Vol. 3, Issue 3 (2016)
Application and interpretation of intelligence and IQ test results in Zambian schools: An uphill battle for mathematics Teachers
Author(s): William Phiri, Dr. Kasonde Ng’andu
Abstract: Pupils’ academic performance in mathematics has over the years remained a thorny issue not only to government, teachers and parents but to the pupils themselves too. It is not uncommon for pupils in Zambian schools at all levels to perform extremely exceptional in social science subjects but only to obtain a fail in mathematics. Although the trend is slowly changing, the subject is believed to be dominated by males than female pupils. Teachers have gone further to label certain group of pupils as not being intelligent. Surprisingly, a pupil may be labelled dull in mathematics and yet the best in English language or History for example. One wonders what criteria mathematics teachers use to categorise pupils as either being intelligent or not? The concept of intelligence becomes a factor at this point. What teachers and educationist may fail to appreciate is that the level of intellectual capacity differs from one individual to another and will determine how they will succeed in various activities they decide or are asked to take part in. It will also determine the performance in schools, the quality of decisions they make as well as the efficiency at work. These benefits of intelligence arouse interest of organisations such as schools or any other business institutions in predicting the level of achievement of people in any activities and where their services will be needed. It is for this reason a highly controversial but very much beneficial intelligence quotient (IQ) test was developed. The knowledge of someone’s intellectual capacity has different impacts on their consideration in the society. This can be helpful or disgraceful depending on the IQ test outcomes. This paper argues that intelligence should be discussed in context and right perspectives. Further, the intelligence assessment results should be handled with greatest caution and this paper aims at highlighting this critical aspect.