In a comment on a recent post, I mentioned that I refused to take IQ tests. And thereby hangs a tale. I remember making up my mind while sitting in the lounge of the ISU School of Education. A professor of Secondary Education was talking about his wife's academic work (she was a professor of Elementary Education, I believe) in getting certified to conduct IQ tests. She had to administer X-many IQ tests of every major form out there, so he said he had been tested repeatedly as an easily coerced guinea pig.
Well, that's supporting your spouse, and good on ya, Prof, but . . . I remembered back to an experience I had in 7th Grade. I was having trouble with my pointy-headed English teacher, Mr. Pointer. He couldn't motivate me or something. So he called in my mother for a consult. Afterwards, she reported their exchange. At one point, Mr. P. was bewailing my underachievement, and said, "Look at his IQ score!" Then added, as an almost-to-himself afterthought, "Mine's not that high." So Mother came home and told me my teacher was jealous, and that was his problem, not mine.
In that moment of remembrance there in the faculty lounge, I flashed on how people use that IQ number for all sorts of irrelevant things. I have a sister whose life is an unmititgated series of disasters, blighted by mental disease combined with general nastiness -- but who takes comfort in the fact that at least she is a member of MENSA. Big whoop. I've seen people use IQ scores to play Mine's Bigger Than Yours (MBTY).
Double whoop. And I remember all too clearly how the degreed dullards who run public education keep trying to take truly gifted children and turn them into little trained dogs, doing more and more worksheets and calling it "challenging them to achieve their potential." Which is bullshit.
And I decided at that moment, I would never take another IQ test again, so long as I live.
IQ tests have a perfectly legitimate function, of course, and I don't object to this. But beyond diagnosing needs and planning curriculum or treatment for those who are just not able to keep up with school or training, all other uses are just for keeping score. And who gives a rip about that? I am NOT my IQ score, my GPA, my penis size, my salary, or my RBI average. Numbers are not meaning, much less value.
Beyond their clinical use, then, let us dispense with these silly scores. Let every mind meet every other mind, and the better thoughts will shine forth, to the credit of the better thinkers. And as for the teachers who think all these numbers matter
-- well, as I always say,
The problem with most Gifted and Talented programs is that they are not taught by gifted and talented people.