The intelligence of a representative group of Scottish children
MacMeeken, A. M.
DURING the planning of the 1932 Mental Survey by the Scottish Council for Research in Education, the conclusions from which were published in The Intelligence of Scottish Children: A National Survey of an Age-Group, the late Dr Shepherd Dawson insisted on the importance of testing individually a representative sample of pupils so that the results of the group test used in the Survey might be satisfactorily calibrated and converted into intelligence quotients. A thousand of the children who took the 1932 Mental Survey Group Test were tested individually; they constituted what is referred to in The Intelligence of Scottish Children as the Binet Group. In spite of elaborate precautions the attempt secure a truly representative sample individual testing was not wholly successful, too many pupils of high intelligence being included in the sample. The International Examination Inquiry Committee of the Scottish Council for Research in Education, which had adopted the Mental Survey after the Eastbourne Conference on Examinations, decided that the first opportunity should be seized of testing individually a truly random sample, as, without a knowledge of the intelligence of such a sample, the results of group testing had only a limited application.At the Third Conference of the International Inquiry on School and University Examinations, held at Folkestone from 7th to 10th June 1935, under the auspices of the Carnegie Corporation, the Carnegie Foundation, and the International Institute of Teachers College, Columbia University, the Scottish delegation formally submitted, as one of its proposals, the individual testing of a representative sample of the school population of Scotland. The proposal was accepted and financial assistance promised for its execution. On the suggestion of Professor Thorndike it was decided that, to assess the practice effect and the reliability of the tests applied to the representative sample, each pupil should be retested; this part of the plan, however, proved to be too unwieldy to be carried out completely, only 140 of the whole 874 children included in the survey being tested twice.The services of a trained psychologist, the author of this report, were secured. The testing was begun in September 1935 and completed in November 1937.