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August 28, 1987 - Image 51

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-08-28

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Researchers are exploring new approaches
to a controversial subject. And, besides ty to perform well in school, but its
easuring intelligence is
ability to predict success in other
a subject that has cap-
the standardized IQ test, they are
areas of life is limited. Mazza says
tured the attention of
standardized testing "only has a ger-
social scientists and
mane meaning in the school setting.
devising tests that measure
11111 educators for more than
In other social milieus, it doesn't app-
100 years. Despite the use of stand-
ardized IQ tests, controversy still sur-
Lissitz echoes that opinion.
rounds the subject. Major questions

continue to be asked, such as what
abilities constitute intelligence and if
IQ testing adequately measures those
Recently, researchers have begun
to look for alternatives to the standar-
dized test by devising tests that
measure a host of other skills.
Dr. Howard Gardner, a Harvard
psychologist and winner of the
MacArthur Prize Fellow, is considered
a leader in this area. Along with
other researchers, Gardner contends
that there are many kinds of in-
telligence skills perhaps just as val-
uable and useful to succeeding in life
that are not tested by the traditional
IQ (for Intelligence Quotient) test.
"Most tests deal only with
linguistic, logistical and
mathematical skills" which may help
students do well in school, Gardner
said in an interview with The Jewish
News. "We are particularly interested
in a wider range of abilities and
What does the standardized IQ
test measure? According to Paul Maz-
za, manager of testing and pupil data
for the Baltimore County Board of
Education, "the test measures the
amount of skills that are prere-
quisites for learning skills in a school
setting." In other words, the test
measures developed ability.
And, according to Dr. Robert
Lissitz, chairman of the department
of measurement, statistics and
evaluation in the University of
Maryland's College of Education,
when broken into subscales, the test
can be a useful tool for educators. But,
Lissitz adds, while he believes the
test's information is "inherently use-
ful, there are problems in society with
the misuse of information. Testing
can be misused, and has been, with
racial and gender overtones."
Psychologists and educational
specialists tend to agree — IQ testing
does seem to correlate with the abili-

Despite the mythology surrounding
IQ testing, he says, "to be successful
in the real world doesn't depend on
IQ." Success also calls for other
abilities like good time management
skills and interpersonal skills.


Special to The Jewish News

Ted Albano

Gardner and his colleague, Dr.
David Feldman, a Tufts University
professor of developmental
psychology, suggests that there are at
least seven kinds of intelligence, bas-
ed on such skills as spatial percep-
tion, musical ability, interpersonal
skills and combinations of in-
telligence, that are not evaluated by
the IQ test. These are the skills —
"the other kinds of skills missed in
schools," says Gardner — which he
and Feldman are trying to test. "We
want to cast a much wider net," he
Their approach to testing involves
observing students in the learning en-
vironment. For example, they have de-
veloped a test for social percep-
tiveness called the Classroon Game.
In it, preschoolers construct a "social
map" of the classroom, identifying
who plays with whom and where in
the room.
Gardner is critical of the tenden-
cy in this country to test, measure and
rank students according to verbal and
mathematical skills. Through the
development of new tests and new
evaluation procedures, he hopes to
help students discover their own
strengths. "There are many kids for
whom school doesn't do an adequate
job," says Gardner, who also hopes
that his research will lead to new pro-
grams and curricula in schools.
The big educational testing com-
panies are interested in the work of
Gardner and other researchers in the
field of intelligence testing. Dr. Robert
Sternberg, a Yale University
Psychologist who is another leader in
this field, is working with
Psychological Corporation to develop



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