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Stanley D. Porteus

Prof. Stanley David Porteus (April 24, 1883 - October 21, 1972) was a psychologist, academic and author.

 

Stanley Porteus was born in 1883 at Box Hill, Victoria, Australia, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, where he went to school. After marriage, Porteus attempted study at the University of Melbourne but with mixed success and he never graduated.

 

He was the initial head teacher at Victoria's first Education Department sponsored school for feeble-minded children and in 1916 he took on extra work in an informal arrangement with the University of Melbourne, lecturing to students in this developing field. Following his own requests, the Education Department awarded him the title of Superintendent of Special Schools, although this was a hollow appointment with no viable function or separate salary.

 

Having the task of selecting feeble-minded children for his small school, Porteus experimented with notions of head size and the emerging pencil and paper tests of intelligence that emerged in the early years of the twentieth century. He soon devised a new intelligence test of his own, the Porteus Maze Test, a non-verbal intelligence test, which is still in use today.

 

In 1918 Porteus was invited to join the Vineland Training School in New Jersey, USA, moving there to become Director of Research. This invitation came at a good time, as his full-time employment as a head teacher with the Victorian Education Department was souring and although he had no university degree, the new job launched him into a lifelong academic career. He moved to Hawaii where he founded the Psychological and Psychopathic Clinic at the University of Hawaii, eventually becoming professor of clinical psychology and its director and Dean of the Psychology Department in 1925.

 

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