The review of five articles listed in the reference page reveals that there are flaws in cultural bias and research testing. These gaps are evidenced because standardized testing on achievements reveals that several disparities exist between the performance of different groups of students, that is, middle class students versus those from low income families, and Caucasian students and those of color.
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However, the articles have failed to provide some in-depth analysis on how to deal with issues of cultural bias in research and testing. From the review, it can be learned that scholars who engaged in research on the cultural gaps are often confronted with some paradox.
For instance, it can be ascertained from the review that it is difficult to tell whether the cultural gaps are due to differences in the levels of achievement or as a result of measurement bias in the research instruments. It can also be ascertained that most parts of the articles examined explore both the socio-cultural methods and psychometric approaches to answer the question of cultural bias in research and testing.
In addition, it can be learned that both the socio-cultural and psychometric approaches have been employed to identify various astounding issues, which require those who are directing the test to maximize the achievement testing values for different students. Even though, these articles have shed some light on the main problem of cultural bias in research and testing, still more in-depth analysis is required that can include some recent developments such as the impacts of the “No Child Left Behind Law”.
Discussion and Conclusion
In fact, it can be learned that achievement gaps in American education are major cultural challenges that need to be addressed by research. These cultural challenges are not adequately analyzed in Cronbach’s article examined since they have just been presented as mere testing artifacts (Cronbach, 1975).
It should be learned that the challenges appear in multiple forms, ranging from various aspects, such as school dropout rates, college completion rates, participation of students in school remedial programs, and graduation among others (Frisby, 1998). Indeed, the analysis of the multiple indicators would give a clearer picture than the simple analysis of cultural bias in students’ learning process.
And, this is factual in the sense that some students have been found to be non-achievers in education as others. Arguably, this is not a simple problem about students’ mis-measurements as presented in Herrnstein and Murray’s article examined in this review (Herrnstein & Murray, 1994).
Indeed, cultural bias is a major systematic problem not only in the American education, but also the other parts of the world. It can be ascertained from Berk’s article review findings that cultural bias in the American education system is deeply rooted in multiple cultures as well as the society where students live (Berk, 1982).
Therefore, it should be learned that the solution to cultural bias in research and testing cannot be found by blaming the test and curriculum, which Eels, Davis, Havighurst, Herrick, and Tyler presented to be having inherent bias towards some dominant cultures (Eels, Davis, Havighurst, Herrick, & Tyler, 1951).
In sum, the problem of cultural bias in research and testing can be solved by engaging some thoughtful and careful collaborative efforts among the policy makers, practitioners and researchers from various disciplines of study.
Therefore, it is important to learn that the study on cultural bias in research and testing should involve both the socio-cultural and psychometric perspective. Finally, further research should emphasize on the role of educators, especially on what students ought to learn and possible ways to accommodate students from different cultures.
Berk, R. A. (1982). Handbook of methods for determining test bias. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Cronbach, L. J. (1975). “Five Decades of Public Controversy over Mental Testing”. American Psychologist, 30.1: 1-14.
Eels, K., Davis, A., Havighurst, R., Herrick, V., & Tyler, R. (1951). Intellectual and cultural differences: a study of cultural learning and problem-solving. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
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Frisby, C. L. (1998). Culture and cultural differences: Test interpretation and diversity: achieving equity in assessment. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Herrnstein, R. & Murray, C. (1994). The bell curve: intelligence and class Structure in American life. New York, NY: Free Press.