Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Dr. George G. Mallinson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The Problem and Its Background

The Scientific Movement in Education

It is a well-known fact that for several decades educators have been trying to place the educational profession on as scientific a basis as possible.1 One outgrowth of this effort has been the “educational measurement movement.” This movement has involved widespread attempts to use objective techniques in solving educational problems, objective measures in obtaining educational data, and to use the data thus obtained as a basis for organizing educational plans and procedures. The importance attached to this trend has led, in some cases, to an undue, and occasionally, distorted emphasis on the use of tests. This is especially prevalent with respect to the use of certain standardized tests. For example, when the first great emphases on testing appeared many educators were led to use techniques that were unproved and often inadequate.2 In many cases also the users were ill-trained in the administration of tests and still less trained in their interpretation. Some of these weaknesses were the fault of test publishers, who, at times, sold material that had been inadequately standardized. In some cases no effort had been made to determine the reliability and validity of the tests. Further some made claims for their materials, that were far beyond the truth. Hence it is not surprising that results of using such tests were frequently unsatisfactory. Consequently educational thinking changed from viewing testing as a panacea for all ills, to an attitude of distrust or open dislike.

It is obvious therefore, for maximal effectiveness, a testing program should have (1) good tests, (2) well-trained teachers who know how to use and administer them, and (3) as a corollary a well-organized testing program from the view point of administration.