Adonis Diaries

Archive for January 13th, 2011

Low IQ Prisoner: Studied, raised the score, found eligible to death row! What is this IQ score?

The story goes: murderers with low IQ of 70 or less are not sent to death row on the premise that they are too dumb to premeditate or consciously plan any murder.

A low IQ prisoner was sentenced to life; he studied and managed to score 10 more points, and thus was eligible for death sentence to be executed: He was no longer an irresponsible brain dead individual!

IQ and SAT scores are used as scapegoats in many decisions, programs, and policies to hire, fire, accept or reject applicants.  Institutions that demand IQ or SAT scores know by now that they don’t measure intelligence and that these tests lack predictive values and capabilities for mental performance.

And yet, these tests are used “to pick the best of the crop” on the basis that the grades of students in their institution will inevitably be higher than most institutions no matter how mediocre is their curriculum or their teachers.  Standardized tests of these kinds are multi-billion businesses and encouraged by governments.

The first version of IQ test was created by the French Alfred Binet at the instigation of a government commission.  The purpose was to sorting out children in need of special attention and particular forms of schooling. Binet was appalled when his IQ test was adopted for quantifying intelligence, especially by the military during WWI for selecting pilots.  He wrote: “A few thinkers are affirming that an individual’s intelligence is a fixed quantity that cannot be increased.  We must protest and react against this brutal pessimism; we must try to demonstrate that this conjecture is founded on nothing.”

The American eugenics Lewis Terman of Stanford University published a revised version of the Binet test in 1916 and known as the Stanford-Binet test.  What was the ideology of Terman?

He wrote: “Among laboring men and servant girls thousands are feeble-minded.  They are the world hewers of wood and drawers of water…No amount of school instruction will ever make them intelligent voters.  The fact that one meets this type with such frequency among Indians, Mexicans, and negroes suggest quite forcibly the whole question of racial differences in mental traits will have to be taken up anew and by experimental methods.  From a eugenics point of view, their children constitute a grave problem because of their prolific breeding.”

A eugenic individual believes that:

1. mankind is divided into intelligent races and stupid subcategories that only practical instruction might improve their efficiency on the chain production, and

2. second, that intelligence is an innate trait with fixed level for improvement, and third that ethnic minorities with dishonorable IQ scores should be neutered by law…

The military institutions are the ones that initiate and fund such standardized tests for the purpose of classifying applicant officers to the air force, navy, or artillery schools; the barely “intelligent” potential officers are relegated to infantry.

For example, Carl Brigham, another eugenic, invented the SAT at the instigation of the military 7 decades ago.The irony is that Carl Brigham disowned the test 5 years later and was no longer a believer in eugenics; but the SAT test evolved a life of its own and it is at its 5th version.

The elite universities and private schools demand some kind of standardized tests of “intelligence”.

John Katzman, founder of Princeton Review, wrote: “SAT creates a shadow curriculum that does not further the goals of education or students:  SAT scores are irrelevant to what the student studied in high school.  SAT does not measure intelligence or verify high school GPA, and it is a poor predictor of college grades.”

In my PhD experiment, I made use of one of the IQ test versions as a smokescreen to distracting the first year psychology students from the real purpose of the experiment.  All you have to do is mention that the test evaluate their level of intelligence in order to capture their motivation.  Actually, the test could be relevant with people endowed with visual capability for discriminating shapes and a modicum of logic.

There is this test developed by two women, mother and daughter and not specialist in psychology, called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) that supposedly box an individual into one of 16 psychological categories on the dimensions of (energy attitude, perception, judgement, orientation to life events) and on social behavior such as extrovert or introvert.

It is valid and I did submit to it voluntarily (you may read about my experience in my autobiography chapter on psychological testing).  I answered hundred of questions for over two hours; I had to give an answer to every question, even if  I had no idea what it meant.   The result was that I was borderline in all psychological categories and the graduate psychology student had no interpretation and referred me to attend sessions with very emotionally disturbed students.

What about the Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) test?

Supposedly, this “cognitive” assessment test will demonstrate what is dominant in your brain such as the left analytic brain, the left lymbic hemisphere, the right brain and the right lymbic hemisphere).  The left brain is for collecting data, how things work…, the right lymbic is for organizing and following directions…The right brain is for looking at the big picture and understanding metaphor… The right limbic is for expressing ideas and seeking personal meaning…

In short, all these tests implicitly encourage eugenics ideologists and these tests are being disseminated and applied worldwide, setting the stage for further attempts to laws that would institute racial elimination as world population grows to 9 billion within 30 years.

Note:  A chapter in “The element” by Ken Robinson made it easier for me to write this post.

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I had posted some time ago and then I stumbled on a chapter in “Element” by Ken Robinson related to educating children in school systems.  My post focused on new ways the family might adopt in order to permitting more opportunities and exposure for the child to discovering his talents, skills, passions, and constructing his own model for viewing the world.  Since schooling is a system and can be more potent than family setting in this modern busy world for enhancing a child development then, selecting varieties of schooling system models that offer environment for child mental development is most important to emulate.

The industrial age configurations and processes of passing students through the education chain of production line is transforming curriculum to static and lifeless programs:  Students are viewed as “subjects” and are not considered as the center of attention that teachers and school management have responsibilities for graduating literate and talented students.

In the last three decades, there is this dangerous trend of standardizing knowledge, information and “intelligence” to be imposed directly worldwide to all school and university system. Cram schools for passing SAT and entrance exams at universities, or even for “prestigious elementary schools” as in Japan are multibillion industries so that a few may access privileged schooling institutions.

In the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) federal programs that Obama resumed from Bush Junior, 70% of school districts have cut back on arts programs; teachers are pressured to cut back on teaching courses in order to focus on preparing for upcoming statewide standardized tests.  Consequently, if standard tests results are low then, failing schools are penalized:  Teachers are terminated and schools are closed to be taken over by private organization.

Schools need to be transformed so that teachers re-capture their status as the most valued assets in any social development.  Encouraging arts programs is the catalyst for opening up the creative skills and talents in students, exciting their urge for participating and learning.  For example, engaging in drama courses and the responsibly of mounting the theater with all its requirements and needed skills unleash the capability and enthusiasm of the students.  Students turn out to be more involved and excel in the other coursework of math, sciences, and writing skills.

In the Reggio Emilia school model, the program has a child-directed curriculum:  Teachers take their lessons where the student interests dictate.  Classrooms are filled with drama play areas, work tables, environments for interactions and communication.  The emphasis is on arts:  Children learn “multiple symbolic languages” such as painting, music, drama, math, experimentation… The teachers are researchers for the children, they explore their interests, and learn alongside the pupils.

Another example; in the town of Grangeton, the children run the town:  They work in the bank, the supermarket, they handle cash registers, they manage the museum, they write original film screenplay, they run the TV shows and the music of the radio station.  The key word according to director Richard Gerver is: “Experimental and contextual.  At no stage the message is of passing an exam.”  The rigorous classroom work boils down to practical applications of course materials.

Children are motivated and committed and they play the role of catalyst for families and communities to getting involved in project development.  The bottom line is that students need opportunities, exposure, and involvement in curriculum in order to discovering skills, talents, and life passions.  The transformation needs to becoming Student-Centered and the teachers highly valued in remuneration and independence as the cornerstone for successful school performance.

Note:  I consider this article as complementary to my post  since we need to improve systems that are more powerful than any individual family actions or programs.




January 2011

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