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Research Project Presentation

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Langston Cotman

on 22 October 2013

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Transcript of Research Project Presentation

Alpaha Beta Army Tests
Tracking Determinism
Our Research Question
How has biological determinism, through tracking and eugenics, manifested itself in schools today? Should these practices be continued?

Evan Morris and
Langston Cotman
Presentation by:
Our Process
But what are biological determinism and eugenics?
The belief that one's abilities are determined permanently at birth by hereditary inborn limits.
A movement that argued for the selective breeding of humans with desirable traits for the betterment of future generations.
Goals of Eugenics
The Influence of Eugenics
New Theories
National Law
Important Figures
Alfred Binet
Lewis Terman
Leta S. Hollingworth
Early Implementation
In Schools
Binet's Scale
Stanford-Binet Scale
Goddard's Influence
His Beliefs
The Kallikak Family Study
Leta S. Hollingworth
Her Beliefs
Early Gifted and Talented Education
Physical Traits
The Alpha-Beta Tests
The Bell Curve
Response to the Bell Curve
The Higher Tracks
Montgomery County
Our Conclusion
Developed By Alfred Binet in France.
Became the Intelligence Quotient (I.Q.) Test.
Misuse of the Scale
Reification - The belief that general intelligence can be represented by one measurement on a scale and that a single test score is indicative of general intelligence.
More than 70% of high school biology textbooks between 1918-1948 included eugenics as a legitimate science.
36% of textbooks cited intelligence as an inherited trait.
In Oregon during the 1920, the "Eugenics Commissioner... [had] the authority to comb the state for degenerates and enforce sterilization" (Selden, Inheriting Shame).
Tracking was founded on misguided principle of IQ. Eugenics isn't prominent in practice today but its influence can be still seen in schools today through class pathways based on extensive standardized testing.

Though the effects of tracking are negative, detracking would not solve these problems. In fact, it would more likely hurt the overall quality of education. While reforms are necessary, especially in evening the gap, this change should not be the immediate and complete elimination of the tracking system.
To construct an explanation for varying levels of performance.
Race betterment.
To cope with societal changes.
"Theory of Limits"
Mendelian Genetics
Hereditary Manipulation
Instrumental Organizations
The American Breeders Association
"Emphasize the value of superior blood and the menace to society of inferior blood" (Selden, 4)
"We are of the opinion that the most valuable use of our scale will not be its application to the normal pupils, but rather those of inferior grades of intelligence."- Binet
"The scale...does not permit the measure of intelligence, because intellectual qualities are not superposable, and therefore cannot be measured as linear surfaces are measured."- Binet
This scale would go on to become the supreme measurement of intelligence in the 20th century.
The American Eugenics Society
The Johnson Restriction Act
"Some people are born to be a burden on the rest
Gifted and Talented Education
"The child who tests above 130 I. Q. is typically-though not of course invariably-large and strong for his age, healthier than the average."
Students in the high track learn more than students in the low track “even with prior achievement and other pertinent influences on achievement statistically controlled”
How has biological determinism, through tracking and eugenics, manifested itself in schools today? Should these practices be continued?
While tracking benefits students in the high and middle tracks, it hinders the advancement of low track students.

The The National Educational Longitudinal Study determined that “only 16.5% of students who were in low-ability classes in 8th grade went on to take either geometry or algebra II by 10th grade (in comparison with 81.0% of 8th graders in high-ability classes)”.
Tracking is no longer inherently racist
“Once test scores are taken into account on NELS, a students race has no bearing on track assignment."
However, Tracking Favors Students of Higher Socioeconomic Status
"African-American students enjoy a 10% advantage over white students in being assigned to the high track."
"Students from poor families are more likely to be assigned to low tracks than wealthier students with identical achievement scores."
Felt that some form of mental inferiority, what he referred to as "feeblemindedness" was behind all vices.
"Any person that has been shown to be mentally unfit...he or she shall not be released from such segregation except under submitting to sterilization"-Goddard
The Study
Depicted how feeblemindedness could be passed down through generations
Cautionary example that argued for the further segregation of the weak minded
The study was included in 25% of the high school biology textbooks of the time period and was frequently used in educational psychology classes.
created to measure the intelligence of army enlistees
the answers were "based on culturally bounded information, they are not measures of innate intelligence"- Stephen Jay Gould
Henry H. Goddard
"The Bell Curve" was an extremely controversial study, many deeming it racist.
The achievement gap is not set in stone, as shown through universal preschool programs.
Environment has major effect on achievement as well.
Measurement of intelligence is unfair.
The Galton Society
"An anthropological society...here in New York City with a central governing body, self elected and self perpetuating...confined to native Americans, who are anthropologically, socially, and physically sound"
Comparing the Early Twentieth Century with Today
Too Broad a Topic
Budgeting Time
Adapted Binet's original IQ scale
It was Terman's belief that IQ stayed consistent throughout life though
Binet- IQ could be raised and was not a measurement of intelligence. Terman wanted to administer these standardized tests in schools nation wide.
Terman hoped to use IQ to track students later success in different levels of occupation
IQ Below 70:
Nothing Better Than Unskilled Labor
IQ 70-80:
Semi-skilled Labor
IQ 80-100:
Skilled or Ordinary Clerical Work
IQ 100-115:
Semi-professional Pursuits
IQ Above 115:
Professions of Larger Fields of Business
Hollingworth believed that the intelligence of children was wasted in normal schooling, necessitating the creation of gifted programs.
Hollingworth created the first program for especially intelligent children in New York, using the student's IQ as a basis for inclusion in the study.
Over 130 IQ: Gifted
Over 150 IQ: Genius
American Society is stratified into socio-economic classes by training ad education
Persons ability to benefit from training and education dependent on IQ
IQ is genetically determined
Under classes are predominantly black
2011: 44.7% of black students and 43.3% of hispanic students completed Algebra by Grade 8 with a C or higher.
Compare this to 79.4 percent of White students and 81.9 percent of Asian students
Blacks and Hispanics are across the board behind other races by Montgomery County's 7 Keys to College Preparedness Plan.
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