Friday, May 6, 2011

Eugenics and IQ

My classroom window. The old Royal Vale Elementary.

I once interviewed a person involved with a School Garden initiative and he informed me that schools were built on the same principals as prisons, for optimum containment and visibility. So the kids aren't crazy, after all!

The news lately is that there will soon be a definitive test for Alzheimer's. I am not that keen as my father died of this disease and I know there is an hereditary component.

Besides, I can no longer remember much.

McGill University is responsible for this test which measures the amount of a certain hormone in the blood.

I wonder how this test can be exploited.... cause it will be. And perhaps misused and even abused.

Yesterday, I posted a bit about the IQ test, the Stanford Binet test, as it was invented in 1912, the year Flora Nicholson got her teaching degree.

I have long assumed the test was more about keeping people in their place than about creating a level playing field, just because 'keeping people in their place' was the mantra of the era. Not mantra, it was the sort-of hidden agenda.

Sure enough, it seems that the person who brought the Binet test to America (this in 1908) was a proponent of Eugenics. HH Goddard, who wanted to use the test to prove that the white race was superior, in a time of rampant immigration.

Alfred Binet, the French psychologist, who died in 1911, did not create the test for these purposes, quite the opposite.

So as history repeats itself, a reason to be worried about this test, for a disease with no cure.

My source: A. Plucker, J. A. (Ed.). (2003). Human intelligence: Historical influences, current controversies, teaching resources. Retrieved [insert month day, year], from http://www.indiana.edu/~intell