Stories + Views
Do IQ tests really reveal a child’s intelligence?
Professor Peter Saunders wants to have a serious debate about social mobility. He states, on average, the lower socio-economic population have a lower intelligence. Apparently, evidence from IQ testing underscores this fact: “…in America, accountants and lawyers have average IQ scores of 128, compared with 122 for teachers, 109 for electricians, 96 for truck drivers and 91 for miners and farmhands.”
Despite these data, farming continues while all else in our economy appears to fail. From deduction, one would assume that there is more to intelligence than just being good at maths, that other factors are involved, such as rationality and being able to use self-control.
It is difficult to understand how intelligence can be quantified without first establishing what it is that is actually being measured. IQ tests are ineffective measures of imagination, curiosity and perseverance, whilst on the other hand they appear to be good predictors of skills and abilities acquired in school.
To get the debate rolling…
I believe that social justice should be about fairness of opportunity. Educational ideologies and theories about intelligence get in the way of securing an infrastructure for allowing children to fulfil their true potential. If, as Saunders states, many working class children are bright enough to do well in school and go on to well-paid jobs then surely education is a good place to begin breaking down barriers.