Measuring the Mind: Education and Psychology in England c.1860–c.1990

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2006-04-27
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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The central claim of Measuring the Mind is that, contrary to popular opinion, the psychologists who dominated educational policy-making between the wars were educational progressives and political radicals. They argued that education should reflect the requirements of children rather than the convenience of adults, and regarded intelligence testing as an instrument of child-centred education. These psychologists owed their political inspiration to the meritocratic ideal and lost popularity with the waning of this ideal after the war. Four main themes dominate the discussion: the emergence of educational psychology as a distinct discipline; the recent history of ideas about children's mental development; the role of experts in formulating educational policy; and the rise and fall of the measurement of merit.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Studying childhood
3. The invention of educational psychology
4. Cyril Burt and the psychology of individual differences
5. Susan Isaacs and the psychology of child development
6. The structure and status of a profession
7. Mental measurement and the meritocratic ideal
8. The psychometric perspective
9. Psychologists as policy-makers, 1924-1944
10. The measurement of merit anatomised
11. Equality and community versus merit
12. Egalitarianism triumphant
13. Cyril Burt and the politics of an academic reputation
14. Equality and human nature
15. The measurement of merit revived
16. Conclusion
Selective bibliography

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