Rury answer these pressing questions and show that we cannot make further progress in closing the achievement gap until we understand its racist origins.
Telling the story of what they call the Color of Mind—the idea that there are racial differences in intelligence, character, and behavior—they show how philosophers, such as David Hume and Immanuel Kant, and American statesman Thomas Jefferson, contributed to the construction of this pernicious idea, how it influenced the nature of schooling and student achievement, and how voices of dissent such as Frederick Douglass, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and W.
It would be incorrect to characterize "The Bell Curve" as out-and-out a racist, eugenicist, etc. book. Even detractors acknowledge the importance of its contribution to psychological and social debate. But the book does, in general, support a view that intelligence is largely heritable.
Note that there have also been investigations into racial differences on subcomponents of intelligence. Herrstein and Murray (1994) report that:
� East Asian scores are typically the same or slightly lower than White American scores on verbal IQ, but much higher on visuo-spatial IQ
� Black Americans tend to score higher than whites on subtests involving arithmetic and immediate memory, whereas whites typically score high than blacks on subtests of spatial-perceptual ability
Differences in IQ scores between races does not necessarily imply genetic causes. Most psychologists accept that there are group mean differences in IQ scores for non-culturally-loaded tests. However, these differences are confounded with the effects of SES, e.g.
1. Children with black fathers, brought up in white family - no evidence of lower IQs
2. Adoption studies - e.g. black children brought up by white families only slightly lower IQs than white adopted children (Howe, 1997)
Some theorists suggest that socioeconomic disadvantages are the main causes of ethnic differences in IQ.
*FREE* shipping on qualifying offers
Even if the variation within a group reflects genetic differences, the average differences between the groups could be wholly due to environmental factors. Imagine, two pots, with randomly allocated seeds from the same batch. The two plots have equivalent genetic potential. One plot received fertilizer (an environmental condition), the other pot receives no fertilizer. The average height (i.e. intelligence) differences between each pot will be due to environmental differences (fertilizer), however the height differences amongst individual plants within a pot are due to genetic differences (assuming similar conditions throughout the pot).