Sunday, April 21, 2013

Reading Resistance, Eugenics and IQ testing

As an Education major, I'm interested in psychological and educational views on eugenics in American schools. In Reading Resistance the author criticizes the eugenic movement in the United States, and argues that special education is a modern form of eugenics and segregation of student of ethnic minorities. Eugenicists utilize Social Darwinism as their support for the betterment of society. Individuals who suffer from epilepsy, cerebral palsy, speech defects or physical disabilities are deemed to be defective and pose a threat to the pure gene pool of the society. As a result, segregation, sterilization, incarceration or even genocide becomes a solution to prevent the illness. Unfortunately special education turns into a form of segregation for modern eugenicists. The author criticizes the standardized test is culture loaded, and favoritism to white middle and upper classes. Educators and theories label them with different terms such as students with difficult learning or emotional disturbance. The authors believes that “students are excluded not because of their impairments, but because teachers are unwilling to teach them.” (24) I believe such mentality still exists in our classroom s today or even the entire system. We tend to label students who are different from the majority with all kind of newly invented phycological terms such as ADHD. Educators feel secure because they consider it is the problems of students instead of themselves or our educational system. We overlook students from different cultures and families. Not every culture train their children that they have to be static and sit on the chair to be lectured for hours. I believe it is human nature to move and to run but we are just so trained to be seated. The author also criticizes eugenicists influence the curriculum in high school and college textbook in oder to impose their ideas on others. They also use unfair and culture loaded intelligence test to predict the educability of students. Eugenic education only teaches the students to become its desired citizens and select the citizens that eugenicists consider to be fit, yet students are supposed to be the center of education but not the state. I found the reading very interesting and critical. It provides many shocking historical facts, and we should always look back to the history and think about our present time.

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