One of the problems with standardized testing is that intelligence has not been defined. We also cannot measure intelligence accurately because we do not know what to measure. In order for standardized testing to work we will have to first define what we are testing for.
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Theories of Intelligence
According to Vygotsky children learn by interacting with others around them. Because of this standardized testing cannot be a true measure of intelligence. Standardized testing only measures what someone can do alone without the help of others.
Unlike Piaget, who believed that children develop knowledge in stages, Vygotsky believed that children can only learn from those around them.
As children grow they learn more by following the examples of others.
Just like how there are many theories to what intelligence actually is there are also many theories on how to measure intelligence. There are multiple types of intelligence tests because of this.
The Flynn Effect
The Flynn effect is named after the professor who first noticed it. James Flynn realized that humans appear to be getting smarter.
If you compare today’s scores with the average scores of past generations you will see that people are performing better than they have ever been.
This raises the question are humans getting smarter or are we just getting better at test taking. The latter seems to be the truth.
If all we’re learning is how to get better at standardized test taking that makes me question if the tests are actually measuring intelligence.
We also have to keep in mind that intelligence has not been clearly defined. This leads me to question how can we measure something if we don’t know what we’re measuring? If you have any ideas I’d like to hear them in the comments.