Dubow, Scientific Racism in Modern South Africa
(Cambridge University Press, 1995) p. 222.
of the striking features of the debate about race and hereditary
intelligence in the inter-war years is its internationalisation.
The pioneers of comparative intelligence testing in South
Africa kept in close contact with colleagues overseas. Conversely,
South Africa served as an important social laboratory for foreign
research. The support of the Carnegie Corporation and the interest
of the New Education Fellowship have been mentioned, and these
institutions helped to facilitate a considerable flow of experts
back and forth.
notable visitor was S. D. Porteus of the University of Hawaii,
who toured South Africa in 1934 with the aid of a Carnegie grant
in order to 'study the problem of racial differences in more primitive
settings'. Porteus -- who was responsible for devising a widely
used maze test for the purpose of identifying 'practical' intelligence
-- was an internationally recognised authority in the field.
He used his experience in South Africa and Australia as a platform
to attack 'race-levellers' such as Otto Klineberg whose
'cunning' use of language was designed to mislead the public into
thinking that '"not proven" means that there are no
race differences in mentality'.
the Kalahari desert, Porteus conducted his maze tests among the
bushmen and found their performance to be consistently inferior
to that of Australian aboriginals. Porteus also tested groups
of uneducated Africans at a mine-labour recruitment compound in
Johannesburg using the Leiter Performance Scale. The results showed
them about equal to eleven-year-old Chinese and Japanese youths.
Comparing these results to Frick's 1934 study, he generously calculated
that some 10 percent of Africans would be capable of completing
secondary education -- rather than the 4-5 percent determined
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