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The most important criterion in diagnosing a child as learning disabled is the IQ test. The aim of an IQ test is to measure the intelligence of a child, which supposedly is an indication of the child's potential. But where does the test come from and does it really measure potential?
Intelligence testing began in earnest in France, when in 1904 psychologist Alfred Binet was commissioned by the French government to find a method to differentiate between children who were intellectually normal and those who were inferior. The purpose was to put the latter into special schools where they would receive more individual attention. In this way the disruption they caused in the education of intellectually normal children could be avoided.1
This led to the development of the Binet Scale, also known as the Simon-Binet Scale in recognition of Theophile Simon's assistance in its development. It constituted a revolutionary approach to the assessment of individual mental ability. However, Binet himself cautioned against misuse of the scale or misunderstanding of its implications. According to Binet, the scale was designed with a single purpose in mind; it was to serve as a guide to identify children in the schools who required special education. Its intention was not to be used as “a general device for ranking all pupils according to mental worth.” Binet also noted that “the scale, properly speaking, does not permit the measure of intelligence, because intellectual qualities are not superposable, and therefore cannot be measured as linear surfaces are measured.”2 Since, according to Binet, intelligence could not be described as a single score, the use of the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) as a definite statement of a child's intellectual capability would be a serious mistake. In addition, Binet feared that IQ measurement would be used to condemn a child to a permanent “condition” of stupidity, thereby negatively affecting his or her education and livelihood:
Some recent thinkers…[have affirmed] that an individual's intelligence is a fixed quantity, a quantity that cannot be increased. We must protest and react against this brutal pessimism; we must try to demonstrate that it is founded on nothing.3
Binet's scale had a profound impact on educational development in the United States — and elsewhere. However, the American educators and psychologists who championed and utilized the scale and its revisions failed to heed Binet's caveats concerning its limitations. Soon intelligence testing assumed an importance and respectability out of proportion to its actual value.
Originally posted by kyred
reply to post by star in a jar
The major problem with this is you get the best minds, and then they see another way. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....how do you defend yourself with the most intelligent folks, who can actually think for themselves?
Okay. One time and one time only. This is really me and not my grandson.
[edit on 10-5-2009 by kyred]
Originally posted by earlywatcher
IQ tests were designed to predict school success. nothing more. they were geard to determine whether a given individual was apt to be successful with they way material is presented in school.