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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Objectivity and Opportunism: The Social Power of Mental Measurement in Anglophone West Africa
Author:Dillard, Mary
Geographic terms:English-speaking Africa
West Africa
Subjects:intelligence tests
Education and Oral Traditions
Abstract:This article studies the development of examinations in West Africa and Britain, and intelligence testing in the United States. The author argues that, with the creation of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), which opened its first headquarters office in the Gold Coast in 1952, the British West African colonies attempted to enter into the test development arena on their own terms, using British derived standards and the implied objectivity of examinations to their own advantage. This was done with the assistance of educators and policymakers from the United States and Britain. In both of these countries, the development of standardized forms of the measurement of human mental abilities occurred within particular social contexts. When these examinations were utilized in anglophone West Africa, their reception was different. While standardized examinations along the British model were accepted as a method of evaluating students, 'intelligence' as a concept never gained the prominence among West African researchers and students that it received in America and Britain. Bibliogr., notes, ref.