Richardson doesn't address the issue of LD testing directly. But I think he'd take
issue with both the type of questions in the Wechsler tests (I must admit I haven't
seen them, but I think I can guess what they're like) as being representative of
anything but the culture that produced them, and certainly would take issue with the
idea that these tests test some set of innate capabilities.

Are there Learning Disabilities? I think people have widely different cognitive
styles, and I think some of them are suited to the way(s) our culture defines
success. These tests may indicate something about that fit or suitedness, but I
certainly don't think that fit is "innate". The trouble with our IQ/Intelligence
culture is that it does tend to see all traits related to intelligence as innate,
creating what Richardson calls a "brutal pessimism" about any individual's ability
to change.

Two bits from the book:

"The origins of specifically human intelligence in cognition-culture interactions
means that it will develop fully only when keyed into or hooked up to external
cutural tools... Being fully intelligent means having access to, and cognitive grasp
of, those cultural tools, and the powers through which they operate." (p. 203)

"...schools seem to be specifically set up to test children's perseverance and
learning confidence, which, in turn, is a reflection of their sense of personal
cognitive efficacy and their social class background." (p. 205)

IQ tests, he argues, are simply a test of that second set of characteristics. I
suppose that to the extent that the tests are culturally-laden, they test an
individual's grasp of cultural tools. The trouble is, the test makers and users
don't know (or admit) that's what's going on.


"Gary K. Probst" wrote:

> Gary Probst wrote:
> The commonly used I. Q. test are the Weschler family of tests (WPPSI, WISC,
> WAIS). These tests have 10
>  sub-test scores, that are combined into two separate standard scores:
> performance and verbal. These sub-test scores are scaled from 1 - 19, with 10
> being an average score.   The sub-test scores are used to identify LD.  However,
> different people use different sub-scores to identify someone who is LD.  While
> these tests are supposed to be standardized, different people will give
> different weights to the same response.
> There is a large amount of literature on these tests.  However, until an MRI can
> show a difference in the brain of a person who has been identified as LD, I will
> question the whole LD field.
> Sharon Hagy wrote:
> > I was kind of wondering that myself.  Does the author address IQ testing and
> > the role it plays in LD diagnostic?  I don't have much knowledge of either
> > IQ tests or the LD tests.   But those of you who do--what do you think?
> > Sharon
> >
> > Sharon Hagy
> > Basic Skills Specialist
> > Mt. Hood Community College
> > (503) 491-7590
> > [log in to unmask]
> >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Samantha Winn [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> > > Sent: Friday, December 01, 2000 1:03 PM
> > > To:   [log in to unmask]
> > > Subject:      Re: book recommendation
> > >
> > > This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
> > > --------------403FAC96B00977892C37110F
> > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> > > Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
> > >
> > > I wonder what abandoning IQ testing would do for diagnosing people with
> > > learning disabilities?
> > >
> > > Samantha Winn
> > > Marymount University
> > >