Behind the Classroom Door; 26
The topic on this week's Behind the classroom door from northern Illinois University's College of Education is Should parents be told their children's eye cues errs the moderator Jean-Robert AF top. This is a very critical and interesting topic we approach today. Whether parents should be told the IQ use of their children or not. I'm sure there are a few things a few concepts in education where as much debate would be elicited because there are two sides to this question. Many schools do not divulge the IQ to the parents and they have good reasons for it. And other instances perhaps fewer. The parent is brought into the school and the IQ is explained and they are told that the IQ measure of the child. Before we start this discussion however I think we need to get some of the background some of the meanings attached to the IQ the significance of the IQ. I might start out by saying that IQ means intelligence quotient.
We tend to use the letters alone and assume that everybody knows what it means it means intelligence quotient. And I wonder if one of you participants care to elaborate a little bit on the history of the IQ and what it does signify. All the early intelligence tests were developed by Alfred Benet and France to differentiate feeble minded children from those who are normal for the purpose of placement and school. It was the desire of the school authorities to determine which children would be successful in school and would profit by the school experience and those who would be unsuccessful and for this purpose the early intelligence test proved to be very satisfactory. I think it's important to realize that the IQ is a measure of the rate of mental growth. Another is how fast a person
I was growing mentally. In terms of how fast growing chronologically or aging chronologically so that an IQ of 100 which is sought to be average. Would mean that the individual is growing mentally as rapidly as people are of the same chronological age with a normal range of IQ I believe is ninety to one hundred ten anybody who falls within that range is viewed as average. I think that in that we need to know that a child who's IQ has been determined when he was in third grade and assuming that was an accurate and valid measurement of his IQ would have essentially the same IQ varying perhaps five or ten points throughout his life barring of course unusual circumstances such as the possibility that when he was tested in the first case is
vision was defective or was handicapped by an emotional problem. But essentially the I.Q. does remain constant and low we read. Of experiments and studies have been carried out and where they note remarkable changes in IQ. Usually this is when the cultural opportunities the children have been modified or where whether where physical or emotional condition has been corrected. So in fact I just recently read that project had to start. Which of course is the national project. Starting youngsters in preschool. I found that when children were taken from the inner city the ghetto part of the inner city. And entered. A pre-pay school programs through the Project Head Start. It IQ is increased up to 30 points in fact increases of 20 points
were quite common. However when the children return to ghetto schools they soon lost this game. If they return to. Integrated middle class schools they tended to retain a game that they made in the. Project Head Start program. Of course we have to recognize that this was because of an enrichment in the life of the child we also have to note that IQ is measured through the intermediary. Perhaps reading or listening there are some performance tests used and that the child's ability to read may interfere with a measured IQ. I doubt if his IQ actually changes. I think it just is more measurable under these circumstances. I think we should also note that the that the IQ test is a helpful indicator of say such tests in school but it but there are other
significant determinants of success that are not measured by the IQ for example. Oh such things as interest enthusiasm. Purser variants such strange study habits and of course the IQ the intelligence quotient is essentially a measure of verbal or abstract ability it doesn't measure social ability the individual's ability to relate to other people successfully or mechanical ability. Yet it is associated with school success and we would be wrong to give the impression that a child with a very low IQ could succeed very well in school. Well whatever definition you give to intelligence it it does seem to be something that makes for success in school. And so far as the school is concerned I think that the IQ tests are quite worthwhile now. For this reason that it
it makes for success in school frequently. Today authorities are referring to intelligence tests as tests of Scholastic Aptitude. And this concept is becoming more common. In fact Lou I think that. Technically the IQ does measure Scholastic Aptitude much more than basic intelligence. Census and Teen Top indicated the test is largely a verbal test. It tends to measure what a person has achieved in school and therefore is potential for a future Jeev ment rather than a level of intelligence that certainly varies mechanical intelligence for example I think in some cases is quite apart from verbal intelligence so that a person may be quite high in verbal skills and be quite low in terms of mechanical. In some
cases and quite low in terms of social intelligence even though I think in general you would expect a high or at least moderately high correlation between the various factors associated with them to allergens. Seems to me. That we ought to recognize and perhaps in informing parents of their children's IQ. Bring out clearly. Then we must have a valid and reliable measure of IQ before we make serious decisions that involve the child. But and I would like to say that about three measures. During the elementary years. Are necessary before you can draw many conclusions and the earlier we attempt to measure IQ the more difficult it is. But along about third grade and say fifth grade in sixth grade. We went where we
have three different group intelligence tests administered and where these tend to agree with each other within five points or so. We can a start to arrive at a conclusion about the child's future scholastically in terms of this particular quality and we have to emphasize that because many a student has completed a baccalaureate degree with an IQ of 90 which seems quite borderline. Simply because an usual application and seriousness of purpose on the other hand I know of individuals with IQ Zz's high have a hundred and fifty who have failed to complete a baccalaureate degree because they lacked the proper attitude toward their work seriousness of purpose or they had some emotional condition interfering. Isn't it true though that if you tell a parent and I Q There's a chance that the parent me in fact for that matter the teacher
knowing the child's IQ or the parent knowing child's IQ may have lower expectations about child and child is actually capable of. I'm thinking more when. As I say IQ usually is given as a group masher rather than an individual measure. There can be a number of reasons for it to be wrong although as you want to get it if it's given three or four times I think you have quite a good estimate of when they have ever seen I can exist if the measures on these group tests are inconsistent then I. I think the school official should have an individual test administered by a psychometry Mr psychologist. And of course Ray you're touching upon the the real reason why people have been hesitant to divulge the IQ to parents. Now my position is that parents should know the IQ of their children only if they have proper understanding of the limitations of the meaning of the IQ.
And I thoroughly understand that they can't jump to any conclusion is it because they have a child with 130 IQ that the world is his apple and that everything is going to come easy for him or that because they have a child with an IQ of 95 that he can't do anything. We know this doesn't prevail but on the other hand I do believe that the parent should know all of this important measurement the way we tell the parent if the child needs glasses or if the child has some other defects that the parent should be aware of and planning his future. I think that is one of the chief dangers of the the use of the IQ that is in making this knowledge available to parents that they're apt to attach meanings to the IQ that do not exist. I might give this as an example of the misuse of the IQ.
About 15 years ago when the schools. Became greatly concerned with ability grouping on a secondary level the first groups were formed on the basis of IQ alone. High school students were placed in advanced classes solely on the basis of their IQ scores. These early attempts at grouping were a failure in many cases. For example it was found that a child with an IQ of 150. When placed in and had danced a math class with no interest in math could actually fail. While a child with an IQ say of a hundred fifteen could be highly successful in that first math class. Fortunately the schools have revised the basis for grouping today and various other things are taken into consideration and interest rant ranks highly on this list.
But even Group B and softly all on using some of the other factors for determining grouping has somewhat fallen into very very critical state or at least it's being criticized by many school authorities. Just recently a study was conducted in California. In which. A group of college professors went in and identified certain youngsters at random as having great potential. They simply took within a class consisting of slow learners. And selected some and they said these people have shown great potential and they should be able to achieve much more than they are. The teachers were informed of that and after the teachers worked with these children for a while their IQ was increase their achievement levels increased back to almost everything about them.
They gained significantly simply because the teachers started to perceive these youngsters as being brighter than the youngsters actually were treating him in that manner and as a result the youngsters have achieved significantly more than the youngsters of similar ability to raise a child with a high degree of mechanical ability and no interest in reading whatsoever is not going to achieve highly on a written intelligence. Well we have to recognize that. IQ is where the knowledge of the IQ is worth something it's a tool to the teacher to the administrator. My position is should be a tool to the parents we don't hesitate do we do send grades home to parents Mark school marks home to parents. Say your child is failing. Now I believe that in some instances a child is failing in terms of school
marks because his IQ may not be high. And I've known parents to put the pressure on a child to take privileges away because they thought he could do it if he tried. Well all children can do it if they try. And I think the parent who is with whom this problem is discussed is therefore going to have a more understanding point of view. Now the opposite prevails to where a child is not producing in school. The teacher recognizes or has the information on the basis of two or three intelligence tests that this child can do well let's say you've got one hundred twenty IQ. Now is the time to put the pressure on it seems to me. Providing of course you have eliminated a physical or emotional interferences that might prevail. There are some striking cases. Of this nature I recall one in my own history where a boy with a surprisingly high IQ was doing very poorly in a sixth grade class. We explored this together the
teacher and I happen to be the principal of that building at the time. We decided that we better start working with the parents and we better start getting this boy producing because he was wasting his talents and it would affect his future if he didn't start to live up to the potentiality of this verbal ability that he possessed. We decided to have a thorough physical administered first. He'd had a cursory examination before coming into school and we discovered that he had advanced sugar diabetes and this was affecting his whole outlook his energy potential and everything else when this was corrected. We found that he was able to apply himself much better and to start to live up to the ability had. I know this we've been using the term IQ up to this point. And I think at the elementary school level it's more meaningful and helpful to the parents. If we talk in terms of middle age. For example I think a parent can understand a little better if they know that their third grader has a mental age of six years. Then to know that
their 3rd grader has an IQ of 75 well meaning about book meaning the same. But I think it's easier for the parent to understand why their 3rd grader is not doing its eighth grade work in other words if you had an average mental age it would be the same about the same as his chronological age. I want to write we want even to become truer with the non graded school because you do have so many youngsters of different chronological ages in the same room. The U.S. IQ is somewhat meaningless. The level in other words if you could give his mental age which would be the level of his growth would tell the parent how he compares with other youngsters who are in that same room rather than. The IQ which would simply be a rate in terms of his own ground a logical age. You know it's not unusual. Getting back to the idea of giving
parents information about IQ it's not unusual for parents who discover that their child has a high IQ to boast about it. It's kind of human we're always bragging about our children especially if it's hereditary. Yes and there may be a connection here and this doesn't do anybody any good. I I have a feeling that the child himself I'll go as far as to say as I think that I think the child himself ought to have some knowledge about his verbal and abstract ability. This too has to be explained very carefully because it seems to me that the sooner we can give individuals information about the realities of them south the realities of life if you will. Assuming they can understand it and live with it. That the better off we are. Because there is an awful lot of heartache and there is an awful lot of
failure that results from the projected ambitions of parents for example to their children. And we don't want this to happen if we can avoid it. Isn't one of the problems are over the fact that many teachers and many counsellors tend to put too much emphasis upon the IQ and either don't realize the shortcomings of the IQ the IQ test or fail to communicate those to two parents. So the parent may go away thinking that the IQ is a much more valid and stable measure and it actually does. I was thinking of how much recently we found the perception that people have other people tends to influence what those individuals will accomplish both in school and in life. In fact this study was done with rats on a college psychology class.
Some people object to using. I think any analogy with rats. But two groups of rats were taken just at random and divided and 30 rats were given to one psychology class. And that psychology class was told to teach those rats to go through a maze and that they should try to teach them to go through as rapidly as possible. These rats had certain genetic mutations that cause them to be very intelligent rats. Students were told students were told that they were doing it dealing with very intelligent rats and his rats would be able to go through the maze quite rapidly even without instruction but they should work with them to get them to go through the maze as rapidly as possible. The other group was given 30 rats taken from the same group at random and either it's no more intelligent or any less intelligent than the other 30. But they were told that these rats were. Had mutations that cause it to be rather
retarded that if the class would work with the rats they should be able to teach them to get through the maze some perhaps were so stupid they never even be able to get through the maze and they work with these rats for six weeks and at the end of the six week period the so-called intelligent rats went through the maze much more rapidly than the so-called retarded rats and in fact in some of the some of the rats and a retarded group were unable to get through the maze. And I think as we find out more and more how much a teacher's perception of a child influences the way he treats a child what he expects of him. How much encouragement he gives him to learn. The more that we have to be concerned about the development of a favorable self-concept Well Ray I agree with that you make the point that our attitude toward others is affected by our feeling about the other
individual. The same time we follow this reasoning to its ultimate We would give the teacher no information about the child so the blackboard could be clean at the start well this I don't think I can concur with. I think we should teach teachers we should educate teachers and professionals to these possible hazards and give them every bit of information we can acquire that's valid with all of the restrictions in the qualifications that could be. Prevailing at the time but the more information the better. As long as it's understood intelligently and handled with good sense. I think teachers are much better prepared to use test results today than they were 10 20 30 years ago. However I have a feeling that test results are still being misused in some places not only by baby by parents but by teachers. For example today in my opinion I would be a mistake today to
administer a group intelligence test in a kindergarden class. And then he used the results of that test as a sole criterion for promotion of state of first grade because anyone who has administered many non reading group intelligence test to 5 5 year olds for example knows how all the factors that might influence the score. Well that's true but I think this is the problem we should get at the application of it. The shortcomings in the strengths of it rather than not using this information and now we again return to the desirability of parents having this information. I suppose under some circumstances it's undesirable or we can't have the time or the contact with the parent to give this information. But when you come along toward the close of the high school period the counselor in the high school the perhaps the receiving. College and in my opinion the
parent ought to know what the verbal ability of the high school graduate is in order to make plans. No perhaps we don't have to say he has an IQ of one hundred ten. Perhaps we should say well he's a little bit better than average he should succeed in college. Many do with his verbal and abstract ability but he'll have to work hard. He will really have to apply him self. On the other hand if a high school student particularly a boy who hasn't been producing has a high IQ and he's been loafing along in high school we might be able to say well now he's truly interested in engineering which is a difficult area there. But he has the ability to do it if he has the interest and if he will truly apply him self I think Lloyd is stressing out something that's rather essential on.
By saying that it should not the IQ should not be the sole criterion for determining promotion and I believe the same thing applies when we deal with parents. We should give the parent the IQ or as you say teen top. At least we should indicate he's average or he tends to be above average. But we should not give him that information in isolation. We should give the child the parents complete information about his child. The child's scores on other tests that cheap into us and so forth tend to fall into this category. For example his IQ is average. He seems to be achieving a little above average in terms of the standardized achievement to us in terms of grades. He's doing a little above average so that the child gets or the parent gets a total picture of the child rather than simply an idea. His rate of them to lecture will growth.
You didn't mention achievement tests and I know we're talking about IQ tests here but I found from experience that many times if you can give the parent a percentile ranking in their child it's more meaningful to them than a grade equivalent score or an IQ test or an IQ well how would a percentile rank. What would this mean let's say that the child was at the Eighty fifth percentile. What does that mean. So that the parent can understand it. Wouldn't that mean an IQ of a lot. Well I'm guessing now but I would say an IQ probably 100 Well I mean what I mean is as a percentile thing normally interpretation would simply be that if the person were at the Eighty fifth person all that. 85 percent of the people who had taken the same test would tend to be below him on an IQ test. I think the standard deviation or measure berries so that normally on most test if a person had a hundred sixteen it would be felt that on 68 percent other people would be
below that particular point. But I agree with Lloyd that oftentimes in telling a parent that a certain percentage of people are be LOL Your child might be better and more meaningful than a term such as an IQ of a hundred thirty two for on the other hand IQ is such a common term people use IQ. You've got a low IQ. He's got a high IQ and sometimes there's an advantage in indicating this. Perhaps tying it into her central or some other description of high low or average ability. I think it's of great value to parents to have the knowledge of the child's IQ at the time the student is graduating from high school because it is of great value to this parents and in planning making plans for the
child who may go on to college. But at the same time I think it's very important to stress to those parents that this is just a test of scholastic ability academic ability it's just telling what is chances for success in future college work might be on the other hand the child may be you know highly talented in some other field. Well Leo you summarized quite well the significance of the IQ. I don't think we've given an exact answer here. I think it depends on the individuals involved the teacher the principal and the parents concerned. But it is important and I hope the teachers and parents have gained some knowledge of the significance of IQ through our discussion behind the classroom door produced by WFIU and cooperation with the College of Education at Northern Illinois University. Each week
focuses its attention on one of the many challenging aspects of public school education. The program is moderated by Dr. Robert F. top dean of the College of Education at Northern Illinois University. Today's guest were Dr. Robin B Fox associate dean of the college. Dr. Leo Laughlin head of the Department of Administration Services and Dr. Lloyd Leonard head of the department of elementary education. This program is distributed by the national educational radio network.
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