Fads and Frill in the Classroom: Perceptions of Testing in the Schools, 1920-30.Report as inadecuate




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There was widespread initial interest and use of intelligence tests in the schools immediately after World War I; this interest is reflected in the fact that "Reader's Guide to Periodic Literature" indexed nearly 300 articles on intelligence tests in the 5-year period from 1919-1924 alone. The history of intelligence testing and the schools contains a more nuanced story than testing statistics reveal. Questioning what the historian really knows about teachers' motives and the ways they implemented intelligence test scores into their classrooms, the paper finds that the answer will probably never be conclusive, since teachers, like the students and the classroom itself, remain the most elusive subject within the history of education. A deeper look into the teacher-oriented journals and teacher-training textbooks of the day suggests that the teacher's and principal's relationship to testing was complicated and fraught with ambivalence. Testing rhetoric of the time aimed for the strongest declaration of its potential for the schools. Historians of the early testing movement have often reduced the testing controversy to a conflict between those who were philosophically opposed to the deterministic implications of testing versus the educational psychologists, but that the educational arena of the 1920s was far more varied than that and the historian who attempts to tease out these variations of response must consider the source of records as well as their intended audience. The paper concludes with a discussion of the spread of standardized testing in the schools and results of that policy. Contains 89 notes. (BT)

Descriptors: Educational History, Educational Policy, Educational Psychology, Educational Trends, Elementary Secondary Education, Intelligence Tests, Teacher Attitudes











Author: Trone, Carole J.

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=9336&id=ED432521



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