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Making testers out of teachers – Swedish summer courses in IQ-testing
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8173-7474
2017 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Between 1946 and 1956 the Swedish Psychological and Pedagogical Institute organised eleven summer courses for the purpose of training teachers in intelligence testing. Approximately 600 primary school teachers from all over Sweden participated. The courses were held with help from representatives from the Universities, especially from the discipline of Psychology and pedagogy. The aim was to make these teachers the first gatekeeper instance that met and directed the youngest pupils (age 7) to ordinary classes or into special classes. The paper investigates the course leaders and the participants of these courses as well as the content taught. One finding is that the teachers practiced their testing skills for a couple of weeks on pupils from unprivileged social groups sent to summer camps by the state. Not only did the government give the children a summer holiday in the Stockholm archipelago at the “Island of Children”, they also returned home with their intelligence measured. The paper also discusses how these courses were ‘training camps’ for the younger generation of educational scholars having to teach these courses. It is also argued that researches and teachers were part of a larger change in the politics of IQ, simplifying the processes of intelligence measurement in order to screen the complete population of children, not just those who could be assumed to have learning disabilities – thus making the IQ-testing a public familiarity as well as the stratification the children that often followed from it.

The paper makes use of STS tools and consepts. STS theories make visible the work that is required to make certain understandings of fact-making, truths and rationalities stick as common sense or scientific beliefs (Sismondo 2010). The questions of interest to STS are pragmatic and profoundly practical and they help us investigate how certain knowledge has come to be regarded as knowledge in the first place, and the consequences thereof (Latour 1987). The paper draws on archive studies in the archive of the Swedish Psychological and Pedagogical Institute and relates specific findings to a more general analyses of the history of assessment (Kamin 1974; Danziger 1990; Porter 1996).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-62688OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-62688DiVA, id: diva2:1158280
Conference
European Conference on Educational Research (ECER 2017), Copenhagen, Denmark, August 22-25, 2017
Projects
From Paris to PISAAvailable from: 2017-11-19 Created: 2017-11-19 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved

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Making testers out of teachers

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Lundahl, Christian

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NB
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More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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