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ERIC Number: EJ896798
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 64
ISSN: ISSN-0332-3315
Reform, Racism and the Centrality of Whiteness: Assessment, Ability and the "New Eugenics"
Gillborn, David
Irish Educational Studies, v29 n3 p231-252 Sep 2010
The Nobel Prize winning scientist James Watson was vilified when his views on the supposedly inherent deficiencies of black people became public. The scientific establishment, mainstream media and politicians joined a chorus of disapproval that would seem to evidence a widespread rejection of the old myths of racially ordered intelligence. Unfortunately, the English educational system behaves as if Watson is correct. This paper considers the impact of the various forms of sorting, selection and separation that characterize the use of "tracking", "setting" and "tiering" in secondary schools. These processes amount to a new eugenics whereby black students are systematically disadvantaged but blamed for their own failure by assessments that lend racist stereotypes a spurious air of scientific respectability. The paper documents a key example of these processes through the introduction of the "Foundation Stage Profile" (which claims to quantify the "development" of 5-year-olds). These trends look set to expand through a policy platform built on pseudoscientific notions of "talent" and "potential" that threaten to abandon a substantive concern with equality of outcome. (Contains 8 figures and 11 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)