitness needed for skil- 
ful performance. 

There needs to be a continuous research effort to graduate the 
difficulty level of devices to evaluate measurement in this field. At 
the present time there is little to distinguish tests used at the ele- 
mentary-school level from high-school tests, or high-school tests from 
those used at the college level or in teacher-training classes. Continuous 
critical appraisal needs to be made of the tests and of the results. 
New tests need to be created which will parallel the practical work 
in sports and physical fitness now being done in physical education. 
This program points toward a better integration of health education 
and physical education. 

The fundamental problem in developing a society rich in the out- 
comes of physical-education activities is the problem of securing under- 
standing. Unless each individual appreciates the meaning of physical- 
education activities, he lacks the ability to direct his life, the life 
of the young, and the life of society into channels which will realize 
a maximum of desirable outcomes associated with relatively full par- 
ticipation over the whole span of life. The school must accept the 
development of understanding as a responsibility. Such acceptance on 
the part of the instructor in physical education necessitates a definite 
statement of objectives in terms of understanding and the development 
of techniques for the evaluation of this understanding. Without these, 
intelligent progress is impossible. For some tim^ theorists in this field 
have stressed understanding (16, 18, 19). More recently, attempts to 
measure some of the understandings have been accelerated (13, 15). 
However, there is much more work to be done before an adequate 
graduated program can be presented. 


1. BLANCHARD, B. E., JR. "A Behavior Frequency Rating Scale for the Measure- 
ment of Character and Personality in Physical Education Classroom Situa- 
tions," Research Quarterly, VH (May, 1936), 56-66. 

2. CURETON, T. K. Physical Fitness Workbook, pp. Ill, 115-26, 128-50, Cham- 
paign, Illinois: Stipes Publishing Co., 1944. 

3. FRENCH, ESTHER. "The Construction of Knowledge Tests in Selected Profes- 
sional Courses in Physical Education," Research Quarterly, XTV (December, 
1943), 406-24. 

4. HEATH, MARJORIE, AND RODGERS, ELIZABETH G. "Study of the Use of Knowl- 
edge and Skill Tests in Soccer," Research Quarterly, m (December, 1932), 

5. HEMPHILL, FAT. "Information Tests in Health and Physical Education for 
High-School Boys," Research Quarterly, HI (March, 1932), 83-96. 


6. HEWITT, JACK E. "Comprehensive Tennis Knowledge Test," Research Quar- 
terly, Vin (October, 1937), 74-84. 

7. JEESILD, A. T. "Education in Motor Activities," Child Development and the 
Curriculum, pp. 57-83. Thirty-eighth Yearbook of the National Society for 
the Study of Education, Part I. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1939. 

8. JONES, HAROLD E. "The Development of Physical Abilities," Adolescence, 
pp. 100-120. Forty-third Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of 
Education, Part I. Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1944. 

9. MoCLOY, C. H. Tests and Measurements in Health and Physical Education, 
pp. 188-201. New York: F. S. Crofts & Co., 1942 (second edition). 

10. MURPHY, MARY AGNES. "Grading Student Achievement in Golf Knowledge," 
Research Quarterly, V (March, 1934), 83-90. 

11. PALMER, IRENE. "New Type Tests in Physical Education," American Physical 
Education Review, XXXIV (March, 1929), 151-56. 

12. RODGERS, ELIZABETH G. "Standardization and Use of Objective Information 
Tests in Team Game Activities," Research Quarterly, X (March, 1939), 102-12. 

13. SCOTT, M. GLADYS AND FRENCH, ESTHER. "Construction of Knowledge Exami- 
nations," Better Teaching through Testing, pp. 179-209. New York: A. S. 
Barnes & Co., 1945. 

14. SEFTON, ALICE A. "Knowledge Test on Source Material in Physical Educa- 
tion Including Aspects of Health Education and Recreation/* Research Quar- 
terly, VII (May, 1936), 124-36. 

15. SNELL, CATHERINE. "Physical Education Knowledge Tests," Research Quar- 
terly, VI (October, 1935), 79-83; VH (March, 1936), 73-82; VH (May, 1936), 
77-80, 84-91. 

16. STALEY, S. C. Sports Education, New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1939. 

17. STALEY, S. C., AND STAFFORD, G, T. Sports Curriculum. Champaign, Illinois: 
Stipes Publishing Co. (17 Taylor Street), 1940. 

18. VAN BUSKIRK, L. "Measuring the Results of Physical Education," Journal 
of Educational Method, VH (February, 1928), 221-29. - 

19. WILLIAMS, JESSE F. Principles of Physical Education. Philadelphia: W. B. 
Saunders Co., 1942 (fourth edition). 



ESTHER McGiNNis, Chairman 

Merrill-Palmer School 

Detroit, Michigan 


University of Minnesota 

St. Paul, Minnesota 


Iowa State College 

Ames, Iowa 


State Teachers College 

Buffalo, New York 

The first part of this chapter consists of an organized statement of 
those outcomes in education for personal and family living which 
appear to deal primarily with the acquisition of understandings. In 
the second part are presented illustrative devices for measuring some 
of the understandings. In the absence of any official or universally 
accepted statement of the outcomes of home-economics education, a 
tentative list was compiled by this committee after surveying the 
recent literature in home economics and in general education. 1 These 
outcomes were then submitted to a group of collaborators 2 from 

1 See bibliography at end of chapter. 

*Vera Anderson, Home-Economics teacher, Seattle Public Schools, Seattle, 

Eunice H. Aust, Head of Home-Economics Department, Boise Junior Col- 
lege, Boise, Idaho 

Ruth Bonde, Director of Home Economics, Northwestern University, Evans- 
ton, Illinois 

F. Caroline Budewig, Associate Professor, George Peabody College for Teach- 
ers, Nashville, Tennessee 

.Arm Buntin, Head of Home-Economics Education, State Teachers College, 
Plattsburg, New York. 

Vivian Crow, Head of Home-Economics Education, Carnegie Institute of 
Technology, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

Laura Hadley, Head of Teacher Education, Alabama College for Women, 
Montevallo, Alabama 

Hazel Hatcher, Associate Professor, Michigan State College, East Lansing, 



public schools, teachers colleges, and universities who made additions, 
deletions, and revisions. 

In harmony with the purposes of the yearbook, many of the out- 
comes which involve the development of skills, attitudes, appreciations, 
and information in the field of home economics have been omitted 
for this somewhat "official" test. Only those which clearly emphasize 
understandings have been retained. 

The list of outcomes which was finally selected, and which is pre- 
sented below, is also in general agreement with the results of a study 
recently made by a joint committee 3 of the American Home Economics 
Association and the American Council on Education. 


The outcomes of personal and family-life education have been 
organized within seven general areas: personal adjustment, use of time 
and energy, use of money, the family and children, foods and nutrition, 
clothing and textiles, and the home. 

I. Outcomes relating to personal adjustment 
A. Health. The pupil should understand: 

1. His own mental and physical health status, especially in regard 
to food habits; rest, sleep and personal hygiene; adequacy of 
of vision, hearing, and other senses; recreational practices; emo- 
tional adjustments. 

2. The importance of seeking help and information for improved 

3. The relationships of safety and health to personal, family, and 
and community betterment. 

4. First-aid procedures and methods of caring for those who are ill. 

Edna Martin, Director of Home-Economics Education, Seattle Public Schools, 
Seattle, Washington 

Edna Meehke, Head of Home-Economics Department, Butler University, 
Indianapolis, Ijndia'P9- 

Dorothy M. Schnell, Assistant Professor, Santa Barbara College, Santa Bar- 
bara, California 

Hilda Taba, Director, Inter-group Education in Co-operating Schools, Ameri- 
can Council on Education, New York, New York 

Ma H. Thurston, Supervising Teacher, Faribault, Minnesota 

* Clara M. Brown (chairman), University of Minnesota; Sarah Gibson 
Blanding, Dean of the College of Home Economics, Cornell University; Hester 
Chadderdon, Iowa State College; Flora M. Thurston, Cornell University; and 
Ben D. Wood, Cohunhia University. 



5. The need for and means of controlling communicable diseases 
and preventable accidents. 

B. Other personal adjustments. The pupil should understand: 

1. Means of achieving an attractive personal appearance. 

2. Ways of behaving in a socially acceptable manner. 

3. Ways of working well with people. 

4. The desirability of sharing the use of and responsibility for 
family possessions. 

5. The importance of a desirable degree of independence from 
parental ties, coupled with a friendly relationship with parents. 

6. The importance of a wholesome attitude toward sex. 

7. Ways of making friends successfully with both sexes, 

C. Vocational choice. The pupil should understand: 

1. The demands of vocations relating to homemaking in terms of 
personal qualities, abilities, and specialized training. 

2. Procedures to follow hi getting a job. 

3. The values to be weighed and the decisions to be made regard- 
ing a payroll job versus homemaking for women or a combi- 
nation of the two. 

II. Use of time and energy. The pupil should understand: 

1. Methods of deciding what needs to be done in a given situation, 
taking into account personal energy and skills. 

2. Ways to compare conflicting values and to make choices in light of 
personal and family needs. 

3. Principles relating to the management of resources. 

4. Ways of substituting .skill for money in maintaining standards of 

5. Procedures in planning with others a satisfactory division of labor 
at school and in the home. 

III. Use of money. The pupil should understand: 

1. Ways of anticipating probable expenditures and making short-time 
and long-time plans for spending. 

2. Methods of using money to buy goods and services with optimum 

3. The value of joint financial planning and records of expenditures. 

4. Banking procedures and the use of credit, 

5. Distribution of income in the United States and factors that affect 
its stability. 

6. Effects of social and commercial pressures on purchasing habits, 
and governmental attempts to protect consumers. 

7. The importance of insurance, annuities, social security, and savings 
for financial security. 

8. Relationships of . personal and family welfare to the economy of 
the nation and the world. 


IV. The family and children 

A. The family. The pupil should understand: 

1. Factors which contribute to courtship and successful marriage. 

2. Biological aspects of marriage. 

3. The importance of counseling services and legal requirements for 

4. Kinds of crises likely to occur in families and how they may be 

5. The adjustments which need to be made among family mem- 
bers of different ages. 

6. The importance of aesthetic and cultural values in the home. 

7. Means of fostering and building wise family traditions, ideals, 
and spiritual values. 

8. The variety of racial, national, religious, and family patterns in 
the United States, with acceptance of their implications. 

9. Ways to help make the family situation democratic. 

B. The children. The pupil should understand: 

1. Reasons for children behaving as they do. 

2. The constituents of normal physical, mental, social, and emo- 
tional development. 

3. The significance of bearing and rearing children for the family 
and for society. 

4. The importance of guiding children's play intelligently and of 
making and selecting play materials wisely. 

5. The influence of the child's environment on his security and de- 

V. Foods and nutrition. The pupil should understand: 

1. "Ways to order food in a public eating place to meet nutritional 
standards at a reasonable price. 

2. The importance of acceptable table manners. 

3. Principles of food preservation. 

4. Factors entering into the planning of meals for individuals and 

5. Cookery principles and ability to use them. 

6. Methods of serving food attractively. 

7. Methods of preparing and serving food for people who are ill. 

8. Purpose and effects of governmental regulations (enrichment, label- 
ing, protection against spoilage, and adulteration). 

9. Basic principles of child nutrition and feeding. 

VI. Clothing and textiles. The pupil should understand: 

1. Methods of choosing harmonious and becoming textures, colors, and 


2. Principles governing the selection of clothing and household fabrics 
that are suitable for the desired purpose at a reasonable price. 

3. Ways of constructing, repairing, and making alterations in clothing 
and household furnishings. 

4. Principles of laundering clothes and household fabrics. 

5. Methods of using a sewing machine and of keeping it in running 

VII. The home. The pupil should understand: 

1. The relation of housing to social problems and the need for group 
planning for housing. 

2. Factors which an individual or a family must consider in the selection 
of living quarters. 

3. Principles involved in the arrangement of furniture and furnishings 
for comfort, convenience, and attractiveness. 

4. Care of furnishings and equipment. 

5. Principles involved in the planning of home grounds to make them 
attractive and to insure privacy. 


To measure the extent and quality of the understandings listed 
above, one would need to employ a large variety of devices and tech- 
niques. Moreover, the degree to which learners may be expected to 
achieve understandings varies with age, sex, past experience, intel- 
lectual ability, purpose, and the extent and quality of the instruction 
they have received. It may never be possible to obtain objective evi- 
dence respecting achievement of some of the understandings sought 
in school, but this fact does not justify the restriction of evaluation 
to the measurement of information alone, valuable as this is. 

The types of evaluation techniques described and illustrated have 
been grouped under three headings: Analysis of records, reports, and 
creative work; Observing and recording behavior; and Testing under- 
standing and judgment. Just before each illustrative device the out- 
comes which may be involved are indicated by Roman numerals, 
letters, and Arabic numbers which refer to the outcomes as listed on 
pages 254-57. 

Analysis of Records, Reports, and Creative Work 

Student reports and other types of informal records and reports 
which students are asked to prepare and keep (such as diaries of 
activities, descriptions of summer experiences, notes on projects car- 
ried on in the home or in the community, explanations of hobbies) 


may be analyzed to discover the degree of understanding which each 
learner has achieved. Particularly will these student reports be help- 
ful when they are planned with the idea of getting evidence of under- 
standing from them. 

(Objective I-B-3). An illustration of successful co-operative enter- 
prise is provided by a report written by students of East High School, 
Denver, Colorado, in which they describe their core classes (9: 295- 
309) . The core program of this high school was initiated in January, 
1938, the six teachers in charge of the experiment planning each course 
in co-operation with the pupils. At the end of the year the pupils wrote 
an evaluative report of their progress under the new plan of instruc- 

Notebooks containing records of information may give evidence 
of the student's understanding. For example, they may indicate under- 
standing of the steps to be taken to reach a desired goal, such as plans 
for operating a school lunch for underweight third-grade pupils, or a 
party for preschool children. However, notebooks that merely record 
what was said in class or what was copied from reading references are 
likely to have little or no value in furnishing evidence of understand- 

Questionnaires, opinionnaires, check lists, and self-inventories of 
various kinds may be useful in revealing understanding if the proper 
rapport is established with the students. When students are sure that 
the information revealed will be used to help them rather than to serve 
merely as a basis for grading, their responses can usually be accepted. 
Sometimes, too, the information desired may be more readily secured 
by asking students not to sign their names. 

Records of physical examinations, which commonly show health 
and developmental status, suggest remedial treatment needed, and 
eventually describe any improvement that may have been made, may 
also be designed so as to reveal certain understandings on the part of 

Library records of voluntary reading reveal both breadth and depth 
of reading interests, and when accompanied by written responses or 
supplemented by oral questioning, may be very illuminating with re- 
spect to level of understanding attained. 

Cumulative records on file in the office of the principal, counselor, 
college dean, or registrar are valuable not alone for educational and 
vocational guidance and for personal counseling. In addition to in- 
formation on scholastic standing and ability, these records may well 
include such information as: health history, participation in school 


activities, types of work experience, employers' ratings, and interviews 
with parents. If such data are accompanied with the reasons for de- 
cisions and if the bases for the judgments are made clear, an enormous 
amount of evidence concerning the development of understanding in 
pupils can be gleaned from them. 

Incidentally, an analysis of such records can be very informing 
with respect to the understandings which a prospective teacher has 
or has not acquired. That this is true is shown in the following analysis 
of library and office records 4 made by a student teacher. Her state- 
ment shows how she increased her own understanding of certain per- 
sonality traits and interests of one of her pupils and thus improved her 
ability to work with this child. 

An Analysis of School Records 

Cumulative records on file at the school show that Blanche/ an eighth- 
grade pupil, has been quiet and very reserved all through school. She likes 
to read but does not draw out as many books from the school libary as do 
the other girls in this group. However, she is reported to be superior in her 
school work in general. The books that she has borrowed from the school 
library indicate a variety of interests. Some of these, such as Soldier-Doctor, 
which is a biography of Gorgas, and Captains Courageous, suggest an interest 
in action. The choice of another book, Dickens' Stories about Children, may 
indicate Blanche's rather passive personality. Last year she read the Second 
Jungle Book, Christmas, and Christina of Old New York, the choice of which 
seems to denote interests of similar character in each case. In the sixth 
grade she was a fluent oral reader but read too fast and with little expression. 
Her conversations in the classroom or outside show little expressiveness or 
excitement. However, Blanche has good work habits. She is prompt, is not 
inhibited, and is successful as a student. She is a logical thinker, but must 
be urged to participate. She is very tolerant, but easily influenced by others. 
Her home conditions are excellent in every way. 

Reports of other teachers were compared with my own observations. 
However, of all these records, the library report more than any other in- 
creased my understanding of Blanche's personality. The reports from the 
cumulative records served to strengthen my own observations. 

Comnient upon plays, fiction, movies, biographies or case histories 
of families represent another source of evidence of understanding and 

Creative productions such as original stories, radio skits, new dishes, 
dress designs, scrap books, and cartoons may all have value in furnish- 
ing evidence of certain understandings. 

4 Contributed by Dorothea Jacobs, a member of the Junior class at the 
Buffalo State Teachers College, Buffalo, New York. 


Observing and Recording Behavior 

The home-economics teacher continually has opportunities to learn 
how students think and feel in the day-by-day laboratory work car- 
ried on in an atmosphere of informality, in the sessions held after class 
to work on some school project, and in the home-management house 
when people run in to tell her good or bad news. 

As the teacher watches students working on exhibits and displays, 
in dramatic productions, or during social functions, intelligent observa- 
tion will discover evidences of understanding, judgment, and the ability 
to solve problems, as well as clues to behavior which might otherwise 
not be understood. Sometimes it is enough merely to note what is 
happening. Often it is desirable to develop forms for recording specific 
behavior in the laboratory, on field trips, in the nursery school, or 
on the playground. 

Anecdotal records of student behavior and histories of problem 
cases may have value when records are desirable. These may be made 
incidentally, or they may be systematized. 

(Objectives I-B-2 and VI-2). The following excerpt from an 
anecdotal record exemplifies a systematic way of recording and eval- 
uating anecdotes in terms of specific objectives (11: 73-75). 

The interpretation of these recordings may reveal understandings 
if the goals which are being evaluated provide for the development of 


In measuring progress toward a goal, an anecdotal procedure may be 
used. The keynote to success in using this type of device lies in the brevity 
and objectiveness of the record itself. 


Objective: To leam how to select clothes and accessories 
(X) indicates typical 
(0) indicates unusual 

Date and Place 

of Observation Comments 

April The tailored copenhagen-blue suit and harmonizing 

Church felt hat looked well-chosen for the occasion. Her 

(Easter shoes were neat and of good style. Her navy purse 

Sunday) was suitable for other outfits also. 

June 6 Mary chose a floor length formal because she did 

School not think her suit appropriate for the occasion. She 

Party was the only girl wearing a formal. X 



This sort of anecdotal record may extend over a period of several months 
instead of being ended when the unit to which it refers is finished. In this 
way, the device would check on whether or not the girls were maintaining 
the standards set up during the unit. Such a record would be handed in at 
the end of the school year or whenever the group wished. 

A profile of an individual student may be made by checking a 
number of incidents recorded previously in anecdotal form on a de- 
vice similar to the one here shown. The points where checks have 
been entered may then be connected to form a "verbal snapshot" of 
the student Recordings may be made by a friend, by the student 
herself, or by the teacher. Included among the items in such a profile 
at least some would ordinarily be concerned with the pupil's under- 


AcTrvrriES 5 






Attends meetings 

Prompt at meetings 


Makes suggestions 


Shows interest 

Volunteers work 


Obeys club rules 

-r r - 

_ " 

Co-operates with other members. 


Follower as well as a leader 



L ^=~ 

Suggests worth-while projects 


(Objectives I-B-2 and 3). The accompanying illustration of a pro- 
file based on a portion of a form devised for use in the interpretation of 
anecdotal records indicates the types of behavior which reflect pupil 
understanding of a particular social concept. 

Check lists, rating scales, and score cards offer means for record- 
ing the observer's judgment and represent devices which are finding 
wide use in the field of home economics. These, too, when so planned 
will contain evidence of pupil understanding. 

(Objectives I-B, IV-A and B). The charts of "Developmental 
Sequence in Learning" in Family Living and Our Schools (10: 419-36) 

'Adapted by Evelyn M. Herrington and Maurice E. Troyer, University of 
Syracuse, Syracuse, New York. 


may well form the basis for developing a series of check lists or other 
rating devices. 

Other illustrations are: (Objectives II, III, IV) "How Do You 
Rate as a Home Manager?" 6 and (Objectives I, II, III, IV, V) "A 
Guide to Evaluation and Improvement for Use in Home-Management 
Houses." 7 

Below are excerpts from two check lists and a rating scale which, 
if carefully used, would help reveal students' understandings. 



(Objective IV-A-6) 

Yes Sometimes No 
9. Have you undertaken a yard-improvement 


10. Do you make the foods that you serve at 

home as attractive as possible? 

11. Does attractiveness of books and magazines 

influence your choice in selecting them? 

Give illustrations. 

12. Have you noticed anything today because of 

its beauty? 

If so, what? 

(Objective I-B-1) 

(1) Careless; thoughtless; neglected 

(2) Only occasional care given; hurried and poorly planned care 

(3) Acceptable; moderate effort given; fair results 

(4) Careful; thoughtful attention given; excellent results 

1234 ClotUng: Clean; well pressed; appropriate; becoming; fasteners 
in place; no spots, rips or loose trimming. 

1234 Hcdr: Clean; glossy; arrangement simple and becoming; appropri- 
ate for school. 

1234 Hands and fingernails: Clean; nails shaped to conform to shape of 
fingers; polish natural; cuticle pushed back. 

1234 Complexion: Clean; fresh; healthy; natural. 

'Ruth. L. Bonde, Management in Daily Living, pp. 247-253. New York: 
Maemillan Co., 1944. 

T Paulena Nickell and Jean Dorsey, Management in Family Living t pp. 438- 
44. New York: John Wiley <fe Sons, 1942. 

* Contributed by Laura Hadley, Alabama College, Montevallo, Alabama. 

* Contributed by Edna Martin, Seattle Public Schools, Seattle, Washington. 


(Objectives I-B-4, III-2, 3) 

Name of rater Class 

Check this before you start work on your project: 

No Fairly So Yes 
I. Was the project well selected? 

1. Was this project actually needed (for the 
whole family; by me personally; am I 
sufficiently interested that I will really fin- 
ish it) ? 

2. Was the project within my family means? 

3. Was this a suitable project for me to do at 
this time (not too difficult or too easy; 

done at a good time; practical) ? 

Check this when your project is finished: 
II. Was the project a success? 

1. Did this project help the whole family (or 
me personally) ? 

2. Was I able to carry out the plan for my 

(Objectives VI-1, 2, 3) . McDorman, 11 in connection with a joint in- 
vestigation by the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State 
Department of Education, developed a score card for judging gar- 
ments which had a coefficient of objectivity of better than .90 when 
used by trained raters and could be used to score a dress in approxi- 
mately five minutes after a reasonable amount of practice. The score 
card is reproduced here to show a few of the items considered. 



Name Garment School 


1. Cut Off grain or design not True grain; design well lo- 

centered or matched cated and matched 1. 

M Contributed by Nell Buck and Evelyn Granada, home-economics teachers 
in summer school, Alabama College, under the supervision of Laura Hardy. 

11 Developed by Mary McDorman for a joint investigation conducted by the 
University of Minnesota and the Minnesota. State Department of Education. 


2. Pressing Wrinkled, stiff, or over- 

pressed Satisfactory 2. 


3. Color Intensifies undesirable Enhances color of skin, 

color of skin, hair, or eyes hair, or eyes 3. 

4. Design Spotty or too realistic All-over, conventionalized 4. 

5. Texture Bulky or flimsy, unsuited Suitable for garment and 

to pattern, wearer, or oc- wearer 5. 


6. Quality Poor, sleasy, will not Firm, durable for purpose 6. 


7. Sanitary Will soil easily ; will not Will resist soil, launder, or 
properties stand laundering, dry dry clean 7. 


(Objectives I-A-1, V-4). An effective technique for determining 
the adequacy of a person's diet is to have him keep a record of all 
food eaten for a week and then evaluate the recorded consumption. 
This may be done easily and with calculations simple enough for even 
elementary-school children to comprehend, through the use of the 
Record of Meals for One Week (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Burgess 
Publishing Co., 1945) and the Hatcher Check List for Food Needs 
(same publisher). To the extent that children have free choice in 
foods, these records would probably reflect understanding. At least, 
they could serve as a point of departure for determining understand- 
ing through interviews. 

Testing Understanding and Judgment 

Because of space limitations it has seemed unwise to give examples 
of the types of tests which home-economics teachers now use fre- 
quently, such as essay, multiple-choice, completion, and true-false. 
However, all of these may or may not be developed in such a way as 
to measure understandings. To make them serve this function it is 
necessary that they be directed toward applications, the reasons for 
choices, the bases of judgment. Illustrations of test items which meet 
these requirements will be found in many chapters of this yearbook. 
The examples given below represent less frequently used types of 
performance and paper-and-pencil tests which appear to be par- 
ticularly well adapted to home economics. 

Performance tests. 12 Teachers find performance tests especially 
useful in laundering, cleaning, first aid, furniture arrangement, food 
preparation and table setting; but they frequently have difficulty in 

a The reader is advised to consult chapter xv of this yearbook, "Technical 
Education/* for suggestive performance tests. 


evaluating what students do and in getting a measure of their under- 
standing. Rating scales are helpful whenever one attempts to evaluate 
achievement through performance tests which are planned to discover 
whether students understand well enough to put into action what they 
are presumably learning (12:164-71). The revised form of the Min- 
nesota Check List for Food Preparation and Serving (University of 
Minnesota Press, 1945) is illustrative of this point. The revision is 
based upon its use in checking several hundred test meals prepared by 
high-school students. It is easily used and has proved to be highly 
discriminating and objective. 

A "teacher-made" test in the same field follows. It was planned to 
check whether the students really understood how to set a table for a 
specific menu. 

(Objectives I-B-2, II-3, V-6) 
Directions: Set up an individual cover for the following menu: 

Baked Ham 

Boiled Potatoes Buttered Peas 

Tomato and Lettuce Salad 

Bread Butter 

Apple Pie 


Explain the use of each dish, glass, and piece of silver for your cover. 
Explain why forks are placed in the sequence used and whether the pie fork 
is included in the cover. 

(The forks are placed in the sequence appropriate for a meal of the 
type in which we usually start eating from the main plate and then from 
the salad plate. The pie fork is not included in the individual cover but is 
supplied with the dessert itself. More than two forks or two teaspoons on 
a cover give a cluttered appearance.) 

(Objectives II-3, IV-A-6, VII-2). The following questions were 
planned as a performance test for a small class in related art (11 : 67) . 

Objective: To be able to apply certain art principles in the home. 
Directions to teacher: Collect a group of various sized pictures, either 
mounted or unmounted, using the bulletin boards and blackboards, and have 
each student arrange a grouping of pictures, observing the art principles in- 
volved and the rules for hanging pictures. 

Directions to pupils will depend upon the physical setup of the room and 
the pictures available for the test. 

11 Contributed by Betty Grever Morrison, a member of the Senior class at 
Buffalo State Teachers College, and Ruth Buddenhagen, supervising teacher at 
Amherst Central School, Snyder, New York. 



(Objectives I-B-1, II-3, IV-A-6) 

Directions: Teachers may cut pieces of art paper of different hues and 
values in the shape of a semi-circle, punch a hole at the center of the base 
line, and fasten together with a paper fastener so they may be shifted in 
order to bring any desired colors next to each other. Then the students may 
be asked to arrange the papers into combinations which would make pleas- 
ing color harmonies for specific purposes, and to explain the reasons for their 

Pendl-and-paper tests. It is possible to describe specific situations 
sometimes very briefly and sometimes with considerable detail and 
then to base questions upon them, in order to check students' abilities 
to make decisions and to indicate their reasons for them. The follow- 
ing example of a test in canning procedures was supplied by Clara 
M. Brown. 

(Objectives I-A-3, 5; V-3, 5) 

Many people have difficulty in canning because they do not know the 
proper procedures to use. Write "X" in the blanks in the first column if the 
procedure described is correct and write "0" if it is not correct. In the 
blanks in the second column write the letter which corresponds to the best 
reason for your answer. For example, the open kettle method is satisfactory 
for making strawberry jam because it contains sugar as a preservative; 
hence "X" is written in the first blank and "D" is written hi the second blank. 


A. May cause an explosion. F. Large amount of Vitamin C is de- 

B. Food is nonacid. stroyed. 

C. Food is acid. G. Shape and color are preserved. 

D. Food contains preservative. H. Product is less attractive than 

E. Very high temperature is produced. when the other methods are used. 

"X"or"O" Reason Canning Procedures 

P Using the open-kettle method for strawberry jam 

E Using the pressure cooker in canning meat 

A Canning soup by the oven method 

X G Canning whole tomatoes for salad by the hot water- 

bath method 
O B , Canning peas by the hot .water-bath method 

M Devised by Mary MeDonnan and Ainy &SD Holmblade as a test for an 
investigation made jointly by the University f^sB&jnneaota and the Minnesota 
State Department of Education. , f W9 >f ^, . 


The illustration which follows is of the same type. It was pre- 
pared for use at the high-school and college level. 

(Objectives I-A-1; I-B-2, 5; H-2, 3; IV-A-2, 4, 7, 9) 

Directions: Read the ensuing statement and use it as a basis for answer- 
ing the questions about the situation in the Jones family. 

Mr. Jones, a middle-aged little man with a "pinched expression and a 
stealthy look," earned under $25.00 a week. His various ailments, including 
poor teeth and frequent nausea at night, were one of the few ways he had of 
maintaining his self-respect. Marital relations between him and his wife 
were strained for fear of having another child to support on such a limited 

Mrs. Jones, plump, aggressive, somewhat stupid, was the dominant char- 
acter in the family. She used an ulcer and her bad teeth to maintain her rule. 
Her favorite subject was an older daughter, Jane, who had died in childhood 
of a bad heart. Jane had been not only pretty, but very intelligent, and, in 
Mrs. Jones' opinion, Marilyn, the younger daughter, resembled Jane. Betty, 
the other daughter, was regarded as ".dumb" by her mother. 

Betty, aged 19, stayed timidly at home, rarely spoke up, and refused to 
eat partly in imitation of her parent's stomach troubles, partly to get 

Marilyn, aged 16, was of average intelligence but worked exceedingly 
hard to get good marks. As a result of her efforts, she developed a heart mur- 
mur for which her mother sent her to the city hospital for treatment. 

Read each of the following statements carefully and record the number 
before each statement which gives the best answer: 
"1," if the statement is probably a justifiable conclusion from the facts given 

in the description above; 
"2," if the statement is probably not a justifiable conclusion from the given 


"3," if the statement involves too many unexplained facts to judge whether 
or not it is justified. 


Key Number Statements 

(3) 1 Mr. Jones was fondest of Betty because she resembled hhn 

most closely in personality. 

(1) 2 Instead of reacting normally to having his teeth out, Mr. Jones 

might regard their removal as a serious personal loss. 

(1) 3 If Mr. Jones could get a good job in which he felt some se- 

curity, most of his ailments probably would cease even with- 
out medical attention. 

15 .Constructed by Hazel Hatcher, and contributed by the Board of Examiners 
of the Michigan. State College, East Lansing, Michigan. 


(2) 4 Mrs. Jones would probably be very g}ad to receive medical at- 

tention for her ulcer if the family income permitted. 

(1) 5 To Mrs. Jones, Jane and Marilyn were the symbol of what she 

would have liked to be at their age, 

(2) 6 If Betty and Marilyn would get jobs away from home, Mrs. 

Jones would probably develop into a less domineering woman. 

(3) 7 Betty's nervous rejection of food would probably stop if Mr. 

and Mrs. Jones had better relations with each other. 
(3) 8 Betty will probably develop into a woman very similar in 

character to her mother. 
(2) 9 The situation would be helped materially if Betty "took sides 3 * 

with her father. 
(1) 10 Relationships between Betty and Marilyn were relatively poor 

because of Mrs. Jones' decided preference for Marilyn. 

(1) 11 Marilyn's physical condition was probably a natural result 

of trying to fill Jane's place in her mother's life. 

(2) 12 Marilyn's heart condition would probably be cured by rest in 


The foregoing examples of paper-and-pencil tests which may be ex- 
pected to elicit evidence of understanding by requiring the student to 
indicate the reason for a particular decision will serve as illustrations 
of convenient classroom methods of presenting familiar problems er 
concepts in a new setting. The resourceful teacher can readily utilize 
a variety of such exercises in evaluating the understandings gained by 
the members of a class in different areas of home-economics education 
as well as at different stages of progress toward selected objectives. 


1. AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EDUCATION. A Design jar General Education jor 
Members of the Armed Forces , pp. 31-50; 74-84. Washington: American 
Council on Education, 1944. 

2. . Teachers for Our Times. Washington : American Council on Educa- 
tion, 1944. 

3. . What the High School Ought To Teach, pp. 1-36. Washington: 

American Council on Education, 1940. 

4. BROWN, CLARA M. Evaluation and Investigation in Home Economics. New 
York: F. S. Crofts & Co., 1941. 

5. BURTON, WILLIAM H. The Guidance of Learning Activities, pp. 408-48. 
New York: D. Appleton-Century Co., 1944. 

6. DOUGLASS, HARL R. Secondary Education for Youth in Modern America. 
Washington: American Council on Education, 1937. 

7. EDUCATIONAL POLICIES COMMISSION. The Unique Function of Education in 
American Democracy. Washington: National Education Association, 1937. 

8. FISH^ DOROTHT CANFTKTJ>. Our Young Folks. New York: Harcourt Brace 
& Co., 1943. 


9. GILES, H. H. Teacher-Pupil Planning. New York: Harper & Bros., 1941. 

10. GOODYKOONTZ, BESS, AND COON, B. I. Family Living and Our Schools. New 
York: D. Appleton-Century Co., 1941. 

11. HATCHEH, H. M., AND ANDREWS, M. E. The Teaching of Homemaking. New 
York: Houghton-Mifflin Co., 1945. 

12. MEEK, L. H. The Personal-Social Development of Boys and Girls with Ap- 
plications for Secondary Education. New York : Progressive Education Asso- 
ciation, Committee on Workshops, 1940. 

13. SPAFFOBD, I. Fundamentals in Teaching Home Economics. New York: John 
Wiley & Sons, 1942. 

14. STODDABD, A. J. (ed.) Education for AU-American Youth. Washington: Edu- 
cational Policies Commission, National Education Association, 1944. 

15. WILLIAMSON, M., AND LTLE, M. Homemaking Education in the High School, 
pp. 296-329. New York: D. Appleton-Century Co., 1941. 




Division of Field Studies and Training 

Extension Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture 

Washington, D. C. 

Michigan State College 
East Lansing, Michigan 


U. S. Office of Education 

Washington, D. C. 


Although the objectives of agricultural education include and re- 
flect the over-all objectives of general education, instructional emphasis 
is usually placed on training for proficiency in farming. The specific 
aims of such instruction are indicated in the following excerpt from a 
recently published monograph. 

To train present and prospective farmers for proficiency in farming is 
the aim of vocational education in agriculture. 

The attainment of this aim includes making a beginning and advancing 
in farming occupations and involves training hi the production of agricultural 
commodities, with its constantly enlarging demand for the use of machinery 
and mechanical devices; training in the protection of ^.nrmatg and plants 
against pests and diseases; training in activities involved in the marketing 
of farm products; and training in the procedures of farm management and 
agricultural finance. It involves an understanding of the problems growing 
out of farm production and the exchange of farm products, whether on a 
local, state, national, or international basis. 

The attainment of the ai also includes the significant relationship of 
the farm to the farm home, as well as responsibility hi civic and public wel- 
fare and co-operative effort for the common good. It embraces instruction 
in the interdependence of farming and industries closely related to farm and 
home, as well as the relationships of farming as a business to other industrial 



pursuits. It requires training in leadership and a willingness to follow con- 
structive leadership* 


Understanding is an essential objective of agricultural education. 
To determine whether this objective of instruction is being achieved, 
one must know the kind of behavior which reflects understanding. 

Briefly and generally stated for the purposes of this chapter, it is 
assumed that understanding manifests itself in the following kinds of 

1. The attainment of a satisfactory result - 

2. The choice of practices which produce the best results 

3. The use of those practices so that the best results are obtained 

4. The explanation of "how" and "why" those practices produce the best 

5. The application of basic facts and principles to situations that are new 
to the individual. 

The first three of the kinds of behavior mentioned are usually 
taken as indications of understanding. When a satisfactory result or 
product is attained, or when the proper practices are chosen, or when 
those practices are used to produce the result, it is inferred that there 
is an understanding of the relationship between the practices and the 
results. The inference is justified when the decisions are of the in- 
dividual's own making and reflect his judgment. A clear explanation 
of this relationship is, however, more convincing evidence of under- 
standing. It shows the basis for his judgment. Still more acceptable 
evidence of understanding involves the first four kinds of behavior in 
situations that are new to the individual. 

The Production of a Satisfactory Result 

An individual who obtains high milk and butterfat production per 
cow has given an indication that he understands what it takes to pro- 
duce a satisfactory result. A few other measures are the calving ef- 
ficiency of the herd and the pounds of feed per pound of butterfat. 

Some measures of efficiency in swine production are the number 
of pigs farrowed per litter, the number of pigs raised to 56 days, 
weight of litter at 6 days (or some later age) , weight per pig at 56 
days (or some later age) , pounds of feed per pound of pork, and per 
cent of hogs classifying in top-market grades. 

1 Educational Objectives in Vocational Agriculture. U. S. Office of Education, 
Vocational Division Monograph No. 21. Washington: Government Printing Of- 
fice, 1940. 


Measures in corn production are yield per acre and quality of prod- 
uct in terms of percentage of production classifying in top-market 
grades. Additional measures of efficient production are recognized, 
some of which may be stated in financial terms, such as cost of pro- 
duction per bushel of grain in the case of certain crops, or cost per 
pound in the case of hogs. 

Measures of the production of a satisfactory result are often sub- 
ject to factors about which the individual is unaware but which happen 
to operate in his favor, as well as to factors which are beyond his im- 
mediate control. For example, financial measures are affected by price 
fluctuations. These are beyond his immediate control. High milk pro- 
duction is conditioned by the genetic makeup of the cow. The indi- 
vidual may, by mere chance, have a cow which has inherited the 
capacity for high milk production. He could be unaware that this 
factor was contributing to the good results obtained. The achieve- 
ment of a satisfactory result may be subject also to decisions made by 
the teacher or by the boy's father, in which case the outcome might 
not reflect the boy's own understanding. Because of these factors, 
measures of production are only limited indicators of understanding. 
One usually wants to check further into the practices used and how 
and why those practices were used. 

The Choice and Use of Practices That Produce Good Results 

As an example of this kind of evidence we might take a situation 
in which an individual has raised a litter of 14 pigs which weighed 
583 pounds at 56 days. This accomplishment in itself implies some 
degree of understanding of efficient methods of swine production. The 
choice and use of "approved practices," that is, practices which are 
known to yield good results, gives further evidence that he under- 
stands what must be done to obtain a satisfactory result. 

Examples of such practices in swine production are: (1) flush sows 
before breeding; (2) scrub farrowing pens with boiling water and lye; 
(3) wash lower parts of sow's body with warm water and soap before 
placing in farrowing pen; (4) haul sow and pigs to clean-ground 
pasture when pigs are about two weeks of age; (5) in cold weather 
use a pig brooder after farrowing. 

It should be remembered, however, that the choice and use of the 
practices noted in any given case may be the result of decisions made 
by someone other than the individual under observation. Furthermore, 
the individual being rated may not have the freedom to choose the 
practices he is to employ. He may "know" better than he "does." 
In these cases the evidence does not reflect his own understanding. 


Explaining How and Why the Selected Practices Are Performed 

The extent to which the swine producer has carried out the prac- 
tices in correct order, at the proper time, and with productive skill 
is a reasonably valid measure of his understanding of the importance 
of timing and the relationship of the practices to each other and to 
the attainment of good results. When good results are attained, if the 
individual can explain his production methods and give the reasons for 
using those methods, convincing evidence of understanding is available. 
For example, does he know why it is advisable to flush the sows before 
breeding and to "haul" the sow and litter from the central farrowing 
house to the clean-ground pasture rather than to drive them through 
the old lots? If he can tell you "why," you can be more certain that 
he understands not only the relation of practices to results but also 
the reason or facts and principles which enable him to achieve the 
desired results. 

The Use of Old Information in Situations That Are New 
to the Individual 

Still more convincing evidence of understanding is the application 
of information to problems new to the student. The individual who 
understands the principles of sanitation in hog farrowing, for example, 
and who, on the basis of his knowledge of these principles, works out 
good practices of sanitation in poultry raising is exhibiting under- 
standing of a high order. 

Types of behavior such as have been described imply understand- 
ing. They are the kinds of evidence one looks for in measuring under- 
standing. Before one can measure something, he must find it. Before 
he can know when he finds it, he must know what he is looking 
for. Hence, a clear picture of what individuals do that is the result 
of understanding is necessary before understanding can be validly 


Measurements are not, of course, limited to the use of numerical 
units. Some of our most important objectives of teaching cannot yet 
be measured numerically. Descriptions of behavior and results are 
most useful in these cases as evidence of achievement and growth 
toward the objectives. 

This broad view of the word "measurement" enables the teacher 
to use informal methods of appraisal such as observation and inter- 


view in the everyday situations of the school and during a home-farm 
visit. A day is full of these situations which a teacher can use for the 
purpose of evaluating understanding. 

The use of a small record form on which these observations can 
be recorded has been found helpful. These forms are called anecdotal 
records because they describe episodes in the normal life of the 
person observed. In making observations or holding interviews, it is 
helpful to have these questions in mind always, "Does the evidence 
show his own understanding?" "Could the evidence be the result of 
some other person's understanding, not that of the boy himself?" 
"Did he do the best he knew how?" It is necessary to keep probing 
until the answers to * these questions are obtained. Needless to say, 
the probing should not be done too obviously. It may become ob- 
jectionable to the pupil, your chance of getting conclusive evidence 
being lost on this account. Or the boy may deliberately try "to cover 
up" his lack of understanding and "mislead you intentionally. Such 
efforts can usually be detected in the evasive or inconsistent answers 
to which the pupil has recourse. However, the lack of good hearing, 
a language handicap, or a desire to please may result in answers that 
are inconsistent. Then, too, the pupil may not be able to express him- 
self adequately in words. These things should be kept in mind for the 
sake of insuring reliable evidence of understanding and avoiding mis- 
interpretation. It is always hazardous to jump to conclusions too 
quickly. There is often more behind the scenes than appears on the 

Additional means of measuring understanding are, of course, avail- 
able in the form of performance tests and pencil-and-paper tests. They 
have their limitations and are not ordinarily used in out-of-school situ- 
ations such as farming. They are very useful, however, in getting a 
record of behavior in many situations in a relatively short time. The 
following are examples of pencil-and-paper tests of understanding. 

Example: A fanner wishes 'to market his spring crop of hogs before the 
usual market drop in price. What practices will help him to do this? Give 
your reasons for recommending these practices. 

In this test exercise, the individual writes his answers. He is ex- 
pected to state the practice which will help the fanner to get the re- 
sult he wants and to explain his recommendations in terms of pertinent 
facts and principles. The same test exercise can also be set up in mul- 
tiple-response form to facilitate administration and scoring and still 


maintain a high degree of correspondence to the results secured by 
using the longer essay form. 2 

Example : 3 A farmer wishes to market his spring crop of hogs before the 
usual drop in market price. Which of the following practices will help? 
(Check one or more,) 

1. Have pigs farrowed in March or early April. 

2. Have pigs farrowed late in May. 

3. Put brood sows and litters on pasture with self-feeders of shelled 

corn and tankage in separate compartments. 

4. Wean the pigs at six weeks of age, 

5. Provide self-feeders after weaning. 

6. After weaning, put pigs in dry lot and feed entirely on corn. 

7. Limit the feed during the summer and have hogs fatten on fall 

crops of corn. 

Reasons: (Check the statements below which represent your reasons for 
choosing the practices you checked in the preceding list.) 
a. The usual market drop which affects the spring crop of hogs starts 

in September. 
b. The usual market drop which affects the spring crop of hogs starts 

in November. 
c. Under favorable conditions hogs will be ready for market at six 

months of age or less. 

d. Hogs gain most rapidly when hand fed. 

/. Hogs can usually be produced most cheaply on a limited grain 

ration for the first few months, followed by heavy feeding. 
g. Brood sows and their pigs are able to balance their own ration 

when provided "free choice" of tankage and corn. 

This kind of test exercise can be constructed by choosing a problem 
situation and listing various practices which students probably have 
in mind, together with the facts and principles which explain the prac- 
tices. This exercise should give the student an opportunity to check 
the things he would write in an essay test, thereby saving time in ad- 
ministering and scoring the test. It should contain both right and 
wrong practices and reasons substantiating good practice. 

Another type of test exercise is that in which computational skill 
is required in arriving at a solution of the problem. Two examples of 
this type are shown as follows. 4 Both require an understanding of the 
relationship between the things to do and the result. 

1 Fred P. Frutchey, "Illustrative Test Exercises in High-School Chemistry," 
Educational Research Bulletin, XVI (May, 1937), 122-26. 

8 Adapted from G. P. Deyoe, "Test for Understandings and Problem-Solving 
Ability in Agriculture." Danville, Illinois: Interstate Publishers, 1937. 

4 Adapted from Deyoe, ibid. 


Problem 1. The following amounts of milk, with the butterfat tests as 
shown, are mixed together. What would be the butterfat test of the com- 
bined amount? 

215 Ibs. testing 3% 

240 Ibs. testing 4% 

50 Ibs. testing 5% 

20 Ibs. testing 6% 

Problem 2. A farmer is planning to fatten lambs on a ration of alfalfa 
hay, silage, and shelled corn. He wonders if it will pay to add small amounts 
of linseed meal to the ration. He, reads in a bulletin that experiments have 
shown that by adding one-sixth pound of linseed meal per head per day 
to the above ration, 100 pounds of linseed meal will save 132 pounds of corn, 
plus 114 pounds of hay, plus 100 pounds of silage. What is the highest price 
per hundred pounds which this fanner could afford to pay for linseed meal 
with corn at two cents per pound, hay at one cent per pound, and silage at 
one-third cent per pound? 

In the scoring of computation problems, some margin of variation 
should be permitted on account of differences due to rounding-off 

Another type of evidence of understanding is the ability to criticize, 
when the criticisms indicate ability not only to point out mistakes but 
also to suggest proper practices. An individual who can examine a 
result or a procedure, diagnose the difficulty, and suggest the appropri- 
ate remedy understands the relationship between the practices em- 
ployed and the desired result. The following exercise illustrates this 
type of behavior. 5 

Example: The man from the county fair association visited a rural school. 
He gave a talk on boys' and girls' exhibits which he hoped to start at the fair 
in the fall. Arthur Jackson, who attended this school, became very inter- 
ested. Arriving home from school that night, he told his parents all that he 
could remember about what the visitor said. After talking things over with 
his parents and conferring with the representative of the fair association, 
Arthur decided to raise a dairy calf to exhibit at the fair. He bought the calf 
and took care of it to the best of his ability. At the end of the year he wrote 
his story of how he selected and raised this calf. Here is his story. (You are 
to read Arthur's story and then write a list of all the mistakes you think 
Arthur made.) 

"It was in June when I decided to raise a calf for the fair exhibit. Dad 
and I visited our nearest neighbor, who had a modern dairy farm and who 
had a Jersey dairy calf for sale, which was being fed on plnm milk, We liked 

* Fred P. JVutchey, and Harley A. Leland, Educational Growth in the 4-H 
Dairy Project, Massachusetts. U. S. Department of Agriculture, Extension Service 
Circular No. 369. Washington. : Government Printing Office, 1941. 


the calf so much that we bought it immediately without asking any further 
questions. It was two weeks old and cost only $5. I discovered later that it 
could not be registered. We took the calf home and I tied it in the field 
under the apple tree where it could get plenty of green grass and shade. I 
continued to give it warm skim milk three times a day, as our neighbor had 
been doing, and started feeding a handful of grain, which I put in a small 
box fastened to the tree. The calf grew well, and I taught it to lead. She 
would stand and pose for my friends. She became quite a pet. 

"The day before the fair I brushed my calf well and fixed up her horns. 
Then I put a blanket on her which was made from an old rug so badly worn 
that it could not be used in the house. Just before I was to leave for the fair 
I received word that I could not show because my calf was not registered. 
I felt pretty badly about it, but since there was nothing I could do, I turned 
the calf out to pasture with the cows and left it until cold weather. This is 
all I have to tell of my year's work. I hope that next year I shall have better 

What mistakes did Arthur make? What should he have done? Write 
your answers to these questions. 

Understanding is also indicated in the manner, speed, and sequence 
of performing various skills to obtain a desired result. Explanation of 
the "how" and "why" of each step gives further evidence of under- 
standing the relationship between the things done and the end product. 
An example of a performance test is a demonstration of skill in setting 
out trees and shrubs. 6 The behavior to be observed in this test in- 
volves the exercise of the skills necessary to execute the plans formu- 
lated. Several operations are required. There are three important 
elements in each operation. These are quality, time, and sequence. 

Example: (Directions to person in charge of giving the performance test.) 

Provide the following material at the approximate location at which the 

tree is to be planted: one hardwood tree about 10 feet high, one pick, one 

spade, one shovel, one "tamper," 300 Ibs. of well-rotted barnyard manure, 

3 guy wires, 3 stakes, 2 yards of burlap, one pair of hand pruning shears. 

Direct the student to set out the tree with the use of one or more mem- 
bers of the class as assistants where help is needed. Check and record the 
time from the start until all operations are completed. Using the accompany- 
ing form for recording observations of procedure, observe his actions and 
check the quality of each action as, for example, good, fair, poor, in Column 
A. In Column B, write the time when the action was completed. In Column 
C, trace his actions by placing a figure 1 after his first action, a figure 2 after 

6 Adapted from A C. Aderhold and G. F. Ekstrom, "A Suggested Technique 
for Constructing Tests in Vocational Agriculture," Agricultural Education Maga- 
zine, X (January, 1938), 136-37. 



his second action, and so on, in the order of performance of the different 
operations. In Part II, check the noticeable characteristics of the student's 


Student's Actions 






1. Locates according to plan 

2. Lays out diameter of hole to fit root system 
of tree 

3. Loosens soil with pick (if necessary) 

4. Removes dirt with spade or shovel 

5. Makes separate piles of surface soil and subsoil 

6. Digs hole six inches deeper than tree originally 

7. Mixes 4-inch layer of equal quantities of rich top 
soil and manure and places in bottom of hole . . 

8. Tamps mixture 

9. Prunes all broken and bruised roots 

10. Places tree in hole two inches deeper than in 


11. Places tree so roots lie normally 

12. Holds tree erect 

13. Places top soil in hole with shovel 

14. Tamps soil after addition of each four inches 
of soil 

15. Mulches a circle around tree by mixing barn- 
yard manure with top six inches of soil 

16. Leaves saucer-shaped depression around base 
of tree 

17. Drives three stakes for guy wires in triangle 

fashion about 6 feet from tree 

Places guy wires, with hose protections, above 

branches about 5 feet above ground 

Wraps burlap around trunk and ties with strong 


Removes broken and diseased limbs. , 

Makes smooth, clean cuts 

Prunes to balance the tree 




After the tree has been planted, ask questions that will give the student 
an opportunity to explain why he performed certain actions as he did and 
why the operations performed followed the particular sequence. For example, 
"I noticed you tamped the top soil and manure mixture in the bottom of 
the hole. Why?" From an examination of your notations in Parts I and II, 
make a list of actions and other aspects of the student's behavior that you 
he could improve and record these items and suggested remedies in 


the space provided for "Comments." Also record any improvising which 
seemed to reflect understanding on the part of the student. 


Noticeable Cliaracteristics of Student's Beharior 


1. Awkward in movements 

2. Slow and deliberate 

3. Obviously perturbed 

4. Does not take work seriously 

5. Unable to work without specific directions 

6. Obviously satisfied with his unsuccessful efforts, , 

7. Exercises care in handling tree 


Understanding is evidenced by the drawing of reasonable inferences 
from agricultural information and by distinguishing among interpreta- 
tions which are entirely supported by the data, interpretations which 
are partly supported by the data, irrelevant interpretations, interpre- 
tations which are probably false, and interpretations which are entirely 
false according to the data. Examples of similar types of test exercises 
in the field of science are presented in chapter vi, and examples of 
exercises measuring understanding of social and economic problems 
can be found in chapter v. Many of these can be adapted for use in 


L ADERHOLD, O. C., AND EKSTROM, G. F. "A Suggested Technique for Con- 
structing Tests hi Vocational Agriculture," Agricultural Education Magazine, 
X (January, 1938), 136-38. 

2. COOK., G. C. "Evaluating Outcomes of Instruction in Farm Mechanics," Agri- 
cultural Education Magazine, XIII (August, 1940), 32-33. 

3. DEYOE, G. P. "Pencil-and-Paper Tests for Measuring Achievement in Vo- 
cational Agriculture," Agricultural Education Magazine, VIII (December, 
1935), 90-91. 

4. . "Evaluating Outcomes of Supervised Farming Programs," Agricul- 
tural Education Magazine, XIV (February, 1942), 146-48. 

6. . "Test for Understandings and Problem-Solving Ability in Agricul- 
ture." Danville, Illinois: Interstate Publishers, 1937. 

7. FRUTCHET, FRED P. AND LELAND, HARI/BT A. Educational Growth in the IrK 
Dairy Project, Massachusetts. U. S. Department of Agriculture, Extension 
Service Circular No. 369. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1941. 


8. FRUTCHET, FEED P. "Illustrative Test Exercises in High-School Chemistry," 
Educational Research Bulletin, XVI (May, 1937), 122-26. 

9. HAMLIN, H. M. "Securing and Using Data for Diagnosis, Teaching, and Eval- 
uation in Agricultural Education," Agricultural Education Magazine, XVI 
(May, 1944), 206-07. 

10. HAUSBATH, A. H. "How Shall We Measure?" Agricultural Education Maga- 
zine, HE (October, 1930), 54. 

11. HEMMING, C. J. "The Objective Question as a Factor in the Improvement 
of Teaching," Agricultural Education Magazine, X (November, 1937), 94-95. 

12. MERSON, J. F. "Can You Drive a Tractor?" Agricultural Education Maga- 
zine, Xin (July, 1940), 14-15. 

13. SUTHERLAND, S. S. "Tests That Measure What We Teach," Agricultural 
Education Magazine, XIII (May, 1941), 208. 

14. TTLEE, R. W. Constructing Achievement Tests. Reprints of articles in Edu- 
cational Research Bulletin. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University, 1934. 




Personnel Research Section, A.G.O. 

War Department 

Washington, D. C. 


State Education Department 

Albany, New York 

Department of Applied Physics 
Brooklyn Technical High School 

Brooklyn, New York 


The industrial progress of a nation is accompanied by an increase 
in the use of power. The processes which require manual labor are re- 
placed by inventions of labor-saving and time-saving machines and 
devices which make possible increased production with decreased 
physical exertion by the individual. 

However, with this decrease in demand upon the physical exertion 
of the individual comes an increased demand upon the technical work- 
er's mental ability and ingenuity to design, manufacture, test, dis- 
tribute, and then maintain the many newly created devices which have 
caused this evolution in the mode of living. 

The 1944 report of the consulting committee on Vocational-Tech- 
nical Education, 1 appointed by the U. S. Commissioner of Education, 
makes the following statement of the need that technical education 
at the secondary level attempts to fulfil. 

"The rapid expansion of technology is creating new needs for training. 
New materials, new processes, and new products are being developed at in- 
creasing rates. Demands of the war for trained technicians have stimulated 
new training programs. Technological developments in industry are increas- 

1 Vocational-Technical Education for Industrial Occupations, pp. is, x. U. S. 
Office of Education, Vocational Division. Bulletin No. 228., Washington: Govern- 
ment Printing Office, 1944. 



ing the need for technically trained personnel, in the opinion of nearly 80 
per cent of the industrial representatives interviewed 

The number of technicians required as compared with the number of col- 
lege-trained engineers, from data gathered in sixteen states, is reported to be 
an average ratio of 5.2 technicians per engineer 

The present situation in industry warrants a large expansion of voca- 
tional-technical training programs. 

The term "technical education" as used in this yearbook refers to 
that given in secondary schools. The objectives of technical education 
listed in the chapter do not cover all those of professional engineering 
and scientific specialist training which require four years of college 
study. Some of the objectives listed apply only to technical education 
at the secondary level. 

Because of the sporadic growth of technical education in this coun- 
try and its relative newness on the secondary level, perplexed in- 
terpreters of technical-industrial education ascribe to it a variety of 
aims and purposes. 

According to the American Association of Technical High Schools 
and Institutes 2 and the New York State Education Department, 3 
technical-industrial education is planned to prepare the student for 
technical and semiprofessional jobs of the following type: laboratory 
technician, shop foreman, junior chemist, junior draftsman, test-equip- 
ment operator, engineering producers salesman, inspector of industrial 
equipment, specialized industrial-equipment operator, industrial-plant 
supervisor, and serviceman and trouble diagnostician. 

Although the technical high-school curriculum is organized to con- 
tribute to some of the objectives of the academic secondary school as 
well as to some of those of the trade school, this chapter does not give 
consideration to the objectives of general education or to those con- 
cerned with the development of hand skills. 

Rather, the chapter is confined to a consideration of the evalu- 
ation of the following special outcomes of technical education which 
are based on a study of the 1944 Federal Report of the Advisory Com- 
mittee on Vocational-Technical Education, 4 the recommendations of 

* American Association of Technical High Schools and Institutes Yearbook, 
1946. (In manuscript form. Information available from W. E. Stirton, Principal, 
Cass Technical High School, Detroit, Michigan.) 

*The Organization and Administration of Technical Courses in Secondary 
Schools, Bulletin of the University of the State of New York, No. 1086. Albany, 
New York: University of the State of New York, 1945 (Revised). 

4 Vocational-Technical Education for Industrial Occupations. U. S. Office of 
Education, Vocational Division Bulletin No. 228. Washington: Government Print- 
ing Office, 1944. 


several technical curriculum-construction committees of the New York 
State Education Department, 5 and the statements of the American 
Association of Technical High Schools and Institutes as set forth in 
the 1946 Yearbook: 6 

1. Understanding and mastery of the fundamental bodies of knowl- 
edge and principles of science and technology which are essential for 
vocational competency in such technical and semi-professional jobs of 
the type listed on p. 282; in other words, an understanding of the 
methods of using materials and energy. 

For example, a technician in the field of radio service needs to be 
more than a radio mechanic who is able to replace defective parts in 
a radio. He should have such an understanding of the principles of 
electricity as applied to the operation of a radio that he is able to 
diagnose the trouble from the symptoms. Another example would be 
that of a graduate of a technical course who is working in the control 
section of a chemical manufacturing plant. He should have such an 
understanding of the processes of manufacturing that he will know 
how to take the necessary samples and know what chemical analyses 
are needed to control the quality and quantity of the manufactured 
product. He must understand the principles of chemistry involved so 
that his analyses need not follow in a routine fashion the step-by-step 
procedure for analysis given in a textbook. 

2. An understanding of the sketches, drawings, and specifications 
made by the engineer or architect so that one may be able to produce 
or supervise the production of the article designed. 

For example, the graduate must be able to interpret blue prints and 
specifications so that he can carry out the plans of the engineer or 
architect. This means not only that he must be able to interpret draw- 
ings, but also that he must understand the functions and operation of 
production equipment so that he can produce or supervise the pro- 
duction of the finished product. If a drawing is furnished calling for 
1,000 pieces of an article, he needs to understand how these can best 
be produced. For instance, he needs to know if the article can be forged 
or whether a pattern and a casting are needed. He also needs to know 
if a jig is advisable and, if so, how this jig should be constructed. 

3. The ability to create simple designs from sketches or word de- 
scriptions supplied by the engineer or architect through an appreciation 
of the principles of drawing and technology. 

5 The Organization and Administration oj Technical Courses in Secondary 
Schools, op. cit.; Syllabus in Technical Subjects. Albany, New York: University 
of the State of New York, 1941. 

Op. cit. 


For example, the architect, after sketching the design of a one- 
family dwelling, may ask the technical high-school graduate to pre- 
pare the detailed working drawings of the dwelling and specify the 
sizes of each construction member. Therefore, the technical student 
must acquire an understanding of the details of building construction, 
including a knowledge of building codes, standard practice, and 
strength of materials, and have a mastery of technique of drawing. 

If the student has completed a course in mechanical design, the 
engineer may give him a rough sketch of a part to be produced and 
ask him to compute exact sizes and make a detailed drawing for shop 
use. This involves an understanding of instructions given by the engi- 
neer and a mastery of drawing technique and of the simpler principles 
of design. 

4. A mastery of the fundamental processes of reading, writing, 
speaking, and mathematical calculation. 

The need for accuracy in calculations is obvious. Likewise, the 
need for understanding of instructions involving the printed word and 
drawings cannot be overemphasized. In addition, the desirability of 
mastery of use of the English language, both written and spoken, 
should not be overlooked. The ability to write clear, accurate reports 
is a particularly important outcome of technical education, as is also 
the ability to give clear oral explanations and issue oral instructions. 

5. Development of a background in technology necessary for ad- 
vanced education and advanced work in industry. 

In a democracy, it is desirable to conduct technical courses in such 
a way as to provide a foundation upon which to build for future ad- 
vancement. This means that in a technical high school the instruction 
in English, mathematics, and science should be adequate to meet the 
needs for admission to engineering college. Furthermore, the instruc- 
tion in the technical subjects should be so basic, broad, and thorough 
that the graduate is prepared not only for entrance upon his first job, 
but also for advancement to a better job as he gains experience. 

6. Development of skill and technique in handling scientific equip- 
ment and an understanding of the principles underlying its operation 
and use. 

It is not sufficient for the student of technical education that he 
know how to use scientific instruments by rule-of -thumb methods. He 
must also know the principles upon which they are constructed and the 
theory underlying their use. For example, he should not only know how 
to use an ammeter for measuring the current in a circuit, but he should 
also understand the electrical and mechanical principles underlying its 


operation; moreover, he should understand the merits of any selected 
instrument over other instruments and the accuracy of measurement 
which may be expected of it. 

7. Development of the ability to solve problems by a systematic 
and scientific procedure, which includes the consultation of all avail- 
able sources of information. A corollary to this objective is the need of 
suspending judgment until all available data have been collected. A 
related objective is that of understanding the need for the careful plan- 
ning of all work. 

For example, the design of a gear for a given purpose requires the 
careful and systematic examination of the problem and the consulta- 
tion of sources which summarize the available empirical information on 
the suitability of different types of gears for transmitting a given horse- 
power at a given speed. This procedure is in contrast to the hit-and- 
miss methods of the amateur. 

8. Development of the social understandings necessary for leader- 

Since many positions open to the graduate of technical education 
require the ability to lead and supervise others, it is important that 
the student acquire a proper perspective of his responsibilities and atti- 
tudes toward any group of persons with whom he works and associates. 


It is quite impossible within the limits of this chapter to suggest 
comprehensive methods of evaluating all of the objectives previously 
listed. It is necessary, then, to limit subsequent discussion of evalua- 
tive techniques to a few illustrations in a few areas. 7 In some of the 
illustrations the material has been fairly completely developed, while 
in others the suggestions constitute only a rough guide for building 
usable instruments. 

A common situation encountered by the technical student is one in 
which he is faced with a practical problem, such as that of carrying 
out a test on a machine, designing a structure or a machine which will 
do a given job, or carrying out a scientific experiment to test some 
hypothesis. The evaluative techniques which follow refer to such situ- 
ations and illustrate methods of evaluating the student's understand- 
ing of various aspects of them. First, consideration will be given to the 
evaluation of the student's understanding of how to plan his work. 

T In connection with Objective 4 the reader mil find helpful suggestions for 
evaluation in chapter ix (Language Arts) and in chapters vii and viii (Elementary 
Mathematics and Secondary Mathematics). 


Second, examples will be given of techniques for measuring the stu- 
dent's understanding of technical problems, the methods of solving 
them, and the instruments and devices used in this process. Third, 
techniques are illustrated for measuring understanding of drawings and 
specifications related to shop work. Fourth, instruments are presented 
which measure understanding through evidence supplied by a student's 
performance in solving a problem of the comprehensive type. This il- 
lustration is followed by a discussion of the use of rating scales for 
recording a student's estimated level of understanding. Fifth, an ex- 
ample is given of the measurement of understanding through the ex- 
amination of the student's creative work. Finally, the chapter con- 
cludes with a discussion of the measurement of social understanding 
related to foremanship and leadership in the shop. 

Evaluating the Student's Work Plan 

Every teacher is familiar with the difficulties which students en- 
counter in planning their practical work. Most teachers attempt to 
organize instruction in such a way that the student comes to each 
period of practical work adequately prepared to carry the task through 
to completion. Many workbooks are designed to help the student 
approach each period of practical work with an adequate understand- 
ing of the work expected of him, but too often the net result of the 
workbook is to enable the student to go through a mechanical routine 
with little or no understanding of what the work involves. Unfortun- 
ately, it usually happens that the teacher does not become aware of 
the student's inadequate understanding of the practical work until it is 
reflected in a poorly organized and inadequate report. Much can be 
done to increase the value of practical work if a systematic attempt is 
made to check the degree of understanding with which the student ap- 
proaches each practical situation and the extent to which he is capable 
of planning his work. 

While objective tests could be developed in order to determine 
whether each student begins each task with a sufficient understanding 
for the effective planning of his work, such tests are laborious to con- 
struct and time-consuming to administr. The teacher can learn much 
about the adequacy of the student's preparation by observing him and 
by questioning him. Such observation and questioning can be sys- 
tematized by the use of a check list including the- points which the 
teacher should attempt to observe. Such a check list may also be use- 
ful in evaluating the student's readiness for a particular task and in 
ascertaining the adequacy of the work plan of individual students who 
have difficulties with their work. The following list illustrates the types 


of items that may be used in a check list of this kind. The teacher 
should develop for each item in the list a series of questions to be 
directed to the student and a list of answers which are to be considered 
as acceptable. 

1. Does the student know the reason for the experiment or the object of the 

2. Does the student know what tools and equipment are required? (Make 
a check list.) 

3. Does the student know what materials are required? (Develop a de- 
tailed check list.) 

4. Does the student know what operations are required? (Develop a de- 
tailed check list.) 

5. Does the student know the best sequence of operations? 

6. Does the student understand the operation of the equipment? 

7. Does the student know the accuracy required in the results? 

8. Does the student know the main sources of error? 

9. Does the student know the limits of accuracy of the equipment? 

10. Has the student made adequate provision for recording his results? 

11. Does the student know what facts should be recorded in addition to the 
quantitative observations? 

12. Has the student consulted any necessary reference works? 

13. Does he know what precautions should be taken to protect the equip- 
ment and himself? 

14. Does he know where to obtain all the necessary materials and equipment? 

It is obvious that such a check list cannot be used to check every 
student on every occasion, but it can be used at intervals in individual 
cases. While many teachers believe that such a check list should be 
scored, in the opinion of the writers its main value lies in its use as a 
means of systematizing the teacher's observations. 

It is evident that it is necessary to adapt the check list to the special 
requirements of each period of practical work. It is possible to use such 
a check list for the systematic investigation of the adequacy of the 
understanding with which students plan their work. An additional 
value of a check list of this kind lies in the fact that it supplies the 
teacher with a guide which can be followed in preparing the students 
for their practical work. 

The Measurement of Understandings Related to a Technical Problem 

A superficial analysis would indicate that the best way to determine 
whether a technical student has understandings of the type noted in 
Objectives 1 and 7 would be to observe his behavior in the actual situ- 
ation which he encounters in the laboratory. Certain precautions 


should, however, be observed. Although the student usually makes 
errors in handling a practical problem which provide evidence that he 
has failed to understand certain specific aspects of the situation, a stu- 
dent may, nevertheless, be able to give a faultless performance not 
because he has insight and understanding, but because he is able to 
follow the routine described in a book. Most of the more common 
chemical tests or engineering tests on materials and machines can be 
carried out fairly easily by one who knows the routine but who may 
not understand the principles underlying the process. Consequently, 
while the teacher may obtain some evidence of the student's under- 
standing of a practical problem by observing and questioning him 
while he is working, the systematic measurement of the student's 
understanding of this situation must wait until the student has com- 
pleted his work. Once the student has completed his work on the 
problem, it is then possible to give him an over-all rating for his per- 
formance on the particular problem, or to measure understanding of 
the problem through objective tests. 

The following illustrations suggest the use of objective test items 
to measure the student's understanding of principles underlying the 
operation of industrial equipment similar to that which he has used 
in the laboratory (Objectives 1 and 6). 

In the first example, it is assumed that the student has received 
classroom instruction on the theoretical aspects of the problem of 
measuring the brake thermal efficiency of a standard gasoline engine 
and that the student has also had the opportunity to apply this theory 
by operating a standard automobile gasoline engine in the power 
laboratory, recording the necessary data, and calculating the brake 
thermal efficiency. 

Test items such as the following may then be employed in the 
measurement of understanding. Items 1 to 3 are based on the fol- 
lowing situation: 

Example: A brake thermal efficiency test is being conducted on an 85- 
horsepower, 8-cylinder automobile gasoline engine. 

1. A load applied to the engine reduces its speed from 2,000 to 1,500 R.P.M. 
If the engine is not overloaded, its speed may be restored to 2,000 R.P.M. 
by decreasing the 

a. pressure in the fuel line 

b. compression ratio 

c. pressure in the carburetor venturi 

d. fuel to air ratio 

2. The part of the operating cycle at which the pressure in the cylinder of 
the gasoline engine is greatest is 


a. at the end of the compression stroke 

b. near the beginning of the power stroke 

c. at the end of the power stroke 

d. at the beginning of the exhaust stroke 

3. When an increase in the compression ratio of a gasoline engine results in 
an improved brake thermal efficiency, this is accompanied by an increase 
in the 

a. heat value of the fuel 

b. maximum temperature resulting from combustion in the cylinder 

c. octaine rating of the fuel 

d. maximum temperature of the exhaust gases 

^The next series of objective test items is planned to illustrate how 
objective test items may be adapted to the evaluation of the student's 
comprehension of laboratory procedure in industrial chemistry. Items 
such as these could be used to determine the extent to which the stu- 
dent understands laboratory procedures of the type covered in the 
problem. (Objectives 1, 2, and 6 are involved in the student's total 
comprehension of the problem.) Questions 1 through 5 are based on 
the following problem : 

Example: To prepare a 100-pound batch of liquid soap meeting the fol- 
lowing specifications: (1) two degrees Baume at 20 degrees centigrade; (2) 
free alkali not to exceed 0.05 per cent potassium hydroxide; (3) raw ma- 
terials as follows: cocoanut oil; potassium hydroxide, 47 degrees Baume solu- 
tion; oleic acid, as needed; perfume, as desired. 

1. The main reason for using potassium hydroxide in this process instead of 
sodium hydroxide is to produce a soap which is 

a. hard 

b. neutral 

c. soft 

d. saponified 

2. One reason why it is necessary to control carefully the alkalinity of the 
soap produced is that an excess of alkali produces 

a. hydrolysis 

b. precipitation of grease 

c. a soap which irritates the skin 

d. a soap which does not lather 

3. One reason why potassium hydroxide is used instead of calcium hydroxide 
hi making liquid soap is that the latter would produce a soap which is 

a. brown 

b. acid 

c. insoluble 

d. viscous 



4. Wliat is the approximate number of kilograms of potassium hydroxide re- 
quired to react with 2 kilograms of cocoanut oil if its saponification num- 
ber is 260? 

a. 52 kg. 

6. 0.26 kg. 
c. 130 kg. 
d. ' 0.52 kg. 

5. Before attempting to make a 47 degree Baume solution of potassium hy- 
droxide it is necessary to determine the 

a. heat of solution of potassium hydroxide 
6. degree of ionization of potassium hydroxide 

c. solubility of potassium hydroxide 

d. percentage of potassium hydroxide in such a solution 

The following sample test illustrates how the objective type of test 
procedure may be used to measure the student's understanding of the 
way in which an instrument operates (Objective 6). Questions 1 
through 4 are based on the following diagram of an induction watt- 
hour meter. 

Example: Check the statement that indicates the correct answer to each 

question based on the following drawing. 

What is the function of the coil marked X? 

a. It produces a magnetic flux proportional to the line voltage. 

6. It exerts a retarding torque on the rotating disc. 

c. It adjusts the instrument for lag. 

d. It exerts a torque proportional to the load. 


2. What is the effect on the rotating disc of placing a strong magnet near the 

a. The speed of rotation is retarded. 

b. The speed of rotation is accelerated. 

c. The speed of rotation is unchanged. 

d. The speed of rotation is either retarded or accelerated, depending on 
location of the magnet. 

3. One common way of making the lag adjustment is to adjust the 
a. resistance of R 

6. position of the drag magnets 

c. position of the disc 

d. resistance of the current coils 

4. Which one of the following does not change hi magnitude when the load is 

a. the field around the potential coil 

b. the currents induced in the rotor 

c. the field around the current coils 

d. the torque exerted on the rotor 

The Measurement of the Understanding of Drawings and 
Other Specifications 

It is not always necessary to require the student to produce a 
specified object in order to determine whether he understands the 
specifications. Such a procedure tests not only the student's under- 
standing of the specifications but also his ability to produce the given 
article. A satisfactory method of measuring understanding in this area 
(Objective 2) is to present the student with a set of specifications which 
are new to him and then to question him on his understanding of them. 
The questions may be of the multiple-choice or completion type. In 
the following example, 8 the student is presented with a technical draw- 
ing of an object which is to be produced, and his understanding of these 
specifications is determined by means of a series of questions. Sample 
questions are given here, but numerous additional questions could be 
asked. In each case, the student responds by selecting the correct edge 
or surface in the drawing, or by recording a numerical value of length 
or area determined from the drawing. The items can be objectively 
scored, and if machine methods of scoring are available, these items 
may be converted into the multiple-choice form. 

*This drawing and the sample questions were developed by J. M. Gray of 
the Brooklyn Technical High School. 



Example: Answer the questions concerning specifications for a stool as 
shown hi the following drawing. 

1. What is the dimension of the chamfer shown hi the front view? 

2. How much does the top of the stool project beyond the front leg? 

3. Which point on the top view is represented by line S in the front view? 

4. What is the distance between the inside of the legs hi the side view? 

5. What line in the top view represents the back surface of rail V? 

6. What point in the top view represents point 10 shown in the side view? 

A third method of determining the student's understanding of speci- 
fications is to ask him to complete the job called for by the specifica- 
tions. While in some fields this is a very long and tedious procedure 
for measuring understanding, in other fields it may be a fairly eco- 
nomical procedure. For example, in order to determine whether a stu- 
dent can understand a wiring diagram, it may be sufficient to permit 
him to complete the actual wiring required. On the other hand, similar 
information may be obtained by the use of diagrams scored objectively 
and related to the original wiring diagram. When the student is re- 
quired to fabricate an article, his score should be determined either by 
cheeking the product against the specifications or by checking his per- 
formance against a detailed check list at each stage in the procedure. 


The Measurement of Understandings Involved in the Solution of 

the Comprehensive Type of Problem 

In the examples given up to this point in the chapter it has been 
the practice to break down the various aspects of the behavior involved 
and to measure the student's understanding in a piecemeal manner. 
Many teachers feel that the behavior required of the student in such 
situations is fundamentally different from that where the student is 
required to solve a major problem involving a number of skills, under- 
standings, and appreciations. The argument is that the student may 
acquire the isolated skills and understandings but still be unable to 
integrate them into the total behavior required for solving a compre- 
hensive problem. 

In the following examples the student is asked to solve compre- 
hensive problems which require the synthesis of numerous understand- 
ings and skills. The student's understanding of these problems can be 
scored with objectivity by the use of the check sheet. An objective 
scoring device of this type is much superior to the more common prac- 
tice of arriving at an over-all rating of the student's performance. 

The comprehensive problems used to illustrate this technique have 
appeared on comprehensive technical regents' examinations admin- 
istered to technical high-school students by the University of the State 
of New York. 

Comprehensive Navigation Problem * 

Example: A paratroop transport with air speed of 190 miles per hour is 
to fly from Leuchars, Fife, Scotland, to Bergen, Norway. The following data 
are given: 

Leuchars 56 IT N 3 00' W 

Bergen 60 25' E 5 21' E 

1. Plot the two places and determine the true course and distance from 
Leuchars to Bergen. 

2. If the compass heading and the deviation card are as given in the accom- 
panying chart, what is the drift at the beginning of the flight? 

3. How long would the flight take if a northeast wind were blowing? 

This problem presents to the student a new and novel situation in 
which he is required to integrate his knowledge of operational pro- 
cedures and his related understandings. The solution of such a problem 
will usually call for the use of skills. If the intent is to measure under- 

*This problem was developed by IT. J, Coyle, Brooklyn Technical High 








s* 2* r 0" r 

standings, then the teacher constructing the problem must guard 
against the use of items which primarily measure the acquisition of 
skills. For example, the solution of the problem cited involves the use 
of many skills such as (1) reading a compass, (2) using a deviation 
card, (3) using a compass rose, and (4) plotting a position on a Mer- 
cator chart. 

Although the performance of the operations enumerated are neces- 
sary to obtain the correct solution, a student may be capable of read- 
ing a compass or using a deviation card without being able to solve 
the problem presented. The successful solution of a comprehensive 


problem requires the student to organize and execute a unified plan 
of action based upon understandings. 

The following check list is provided for measuring the student's 
understanding of the problem. While this check list breaks down the 
student's behavior into a number of items it still permits the student to 
carry through to completion an integrated performance. 

Examiner's Scoring Check List for Navigation Problem 

Yes No 

1. Is W. longitude designated to the left of zero degrees and 
E. longitude to the right? 

2. Is the position of Leuchars plotted accurately within one 
minute ? 

3. Is the position of Bergen plotted accurately within one 

4. What latitude scale did the student use to determine the 
distance from Leuchars to Bergen ? 

a. 58 to 59 

b. 56 to 61 

c. 56ir to 6025' 

5. Is the scaled distance from Leuchars to Bergen between 
356 and 360 nautical miles? (Best answer, 358.7 nautical 

6. Did the student specify nautical miles when stating dis- 

7. Is the true course from Leuchars to Bergen between 4600' 
and 4700'? (Best answer, 4641') 

8. Did the student read the compass heading as 68 ? 

9. Did the student use the variation at the starting point, 

10. Did the student add the variation correction to true course 
to obtain a magnetic course? 

11. Did the student ascertain the deviation correction to be 
4 West? 

12. Did the student add the deviation correction to the mag- 
netic course to obtain compass course? 

13. Did the student subtract compass heading from compass 
course to determine the drift? 

14. Did the student ascertain the drift to be a West drift? 
(Best answer, 3 West drift) 

15. Did the student use ground speed in determining the time 
of flight? 

16. Did the student correctly employ the wind triangle by: 

a. laying off the drift angle to the right of true course?. . 

b. laying off the air speed along the true heading? 



Yes No 

c. assigning the wind vector a West, or left direction?. . . 

d. using the same scale for measuring ground speed as 
was used in plotting air speed? 

e. obtaining a ground speed between 177 and 181 statute 
miles per hour? (Best answer, 179 statute miles per 

17. Did the student use consistent units? 

18. Did the student divide the distance by the ground speed 
to obtain the time of flight ? 

19. Was the time of flight between 2 hrs. 16 min. and 2 hrs. 
20 min.? (Best answer, 2 hrs. 18 min.) 

Comprehensive Structural Problem 

The following problem in structural design 10 is also illustrative of 
the comprehensive type of problem employed to measure the under- 
standing of technical principles. 

Example: The student is asked to determine the required size of beam X 
shown in the figure. The following data are given : 

1. Floor-to-floor height in the structure, 12' 8" 

2. Ceiling height, 11' 0" 

3. Floor construction as shown in figure: 



/y/ fs^/s/s/'/s'/yfy /-/Sfr 

-, LL * 

-t V->", J>-^^>3 VV 

f SLAB 2 

'.; : . > .- /. -" . 

04 , ' 4 r - * . 

'*'.". '' * ' - i' ' *' 


'*' ' ' ' 7 


fe3 .;/ 

1 ,...*-' i,- ,"r ~f; j-v,; ..-*,, ,, >_ 

4. Floor loads: 

Live load ............ 100 Ib. per sq. ft. 

Movable partitions ____ 18 Ib. per sq. ft. 

Finish flooring ........ 3 Ib. per sq. ft. 

Sub-flooring ......... 3 Ib. per sq. ft. 

2-inch cinder fill ..... . 16 Ib. per sq. ft. 

5-inch concrete slab ... 60 Ib. per sq. ft. 
Total. ....... .200 Ib. per sq. ft. 

5. Weight of beam plus fireproofing assumed to be 120 Ib. per linear foot. 

6. Beams are placed 8 feet on centers. 

authors are indebted to I. S. Abrahams, Brooklyn Technical High 
School, and to Clifton C. Flather, New York State Education Department, for 
assistance in the development of thin problem. 


7. Allowable fiber stress, 18,000 Ib. per sq. in, 

8. The vertical deflection shall not exceed that usually allowed for the type 
of construction shown. 

Scoring Check List for the Examiner 

Yes No 

1. Was the load of the floor per linear foot of beam de- 
termined to be 1,600 Ib? 

2. Was the weight of beam, plus fireproofing, used to de- 
termine total load per linear foot acting on one beam?. . . 

3. Was the total load per linear foot acting on one beam 
found to be 1,720 Ib? 

4. Was the total load on one beam found to be 30,960 Ib?. . . 

5. Was the maximum bending moment found to be 835,900 Ib ? 

6. Was the required section modulus found to be 46.4 inches 

7. Was the maximum allowable height of beam found to be 
10% inches? 

8. Was a 10-inch wide flange, 45-lb. I-beam selected from 
the tables of the Steel Construction Handbook of the 
American Institute of Steel Construction? 

9. Was the actual section modulus of the beam determined 
from the tables to be 49.1 inches cubed? 

Additional items in the check list refer to the shear and deflection of the 
beam. Space does not permit the inclusion of the items here. 

Use of Rating Scales in the Measurement of Understanding 

If the student is required to complete a project during a single 
period of observation, the teacher should provide some general sub- 
jective evaluation of the performance which can be kept as part of the 
student's record. Such evaluations may become a feature of the regu- 
lar teaching procedure and form a basis for the systematic observa- 
tion of student behavior. Such a day-to-day system of appraisal was 
found to be of considerable value in the Army Air Forces Technical 
Schools and has been adopted on a compulsory basis throughout the 
schools of the Technical Command. 

Example: The following table shows this particular system of grades and 
the interpretation that should be given to each of the scale values. 11 

u The principles of this grading system were developed mainly by Dr. Ken- 
neth E. Clark and Lt. Charles P. Sparks. 



Value Interpretation 

5 Completed the job quickly and efficiently. Learned what to do, why 
to do it, and the relationship of this job to others being studied in 
the unit. 

4 Completed the required job with little hesitancy. Learned what to 
do and understood generally the underlying principles. 

3 Had a general idea of what was to be done. Finished the job but 
with minor errors of omission or commission. Made false starts, 
changes, and repetition. Was not sure of himself or of his product. 

2 Was able with difficulty to complete parts of the job himself. Had an 
idea of what to do but lacked sufficient information or dexterity to 
complete all parts of the job. Understood very little of why he did 
the job. 

1 Could not complete the job even with major assistance from the in- 
structor. Did not know the parts of his job either by definition or by 
use. Had no understanding of why the job was to be done. 

It should be noted, however, that when this grading system was 
introduced, it was also recommended that it be used only with those 
projects where it was possible for the instructor to observe individual 
performances and behavior indicative of understanding. It must be 
evident to every teacher that a scale of this kind can be employed only 
in a limited number of situations, as in the drafting room, shop, or 
laboratory, where the student provides evidence of understanding 
through overt behavior. It is also evident that when an instructor is 
directing a class of thirty students, it is impossible to make observa- 
tions of any detailed character on every student during the work 
period. Under such conditions, it may be desirable for the teacher to 
avoid using the rating scale on all the students after every class period, 
rating just a few on each occasion instead. Unfortunately, there has 
been a marked tendency in the past to use such scales unwisely when 
they have been used at all. 

The Measurement of Understanding in Creative Work in 

Technical Fields 

The student's work in technical training also includes numerous 
situations where it is necessary for him to develop a new procedure 
for performing a given operation or to design a new device which will 
perform a prescribed function (Objective 3). Such situations differ 
considerably from those in which the student is required only to under- 
stand certain specifications so that he may be able to produce the 
specified article. These latter understandings do not seem sufficient 



to insure creative work although no satisfactory analysis has yet been 
made either of the intellectual abilities essential for such work or of 
the way in which these abilities are related to understanding. How- 
ever, it seems to be generally agreed that satisfactory creative work 
in technical fields is symptomatic of a high order of understanding 
and that consequently such work may be accepted as evidence of 
understanding. The limitation of using creative work as evidence of 
understanding arises from the fact that it is generally difficult to estab- 
lish a criterion of performance. In technical fields the criterion used 
to determine the value of creative work is largely a matter of whether 
the^ product will do a satisfactory job in the situation for which it was 
designed, and such a criterion is a much more objective one than any 
of those which can be applied in other fields of creative effort. 

The following is an example of how a student's understanding of a 
problem may be measured through the product of his creative activity 

Example Design a simple drill jig for performing the last operation in 
the production of the part shown in the accompanying drawing. The last 


1 This problem and the check list were developed by Emanuel Rosenthal, 
Brooklyn Technical High School. 


operation is to "drill all holes." One thousand parts only are to be made and 
XLO bushings %" O.D. and %" long are to be used. 

The following check list may be used for scoring the design which 
is evaluated in terms of the extent to which it will perform the re- 
quired function. Such a check list may be employed diagnostically to 
indicate gaps in the student's understanding of the principles of de- 
sign. It should be noted that the student is still given some freedom 
in designing the jig, provided that it will perform the required job 

Check List for Scoring the Design of the Jig 

Yes No 

1. Did the student select the plug-type of jig?. 

2. Did the student design the jig with a plug and key to fit 
the piece part? 

3. Does the jig fit against the finished surfaces of the piece 

4. Is it possible to reverse the jig and drill from both sides? . . 

5. Did the student design the correct bushing? 

6. Were the bushing holes located 90 apart with respect to 
the center line? ; 

7. Were the diameters dimensioned in decimals ? 

8. Did the student insert a key in the plug to fit the piece 
part as a means of locking the work? 

9. Did the student draw both the top and the side views?. . . 

10. Was a partial section drawn to show the bushing? 

11. Were the locations of the holes given in degrees? 

12. Did the student specify that the jig be made of CJU3.?. . 

13. Was the thickness of the jig plate equal to the height of 
the bushing? 

14. Was it specified that the jig be finished by grinding? 

Measurement of Social Understandings Related to Foremanship 

Whenever the practical work is such that the students are required 
to work in groups, it is possible for the teacher to obtain evidence of 
each student's ability to act as a supervisor or as a student fore- 
man (Objective 8) . In evaluating a student's understanding of social 
situations, a check list may again serve as a useful guide for directing 
the teacher's observations. If the teacher looks for specific items of 
behavior which indicate the presence or lack of social understanding 
in the given situation, a much more satisfactory evaluation can be 
made than when the teacher attempts to make an over-all evaluation 
of the student's social behavior. The following items may be used as a 


guide to the teacher's observation in the evaluation of the supervisory 
ability shown by a student working in a group situation. 

Check List for Evaluating Supervisory Ability 

Yes No 

1. Does he consult the group in planning the work? 

2. Does he consult the other members of the group before 
changing the plans? 

3. Does he arrange for each member of the group to have a 
specific job ? 

4. Does he consult the members of the group in assigning 

5. Does he delegate responsibility willingly? 

6. Does he do most of the work himself? 

7. Does each member of the group know just what his task 
is supposed to be? 

8. Are there any members of the group who are inadequately 
informed of the purpose of the work? 

9. Are there members of the group who do not willingly fol- 
low his leadership ? 

10. Is there any duplication of effort within the group? 

11. Is the group as a whole kept informed of any develop- 
ments that may affect them? 

12. Does he bring to the attention of the teacher any out- 
standing contribution by a member of the group? 

13. Does he make sure that each individual in the group re- 
ceives the credit he deserves? 

It must be remembered, however, that such check lists have limited 
value in the quantitative measurement of student understanding. Their 
chief value lies in the fact that they are useful instruments for direct- 
ing teacher observation in the identification of weaknesses in the stu- 
dent's understanding of technical processes. 




Division of Instructional Services 

U. S. Office of Education 

Washington, D. C. 


Department of Industrial Education 

University of California, Santa Barbara College 

Santa Barbara, California 


Bureau of Industrial- Arts Education 

Board of Education 

Chicago, Illinois 

In a broad sense, industrial arts is a part of general education for 
both boys and, girls. The commonly accepted view of the nature and 
purposes of the industrial- arts program in the schools is characterized 
in the following excerpts from authoritative writings in this field. 

Industrial arts is a phase of general education that concerns itself with 
the materials, processes, and products of manufacture, and with the contri- 
bution of those engaged in industry. The learnings come through the pupil's 
experiences with tools and materials and through Ms study of resultant con- 
ditions of life. It is a curriculum area rather than a subject or course, being 
comparable in this respect to the language arts (I: 1). 

The industrial-arts work is justified not because the objectives of the in- 
dustrial-arts teacher are essentially different from the objectives of the gen- 
eral-education teacher, but because the experiences provided in industrial arts 
offer a more effective and more economical means of developing certain 
desirable objectives which are given as the aims of general education than 
do the experiences provided in the so-called academic subjects In at- 
taining many of the other objectives of general education also, the industrial- 
arts experiences are more effective than the experiences offered in academic 
subjects (2: 9). 

A vast body of industrial mformation with which all men and women of 
true culture should be familiar is today being collected, organized, evaluated, 
and crystallized into a new school study, a study of industry from the social 



as well as from the material side, a cultural study with the emphasis upon 
the now and why of industrial operations combined with a real appreciation 
of industrial life (27: 6), 

Organized shop work as a part of the general education program of pub- 
lic schools is now in the third phase The third phase, which we call 

industrial arts, has been developed because of the belief that pupils need to 
know more about their industrial environment and the bearing it has on their 
social, cultural, and economic life. We are now engaged in broadening the 
range of industrial arts in keeping with our rapidly changing industrial society. 

In order better to interpret this environment, the practice has grown up 
of drawing from our ever-changing modem industry with its countless mech- 
anisms, elements of experience which may be used for educational purposes 
in the school shop, especially by boys in the upper elementary grades and in 
secondary schools. The outcome of this new approach has been a gradual 
change from the formal discipline of manual training to a program of ex- 
ploration. For the latter purpose we have shops and laboratories equipped 
for a^ wide range of activities involving the use of mathematics, tools, and 
machines representative of the activities and interests of a society which is 
dominantly industrial (5). 

Industrial-arts students will give evidence of understanding, in a 
general sense, if they know how, why, and when to use the information 
and skills from their industrial-arts courses to meet new situations 
that arise in the school, the home, and the community. For example, 
if a boy's mother needs a new shelf in the cupboard, can he design 
one? If the faucet leaks at the kitchen sink, can a girl diagnose the dif- 
ficulty and stop the leak? If the door bell will not work, can the boy 
or girl find the loose connection or defective transformer which is caus- 
ing the trouble? If the family needs a new electric iron, can the boy 
and girl -who have had industrial arts help select a well-designed, ef- 
ficient, durable product? 


The following six goals summarize the teaching aims of industrial 
arts although the emphasis that is placed on these goals varies with 
the grade level, type of pupil, and community interests. Each of the 
goals involves a group or body of understandings, the nature of which 
is considered, in part, in the discussion of this section of the chapter and 
is revealed, perhaps more clearly, in the illustrative devices for evalu- 

1. Ability to express one's self through planning and constructing 
projects, using ,commm tools and a variety of construction materials, 
typical of industry. 


2. Discovery of aptitudes and reactions contributing to the matur- 
ing of life interests, both of a vocational and of an avocational char- 

Industrial-arts teachers assume some responsibility in helping boys 
and girls to understand the possibilities for earning a living in the in- 
dustrial vocations and the possibilities for avocations involving craft 
materials. The understandings that come in achieving this goal mature 
along with the boy or girl over a period of years and may continue 
on through adult life. 

3. Understanding of industry and its products and services, to- 
gether with their influence in determining patterns of living in modern 

The modern school prepares for life and modern living, and has 
been greatly influenced by the machine age. The modern home of to- 
day is far different from the home of the pioneer. Industrial-arts 
teachers must teach boys and girls about industry, its processes, prod- 
ucts, and services so that they may better grasp the fundamental work- 
ings of modern society. 

4. Ability to read and make working drawings for planning and 
constructing useful projects typical of modern industry. 

Industrial-arts teachers give boys and girls instruction in reading 
and making working drawings. This experience enables students to 
plan their work better and to work more intelligently from the well- 
thought-out plans furnished by skilled persons. 

5. The ability to choose industrial products with reference to de- 
sign, pleasing color combinations, and durability; and to maintain and 
service such products. 

Goal five of industrial-arts teaching is constantly assuming greater 
importance. As the machine age continues to develop, people will more 
and more buy the things they need. This practice is quite different 
from that of the pioneer who made with his own hands and with simple 
hand-operated tools most of the items to meet his needs. The pioneer 
learned quality by working with tools and materials, but the people 
of today need training to help them understand the meaning of quality 
in the products of industry. 

Many of the tools used in industry are complicated, expensive, and 
automatic. Few people can get a real appreciation of the way things 
are made merely by looking at them. On the other hand, training in 
the industrial arts gives them an understanding and appreciation of 
what constitutes quality in the products we need for modern living. 


6. Growth in abilities and attitudes related to mathematics, science, 
and the language arts, and to work habits, safety practices, and co- 
operation with others. 

Boys and girls who take industrial-arts courses have opportunities 
to broaden and strengthen their education in many related fields. Their 
vocabulary is enriched by. adding the terms of industry. Their grasp 
of mathematical principles is strengthened by solving problems related 
to machines and construction material; their science is applied to prac- 
tical situations through the study of machines and industrial proc- 
esses; their reading and their use of both oral and written language 
are developed through use in new situations; also, there are numerous 
opportunities to develop leadership and social efficiency through work- 
ing with others. 


Examples of activities that are dependent on understanding and 
suggested techniques for evaluating understanding are given for the 
six major goals of industrial-arts teaching. 

1. Ability to express one's self through planning and constructing 
projects, using common tools and a variety of construction materials, 
typical of industry. 

The successful meeting of the following new situations by a boy 
or girl who has had industrial- arts training should indicate under- 
standing as required by the first goal of industrial-arts teaching: 

1. Plan, construct, and finish a desk for the home. 

2. Plan and construct a plastic picture frame as a gift for mother. 

3. Design, build, and finish a sand box for a smaller brother or sister. 

4. Design, build, decorate, and finish toys for Christmas gifts. 

The amount of understanding evidenced is directly proportionate 
to the student's ability to do the job on his own initiative, the time 
required to finish the job, the wise selection of materials, the type of 
construction used, the amount of material spoiled, the correct use of 
tools, and the condition of the tools. 

The boy or girl who has a good deal of understanding will have 
an adequate plan before he starts work, will have the work-space clean 
and well organized, the tools sharp and adjusted, the necessary ma- 
terials at hand, and will proceed in an efficient, direct manner to do 
the job, using the correct tools in a workmanlike manner. 

The real test of understanding in this case is ability to do the job, 
but certain glimpses or indications of a boy's or girl's understanding 
may be obtained through the use of test questions. The following types 
of questions are of some value in determining whether or not the indi- 



vidual has acquired understandings basic to achievement of the first 

Examples of Essay Questions 

1. In splicing No. 14 code wire, Bill Smith stripped off the insulation, twisted 
the wires together, and wrapped the splices with rubber tape. List the 
mistakes Bill made and tell why they are mistakes. 

2. In refinishing old furniture the following steps are recommended: (a) ap- 
ply varnish remover and scrape off old finish; (b) wash the surface with 
benzine and allow to dry; (c) sandpaper the surface; (d) stain to de- 
sired color; (e) apply varnish of average consistency; (/) apply thin 

(1) Why is it important to wash the surface with benzine? 

(2) If the wood is not sanded, what is likely to be the condition of the 
finished coat? 

3. Describe briefly three important processes of applying a protective coat- 
ing to sheet iron and steel. Discuss the relative advantages and disad- 
vantages of the different processes or the conditions under which each is 

4. The driver pulley illustrated below revolves clockwise at 1750 RPM. What 
is the speed of rotation of the shaft of the driven pulley? In what direc- 
tion does it rotate? Explain your answer to each question. 


Multiple Response Items 

Check the statement which constitutes the best answer to each question. 
1. Furniture makers prefer to work with mahogany rather than with oak 

a. mahogany is heavier. 

b. mahogany does not require a filler. 

c. mahogany is less likely to chip (flake). 

d. mahogany is more plentiful. 


2. In beginning the process of sawing off a board, the groove is made by 
pulling the saw backwards because 

a. the set of the teeth is such that the backward stroke is not likely to 
cause chipping. 

b. the set of the teeth is such that the saw will not cut on the forward 
stroke until a groove is provided. 

c. the saw teeth are sharper on the back side, 

d. you cannot put on pressure on the backward stroke. 

3. In soldering electric wires together the function of the flux used is 

a. to soften the solder. 

b. to soften the wires. 

c. to clean the wire. 

d. to make the solder harden. 

4. In making an end splice in No. 14 code wire, the purpose of soldering the 
wires together is 

a. to make the splice more permanent. 

b. to make electrical contact. 

c. to reduce electrical resistance. 

d. to insulate the splice. 

True-False Test Items 
Mark each statement to indicate whether it is true or false 

1. A tap drill should be slightly larger than the bolt. 

2. Quenching tool steel at the proper heat traps the carbon in solution. 

3. Hacksaws and files cut on both backward and forward strokes. 

4. A poorly sharpened drill tends to cut oversize. 

5. The threads on a pipe are usually tapered. 

6. A hammer should be used in preference to a mallet in forming articles 
over a sheet metal stake. 

7. Each bolt and nut manufacturing company has its own standard for threads 
per inch. 

8. The motor should be oiled each time you oil the rest of the machine lathe. 

Example of Anecdotal Record 

Teacher's note, October 8: 

Noted that Fred tried his plane on a scrap board and then adjusted it 
before planing the board to be used in his project. 

Fred started planing in the wrong direction. He stopped, examined grain 
of wood, then started to plane in the right direction. 

Fred's trial of his plane and adjustment of that tool before using it 
on a good board shows that he understands that costly errors may be 
avoided and also shows that he understands at least one of the major 
characteristics of this tool. His reversal of planing direction after ex- 


amining the grain of the wood showed that he understands some of the 
working qualities of the wood he was using. 

Formal Observational Rating of Tool Techniques 

Boys and girls who rate high on the following scale show evidence 
of understanding and of aptitude for the use of simple tools and ma- 
terial. Scales of this type are useful for a partial evaluation of under- 
standing and as teaching devices. [The observer encircles the number 
which represents his quantitative estimate of the performer's skill: 
(T) for absence of skill; (10) for expertness.] 

To Saw to a Line with a Rip and Cross-cut Saw 

Tools and materials: Sharp rip saw and cross-cut saw, bench, wood vise, and 
piece of wood. 

Directions: Observe pupil as he works, and rate him on the following points. 

1. Clamping stock: 123456789 10 

Stock should be so held that it will not be loosened or cracked, and that 
its position will facilitate sawing. 

2. Starting cut: 1 2 3" 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 

With thumb at line, saw should be placed against the thumb. Saw should 
be pulled back slowly a few times to make a groove, then pushed forward. 

3. Holding saw: 123456789 10 

Saw should be held firmly. For cross-cut saw, angle should be 45 degrees; 
for rip saw, 60 degrees. 

4. Stroke: 123456789 10 

Stroke should be long and even, not too fast. Proper angle should be kept 
during sawing. Line should be followed. 

5. Ending cut: 123456789 10 

The piece being cut off should be held with the free hand. Saw strokes 
should be slow and with little pressure so as to prevent breaking off the end. 

Oral Questions and Discussion 

1. Teacher: "Bill, why are you fastening those boards together now?" 
Bill: "So that I can see how to fasten the bottom board." 
Bill's answer shows that he does not have a clear understanding of 
his project. He cannot visualize the completed work, and so gives 
evidence of only partial understanding. For instructional purposes, 
Bill's teacher has all the evidence needed. However, instruction at this 
point will not necessarily assure understanding on Bill's part. Most 
likely Bill's knowledge will reach only the level of mechanical skill. 
Therefore, the teacher should keep a record of his question and Bill's 
answer. Then, when a further test of Bill's understanding is desired, 
the teacher can confront him with a situation similar to this one. 


2. Henry planned to make a simple bookcase and was ready to begin con- 
struction. His teacher asked, "Now tell me the steps in your plan." Henry 
gave a good step-by-step description. However, when dealing with ma- 
terial^ he merely stated, "I am going to need 16 feet 8%" '*%" of white 
pine." At that point the teacher asked, "Does that allow for saw cuts?" 
Henry replied, "I'll need 7 pieces and their total length is 15% ft. I figured 
that I need 6 extra inches to take care of saw cuts and squaring ends." 
From this report the teacher could see that Henry had an under- 
standing of the project he had planned. 

Tests of Procedure 

1. To rewasher a leaking compression faucet. 

a. Examine the valve seat and ream if pitted. 

b. Shut of the water. 

c. Assemble the faucet, turn on water and test. 

d. Put on a new washer. 

e. Determine where the faucet leaks. 
/. Remove the valve stem. 

Directions: Rearrange the letters to show correct order of procedures and 
place in parentheses ( ), ( ), ( ), ( ), ( ), ( ). 

2. To make a window screen. 
Procedure : 

a. Trim screen wire even with molding. 

6. Fasten the joints. 

c. Tack on the screen wire. 

d. Cut the stock to length. 

e. Determine the dimensions. 
/. Nail on the screen molding. 

Directions: Rearrange the numbers to show correct order of procedure 
and place in parentheses (),(),(),(),(),(). 

2. Discovery of aptitudes and reactions contributing to the matur- 
ing of life interests, both of a vocational and of an avocational char- 

Evidences of understanding related to this second objective are: an 
appreciation of one's ability or lack of ability with tools and machines; 
the enjoyment of leisure hours devoted to craft work; an interest in 
industry, its workers, and its products; a knowledge of the training 
necessary for success in industrial fields; an interest in the accomplish- 
ments of industrial leaders; a knowledge of and interest in the social 
and economic problems of workers and employers; a knowledge of the 
history of industrial developments in America and abroad. 


Evidence of understandings related to this objective may be ob- 
tained by observation, interview, tests of aptitude, and evaluation of 
experience in industry or the crafts. Cumulative records, formal or 
informal, of each pupil's developing interests and competence are the 
primary basis for evaluating attainment of this objective and the at- 
tendant understandings. Test exercises are of some value in helping to 
focus more clearly the developing interests of boys and girls. 

True-False Test Items 
Mark each statement to indicate whether it is true or false. 

1. Knowledge gained through boyhood hobbies is as useful as general shop 
training for an industrial vocation. 

2. A machine operator requires more different kinds of training than a 

3. Mechanical aptitude is necessary for one to become a skilled carpenter. 

4. The skilled mechanic has been largely displaced by technological improve- 
ments in modern industry. 

5. Iron was discovered before bronze. 

6. Sheet metal is rapidly replacing wood in industry. 

7. Manufacturers are paying increasing attention to providing comfortable 
and healthful working conditions for employees. 

8. Practically all common articles now made of sheet metal are machine made. 

Completion Exercise 

Write opposite each occupational classification the amount of the annual 
wages such worker may expect to receive. 

Occupation Annual Wages 






Check List 

Place a check mark in the proper space to show how much education each 
class of worker generally needs. 

Worker Grade IX Grade XII College 


Delivery man 



Laboratory technician 



Matching Test 

Match the worker with the job by writing the number of the worker in 
the blank space following the job with which he is associated. 

Worker Job 

1. Typesetter Railroad 

2. Pattern maker Dressmaking 

3. Cutter Job shop 

4. Steam engineer Foundry 

5. Oiler Machine shop 

6. Millwright Planing mill 

7. Sawyer Carpet factory 

8. Loom fixer Factory 

Another useful device, not illustrated here, is a rating scale on 
which the individual rates himself and is rated by other class mem- 
bers and by the instructor with respect to major aspects of competence 
in industrial-arts technique and on the basis of the interest and en- 
joyment he manifests in industrial arts. 

3. Understanding of industry and its products and services, to- 
gether with their influence in determining patterns of living in modern 

Boys and girls give evidence of having the understanding necessary 
to attain the third goal of industrial-arts teaching when they take an 
interest in industrial processes and industrial life, express thoughtful 
opinions of the functions of capital and labor, and discuss sensibly mass 
production of consumer goods and the importance of price and wage 
levels for a prosperous society. Evidence of understanding may be ob- 
tained in many ways, e.g., by interview, observation, and class discus- 
sion. Essay questions also give some evidence of pupils' progress in 
mastering Goal 3 of industrial-arts teaching. Examples of such ques- 
tions are: 

1. Name five trades which are a part of the automobile industry. 

2. Why are large steel mills located in Pennsylvania, New York, and Min- 

3. Compare furniture making as an industry in 1800 and 1945. 

4. Explain why the city dweller of 1850 could not afford a horse and buggy 
costing $500, when he can own a $1,000 automobile today. 

4. Ability to read and make working drawings for planning and 
constricting useful projects typical of modern industry. 

Mastery of understandings involved in Goal 4 is evidenced by the 
ability to make a working drawing for a new project or the ability to 
read a new drawing. The degree of understanding will be evident in 



the speed and efficiency with which the boy or girl meets a new draw- 
ing problem. If the student organizes well, lays out the drawing ac- 
curately , shows the necessary view, uses the tools correctly, _ follows 
approved practices and dimensions, and letters well, there is reliable 
evidence that he has the understanding and the skills to make a good 
working drawing. On the other hand, if the student does the lay-out 
of the drawing in ink, places the three views parallel, makes inaccur- 
ate measurements, and smudges the drawing with dirty hands, there 
is evidence of inadequate understanding. 

Some evidence of understanding in reading working drawings or 
in making them can be obtained by test exercises, problems, and scales. 
The following samples are suggestive for use in helping to evaluate 
the degree of understanding. 

1. Make a half -size detailed drawing of a wrought-iron foot scraper 
showing, the front, side, and top views. 

2. Read the drawing of the table shown below and mark each of the 
following statements as true or false. 















a. The table is 30" high. 

b. The table has a drawer 3" deep. 

c. The legs of the table are 2"x2"x30". 

d. The corner joints are mortise and tenon. 

e. The apron is 6" in width. 
/. The drawer is 20" wide. 

Diagram Completion Exercise 

The diagram-completion type of test question is helpful in de- 
termining amount of understanding. In the accompanying illustration 
the understanding to be measured relates to wiring electrical circuits. 
The directions are to draw lines between the black dots to show the 
electrical circuit which will permit the bell or buzzer to operate inde- 
pendently. A perfect score is eight points, or one point for each cor- 
rect connection. 





110 VOLT- A. C.LI ME. 

Multiple-Choice Items 

A graded series of exercises might be prepared in each of which a 
working drawing is shown at the left and four perspective or ortho- 


graphic drawings of three-dimensional objects are shown at the right, 
with the pupil invited to choose the three-dimensional view that cor- 
responds to the working drawing. 

Evaluation Scale for a Mechanical Drawing 

The evaluation of a pupil's drawing with a rating scale will help 
the instructor determine the pupil's understanding. Some of the ratings, 
such as those indicated below, will help the pupil increase his under- 
standing of drawing by helping him to learn the items basic to a good 

Directions: The information required to evaluate the items is obtained 
by inspection and physical measurement. Each item is evaluated on the basis 
of 10 points. The total evaluation of the drawing is the sum of all the item 
evaluations which apply to the drawing. 

1. The placing on paper: 123456789 10 

Is the object placed in such a manner as to permit a clear-cut drawing? 

2. Dimension lines: 

a. Placing: 123456789 10 
Are the lines placed correctly and conspicuously? 

b. Quantity: 123456789 10 
Are the necessary lines in? 

3 Dimensions: 

a. Legibility: 123456789 10 
Can the lines be read? 

4. Notations: 

a. Legibility: 123456789 10 
Can the notes be read? 

b. Clearness: 123456789 10 
Do the notations state exactly what is wanted? 

5. Summing up the drawing: 

a. Utility: 123456789 10 
Can the drawing be used? 

b. Value: 123456789 10 

Is the drawing of any aid in making the project drawn? 

5. The ability to choose industrial products with reference to de- 
sign, pleasing color combinations, and durability; and to maintain and 
service such products. 

The understandings implied in the statement of Goal 5 will be evi- 
denced by the pupil's ability to select wisely the products of industry 
for use in the school, the home, and the community. A boy who buys 
a bicycle because it has streamlined fenders, a speedometer, and a tail 
light, but fails to notice that the tires are undersize and the frame weak 


and poorly constructed, shows little evidence of understanding; like- 
wise the girl who buys a pretty dress but fails to notice that the seams 
and button holes are poorly made and that the material may fade 
rapidly in sunlight. 

The achievement of the understandings included in Goal 5 may be 
at least partially evaluated through interviews, rating of industrial 
products, and test questions. 

Rating of Products 

Give the boys and girls four or five items like vacuum cleaners, 
door bells, radios, or chairs. Select the items so that some are of very 
good quality and others poor or average. Ask the students individually 
to rate each item as to quality and value. Students who usually select 
the best items show evidence of understanding as called for in Goal 5. 

Test questions of the following types are helpful in determining 
whether or not understanding is being attained. Also, they are useful 
teaching devices for promoting an interest in the quality, operation, 
and design of industrial products. 

Essay-Type Questions 

1. Describe what construction features you would look for when buying the 
following articles. In each case tell why. 

An umbrella 

Baseball mitt and glove 

Baseball bat 

Tennis racquet 


2. Name five important points to be examined when purchasing an end table 
and explain their importance. 

3. List five kinds of wood used in furniture and name parts of a piece of 
furniture where they are likely to be used and why. 

Multiple-Choice Items 

1. In selecting an assortment of desirable woodworking tools, which of the 
following items is most important? 

a. Wrench 

6. Compass saw 

c. Plane 

d. Hacksaw 

e. Center punch 

2. Which of the following woods is not used in constructing good quality 


a. Cherry 

b. Birch 

c. Maple 

d. Hemlock 

e. Gumwood 

3. In using electrical equipment, which of the folio whig practices does not 
result in using less electrical energy? 

a. Playing the radio softly instead of loudly 

b. Boiling vegetables slowly instead of rapidly 

c. Opening the refrigerator door as infrequently as possible 

d. Doing as much ironing as possible at one time 

6. Growth in abilities and attitudes related to mathematics, science, 
and the language arts, and to loork habits, safety practices, and co- 
operation with others, 

The understandings implied in Goal 6 should be evident in all 
phases of the school program. If boys and girls write themes on in- 
dustrial subjects for the English class, using technical terms intelli- 
gently, and if they work out problems in mathematics related to ma- 
chines, or illustrate fundamental principles of science with machines 
or tools, there is evidence of fundamental understandings in the area 
of industrial-arts work. 

Observation, interview, analysis of pupil's work in other classes, 
and the use of test items and rating scales are all of some value in the 
measurement of understanding of the types called for in goal- six. The 
following test items and the sample rating scale will be of value in 
determining the amount of understanding the boys and girls have 

Multiple-Choice Items 

Indicate by check mark the word or words which complete each sentence 

1. Knots hi lumber are caused by 

a. boring insects. 

b. branches. 

c. winter injury. 

d. decay. 

e. unequal growth. 

2. A bimetallic thermostat operates because 
a. metals expand when heated. 

6. different metals expand at different rates when heated. 

c. two metals will conduct electric currents at different rates. 

d. a voltage is produced between the junctions of the two metals when 
one junction is heated. 


True-False Test Items 

Mark each statement to indicate whether it is true or false. 

1. The principle of the electromagnet is fundamental hi motors and gen- 

2. The two-cycle gasoline engine is most frequently used as the source of 
power in American-made automobiles. 

3. Frequency modulation is the newest type of amplifier used in radio re- 

4. Jet propulsion requires an expensive, highly refined fuel. 

Example of Rating Scale 

Boys and girls should have a good personality if they are to work 
effectively with others or assume positions of leadership. Commonly 
used methods for gaining an understanding of personality are free 
association; direct observation of behavior, rating scales, and personal 
reports. Rating scales are of most value when the user is well ac- 
quainted with the person being rated. The following personality rat- 
ing scale will help the teacher and pupil to understand some of the 
factors that are important in a good personality as it relates to suc- 
cess in industry. If a boy or girl has a high rating, it is one indication 
that he or she is developing an understanding of correct work habits 
and is efficient in working with other associates. 

Minimum Average Maximum 


Does the pupil plan his work carefully and thoughtfully? 
123456789 10 

Does the pupil conduct the work with only necessary help? 
123456789 10 

Does the pupil ask for help when the problem is too difficult? 
123456789 10 

Work Habits 

Is the pupil in the habit of doing careful and thoughtful work? 
123456789 10 

Does he loiter or waste time in his work? 
123456789 10 

Readiness To Assume Responsibility 

Is the pupil willing to undertake a worth-while task even though it is difficult? 
123456789 10 

Does the pupil finish all his work? 
123456789 10 



Does the pupil arrive on time at classes? 
123456789 10 

Does the pupil hand in his work on time? 
123456789 10 


Does the pupil help others when help is needed? 
123456789 10 

Is the pupil active in group undertakings? 
123456789 10 

Consideration of Others 

Does the pupil have the habit of making things pleasant for his classmates? 
123456789 10 

Does the pupil help keep the shop in order? 

123456789 10 

Does the pupil put away tools in the right places? 

123456789 10 

When the whole class is involved in some work does he do his share or skip away? 
123456789 10 

Cleanliness and Neatness 

Does the pupil keep himself washed clean? 
123456789 10 

Does the pupil dress neatly and in good taste? 
123456789 10 

Does the pupil do neat work? 
123456789 10 

Optimistic View of Life 

Does the pupil have a natural and cordial smile? 

123456789 10 

Does the pupil complain about his lot in life? 

123456789 10 

Is the pupil liked by his classmates? 
123456789 10 

The devices here described are merely illustrative of the variety of 
testing and observing procedures which teachers will find helpful in 
evaluating pupil understandings related to Goal 6. It is the consensus 
of this committee that the continuing use of such devices will serve to 
direct the attention of both teachers and pupils to many valuable out- 
comes of instruction which may be attained in the field of industrial 



1. Industrial Arts: Its Interpretation in American Schools. Report of a Com- 
mittee Appointed by the Commissioner of Education. U. S. Office of Edu- 
cation, Bulletin No. 34, 1937. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1937. 

2. Standards of Attainment in Industrial-Arts Teaching. Final report of the 
Committee Appointed by the American Vocational Association, Industrial 
Arts Section. December 8, 1934. 

3. BEDELL, EAKL LELAND. "The Household-Mechanics Idea," Industrial Educa- 
tion Magazine, XXXIX (November, 1937), 247-49. 

4. BONSER, FREDERICK: G., AND MOSSMAN, Lois COFPEY. Industrial Arts for Ele- 
mentary Schools. New York : Macmillan Co., 1923. 

5. CHRISTY, ELMER W. "The Place of Industrial Arts in the Educational Pro- 
gram of Senior High Schools," Industrial Education Magazine, XLI (May, 
1939), 61-64. 

6. CLEETON, GLENN U. "Printing Test for the Junior High School," Industrial 
Arts and Vocational Education, XIX (September, 1930), 329ff. 

7. CRAWFORD, JOHN E. "Spatial-Perception Tests for Determining Drafting 
Aptitude," Industrial-Arts and Vocational Education, XXXI (January, 1942), 

8. DONSON, GEORGE C. "A Machine-Shop Test," Industrial-Arts and Vocational 
Education, XX (April, 1931), 132-33. 

9. ERICSON, EMANUEL E. Teaching Problems in Industrial Arts. Peoria, Illinois : 
Manual Arts Press, 1940. 

10. . "Grading Shop Work," Industrial Education Magazine, XXVIH 

(January, 1927), 227-28. 

11. FALES, ROY G. "Industrial-Arts Content," Industrial Education Magazine, 
XXXVI (September, 1934), 185-91. 

12. FLAHERTY, EDWARD B. "Electrical Shop Tests for Grades VII, VTH, and IX," 
Industrial-Arts and Vocational Education, XIX (April, 1930), 142-43. 

13. FLAM, AUGUST. "Some Mechanical-Drawing Tests," Industrial-Arts and Vo- 
cational Education, XIX (April, 1930), 150-51. 

14. HORNING, S. D. "Tests of Prognostic Value in Mechanical Drawing," Indus- 
trial Education Magazine, XXIX (June, 1928), 441-44. 

15. HUNTER, WILLIAM L. "Objective Tests in Shop Courses," Industrial Educa- 
tion Magazine, XXIX (June, 1928), 433-39. 

16. MAYS, ARTHUR BEVERLY. "Neglected Values in Industrial Arts," Industrial 
Education Magazine, XXXIX (September, 1937), 169-72. 

17. NEWKIRK, Louis V. Integrated Handwork for Elementary Schools. New 
York: Silver Burdett & Co., 1940. 

18. NEWKDRK, Louis V., AND GREENE, H. A. Tests and Measurements in Indus- 
trial Education. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1935. 

19. NEWKIRK, Louis V. AND STODDARD, G. D. "The Teaching Content and Ob- 
jective Testing in Home Mechanics," Industrial Arts Magazine, XVII (Feb- 
ruary, 1928), 47-50. 

20. PROFFITT, MARIS M. Trends in Industrial Arts. U. S. Office of Education, 
Pamphlet No. 93. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1940. 

21. REDFORD, STANLEY S. "Methods of Testing in Mechanical Drawing," Indus- 
trial-Arts and Vocational Education, XXXI (January, 1942), 12-13. 


22. SMITH, HENRY L., AND WRIGHT, WENDELL W. Tests and Measurements, pp. 
365-79. New York: Silver Burdett & Co., 1928. 

23. SMITH, HOMER J. "Industrial-Arts Objectives and Their Attainment," Pro- 
ceedings o] the Seventy-first Annual Meeting of the National Education Asso- 
ciation, pp. 522-23. Washington: National Education Association, 1933. 

24. SMITH, HOMER J. "Objective Measurement in Industrial Education," Indus- 
trial Education Magazine, XXXI (March, 1930), 331-36. 

25. STRUCK, F. THEODORE. "A Few Aspects of a Philosophy of Industrial Arts," 
Industrial Education Magazine, XL (May, 1939), 129-32. 

26. SWOPE, AMMON. "How to Construct Objective Tests in Industrial Subjects," 
Industrial Education Magazine, XXX (July, 1928), 7-10. 

27. WINSLOW, LEON LOYAL. Elementary Industrial Arts. New York : Macmillan 
Co., 1923. 





To a considerable extent, the "next steps" to be taken to improve 
the measurement of understanding in the school have been fore- 
shadowed in the theoretical content of Section I of the yearbook. To 
some extent, too, these "next steps" are implicit in the illustrative pro- 
cedures exhibited in Section II. Even so, here at the end of the vol- 
ume it may be well to detail a few specific things-to-be-done as a 
means of making more concrete the program of betterment. 

1. There must be a more general acceptance of the school's respon- 
sibility for developing and measuring growth with respect to outcomes 
which involve understanding a more general acceptance together with 
a real attempt to do something about it. 

It is highly probable that for several decades every national com- 
mittee on the teaching of the various school subjects has included in 
its list of objectives statements which relate to understandings. It is 
equally probable that during this same period every good professional 
textbook on the teaching of the school subjects and every good pro- 
fessional course in this area have called attention to understandings 
as critically important objectives. In a word, educational theory has 
consistently given prominence to the necessity of cultivating under- 
standings through instruction. 

The same statement cannot be made, however, with regard to prac- 
tice in classroom instruction. While there is plenty of evidence of a 
growing recognition of the role of understanding in the learning process, 
it is a fact that in our teaching we are still prone to pay lip-service 
to understandings as educational aims. In this respect understandings 
occupy about the same place as does "character building." We ex- 



press our concern about understandings, as we do about character 
building, but if they and sound character are achieved, it is largely 
by incidental, if not accidental, means. We may be sure that until we 
remedy our neglect and actively and deliberately undertake an ap- 
propriate program of vigorous instruction, understandings, like char- 
acter, will continue to suffer. 

By the same token, we shall have to commit ourselves seriously to 
the evaluation of understandings. We cannot forever delude ourselves 
with the idea that our children are really achieving understandings (as 
they may be doing, to be sure), whether or not we evaluate their 
understandings; nor should we indulge the equally comforting notion 
that we evaluate understandings when we test for proficiency in me- 
chanical skills or for command over assigned verbalizations. There 
is too much research evidence already at hand and too much evidence 
from common-sense observation to warrant our continued repose in 
this fool's paradise. We will do well to shake off our false notions 
and to face reality. Then, as has just been stated, we shall actually 
accept responsibility for measuring understanding and we shall do 
something about it. 

At this point a caution may not be out of place. When we begin 
systematically to assess understandings, we must be prepared to alter 
some of our ideas about evaluation. Among these ideas is that of the 
conventional "passing mark" as a criterion of satisfactory perform- 
ance. 1 In the case of essential knowledge and skills (e.g., the simple 
number combinations in arithmetic) we are accustomed to set the pass- 
ing mark very high, at 95 perhaps (some would say 100) on a per- 
centage scale. No such close approximation to perfection is to be ex- 
pected in the case of many understandings. Inclusion of but a few 
items which call for understanding in a test which is devoted otherwise 
to simple factual questions will make that test "too hard" in terms 
of a fixed passing grade. If we hold to our present passing grade, we 
must then limit our measurement of understandings to the simplest and 
most elementary. To do so would be a poor bargain, for we should be 

a This caution is not "new." Indeed, it has been specifically discussed by 
careful builders of standardized tests on more than one occasion. (See, for ex- 
ample, Manual jor Interpretation oj Iowa E very-Pupil Tests of Basic SkillSj Form 
M, pp. 22-25. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1941.) As in many other places 
throughout the yearbook, this particular caution is inserted here because the idea, 
namely, of a reconsideration of passing marks, has not worked its "way very far 
into the thin king of school people. It needs to be repeated that this yearbook is 
intended for the practical classroom teacher; hence, it contains little, if anything, 
that will be regarded by measurements experts as representing innovations in 
theory or practice. 


evading our responsibility. There is another way out, and that is to 
set varying passing marks in order to allow for differences in the depth, 
extent, and complexity of the understandings under evaluation. The 
second alternative would seem to be the preferable procedure. 

2. The understandings which are essential to each subject-matter 
area need to be identified and to be made intelligible to teachers. 

Obviously, if teachers are to measure (and to teach) understand- 
ings, they must first know what these understandings are. They are 
not always equipped with this knowledge. Sometimes, indeed, they 
themselves lack the essential understandings. Sometimes, on the other 
hand, they possess the understandings and actually use them in their 
behavior, but do not recognize them as such. Many primary-grade 
teachers, for example, think that the ability to furnish "eight" or "8" 
in response to the question, "How many are five and three?", is all 
that is involved in knowing the fact, 5 !+ 3 = 8. And why not? Do 
they not, themselves, think "eight" at once in these situations, and do 
they not do so "without thinking," which is to say, without making 
use of meanings and understandings? Such may seem to be the case, 
but it is not true to fact. Parrots can learn to say "eight" when asked, 
"How many are five and three?" But parrots cannot do arithmetic. 
Evidently parrots lack something, and that something is a store of 
related meanings. 

Whether teachers lack essential understandings or have them with- 
out being conscious of the fact, the evaluation of understandings must 
necessarily suffer. The first step in correcting the evils of the situation 
is to identify those critical understandings which teachers must possess 
and the presence (and absence) of which they must be able to recog- 
nize in the behavior of their pupils. This process of identifying critical 
understandings has been under way for some time. (Witness the lists 
of objectives which involve understanding in the chapters of Section 
II of this volume.) But the process must be continued and extended 
in all subject fields. If they are to be intelligible, the understandings 
which are isolated must be stated simply and illustrated clearly. When 
such statements are incomplete or ambiguous, there will be the need 
to describe in some detail the behavior of children who have acquired 
the understandings in question. The responsibility here falls alike on 
subject-matter specialists, research workers, writers of textbooks, in- 
structors in courses in the preparation of teachers, and supervisory 
agents in the public schools in charge of the in-service training of 


3. Teachers' confidence in their ability to assess evidence of under- 
standing, a process which is necessarily subjective, must be strength- 

It would hardly misrepresent the situation to substitute the word 
"restored" for "strengthened" in the proposition above and to say that 
teachers' confidence in their ability to evaluate understanding on the 
part of their pupils must be restored. Certainly during the first quarter 
of this century their confidence in their judgment was seriously under- 
mined. Study after study was made, the results of which were in- 
terpreted to mean that teachers' judgments concerning their pupils' 
learning are practically worthless. And the textbooks on educational 
measurement which appeared in those years reiterated the notion. 
Quite commonly the opening chapters of these texts were devoted to 
an attack upon teachers' marks and estimates of ability, as a spring- 
board for advocating the general adoption of "objective" tests, pre- 
ferably standardized. 

This is not the place to canvass these studies or to examine the 
conclusions in any thorough-going manner. However, two pertinent 
facts worthy of mention have emerged from the research and the 
critical thinking of the past fifteen years or so. 

(a) So-called "objective" measurement has turned out to be not 
so very objective after all. True, once a key has been prepared for a 
given true-false or multiple-choice or other new-type test, the scoring 
is objective in the sense that all competent persons who use the key 
accurately secure the same score for the same test paper. But sub- 
jective factors continue to pervade the testing situation in the de- 
cision as to type and length of test, the scope of the test, the selection 
of test items, the wording of the items, the ordering or arrangement of 
the items in the test, the method of administering the test, the prepa- 
ration of the test key, the transmutation of test scores into marks or 
grades, and so on. In a word, judgment, instead of being eliminated 
from the evaluation as has been said or implied by more than one 
measurements expert, still plays a dominating role, and it will inevit- 
ably continue to do so. The function of good measurement is not to 
substitute for judgment, but to insure that judgment is based on ade- 
quate and dependable data. 

(b) The careful judgments of expert teachers have been found to 
approximate very closely the reliability of measures obtained by so- 
called objective instruments. (And as for validity, such judgments 
may well surpass "objective" tests by a very wide margin.) The 
crucial words in the first sentence of this paragraph are of course "care- 


ful" and "expert." Casual judgments, even of expert teachers are un- 
trustworthy; so are many of the judgments, careful or otherwise, of 
inexperienced teachers. 

For the present purpose the import of the two foregoing paragraphs 
is the same. If judgment operates in all evaluation, even with "ob- 
jective" tests, and if judgment, when exercised carefully and expertly, 
can be Crusted to evaluate understanding, then the problem is chiefly 
one of improving teachers' ability to judge and of encouraging them to 
employ their improved judgment more generally and more confidently. 
Once teachers accept the responsibility to evaluate understanding 
(proposition 1) and once they know what understandings they are to 
evaluate (proposition 2), then they will need much help in developing 
sound techniques to assure careful, expert judgment, regardless of the 
particular means (paper-and-pencil tests, observation, etc.) employed. 
There is plenty of opportunity here for real service on the part of all 
who undertake to prepare teachers for their professional activities and 
to foster their growth in that profession. 

4. Teachers must learn what kinds of behavior signify the attain- 
ment and the nonattainment of outcomes which involve understand- 
ing and must learn the conditions under which this behavior may be so 

So far as measurement is concerned, understanding is assumed to 
be evidenced by some kind or kinds of behavior. This behavior may 
take varied forms, that of written or oral language, emotional respon- 
ses, overt- motor adjustments, and so on. To make these forms of be- 
havior serve the end of evaluating understanding demands ability to 
discriminate between behavior that is based upon understanding and 
behavior that is not. And in very few cases is understanding, or lack 
of it, so obvious that "he who runs may read." To complicate matters 
further, the same overt behavior may or may not be evidence of under- 
standing, depending upon the conditions which elicit it. And again, 
these conditions may be in the external situation or they may involve 
such internal factors as the purposes or "set" of the learner. 

The sort of discrimination called for in order to judge the degree of 
understanding accompanying observed behavior is, therefore, not easy 
to make. Yet, the insights and skills involved in this discrimination, 
like other insights and skills, are susceptible to improvement. Many 
teachers, now inexpert in such discrimination, can become competent. 
One of the major tasks of teacher preparation and of in-service aid to 
teachers is to develop this competence. 


Obviously the first step is to make sure that teachers themselves 
possess the understandings which are to be taught and evaluated. If, in 
teacher preparation, this means more learning time for their subject 
areas, then the time must be found in their course programs, even if 
this means less time for the "tricks of the trade" or a larger total time 
devoted to preparation. The second step is to provide opportunity for 
and skilled guidance in analytical observation. Some opportunity for 
observation is usually provided; most prospective teachers "observe" 
classroom instruction even prior to actual practice teaching. But the 
skilled guidance is not furnished so often. Too frequently prospective 
teachers "observe" teaching (someone else's and their own) without 
knowing what to look for in pupil behavior and without having the 
benefit of a later critical appraisal by the instructor in charge. The 
tendency, when there is appraisal at all, is to concentrate on the merits 
and the weaknesses of the teacher's activities, with a consequent neglect 
of significant behavior on the part of pupils. A high level of skill can- 
not be developed in the limited time conventionally allowed for "ob- 
servation and practice teaching." 

Teachers in service can likewise profit from training in analytical 
observation. Supervisors may well turn their attention, in larger meas- 
ure than is common, to encouraging teachers to note evidence of under- 
standing, and of nonunderstanding in the things their pupils do and 
say. To offer one concrete suggestion: Especially competent teachers, 
temporarily relieved from some of their other duties, might work to- 
gether under expert guidance to prepare tests and to write instructions 
for measuring understanding in their particular fields, the results of 
their efforts then being shared with the teaching staff as a whole. 

5. In looking for evidence of understanding there is a need to 
broaden the base of the observations by employing evaluative proced- 
ures which go beyond the usual kinds of paper-and-pencil testing. 

This statement is not a call for the wholesale abandonment of 
paper-and-pencil tests to measure understanding. True, in several 
places in this yearbook, especially in chapter iv, the limitations of such 
instruments have been stressed. Many of these limitations arise from 
the fact that language behavior, whether in written tests or otherwise, 
may be equivocal with respect to the presence or the absence of under- 
standings. Correct responses may be no more than the glib repetition 
of empty verbalizations or the correct identification of phrases which 
are devoid of meaning. Yet, in spite of their limitations, paper-and- 
pencil tests are of unquestionable value in measuring understandings. 
This fact has been amply demonstrated by the illustrative procedures 


of Section II of this volume. The point of proposition 5 is, then, that 
such paper-and-pencil tests, improved as much as they can be, still 
need to be supplemented by other procedures, procedures which will 
expose aspects of understanding (or the lack thereof) which are not 
explored by written tests. 

These supplementary evaluative procedures have been described 
and abundantly exemplified in the earlier chapters of this volume. In 
general, they are based upon observation in some form or other- 
systematized and unsystematized, oral questioning and the recording 
of significant episodes, rating scales and check lists. They differ funda- 
mentally from written tests, both in the situations which evoke the 
behavior and in the behavior itself. They are likely to differ also in 
the freedom of the response which is permissible, as well as in its 

Like written tests, these procedures also have their limitations 
which have been pointed out many times in the literature. They are 
usually time-consuming, with the result that adequate sampling is 
laborious. Their use demands, as has been noted, some expertness on 
the part of the observer. Finally, because of the equivocal nature of 
behavior itself, their interpretation is not always easy. To call at- 
tention to the limitations of these non-test procedures is not, however, 
to deny their positive values. Knowledge of their limitations should 
serve only to make us careful in planning the procedures and in in- 
terpreting what we discover through their use, 

If adequate knowledge regarding status and progress in under- 
standing is to be had, the program of evaluation must be comprehensive 
enough to ensure the collection of all crucially relevant evidence. In 
part, this evidence can be secured from paper-and-pencil tests which 
have been specifically designed for the purpose. But to limit the eval- 
uation program to written tests, "objective" or otherwise, however 
"good" they may be, is to disregard other essential means of getting 
information. It is for this reason that in the theoretical chapters of 
the yearbook teachers were encouraged to take full advantage of the 
day-by-day happenings in the classroom and in the school as a whole, 
to confer with individual children and with groups of children, to 
examine the work products of their pupils, to pay particular attention 
to the answers given by children in response to questions and to the 
questions which they themselves ask, and to keep anecdotal records 
of children's normal and unusual activities which manifest under- 
standing. It was for this reason, too, that the committees in charge 
of the chapters of Section II described so many ways, besides written 


tests, in which to assess children's behavior for its content of under- 
standing. And it is for this same reason that here in the last chapter 
of the volume a final opportunity is seized to urge teachers to broaden 
the base of their evaluation, to the end that understanding may be 
more comprehensively measured. 

6. Research must be undertaken to improve many evaluative pro- 
cedures and techniques which are now employed spasmodically, clums- 
ily, and uncertainly. 

Such conventional devices as the true-false, multiple-choice, and 
completion tests have become more and more useful as they have been 
subjected to scientific study, and the amount of research that has been 
done concerning these devices is considerable. On the other hand, many 
of the promising techniques for getting data from which understand- 
ing, or a lack of it, may be inferred, have not been so carefully and so 
extensively investigated. Even the much-used essay examination has 
been the object of much more criticism than of painstaking study con- 
cerning its possible improvement. A few studies on the use of anecdotal 
records have been made; but there is almost a complete lack of re- 
search relating to the use of many techniques and evaluative pro- 
cedures which have been mentioned throughout this yearbook. 

What is needed is research to develop and to test techniques for 
collecting, systematizing, and interpreting observations and records of 
pupil behavior where this behavior is relatively free and extended and 
is engaged in without conscious intent to meet a "test" situation. De- 
pendable inferences concerning a child's understanding can be made 
from such data only when procedures of known dependability are 
available for handling the data. Until we have this knowledge, we 
shall be limited to such vague exhortations to teachers as: "Determine 
through creative drawings the understanding of children"; "Through 
informal observation ascertain the extent to which students assume re- 
sponsibility"; "Examine the written work of your pupils"; "Have the 
children keep diaries" all this for the reason that teachers do not 
know, nor do "experts" as yet know too well, how to get trustworthy 
information on understandings from such data. 

There is every reason to believe that competent research on non- 
test evaluative procedures will yield results as fruitful as those which 
have followed from the investigation of "objective" tests. Moreover, 
the results of studies of similar problems in fields allied to education 
are encouraging. To mention only a few: The extensive research on 
protective techniques, the refinements of procedures for measuring pub- 
lic opinion made by such men as Cantril and Lazarsfeld, the methods 


of collecting and systematizing data in use by many cultural anthro- 
pologists, the techniques for more effective interviewing developed 
originally by Wonderlic and Stevens all are suggestive of leads that 
may be found useful for getting evidence related to children's under- 
standing. Perhaps the technological developments resulting from ade- 
quate research in this field of educational appraisal will eventually 
lead even to our being able to count the "outcomes" in these complex 
data and in much the same manner as is now possible in our "ob- 
jective" testing. 

7. Textbooks on classroom evaluation must give more attention 
than is commonly given to the need for evaluating understanding and 
to the procedures suitable for this task. 

For the past several decades the education of prospective teachers 
and of teachers in service respecting the problems of measurement has 
been based pretty largly upon textbooks on measurement. There is 
every probability that this practice will continue. On this account a 
heavy responsibility has been imposed and is still imposed upon these 
texts and upon their authors a responsibility which, as has been re- 
peatedly pointed out in this yearbook, has been none too well met. 

It is perhaps natural that in the early days, when "objective" test 
techniques were relatively new, the major emphasis in measurement 
texts should have been placed upon "objective" procedures. It is also 
natural that, in making a case for them, writers of these texts dwelt 
upon the shortcomings of the evaluative procedures then in vogue. 
Natural or not, this is precisely what happened, and it was not uncom- 
mon to find two-thirds or more of textbook space devoted to "ob- 
jective" tests (especially standardized tests), with directions for their 
construction, administration, and scoring, for the statistical treatment 
of test data, and for the use of the scores or other measures which 
eventuated. Meanwhile, teachers who used standardized tests rarely, 
if at all, but who nevertheless day by day faced the problem of eval- 
uating learning in some way were left with little help, save, as has 
been noted, in the matter of "objective" tests. 

In these circumstances it is small wonder that evaluation was re- 
stricted to testing, that testing was restricted to paper-and-pencil in- 
struments, and that these instruments were restricted to those which 
were "objective" in form. And it is small wonder that understandings 
as learning outcomes were neglected. Textbooks on measurement 
scarcely mentioned them; and when they did, they offered few sug- 
gestions for their evaluation. On their part, teachers having been 
denied the use of their traditional "subjective" procedures for evalu- 


ation (classroom questioning and observation, the essay test, etc.), and 
finding it difficult to adapt the new test forms to the evaluation of 
understanding came to concentrate on the measurement of isolated 
facts and mechanical skills. 

All this, it is to be hoped, is soon to be a matter of history. Cer- 
tainly there are welcome signs of change in the newer textbooks. To 
be mentioned are: a tendency to extend the concepts of measurement 
and evaluation to include all learning outcomes, explicit recognition of 
outcomes which involve understanding, attempts to show how "ob- 
jective" techniques may be employed more effectively to get at these 
outcomes, frank advice to teachers to employ evaluative procedures 
other than written tests,, and some suggestions for the refinement and 
improvement of these latter procedures. These changes are all health- 
ful; they are in the right direction, and they should be encouraged. 
If these trends continue, textbooks on educational measurement will 
meet much more satisfactorily the responsibilities assigned to them, 
and teachers, both those in preparation and those in service, will know 
better how to obtain evidence of understanding. More than that, they 
will obtain this evidence, thereby improving their teaching and assur- 
ing sounder and more worth-while learning on the part of children in 
their charge. 



Ability to illustrate a generalization, 
tests of, 108-10 

Accidents, prevention of, as objective 
of health education, 223, 229 

Acquiring functional information, as 
objective of social studies, 72-74 

Active approach to learning, value of, 
in acquiring understanding, 40 

Advisory Committee on Vocational- 
Technical Education, 282 

Aesthetic process, as basis of under- 
standing in fine arts, 201-3 

Agriculture: evaluative procedures in, 
273-79; objectives of instruction in, 

American Association of Technical 
High Schools and Institutes, 282 

American Council on Education, 254 

American Home Economics Associ- 
ation, 254 

Analysis, as factor in development of 
understanding, 37 

Analyzing social problems, as objective 
of social studies, 74-79 

Anecdotal record: illustration of, 98, 
260-61, 307-8; use of, in evaluating 
understanding, 45-46 

Application of principles, measurement 
of, in secondary-school mathematics, 

Appreciation of primary reality, as 
evidence of understanding, 54-56 

Architecture: see Fine Arts 

Arithmetic: classification of aims in, 
138; computational skill as objective 
of, 140; desirable outcomes of in- 
struction in, 140-41; evaluative pro- 
cedures in, 141-56; mathematical un- 
derstanding as objective of, 140; 
sensitiveness to number in social 
situations as objective of, 140-41; 
see also Elementary-school mathe- 

Attention, as factor in acquisition of 
understandings, 39 

Attitudes: involved in understanding, 
55-56; of teachers toward measure- 
ment of understanding, 44; tests of, 

Behavior: as evidence of understand- 
ing, 28-31, 105-6, 271, 325-26; obser- 
vations of, 260-64; as related to 
science context, 106-8 

Blanchard Frequency Rating Scale, 240 
Business practices, tests of knowledge 
of, 153 

Cause-and-effect relationships, 134-36 

Choice of learning experiences, as re- 
lated to understanding, 40-41 

Chronological relationships: tests of 
understanding of, 80-81; understand- 
ing of, as objective in social studies, 

Class discussion, as evidence of under- 
standing, 46-47 

Class recitation, limitations of, for de- 
veloping understanding, 13 

Clothing, understandings related to, 

Commission on the Social Studies, 80 

Committee on the Function of Science 
in General Education, 104 

Communicable diseases, prevention of, 
222, 227 

Communication: see Language arts 

Community health, objectives of in- 
struction in, 218 

Comparison, as factor in development 
of understanding, 37 

Completeness of understanding: as 
criterion for selection of learning ex- 
periences, 34; factors affecting, 32- 
34; variability of, 31-32 

Computational skill, as objective of 
instruction in arithmetic, 140 

Computations: modes of measuring 
and evaluating, 141-42; role of, in 
mathematical situations, 140; types 
of, 142-43; types of understanding 
in, 144-45; understandings developed 
from, 146 

Cooperative Study in General Edu- 
cation, 109 

Creative work, as evidence of under- 
standing: in art, 58-59; difficulty of 
evaluating, 60; in original writing, 
59; in technical education, 298-301 

Creative writing, as measure of under- 
standing, 47 

Criteria for selecting understandings to 
be taught, 33-34 

Cumulative effects of learning with 
understanding, 15-16 

Curriculum: expansion of, 12-13; phys- 
ical-education understandings related 
to, 233-34 




Decimal fractions, meanings of, 149-50 

Definiteness of understanding, 31-32 

Degree of -understanding: as inferred 
from pupil behavior, 41-42; required 
in life situations, 56 

Desirable levels of understanding, 53-54 

Drama: see Fine arts 

Drawing conclusions, tests of under- 
standing of, 93-96 

Drawings: tests of understanding of, 
291-97; understanding of, as objec- 
tive of technical education, 283-84 

Economical learning, as influenced by 
understanding, 14 

Educational outcomes, as distinguished 
from understandings, 3 

Elementary level of understanding, 
49-51, 53 

Elementary-school mathematics: eval- 
uative procedures in, 141-56; ob- 
jectives of, 138-41; see also Arith- 

Emotional health, 214 

Evaluating information, tests of under- 
standing of, 89-93 

Evaluation: of health understandings 
in elementary grades, 220-24; of 
health understandings in secondary 
school, 224-30; neglect of under- 
standings in, 17-21; procedures in 
social studies, 80-101 ; of understand- 
ings, 2 

Evaluation situations: intellectual and 
social distance in, 50-53; novelty in, 
46-48; subtlety and complexity of, 

Evaluation of understanding: princi- 
ples applicable to, 45-64; procedures 
for, 45-46, 54-56 

Evaluative procedures: in agricultural 
education, 273-79; in elementary- 
school mathematics, 141-56; in fine 
arts, 204-12; in health education, 
219-30; in home-economics educa- 
tion, 257-68; improvement of, 321- 
30; in industrial arts, 305-18; in 
language arts, 177-200; in physical 
education, 235-50; in science, 108-36; 
in secondary-school mathematics, 
160-74; in technical education. 285- 

Evidences of learning, types of, 1 

Expressional language arts, 176-89 

Factual knowledge and skills, measure- 
ment of, 2, 17 

Factual understandings in science, 
105-6, 107, 108-20;- techniques used 
in measurement of, 108-20 

Familiar elements in learning situ- 
ation, 47, 52 

Family health, objectives of instruc- 
tion in, 217-18 

Familv life, objectives of education 
for, 254-57 

Fine arts: criteria for evaluation in, 
204-7; evaluative procedures in, 204- 
12; objectives of instruction in, 201-4 

Follow-up questions in appraisal of 
understandings, 55 

Foods, understandings related to, 256 

Fractional parts, tests of ability to 
recognize, 148 

Fractions: meanings of, 148-49; tests 
of generalizations with, 150-51 

Functional information, acquisition of, 
in social studies, 72-74 

Functional value of learning with un- 
derstanding, 16-17 

Future need of understandings, as 
criterion for selection of learning ex- 
periences, 34 

Gans-Lorge Test of Critical Reading, 

General educational development, 
USAFI tests of, 85-87 

Generalization: as factor in develop- 
ment of understanding, 37; meaning 
of, 104-5 

Generalizations: recognizing examples 
of, 108-10; tests of understanding of, 
87-89, 96-97; use of, in evaluating 
factual information, 119-20; use of, 
in explaining conclusions, 114-18; 
use of, in formulating hypotheses, 
118-19; use of, in making predictions, 
110-14; with whole numbers, 147-48 

Goals of appraisal of understanding, 
in relation to ability and experience 
of pupils, 53 

Graphic art, evaluative procedures in, 

Graphs: tests of understanding of, 84- 
87; understanding of, as objective 
in social studies, 74 

Grouping of items in tests of under- 
standing, 62 

Growth of understanding, as affected 
by variety of experiences, 37 

Habitual behavior, understandings re- 
flected in, 39, 46 

Hatcher Check List for Food Needs, 

Health education: evaluative proced- 
ures in, 219-30; objectives of, 215-18 

Health inventories, 228-29 



Higher levels of understanding, 49-51, 

Home economics: evaluative proced- 
ures in, 257-68; objectives of instruc- 
tion in, 254-57 

Hypothetical maps; as test of under- 
standing in geography, 47 

Identifying assumptions, 126-32 

Improvement of evaluative proced- 
ures: through broader observation 
and interpretation of pupil behavior, 
325-28; by identifying essential un- 
derstandings in subject fields, 322; 
through increased emphasis in text- 
books, 329-30; by increasing teach- 
ers' confidence in evaluative proced- 
ures, 324-25; by means of varying 
"passing marks," 322; through re- 
search, 328-29 ; school's responsibility 
for, 321-22 

Incidental experiences, effect of, on 
understandings, 34 

Individual health, objectives of in- 
struction in, 215-17 

Industrial arts: evaluative procedures 
in, 305-18; objectives of instruction 
in, 303-5 

Initiative, as evidence of understand- 
ing in industrial arts, 305 

Institute for Propaganda Analysis, 95 

Intellectual distance in learning situ- 
ations, 50-51 

Intelligent behavior, as evidence of 
understanding, 28-31 

Interpreting data: making proper 
qualifications in, 120-26; tests of 
ability in, 94-96, 153-54 

Iowa Every Pupil Tests of Basic 
Skills, 84 

Iowa Tests of Educational Develop- 
ment, 90 

Joint Commission of the Mathemat- 
ical Association of America and the 
National Council of Teachers of 
Mathematics, 157 

Kind of understanding, as inferred 
from pupil behavior, 41-42 

Language arts: evaluative procedures 
in, 177-200; expressional skills in, 
177-89; objectives of, 177-200; re- 
ceptive skills in, 189-200 

Language expression, objectives and 
evaluative procedures in, 177-89 

Learning: effects of understanding on, 
14-17; evidences of, 1 

Level of understanding: measurement 
of, 18; pupil response as evidence of, 

Life situations: degree of understand- 
ing involved in, 56; importance of 
understandings in, 7-8; selection of 
data in, 58 

Limitations on extension of under- 
standings, 34 

Listening, objectives and evaluative 
procedures in, 190-200 

Logical thinking: tests of, in second- 
ary-school mathematics, 163-69; un- 
derstanding of principles in field of, 

. 3: tests of understanding of, 82- 
84; understanding of, as objective in 
social studies, 73-74 

Mathematical understandings: as ob- 
jectives of instruction, 140, 158-60; 
in social situations, 152-56; tests of, 
145-46, 160-74 

Mathematics, elementary-school: eval- 
uative procedures in, 141-56; ob- 
jectives of, 138-41; see also Arith- 

Mathematics, secondary-school : see 
Secondary-school mathematics 

Mathematics Problems Test, 57 

Meaningful verbalization, as an aid to 
understanding, 35 

Measurement: effect of, on instruc- 
tional procedures, 21-23; effect of, 
on learning procedures, 23; effect of, 
on research, 23; meaning of, l;_by 
means of tests, 1; in non-test situ- 
ations, 2; relation of, to teaching, 4 

Measurement program, effects of, on 
instructional procedures, 22 

Memorization interpreted as under- 
standing, 46 

Mental health, 214 

Method understandings in science, 
105-6, 107, 120-36; techniques used 
in measurement of, 120-36 

Minnesota Check List for Food Preser- 
vation and Serving, 265 

Music, evaluative procedures in, 210-12 

National Committee on Science Teach- 
ing, 106 

National Council for the Social Stud- 
ies, 75, 91, 93, 96 

National Council of Teachers of 
Mathematics, 140, 157 

Neglect of understandings in testing 
procedures, 17-21 

New York State Education Depart- 
ment, 282 

New York State Regents Scholarship 
Examination, 82 

Non-test situations, use of, in evaluat- 
ing understanding, 2 



Nutrition, understandings related to, 

Observational procedures, use of, in 
the measurement of understanding, 
1-2, 41-42, 45, 60, 137, 156, 174, 177, 
201, 219, 236, 250, 260, 273, 288, 310, 

Oral expression, functional objectives 
of, 177-80 

Originality, as evidence of understand- 
ing, 58-60 

Painting: see Fine arts 

Paper-and-pencil tests; use of, in the 
measurement of understanding, 1, 
60, 136, 156, 201, 220, 236, 268, 274, 

Per cents, meanings of, 150-51 

Permanency of learning, as influenced 
by understanding, 15 

Personality development, as influenced 
by social understandings, 35 

Personality traits, recording data on, 46 

Physical education: evaluative pro- 
cedures in, 235-50; objectives of in- 
struction in, 232-35; professional 
courses in, 247-50 

Physical fitness, understandings related 
to, 233 

Plastic art, evaluative procedures in, 

Potential understanding: classes of, in 
science areas, 105; definition of, 105 

Practicing desirable social relation- 
ships, as objective of social studies, 

Predictions, use of generalizations in, 

Present need of understandings, as 
criterion for selection of learning 
experiences, 34 

Primary reality, appreciation of, as 
measure of understanding, 54-56 

Professional courses in physical educa- 
tion, evaluative procedures for, 274- 

Program of evaluation: in relation to 
habits of self-appraisal, 62-64; in re- 
lation to levels of understanding, 51, 
53; teacher attitudes toward, 44 

Progressive Education Association : 
Committee on Social Studies, 74, 
79; Eight- Year Study, 94, 96, 120 

Projects, planning and construction of, 
in industrial arts, 303, 304 

Pupil achievement, collecting evidence 
on, 21-22 

Pupil behavior, significance of, in ap- 
praisal of understanding, 61 

Pupil interviews, as source of evidence 
of understanding, 45, 55 

Pupil participation in planning, as re- 
lated to understanding, 40-41 

Quantitative terms, tests of vocabulary 
of, 152-53 

Rating scale, examples of, 98-100, 237- 
43, 297-98, 308, 314-15, 317-18 

Beading, objectives and .evaluative 
procedures in, 190-200 

Reading graphs and tables, types of 
understancGng involved in, 74 

Reasoned understanding, tests of, 87- 

Receptive language arts, 189-200 

Recognized need, as motivation of 
learning with understanding, 38-39 

Recognizing defensible arguments, 132- 

Records and reports, use of, in ap- 
praising understandings, 237-42, 257- 

Relational thinking: tests of, in sec- 
ondary-school mathematics, 169-72 ; 
understanding of mathematical prin- 
ciples in field of, 159 

Relevancy of data, recognition of, as 
evidence of understanding, 56-58 

Relevant experience as basis of under- 
standing, 29-30, 39 

Repetitive experiences, as related to 
understanding, 36-37 

Research, as means of improving eval- 
uative procedures, 328-29 

Routine reactions based on under- 
standings, 28-29 

Science: evaluative procedures in, 108- 
36; factual understandings in, 105-6, 
107; method understandings in, 106; 
outcomes of instruction in, 105-8; 
potential understandings in, 105 

Scientific equipment, understanding of 
operation and use of, 284 

Secondary-school mathematics: evalu- 
ative procedures in, 160-74; measure- 
ment of application of principles in, 
173-74; objectives of, 157; tests of 
logical thinking in, 163-69; tests of 
relational thinking in, 169-72; tests 
of symbolic thinking in, 172-73; 
understanding of basic concepts in, 
158-59; understandings involved in 
practical applications of, 159-60 

Selecting understandings to be taught, 

Self-appraisal: dangers to be avoided 
in, 63-64; habits of, 62-64; as stimu- 
lated by evaluation procedures, 62-64 



Sensitiveness to number in social sit- 
uations as objective of instruction in 
arithmetic, 140-41 

Sequence of related events, testing 
understanding of, 81 

Sight translation, as measure of under- 
standing in foreign languages, 47 

Situations, reaction to, as basis of un- 
derstanding, 28-31 

Social behavior, as evidence of under- 
standing, 52, 55 

Social distance in learning situations 

Social facts, tests of ability to make 
application of, 96-97 

Social participation, physical-education 
understandings related to, 234 

Social problems: analysis of, as ob- 
jective in social studies, 74-79; mak- 
ing application of generalizations 
concerning, 78-79; reaching valid 
conclusions about, 75-76; selecting 
and evaluating information about, 

Social Problems, Test, 57 

Social relationships: improvement of, 
as objective of instruction in social 
studies, 79-80; tests of practices and 
attitudes in, 98-101 

Social studies: acquisition of func- 
tional information in, 72-74; evalu- 
ative procedures in, 80-101; objec- 
tives of instruction in, 71-80; sources 
of information in, 72; special vocab- 
ulary of, 72 

Social understanding: effects of self- 
appraisal on, 54; evidence of growth 
in, 52 

Specifications: tests of understanding 
of, 291-97; understanding of, as ob- 
jective of technical education, 283-84 

Standardized tests: effects on educa- 
tional research, 23; neglect of under- 
standings in, 20-21 

Symbolic thinking: tests of, in sec- 
dary-school mathematics, 172-73 ; 
understanding of mathematical prin- 
ciples in field of, 159 

Symbols associated with life situations, 
as factors in understanding, 34-35 

Synthesis, as factor in development of 
understanding, 37 

Tables: tests of understanding of, 84- 
87; understanding of, as objective in 
social studies, 74 

Teacher preparation, deficiencies in, 13 
Team-game activities, testa of knowl- 
edge of, 244-45 

Technical education: evaluative pro- 
cedures in, 285-301; objectives of in- 
struction in, 281-85 

Technical problems, measurement of 
understandings related to, 288-91 

Tests: of ability to identify assump- 
tions, 126-32; of ability to identify 
cause-and-effect relationships, 134- 
36; of ability to interpret data, 120- 
26; of ability to recognize defensible 
arguments, 132-34; of ability to 
recognize generalizations, 108-10; of 
ability to use generalizations in 
evaluating factual information, 119- 
20; of ability to use generalizations 
in explaining conclusions, 114-18; of 
ability to use generalizations in 
formulating hypotheses, 118-19; of 
ability to use generalizations in pre- 
dictions, 110-14; of language skills, 
177-200; of logical thinking in sec- 
ondary-school mathematics, 163-69; 
of mathematical understandings, 145- 
46, 160-74; of mathematical under- 
standings in social situations, 153- 
56; of relational thinking in sec- 
ondary-school mathematics, 169-72; 
of symbolic thinking in secondary- 
school mathematics, 172-73; of un- 
derstanding in computations, 143-45 ; 
of understandings in agriculture, 273- 
79 ; of understandings in elementary- 
school mathematics, 141-56; of un- 
derstandings in fine arts, 207-12; of 
understandings in health education, 
219-30; of understandings in home 
economics, 257-68; of understandings 
in industrial arts, 305-18; of under- 
standings in language arts, 177-200; 
of understandings in physical educa- 
tion, 235-50; of understandings in 
secondary-school mathematics, 160- 
74; of understandings in science, 
120-36; of understandings in social 
studies, 80-101; of understandings in 
technical education, 285-301 

Textbooks: as chief source of instruc- 
tional materials, 12; as means of im- 
proving evaluative procedures, 329- 

Time relationships, developing under- 
standing of, 80-81 

Understanding: appreciation of pri- 
mary reality as measure of, 54-56; 
of basic concepts in secondary- 
school mathematics, 158-59; be- 
havior as evidence of, 28-31, 271, 
325-26; characteristics of, 28-42; defi- 
nition of, 27-28, 104-5 ; degree of defi- 
niteness and completeness of, 31-34; 



degree of, involved in. life situations, 
56; effect of teaching methods on. 
37-41; of fundamental principles of 
secondary-school mathematics, 159 ; 
general concept of, 28-42 ; importance 
of knowing status of, 24-25; as in- 
ferred from pupil response to needs, 
41-42; levels of, 48-54; meaning of, 
2; neglect of, in instruction, 8-11; 
originality as evidence of, 58-60; 
"passing mark" in relation to meas- 
urement of, 322; pupil response as 
evidence of level of, 61-62; recog- 
nition of relevancy of data as evi- 
dence of, 56-58; role of, in learning 
process, 321; school's responsibility 
for improving measurement of, 321- 
22; teaching for, 8-17; variety of ex- 
periences needed for, 36-37 

Understanding, tests of: in agricultural 
education, 273-79; in elementary- 
school mathematics, 141-56; in fine 
arts, 207-12; in health education^ 
219-30; in home economics, 257-68; 
in industrial arts, 305-18; in language 
arts, 177-200; in physical education, 
235-50; in science, 120-36; in sec- 
ondary-school mathematics, 160-74 ; 
in social studies, 80-101; in technical 
education, 285-301 

Understandings: identification of, in 
subject fields, 323; importance of, in 
life situations, 7-8; involved in prac- 
tical applications of secondary- 
school mathematics, 159-60; obser- 
vational procedures in evaluating, 
288, 310, 324-25; as outcomes of 
science instruction, 104, 105-36; in 
physical education related to social 
participation, 234; related to family 

life, 254-57; related to physical fit- 
ness, 233; teachers 7 ability to meas- 
ure, 324; verbalization of, 104-5 

Understandings as educational out- 
comes, 2, 3; better teaching of, 4; 
evaluation of, 2, 3; practical uses of, 
3, 8; verbalization of, 35-36 

United States Armed Forces Institute, 
tests prepared for, 85-87 

Universality of need for understand- 
ings as criterion for selection of 
learning experiences, 33-34 

Variety of experiences, as basis of un- 
derstanding, 36-37 

Variety of understandings needed in 
life situations, 34-35 

Verbalism, excessive emphasis on, 

Vocabulary, understanding of, in social 
studies, 72 

Vocational competency, as objective of 
technical education, 283 

Vocational interests, discovery of, as 
objective of industrial arts, 304 

Whole numbers: generalizations with, 
147-48; meanings of, 146-47; mean- 
ings of processes with, 147 

Wisconsin State Science Commission, 

Work habits, as objective of industrial 
arts, 305 

Work plans, evaluation of, in technical 
education, 286-87 

Worth-while understandings of life sit- 
uations, 34-35 

Written expression, functional objec- 
tives of, 180-89 


1. PURPOSE. The purpose of the National Society is to promote the investiga- 
tion and d^cussion of educational questions. To this end it holds an annual meet- 
ing and publishes a series of yearbooks. 

2. ELIGIBILITY TO MEMBERSHIP. Any person who is interested in receiving its 
publications may become a member by sending to the Secretary-Treasurer infor- 
mation concerning name, title, and address, and a check for 83.50 (see Item 5). 

Membership is not transferable; it is limited to individuals, and may not be 
held by libraries, schools, or other institutions, either directly or indirectly. 

3. PERIOD OF MEMBERSHIP. Applicants for membership may not date their en- 
trance back of the current calendar year, and all memberships terminate auto- 
matically on December 31, unless the dues for the ensuing year are paid as indi- 
cated in Item 6. 

4. DUTIES AND PRIVILEGES OF MEMBERS. Members pay dues of $2.50 annually, 
receive a cloth-bound copy of each publication, are entitled to vote, to participate 
m discussion, and (under certain conditions) to hold office. The names of mem- 
bers are printed in the yearbooks. 

Persons who are sixty years of age or above may become life members on 
payment of fee based on average life-expectancy of their age group For infor- 
mation, apply to Secretary-Treasurer. 

5. ENTRANCE FEE. New members are required the first year to pay, in addi- 
tion to the dues, an entrance fee of one dollar. 

6. PAYMENT OF DUES. Statements of dues are rendered m October or No- 
vember for the following calendar year. Any member so notified whose dues re- 
main unpaid on January 1, thereby loses his membership and can be reinstated 
only by paying a reinstatement fee of fifty cents, levied to cover the actual clerical 
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School warrants and vouchers from institutions must be accompanied by 
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7. DISTRIBUTION OF YEARBOOKS TO MEMBERS. The yearbooks, ready prior to 
each February meeting, Tvill be mailed from the office of the distributors, only to 
members whose dues for that year have been paid. Members who desire year- 
books prior to the current year must purchase them directly from the distributors 
(see Item 8). 

8. COMMERCIAL SALES. The .distribution of all yearbooks prior to the current 
year, and also of those of the current year not regularly mailed to members in 
exchange for their dues, is in the hands of the distributor, not of the Secretary. 
For such commercial sales, communicate directly with the University of Chicago 
Press, Chicago 37, Illinois, which will gladly send a price list covering all the 
publications of this Society and of its predecessor, the National Herbart Society. 
This list is also printed in the yearbook. 

9. YEARBOOKS. The yearbooks are issued about one month before the Feb- 
ruary meeting. They comprise from 600 to 800 pages annually. Unusual effort has 
been made to make them, on the one hand, of immediate practical value, and, on 
the other hand, representative of sound scholarship and scientific investigation. 
Many of them are the fruit of co-operative work by committees of the Society. 

10. MEETINGS. The annual meeting, at which the yearbooks are discussed, is 
held in February at the same time and place as the meeting of the American Asso- 
ciation of School Administrators. 

Applications for membership will be handled promptly at any time on receipt 
of name and address, together with check for $3.50 (or $3.00 for reinstatement). 
Generally speaking, applications entitle the new members to the yearbook slated 
for discussion during the calendar year the application is made, but those received 
in December are regarded as pertaining to the next calendar year. 

5835 Kimbark Ave NELSON B. HENRY, Secretary-Treasurer 

Chicago, 37, Illinois 


(Now the National Society for the Study of Education) POSTPAID 


First Yearbook, 1895 ........................................... . ........... $0.79 

First Supplement to First Yearbook ............................................. 28 

Second Supplement to First Yearbook ........................................... 27 

Second Yearbook, 1896 ......................... . ............................ 85 

Supplement to Second Yearbook ....................... ............ . ........ -27 

Third Yearbook, 1897 .......... . ............................................. 85 

Ethical Principle* Underlying Education. John Dewey. Eeprinted from Third Year- 

book ........................................... . ................. 27 

Supplement to Third Yearbook ................................ . ............... 27 

Fourth Yearbook, 1898 ...................................................... 79 

Supplement to Fourth Yearbook ........................................ . ...... 28 

Fifth Yearbook, 1899 ........................... . ............................ 79 

Supplement to Fifth Yearbook ................................................. 54 



First Yearbook, 1902, Part I Seme Principle* in the Teaching of History. Lucy M. 

Salmon ...... . ...................................................... $0.54 

First Yearbook. 1902, Part II The Proffre*s of Geography in the Schools. W. M. Davis 

and H. M! Wilson ....................................................... 53 

Second Yearbook, 1903, Part I The Course of Study in History in the Common School. 

Isabel Lawrence, C. A. McMurry, Frank McMurry, E. 0. Page, and E. J. Bice ..... 53 
Second Yearbook, 1903, Part II The Relation of Theory to Practice in Education. M. J. 

Holmes, J. A. Keith, and Levi Seeley ........ . ............................. . .58 

Third Yearbook, 1904, Part I The Relation of Theory to Practice in the Education of 

Teacher*. John Dewey, Sarah O. Brooks, F. M. McMurry, et al .................. 53 

Third Yearbook, 1904, Part II Nature Study. W. S. Jackman ..................... 85 

Fourth Yearbook, 1905, Part I The Education and Training of Secondary Teachert. 

E. 0. Elliott, E. G. Dexter, M. J. Holmes, et al ................................ 85 

Fourth Yearbook, 1905, Part II The Place of Vocational Subject* in the High-School 

Curriculum. J. S. Brown, G. B. Morrison, and Ellen H. Richards ............... 53 

Fifth Yearbook, 1906, Part I On the Teaching of English in Elementary and High 

School*. G. P. Brown and Emerson Davis ................................... 58 

Fifth Yearbook, 1906, Part II The Certification of Teachers. E. P. Cubberley ....... 64 

Sixth Yearbook, 1907, Part I Vocational Studie* for Cottege Entrance. 0, A. Herrick, 

H. W. Holmes, T. deLaguna, "V. Prettyman, and W. J. S. Bryan ................. 70 

Sixth Yearbook, 1907, Part II The Kindergarten and It* Relation to Elementary Ed- 

ucation. Ada Yan Stone Harris, E. A. Kirkpatrick, Maria Kraus-Boelte", Patty S. 

Hill, Harriette M. Mills, and Nina Vandewalker ............................... 70 

Seventh Yearbook, 1908, Part I The Relation of Superintendents and Principals to the 

Training and Profe**ional Improvement of Their Teachers. Charles D. Lowry ...... 78 

Seventh Yearbook, 1908, Part II The Co-ordination of the Kindergarten and the Ele- 

mentary School. B. J. Gregory, Jennie B. Merrill, Bertha Payne, and Margaret 

Giddings ............................................................. 78 

Eighth Yearbook, 1909, Parts I and II Education with Reference to Sex. 0. B. Hender- 

son and Helen C. Putnam. Both parts ..................................... 1.60 

Ninth Yearbook, 1910, Part I Health and Education. T. D. Wood ................. .85 

Ninth Yearbook, 1910, Part II The Nurse in Education. T. D. Wood, et al ............ 78 

Tenth Yearbook, 1911, Part I The City School as a Community Center. H. 0. Leipziger, 

Sarah E. Hyre, B. D. Warden, 0. Ward Crampton, E. W. Stitt, E. J. Ward, Mrs. 

E. 0. Grice, and G. A. Perry .............................................. 78 

Tenth Yearbook, 1911, Part II The Rural School a* a Community Center. B. H. Croch- 

eron, Jessie Field, F. W. Howe, E. 0. Bishop, A. B. Graham, O. J. Kern, M. T. 

Scudder, and B. M. Davis ................................................ 79 

Eleventh Yearbook, 1912, Part I Industrial Education : Typical Experiment* Described 

and Interpreted. J. F. Barker, M. Bloomfield, B. W, Johnson, P. Johnson, L. M. 

Leavitt, G. A. Mirick, M. W. Murray, C. F. Perry, A. L. Safford, and H. B. Wilson .85 
Eleventh Yearbook, 1912, Part II Agricultural Education in Secondary School*. A. 0. 

Monahan, B. W. Stimson, D. J. Crosby, W. H. French, H. F. Button, F. B. Crane, 

W. B. Hart, and G. F. Warren ................ . ........................... 85 

Twelfth Yearbook, 1913, Part I The Supervi*ion of OUy School*. Franklin Bobbitt, 

J. W. Hall, and J. D. Wolcott ............................................. 85 

Twelfth Yearbook, 1913, Part II The Supervi*ion of Rural School*. A. 0. Monahan, 

L. J. Hanifan, J, E. Warren, Wallace Lund, U. J. Hoffman, A. S. Cook, E. M. Bapp, 

Jackson Davis, and J. D. Wolcott .......................................... 85 

Thirteenth Yearbook, 1914, Part I Some A*peet* of High-School Instruction and Ad- 

minbtration. H. C. Morrison, E. B. Breslich, W. A. Jessup, and L. D. Coffman ..... 85 
Thirteenth Yearbook, 1914, Part H Plan* for Organizing School Surveys, with a 

Summary of Typical School Survey*. Charles H. Judd and Henry L. Smith ....... 79 

Fourteenth Yearbook, 1915, Part I Minimum Et*ential* in Elementary School Subject* 

Standard* and Current Practice*. H. B. Wilson, H. W. Holmes, F. E. Thompson, 

R. G. Jones, S. A. Courtis, W. S. Gray, F. N. Freeman, H. O. Pryor, J. F. Hcwic, 

W. A. Jessup, mud W. C. Bagley ...... ......... ................. ... ....... .85 



Fourteenth Yearbook, 1915, Part II Methods for Measuring Teachers' Efficiency. 

Arthur O, Boyce , $0.79 

Fifteenth Yearbook, 1916, Part I Standards and Tests for the Measurement of the 
Efficiency of Schools and School Systems. G. D. Strayer, Bird T. Baldwin, B. R. 
Buckingham, F. W. Ballou, D. C. Bliss, H. G-. Childs, S. A. Courtis, E. P. Cubberley, 
C. H. Judd, Georee Melcher, E. E. Oberholtzer, J. B. Sears, Daniel Starch, M. B. 
Trabue, and G. M. Whipple 85 

Fifteenth Yearbook, 1916, Part II The Relationship between Persistence in School and 

Home Conditions. Charles E. Holley 87 

Fifteenth Yearbook, 1916, Part III The Junior High School. Aubrey A. Douglass 85 

Sixteenth Yearbook, 1917, Part I Second Report of the Committee on Minimum Essen- 
tials in Elementary School Subjects. W. C. Bagley, W, W. Charters, F, N. Freeman, 
W. S. Gray, Ernest Horn, J. H. Hoskinson, W. S. Monroe, C. F. Munson, H. C. 
Pryor, L. W. Eapeer, G. M. Wilson, and H. B. Wilson 1.00 

Sixteenth Yearbook, 1917, Part II The Efficiency of College Students as Conditioned by 

Age at Entrance and Size of Sigh School. B. F. Pittenger 85 

Seventeenth Yearbook, 1918, Part I Third Report of the Committee on Economy of 
Time in Education. W. C. Bagley, B. B. Bassett, M. E. Branom, Alice Camerer, J. E. 
Dealey, C. A. Ell-wood, E. B. Greene, A. B. Hart, J. F. Hosic, E. T. Housh, W. H. 
Mace, L. R. Marston, H. C. McKown, H. E. Mitchell, W. C. Reavis, D. Snedden, 
and H. B. Wilson 85 

Seventeenth Yearbook, 1918, Part II The Measurement of Educational Products. E. J. 
Ashbaugh, W. A. Averill, L. P. Ayers, F. W. Ballou, Edna Bryner, B. R. Bucking- 
ham, S. A. Courtis, M. E. Haggerty, C. H. Judd, George Melcher, W. S. Monroe, 
E. A. Nifenecker, and E. L. Thorndike 1.00 

Eighteenth Yearbook, 1919, Part I The Professional Preparation of High-School 
Teachers. G. N. Cade, S. S. Colvin, Charles Fordyce, H. H. Foster, T. W. Gosling, 
W. S. Gray, L. Y. Koos, A. R. Mead, H. L. Miller, F. C. Whitcomb, and Clifford 
Woody 1.65 

Eighteenth Yearbook, 1919, Part II Fourth Report of Committee on Economy of Time 
in Education. F. C. Ayer, F. N. Freeman, W. S. Gray, Ernest Horn, W. S. Monroe, 
and C. E. Seashore 1.10 

Nineteenth Yearbook, 1920, Part I New Materials of Instruction. Prepared by the So- 
ciety's Committee on Materials of Instruction 1.10 

Nineteenth Yearbook, 1920, Part II Classroom Problems in the Education of Gifted 

Children. T. S. Henry . 1.00 

Twentieth Yearbook, 1921, Part I New Materials of Instruction. Second Report by the 

Society's Committee 1.30 

Twentieth Yearbook, 1921, Part II Report of the Society's Committee on Silent Read- 
ing. M. A. Burgess, S. A. Courtis, C. E. Germane, W. S. Gray, H. A. Greene, 
Regina R. Heller, J. H. Hoover, J. A. O'Brien, J. L. Packer, Daniel Starch, W. W. 
Theisen, G. A. Yoakam, and representatives of other school systems 1.10 

Twenty-first Yearbook, 1922, Parts I and II Intelligence Tests and Their Use. Part I 
The Nature, History, and General Principles of Intelligence Testing. E. L. Thorn- 
dike, S. S. Colvin, Harold Rugg, G. M. Whipple. Part II The Administrative TJse 
of Intelligence Tests. H. W. Holmes, W, K. Layton, Helen Davis, Agnes L. Rogers, 
Rudolf Pintner, M. R. Trabue, W. S. Miller, Bessie L. Gambrill, and others. The 
two parts are bound together 1.60 

Twenty-second Yearbook, 1923, Part I English Composition: Its Aims, Methods, and 

Measurements. Earl Hudelson 1.10 

Twenty-second Yearbook, 1923, Part II The Social Studies in the Elementary and 
Secondary School. A. S. Barr, J. J. Coss, Henry Harap, R. W. Hatch, H, 0. Hill, 
Ernest Horn, C. H. Judd, L. C. Marshall, F. M. McMurry, Earle Rugg, H. O. Rugg, 
Emma Schweppe, Mabel Snedaker, and C. W. Washburne 1.50 

Twenty-third Yearbook, 1924, Part I The Education of Gifted Children. Report of the 

Society's Committee. Guy M. Whipple, Chairman . . 1.75 

Twenty-third Yearbook, 1924, Part II Vocational Guidance and Vocational Education 

for Industries. A. H. Edgerton and others 1.75 

Twenty-fourth Yearbook, 1925, Part I Report of the National Committee on Reading. 
W. S. Gray, Chairman, F. W. Ballou, Rose L. Hardy, Ernest Horn, Frances 
Jenkins, S. A. Leonard, Estaline Wilson, and Laura Zirbes 1.50 

Twenty-fourth Yearbook, 1925, Part II Adapting the Schools to Individual Differences. 

Report of the Society's Committee. Oarleton W. Washburne, Chairman 1.50 

Twenty-fifth Yearbook, 1926, Part I The Present Status of Safety Education. Report 

of the Society's Committee. Guy M. Whipple, Chairman. 1.75 

Twenty-fifth Yearbook, 1926, Part II Extra-curricular Activities. Report of the So- 
ciety's committee. Leonard V. Koos t Chairman 1.50 

Twenty-sixth Yearbook, 1927, Part I Curriculum-making : Past and Present. Report 

of the Society's Committee. Harold O. Rugg, Chairman 1.75 

Twenty-sixth Yearbook, 1927, Part II The Foundations of Curriculum-making. Pre- 
pared by individual members of the Society's Committee. Harold O. Rugg, Chairman 1.50 

Twenty-seventh Yearbook, 1928, Part I Nature and Nurture: Their Influence upon 

Intelligence. Prepared by the Society's Committee. Lewis M. Terman, Chairman . . 1.75 

Twenty-seventh Yearbook, 1928, Part II Nature and Nurture: Their Influence upon 

Achievement. Prepared by the Society's Committee. Lewis M. Terman, Chairman. . 1.75 

Twenty-eighth Yearbook, 1929, Parts I and II Preschool and Parental Education. 
Part I Organization and Development. Part II Research and Method. Prepared 
by the Society's Committee. Lois H. Meek, Chairman. Bound in one volume. Cloth 5.00 
Paper 5.35 



Twenty-ninth Yearbook, 1930, Parts I and II Report of the Society's Committee on 
Arithmetic. Part I Some Aspects of Modern Thought on Arithmetic. Part II 
Research in Arithmetic. Prepared by the Society's Committee. F. B. Knight, Chair- 
man. Bound in one volume. Cloth $5.00 

Paper 3.25 

Thirtieth Yearbook, 1931, Part I The Status of Rural Education. First Eeport of the 

Society's Committee on Rural Education. Orville G. Brim, Chairman. Cloth 2.50 

Paper 1-75 

Thirtieth Yearbook, 1931, Part H The Textbook in American Education. Report of the 

Society's Committee on the Textbook. J. B. Edmonson, Chairman. Cloth 2.50 

Paper 1.75 

Thirty-first Yearbook, 1932, Part I A Program for Teaching Science. Prepared by the 

Society's Committee on the Teaching of Science. S. Ralph Powers, Chairman. Cloth 2.50 
Paper 1.75 

Thirty-first Yearbook, 1932, Part II Changes and Experiments in Liberal-Arts Educa- 
tion. Prepared by Kathryn McHale, with numerous collaborators. Cloth 2.50 

Paper 1.75 

Thirty-second Yearbook, 1933 The Teaching of Geography. Prepared by the Society's 

Committee on the Teaching of Geography. A. E. Parkins, Chairman. Cloth 4.50 

Paper 3.00 

Thirty-third Yearbook, 1934, Part I The Planning and Construction of School Build- 
ings. Prepared by the Society's Committee on School Buildings. N. L. Engelhardt, 

Chairman. Cloth 2.50 

Paper 1.75 

Thirty-third Yearbook, 1934, Part II The Activity Movement. Prepared by the So- 
ciety's Committee on the Activity Movement. Lois Coffey Mossman, Chairman. Cloth 2.50 
Paper 1.75 

Thirty-fourth Yearbook, 1935 Educational Diagnosis. Prepared by the Society's Com- 
mittee on Educational Diagnosis. L. J. Brueckner, Chairman. Cloth 4.25 

Paper 3.00 

Thirty-fifth Yearbook, 1936, Part I The Grouping of Pupils. Prepared by the Society's 

Committee. W. "W. Coxe, Chairman. Cloth 2.50 

Paper 1.75 

Thirty-fifth Yearbook, 1936, Part II Music Education. Prepared by the Society's Com- 
mittee. "W. L. Uhl, Chairman. Cloth 2.50 

Paper 1.75 

Thirty-sixth Yearbook, 1937, Part I The Teaching of Reading. Prepared by the So- 
ciety's Committee. W. S. Gray, Chairman. Cloth. 2.50 

Paper 1.75 

Thirty-sixth Yearbook, 1937, Part II International Understanding through the Public- 
School Curriculum. Prepared by the Society's Committee. I. L. Kandel, Chairman. 

Cloth 2.50 

Paper 1.75 

Thirty-seventh Yearbook, 1938, Part I Guidance in Educational Institutions. Prepared 

by the Society's Committee, G. N. Kefauver, Chairman. Cloth 2,50 

Paper 1.75 

Thirty-seventh Yearbook, 1938, Part II The Scientific Movement in Education. Pre- 
pared by the Society's Committee. F. N. Freeman, Chairman. Cloth 4.00 

Paper 3.00 

Thirty-eighth Yearbook, 1939, Part I Child Development and the Curriculum. Pre- 
pared by the Society's Committee. Carleton Washburne, Chairman. Cloth 3.25 

Paper 2.50 

Thirty-eighth Yearbook, 1939, Part II General Education in the American College. 

Prepared by the Society's Committee. Alvin Eurich, Chairman. Cloth 2.75 

Paper 2.00 

Thirty-ninth Yearbook, 1940, Part I Intelligence : Its Nature and Nurture. Compara- 
tive and Critical Exposition. Prepared by the Society's Committee. G-. D. Stoddard, 

Chairman. Cloth 8.00 

Paper 2.25 

Thirty-ninth Yearbook, 1940, Part II Intelligence : Its Nature and Nurture. Original 
Studies and Experiments. Prepared by the Society's Committee. G-. D. Stoddard, 

Chairman. Cloth 3.00 

Paper 2.25 

Fortieth Yearbook, 1941 Art in American Life and Education. Prepared by the 

Society's Committee. Thomas Munro, Chairman. Cloth 4.00 

Paper 3.00 

Forty-first Yearbook, 1942, Part I Philosophies of Education. Prepared by the So- 
ciety's Committee. John S. Brubacher, Chairman. Cloth 8.00 

Paper 2.25 

Forty-first Yearbook, 1942, Part II The Psychology of Learning. Prepared by the 

Society's Committee. T. R. McConnell, Chairman. Cloth 3.25 

Paper 2.50 

Forty-second Yearbook, 1943, Part I Vocational Education. Prepared by the So- 
ciety's Committee. F. J. Keller, Chairman. Cloth 3.25 

Paper . 2.50 

Forty-second Yearbook, 1943, Part II The Library in General Education. Prepared 

by the Society's Committee. L, B. Wilson, Chairman. Cloth 8.00 

Paper 2.25 



Forty-third Yearbook, 1944, Part I Adolescence. Prepared by the Society's Com- 
mittee. Harold E. Jones, Chairman. Cloth $3.00 

Paper 2.25 

Forty-third Yearbook, 1944, Part II Teaching Language in the Elementary School. 

Prepared by the Society's Committee. M. R. Trabue, Chairman. Cloth 2.75 

Paper 2.00 

Forty-fourth Yearbook, 1945, Part I American Education in the Postwar Period,: 
Curriculum Reconstruction. Prepared by the Society's Committee. Ralph W. Tyler, 

Chairman. Cloth 3.00 

Paper 2.25 

Forty-fourth Yearbook, 1945, Part II American Education in the Postwar Period-: 
Structural Reorganization. Prepared by the Society's Committee. Ralph W. 

Tyler, Chairman. Cloth 3 .00 

Paper 2.25 

Forty-fifth Yearbook, 1946, Part I The Measurement of Understanding. Prepared 

by the Society's Committee. William A. Brownell, Chairman. Cloth 3.00 

Paper 2.25 

Forty-fifth Yearbook, 1946, Part II Changing Conceptions in Educational Admin- 
istration. Prepared by the Society's Committee. Alonzo G. Grace, Chairman. Cloth 2.50 
Paper 1.75 

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