ERIC Number: ED235191
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Assessment of Cognitive Skills in the USSR: Historical Trends and Current Developments.
Holowinsky, Ivan Z.
Past and present trends in cognitive assessment in the USSR should be viewed within the context of Soviet psychology and Soviet developmental theories. This theoretical framework views cognitive abilities as an integral part of socio-cultural evolution. Pedology emerged as a strong movement in the 1920's. Its stated purpose was to identify and assess individual differences in cognitive skills and to develop a "science" of education. The pedology movement was replaced in the 1930's by an anti-testing policy. Makarenko's behavior modification approach, which disregarded past behavior and assessment data, and Medinsky's criticism of intelligence and achievement tests as being purposely designed to favor children of middle and upper classes influenced the Communist Party to declare pedology to be pseudo-scientific and anti-Marxist. This official position prevented the development of new psychodiagnostic techniques for many years. Soviet psychologists still reject the idea that it is possible to measure intellectual potential as an entity independent of experience and education. At the same time, in the past 10 years some Soviet psychologists have attempted to modify their attitudes toward psychodiagnosis and testing. While still critical of "testology," they acknowledge that the long campaign against pedology prevented the development of legitimate attempts to determine the parameters of a child's psychological, physical, and social development. (BW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Pedology; Psychodiagnosis; Soviet Education; USSR
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Council for Exceptional Children (61st, Detroit, MI, April 4-8, 1983).