Some scholars maintain that the notion of intelligence is a social construct invented by the privileged classes. Others maintain that intelligence reflects a biological reality and is a useful tool in life. However, how to best measure this ability remains a topic of debate, particularly as it affects schoolchildren. Despite divergent opinions on intelligence, its definition, and how to best measure it, intelligence testing traditionally has been one of the primary tools for identifying mental retardation, learning disabilities, and giftedness in American schools. This entry examines the history of intelligence, particularly as it pertains to education, and briefly describes current directions.

Defining Intelligence

The nature of the human intellect has fascinated scholars for centuries. Plato, Aristotle, and other ancient Greeks discussed intelligence and tried to define ...

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