Testing for Intelligence?

I personally feel that children should be assessed both for intelligence and for their emotional intelligence. There have been so many instances where you have children who do really well on their standardized tests but are socially awkward and do not connect with their peers on a social level. Assessment are great tools that are essential for determining the development of students and they enable the educators to see the skills gap for each student and enables them to intervene and help each child master the concept or skill that they need. However, having standardized tests limits the teachers’ creativity and forces them to teach to the test simply to raise the scores. I spoke to one private school teacher who told me that although the public schools paid better and had more benefits, she would rather teach in a school where she could teach the children more meaningful learning activities that she could not have been able to teach in a public school because of the focus on tests.

Although testing helps one gauge the children’s intellectual progress and shortcomings,it may not be an accurate indicator of the child’s intelligence. Factors such as the child being unwell on the day of the test, being nervous, all impact the outcome.

Today’s world requires a well balanced person, a person who is intelligent and has a reasonable  emotional IQ. Skills such as teamwork, collaboration and moral character are not measured by any tests, but if we ignore these skills we fail the child because he or she will not be able to function effectively in society. We can help them with their self awareness, self management , social awareness and relationship management. This can be done by interventions that help them work within a group or with a buddy, and lots of positive feedback for actions that they take to move forward socially.

I chose to study Sweden because it has one of the top education systems in the world. According to the Swedish National Agency for Education website, the  agency is responsible for the national system for accessing knowledge. The universities, university colleges and the national agency for education develop national tests and assessment guides for teachers to ensure that all pupils receive equivalent assessment. The students are assessed every term and at the beginning of every term they meet with their teacher and parents to assess both the student learning and the social development. I feel this is a really good idea because if there is any concern as regards the child’s behavior or if they have problems connecting with their peers then this can be corrected. Another interesting fact that I gathered while researching the Swedish system was the way they teach emotional intelligence.  This I gathered from an article in “The Australian” which was addressing the the Swedish approach to teaching emotional intelligence which is now being applied in some Australian schools. They use the Four Rooms of Change theory which involves dividing emotions into four categories; contentment,denial, inspiration and conflict. The teachers place a white board in the classroom and ask students to move personalized magnets between the categories as their emotions change. The children then discuss why their emotional state has changed.

In conclusion I feel that in order to care for the whole child, we have to take care of their intellectual intelligence and emotional intelligence.



The Swedish National Agency for Education. Retrieved from http://www.skolverket.se/om-skolverket/andra-sprak-och-lattlast/in-english

Akerman, P. ( 2012, July 02)Schools trial new program to help kids keep emotions in check . Retrieved from http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/in-depth/schools-trial-new-program-to-help-kids-keep-emotions-in-check/story



4 thoughts on “Testing for Intelligence?

  1. To care for the “whole” child is not only important but should be what the basis of testing is all about. I have seen many children thrive because of testing, however I have also seen children fall through the cracks and been misrepresented because of their results. Yes it is important, however we need to find a way to test the best fits each child as the unique individual that they are. Great post.


  2. Hi Fidelis – I enjoyed your post and completly agree with your comment about creating a child that is intelligent, but has no moral character. I also found what you wrote about Sweden very interesting, would be nice if we could implement some of their methods here.


  3. Robin Powell says:

    I also looked at Sweden and was very pleased with their educational system. I would like to see a little more of their system implemented in our school systems.


  4. Pleshette Watson says:

    Hi Fidelis,
    I enjoyed reading your post. I do not think young children should have take standardized tests. Those tests are biased and do not reflect the child’s actual intelligence. What a fascinating place to research! I appreciate the way Sweden emphasizes emotional intelligence. There is so much more to be assessed besides intellectual assessment. Thank you for your post!


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