Intelligence and education: inventory of publications on their history

[work in progress]

Bayley, Nancy (1955). On the growth of intelligence. American Psychologist, 10, 805–818. Classic.

Binet, Alfred & Simon, Théodore (1916). The development of intelligence in children. (The Binet-Simon Scale). 

Bisseret, Noelle (1979). Education, class language and ideology. Routledge & Kegan Paul.

  • Chapter 1: ‘Essentialist ideology. Its origins and its scientific form, the theory of natural aptitudes’ Section captions:
    •   ‘Prior to the nineteenth century, the word ‘aptitude’ designated a contingent reality’
    • ‘The first half of the nineteenth century: ‘aptitude’ becomes an essential hereditary feature: birth of a new ideology justifying social inequalities’
    • ‘The second half of the nineteenth century: ‘Aptitude’ refers to a strictly biological causal process. The word ‘becomes a part of everyday language’
    • ‘The age of tests: aptitude as a measurable reality.  The science of aptitudes as the warrant of a legitimate social order’
    • ‘Scientific definitions of the concept of aptitude. A criticism of the relevance of its use in the social sciences. Permanence of a nineteenth pattern of thought’

Block, N. J., & Gerald Dworkin (Eds) (1976). The IQ controversy. Random House.

  • reader of articles by. i.a., Walter Lippmann – Lewis M. Terman – Richard C. Lewontin – Arthur R. Jensen – Leon J. Kamin – Noam Chomsky – Richard J. Herrnstein – Carl Bereiter – Christopher Jencks
  • for the Lippmann-Terman debate see also: Chapman (1988) Schools as sorters [below], and Lee J. Cronbach, 1975, Five decades of public controversy over mental testing. American Psychologist, 30, 1-14

Blum, Jeffrey M. (1978). Pseudoscience and mental ability. Monthly Review Press.

Boring, Edward G. (1923). Intelligence as the tests test it. New Republic, 35, 35-37. pdf

Carroll, John B. (1982). The measurement of  intelligence, blz. 29-120 in Sternberg, Robert J., (Ed.): Handbook of human intelligence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • (..) the inertia within the profession itself that resulted from complacency about the sufficiency of available methodologies and testing procedures and disquiet about misuses of these procedures made serious inroads on the ability of the testing profession to move forward. Large sectors of the profession were enmeshed in outmoded or at least debatable concepts of human behavior, particularly the assumption that mental abilities are relatively immutable even with extensive and prolonged experience or intervention and, furthermore, that they have almost overpowering genetic determinants.p. 108, quote Brigham” source

Carroll, John B. (1997). Psychometrics, intelligence, and public perception.  Intelligence, 24, 25-52. pdf

Chapman, Paul Davis (1988). Schools as sorters. Lewis M. Terman, Applied Psychology, and the Intelligence Testing Movement, 1890-1930. New York: New York University Press.

  • The Conclusion of the book sums it all up.
  • Much recent scholarship has consisted of emotionally charged attacks on tests and classification systems.  The testing establishment has contributed countless studies, many of them defending the value of tests.  Historical studies of testing have concentrated extensively on leadership and ideology.  Few have examined how and why intelligence tests and classification systems were actually introduced into the schools and what difference they made in the lives of students.p. xiii
  • This study explores the origins of the use of intelligence tests to classify students into ability groups. p. 3
  • (citing Minton, in Sokal 1987: Psychological testing and American society) Terman’s democratic ideal of a meritocracy based on innate ability was not, in the context of his own times, a bona fide democratic ideal. His legacy of mass intelligence testing served to perpetuate an unjust social order. p. 14

Cole, Michael ‘Mind as a cultural achievement: Implications for IQ testing’. Blz 218-249 in Elliot Eisner (Ed.) (1985). Learning and Teaching. The Ways of Knowing. 84th yearbook NSSE.

Cooke, Kathy J. (1998). The Limits of Heredity: Nature and Nurture in American Eugenics Before 1915. Journal of the History of Biology, 31, 263-278.

Crano, William D., Kenny, David A., and Campbell, Donald T. (1972). Does intelligence cause achievement? A cross-lagged panel analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 63, 258-275.

  • Does intelligence cause achievement, or is it the other way around? See also Watkins & Styck 2017.

Cronbach, Lee J., and Suppes, Patrick (Eds.) (1969). Research for tomorrow’s schools: Disciplined inquiry for education. London: Collier-Macmillan Limited.

  • Chapter 2: American scholars and educational progress: 1855-1958
  • Education emerges as a field of study 1855-1895: Henry Barnard: The Journal and the United States Office of Education – William T. Harris as Commissioner of Education – Other sources of leadership
  • The heyday of empiricism 1895-1938: Dewey and the promotion of innovation – The Office of Education: a middle-aged bureaucracy – Local surveys and local research bureaus – The humanities in decline – Education separates from the arts and sciences
  • Promotional activity supplants inquiry 1938-1958: Opposition to standardization and tradition – Research activity as an agent of change
  • Chapter 3: Some chains of significant inquiry.
  • Mental tests and pupil classification – Evolutionary theory and the idea of ‘fitness’ – Mental tests in American schools – Unified intelligence: a concept under attack – Test profiles in college selection Test technology in the service  of the individual
  • The philosopher and the concept of knowledge: Knowledge as the fruit of problem-solving – Educational aims suggested by the pragmatic view
  • Thorndike’d impact on the teaching of arithmetic: Principles of learning – The psychology of arithmetic – Teaching of arithmetic
  • The politics of education: a legacy of historical inquiry: Economic interests as a force in educational policy – Effects on the thinking of schoolmen
  • reviewed:

Dirkzwager, A. (1966). Intelligentie en schoolprestaties. Een empirisch onderzoek. Amsterdam: Swets & Zeitlinger. Proefschrift.  

  • We moeten hieruit de conclusie trekken dat schoolprestaties in belangrijke mate onafhankelijk zijn van de intelligentie  van de leerlingen; in ieder geval wanneer we beiden op korte termijn beschouwen, wanneer het ons primair om verschillen tussen leerlingen uit eenzelfde schoolklas gaat en wanneer we over de schoolprestaties in het eerste trimester handelen.  Deze conclusie is primair van belang voor hen die bij de dagelijkse gang van het onderwijs betrokken zijn of daarover theoretiseren: het is niet de intelligentie van de leerlingen die het directe effect van de onderwijs-inspanning bepaalt; ter verklaring van verschillen wat de effectiviteit van het onderwijs op korte termijn betreft moet naar andere gronden gezocht worden.    
  • Op langere termijn hangt, zo blijkt uit het longitudinaal onderzoek, de schoolloopbaan van  de leerling wel samen met zijn intelligentie. We schreven dit toe aan het feit dat de intelligentie een van de meest constante persoonlijkheidskenmerken is en dat een lage intelligentie derhalve een steeds aanwezige handicap is, waarvan, over een langere periode, het effect duidelijker is dan van in de tijd meer fluctuerende variabelen. De absolute waarden van de betreffende correlaties zijn echter niet zo hoog, dat we de intelligentie de belangrijkste factor voor het schoolsucces durven noemen. [p. 122]

Ebel, Robert L. (1963). The social consequences of educational testing. Reprinted in Anne Anastasi (1966). Testing problems in perspective. Twenty-fifth anniversary volume of topical readings from the invitational conference on testing problems.. American Council on Education.

  • Consider first, then, the danger that educational testing may place an indelible stamp of inferiority  on a child, ruin his self-esteem and educational motivation, and determine his social status as an adult.Most of us here assembled are well aware of the fact that there is no direct, unequivocal means for measuring permanent general capacity for learning. It is not even clear to many of us that, in the state  of our current understanding of mental functions and the learning process, any precise and useful meaning can be given to the concept of ‘permanent general capacity for learning’.  We know that all intelligence tests now available are direct measures only of achievement in learning, including learning how to learn, and that inferences from scores on those tests to some native capacity for learning are fraught with many hazards and uncertainties. But many people who are interested in education do not know this.  Many of them believe that native intelligence has been clearly identified and is well understood by expert psychologists.  They believe that a person’s IQ is one of his basic, permanent attributes, and that any good intelligence test will measure it with a high degree of precision.  They do not regard an IQ simply as another test score, a score that may vary  considerably depending on the particular test used and the particular time when the person was tested. p. 21 in Anastasi The concept of fixed general intelligence, or capacity for learning, is a hypothetical concept. At this stage in the development of our understanding of human learning, it is not a necessary hypothesis.  Socially, it is not now a useful hypothesis.  One of the important things test specialists can do to improve the social consequences of educational testing is to discredit the popular conception of the IQ.  Wilhelm Stern, the German psychologist who suggested the concept originally, saw how it was being overgeneralized and charged one of his student coming to America to ‘kill the IQ’. Perhaps we would be well advised, even at this late date, to renew our efforts to carry out his wishes. p. 22 in Anastasi

Ericsson, K. Anders (2018). Intelligence as Domain-Specific Superior Reproducible Performance  pp 85-100 in Sternberg, Robert J., The nature of human intelligence. New York: Cambridge University Press. book online

  • … the standard practice of selecting children and adolescents for future advanced-level education based on the traditional tests of intelligence needs to be reconsidered, given their lack of relation to performance among skilled performers.p. 97

French, Joseph L., & Hale, Robert L. (1990). A History of the Development of Psychological and Educational Testing, pp. 3-28 in Reynolds, Cecil R., & Kamphaus, Randy W. Handbook of psychological and educational assessment of children: intelligence and achievement. London: The Guilford Press. book info

Eysenck, H. J. / Leon Kamin (1981). Intelligence: The battle for the mind. Pan Psychology.   

Gould, Stephen Jay (1981). The mismeasure of man. New York: Norton. 

  • Gould doesn’t really consider the impact of ideas of intelligence on education; it is intelligence testing that gets debunked here.  My take on the book: Gould is right.  He might be mistaken in some technical details of testing and factor analysis, but what the heck.  Important contribution to the literature critical of psychological testing in the US.

Robert J. Gregory (2000 3rd ed). Psychological testing. History, principles, and applications. Allyn and Bacon.

  • Adequate first chapter on history: ‘The history of psychological testing’, containing: ‘The origins of psychological testing’ and ‘Early testing in the United States’. (pp. 1-28)

Hadow, Sir W. H. (chair) (1924). Board of Education. Report of the consultative committee on psychological tests of educable capacity and their possible use in the public system of education. London: His Majesty’s Stationary Office.   The Committee’s Report pp. 1-145. Appendices 146-238 (a.o. by Cyril Burt). Full text

  • Tijdsbeeld voor Engeland, toch iets anders dan de VS. Reception of the Binet-Simon tests in England.  Thinking on intelligence and abilities.  Fascinating.

Walt Haney (1984). Testing reasoning and reasoning about testing. Review of Educational Research, 54, 597-654.

Hanson, F. Allan (1993). Testing testing. Social consequences of the examined life. University of California Press.;brand=ucpress free online

Hoffmann, Banesh (1962/78). The tyranny of testing. Crowell-Collier. Reprint 1978. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.

Jarvin, Linda, & Sternberg, Robert J. (2003). Alfred Binet’s contributions as a paradigm for impact in psychology.  Chapter 3 in  Zimmerman, B. J., & Schunk, D. H. (Eds.) (2003). Educational psychology: A century of contributions. Erlbaum.  [p. 97] google.books

  • Unfortunately, the American developers of his work believed in fixed IQ and substantially modified Binet’s original ideas and intentions. p. 97

Kaufman, Scott Barry (2013). Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined. Basic Books.

Kevles, Daniel J. (1985). In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. info

  • And had he [Galton] been more self-aware he might have understood that his proto-eugenic pronouncements celebrated the social milieu—and met the psychic needs—of Francis Galton. p. 4

Lagemann, Ellen Condliffe (2000).  An Elusive Science: The Troubling History of Education Research. University of Chicago Press. info

Lemann, Nicholas  (1999). The big test. The secret history of the American meritocracy. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. interview Lemann

Maas, Han L. J. van der -, Kan, K. -J., & Borsboom, D. (2014). Intelligence is what the intelligence test measures. Seriously. Journal of Intelligence2, 12–15. pdf

Nisbett, Richard E.  (2009). Intelligence and how to get it: Why schools and cultures count. New York, NY: Norton. info

Meier, Scott T. (1994).  The chronic crisis in psychological measurement and assessment. A historical survey.  Academic Press. info

  • Psychologists interpreted Binet’s results as evidence of an intelligence factor, which Spearman labeled g. Noting the intercorrelations of different components of intelligence tests, psychologists assumed that individuals applied g in all domains, g was assumed to be a hereditary factor, thereby largely stable and immune to situational influences. It was a psychological trait.  Thus, intelligence testing, which came to be the model and standard for all psychological testing, emphasized the importance of enduring psychological attributes—traits—over environmental influences.  p. 17

Peng Peng  Rogier A. Kievit (2020). The Development of Academic Achievement and Cognitive Abilities: A Bidirectional Perspective. Child Development Perspectives open access

Prinsen, B. A. (1935).  Intellectmetingen bij kinderen.  Bijdrage tot een vergelijkend onderzoek van stad en platteland.  (proefschrift) online

  • Onderzoek met 192 plattelandsschoolkinderen, met Binet-testjes.

Ravitch, Diane (2000). Left back. A century of battles over school reform. A Touchstone Book.<ul><li>Chapter 4: ‘IQ testing: “This brutal pessimism”’ </li></ul>

Ritchie, Stuart & Tucker-Drob, Elliot (2018). How much does education improve intelligence? A meta-analysis. Psychological Science pdf

Scarr, Sandra (1997). Behavior-Genetic and Socialization theories of intelligence: Truce and reconciliation. pdf In Sternberg, Robert J. & Grigorenko, Elena (Eds.) (1997). Intelligence, heredity, and environment. (pp 3-41) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Contents and abstracts

Selden, Steven (2005). Transforming Better Babies into Fitter Families: archival resources and the history of American eugenics movement. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society

  • The complex behaviors thought to be determined by one’s heredity included being generous, jealous, and cruel. In today’s context, the popular media often interpret advances in molecular genetics in a similarly reductive and determinist fashion. This paper argues that such a narrow interpretation of contemporary biology unnecessarily constrains the public in developing social policies concerning complex social behavior ranging from crime to intelligence.from the abstract

Snow, Richard E., with Yalow, Eleana (1982). Education and intelligence, blz. 493-584 in Sternberg, Robert J., (Ed.): Handbook of Intelligence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Not online] [Reprinted from Patrick Suppes (Ed.) (1978). Impact of Research on Education: Some Case Studies. Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Education.  

Sutherland, Gillian  (1984). Ability, Merit, and Measurement: Mental Testing and English Education 1880-1940. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Thorndike, Edward L. (1911). Individuality. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

  • The differences exist at birth and commonly increase with progress toward maturity. Individuality is already clearly manifest in children of school age.p. 7

Turkheimer, Eric (1998). Heritability and Biological Explanation. Psychological Review, 105, 782-791. pdf

Watkins, Marley W., and Styck, Kara M. (2017). A Cross-Lagged Panel Analysis of Psychometric Intelligence and Achievement in Reading and Math. Journal of Intelligence Does intelligence cause achievement, or is it the other way around?  See also Crano, Kenny & Campbell 1972.

Wilbrink, Ben (1997).  Assessment in historical perspective.  Studies in Educational Evaluation, 23, 31-48. page

Wilbrink, Ben (March 2020). Intelligentie in historisch perspectief. [Intelligence in historical perspective]  Van Twaalf to Achttien.


One thought on “Intelligence and education: inventory of publications on their history

  1. Pingback: Bijdrage aan advies dat de Onderwijsraad voorbereidt over differentiatie | Fair schooling & assessment

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