This week, you viewed a video with historical footage of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island in New York Harbor. If you have not viewed this video, stop and do so now—or watch it again, this time with the perspective of what it would feel like to be in that scene. You may have relatives that arrived through Ellis Island or a similar entry point in other parts of the country. Imagine being in that moment, having endured great hardship, and then facing a test that checks your intelligence—and for no small reason. It will determine whether you can enter the United States.
Based on what you are learning about culture, is it likely that test would be fair in assessing the knowledge of those who speak languages other than English and have wildly different sets of experiences? Additionally, different cultures have different definitions of intelligence. Some cultures integrate movement and emotions into the concept of intelligence. Other cultures value analytical thinking. Still others highlight nonverbal communication. Sadly, many Ellis Island immigrants were labeled “feeble-minded” by extremely biased intelligence tests and, after all those hardships, were refused entry into America.
You will return to the issue of bias by examining how intelligence tests can favor some cultures over others. Through the Learning Resources, you will experience two types of intelligence tests and imagine how you might do if each test had major stakes for you—such as whether you could vote, be accepted by a college, or be allowed to enter a country. Intelligence tests have been used for those and other purposes—and sometimes with the express purpose of excluding some groups over others.
For this Assignment, you will examine how culture influences the definition of “intelligence” and what is considered “common knowledge” and analyze your own experiences with differing cultural views of these concepts.
Submit a 2- to 3-page paper that addresses the following components. Be sure to include references to Learning Resources, including media.
Note: Support the responses within your Assignment with evidence from the Learning Resources. Provide a reference list for resources you used for this Assignment.
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