Intelligence: A Product of Social Construction
Since the development of the intelligence quotient, schools in every part of the world have been using the IQ test to categorize millions of students into three groups. These three groups, which are the gifted, the average, and the retarded, are falsifications that perpetuate in our world culture and cause many gifted students to be deemed retarded and vice a versa. Why then is the IQ test so heavily relied on in our school systems? For schools the answer is simple, an I.Q. test is a reliable predictor of a students later performance in academics. This answer is relatively true, but where the I.Q. test falls extremely short is with testing the multiple intelligences of the human brain. The intelligence quotient test, developed by Alfred Binet, was created to evaluate ones intelligence with a test that would yield a numerical value that could be compared with a collective average to determine ones level of intelligence. However, the questions of an I.Q. test, or even the SAT’s for that matter, are testing only the verbal-mathematical forms of intelligence. The human brain is extremely complicated and advanced, and to assume that the indicators of intelligence are only found in logical and linguistic intelligences is a poor assumption at best. A more comprehensive test, which can test all seven types of intelligence, should be implemented into the educational system to ensure every student an education tailored to their strongest abilities.
In every elementary school in America third graders are forced to take a test that will greatly impact their academic careers. The G.A.T.E. program, which stands for gifted and talented education, is designed to separate the gifted children from the average and below average kids. However, the G.A.T.E. test is comprised of questions the children do not have the answers for. In other words, the kids are being tested on their innate knowledge of the world and their ability to creatively solve problems they have never encountered. Some might believe there is no flaw in testing a child’s natural intelligence. The test is given to each student and each student is given the same amount of time to complete a test of identical questions. But what educators fail to account for is the social bias of the test and the socio-eco...
... middle of paper ...
...or each of the seven intelligences and students will be placed in the category of classes that he or she is best suited for. With this educational system career training can start a much younger age, students will develop in one direction rather than being spread thin over many useless topics, and the professionals of the future will be identified before they ever enter the work force.
In the current world, I.Q. tests are the gates that limit ones ability to gain a fair and equal education. The tests given now will continue to reward those lucky enough to live in the upper-middle class and will continue to hold a lid on the potential of the millions of people suppressed into the ghettos of America. New testing and rewriting of tests should be the first step in making American public education fair to all Americans. Eventually the socially constructed idea of “intelligence” will change, but not fade, and it is up to the people of this generation to redefine what makes a person intelligent.
Jacobus A., Lee & Howard Gardner. “A World of Ideas.” A Rounded Version: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Bedford/St. Martin’s. 6th Ed. Boston, Ma. 2002. 373 – 391