The Binet-Simon Scale. Should IQ Tests Scare You?

IQ tests scare me. Let me explain.

I was never told when one was being performed on me, even though I know and remember doing one, maybe several during my childhood and I was never told the results of these tests. None of my fellow students were told their results, being something secret, only the educators were allowed to know. 

There was this self-taught psychologist, a Frenchman, named Alfred Binet, who had a fascination with learning and intelligence, after watching his two daughters as babies.  He started measuring and recording how much they paid attention and their speed of comprehension with which they absorbed new information, deducing that a "Child's Frame Of Mind" was critical to learning.

He noted that certain children had different learning skills than others, during specific times in their childhood, such as; new born babies were not capable of abstract thought. That comes a bit later in life.

Binet and his team developed a program to determine if young school age children have any learning disabilities. The children that failed the test, could be directed to a more appropriate schooling regime suited for them. He was even working on a test to determine if babies had any learning disabilities.

In 1905 he partnered with Theodore Simon a scientist. Together they created their first intelligence test, 'New Methods for Diagnosing Idiocy, Imbecility, and Moron Status'. Later to be used for children between the ages of three to thirteen. They called it, the Binet-Simon Scale. This test measured the average intelligence levels of children, as they were growing up. 

What these tests really prove, is that intelligence is not fixed and is always changing as the child ages, they called it, 'Mental Age' meaning intelligence cannot be measured, containing no length or capacity. Intelligence can only be classified.

The Binet-Simon Scale was brought to America in 1908 by an American psychologist, Henry H. Goddard who believed intelligence was determined at birth and no matter how much schooling a kid received it wouldn't change his intelligence level. It's initial purpose was to weed out "feeble-minded" children, for compulsory sterilization.

"I have not sought to sketch a method of measuring... but only a method of classification of individuals." 
- Alfred Binet

Today, every child does this test. This is where the problem lies.

What if the kid got out of bed the wrong way on the morning of the test? Or was just plain tired? What about the teacher? Her observations, her state of mind? Unfortunately mistakes are made. Boy genius' have been banished to auto-mechanic and wood-working shops, girls genius' to home economics or other vocational pursuits, leaving them with a lifetime of menial work. Slow minded kids to colleges and universities, barely passing to become leaders in their fields.

Binets' original concepts of the IQ test are still being used today, despite it's shortcomings.

I was never told my IQ growing up, and I'm sure you weren't either. If you were you shouldn't have been, but I've done online quizzes that supposedly determine your IQ. I'll keep those results a secret. 

It does beg the question though. Why didn't I join the girls and take the home economics class in high school as an option? Something I wanted to do, but through peer pressure, I didn't. 

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