Examining "Giftedness" Over the Past Century

  • Sir Francis Galton: "Hereditary Genius"

    Sir Francis Galton: "Hereditary Genius"
    Galton believed that intelligence was related to one's sensory equipment (i.e. vision, audition, smell, touch, and reaction time). He concluded that one's sensory ability, one's intelligence, is due to natural selection and heredity.
  • Alfred Binet

    Alfred Binet
    Binet's contributions to the study of intelligence included the notion of mental age- the concept that children grow in intelligence. Therefore, he created the Binet-Simon tests. He also put forth the notion that at any given age level, children who learn most have greater intelligence.
  • Lewis Terman: "Father of the Gifted"

    Lewis Terman: "Father of the Gifted"
    Top 1% in the general intellectual ability as measured by the Simon-Binet Test. Terman revised this test to become the Stanford-Binet Test. 130+ I.Q. was designated as gifted. 140+ I.Q. was designated as genius.
  • Leta Hollingworth: "Nurturant Mother"

    Leta Hollingworth: "Nurturant Mother"
    Hollingworth lowered intellectual requirements to 130+ after served as the Direct of the Speyer School for gifted children in NYC in 1936. Originally, students were accepted as gifted with I.Q.'s in the 180+ range (as per Terman) on the intelligence scale.
  • J.P. Guilford

    J.P. Guilford
    Guilford's work culminated in the study of the Structure of Intelligence. He addressed the American Psychological Association and used "creativity" in his title. Consequently, since the 1950's, creativity has been described as an ability.
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    Emergence of Modifications

    The late 1950's saw the emergence of modifications in the way we dealt with students with high ability in the schools. Advanced placement classes, honor classes, A.P. college credits, and Innovative Projects began.
  • Sputnik Launched

    Sputnik Launched
    The launching of Sputnik caused America to re-evaluate how it was developing and utilizing its best minds. The U.S. was accused of ignoring the gifted.
  • Paul Witty

    "There are children whose outstanding potentialities in art, in writing, or in social leadership can be recognized largely by their performance. Hence, we have recommended that the definition of giftedness be expanded and that we consider any child gifted whose performance, in a potentially valuable line of human activity, is consistently remarkable."
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    Lapse in Commitment

    During the 1960's there was a lapse in the commitment to gifted education as the priorities of the handicapped and other special needs emerged.
  • E. Paul Torrance: "Father of Creativity"

    E. Paul Torrance: "Father of Creativity"
    Torrance developed a creativity test that is still administered to students today to check for giftedness. He developed a list of other traits that may help teachers or parents recognize and understand creative giftedness.
  • Robert M. Gagne

    Robert M. Gagne
    Gagne published "The Conditions of Learning" in 1962. He assumes that different learning styles exist and that different instructional styles may bring out the best in these conditions.
  • USOE Definition

    "Gifted and talented children are those identified by a professionally qualified person who by virtue of outstanding abilities are capable of high performance. These are the children who require differentiated education program and services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program in order to realize their contribution to self and society.
  • Marland Report

    "Children capable of high performance include those with demonstrated achievement and/or potential ability in any of the following areas. Marland expanded the definition of giftedness to include six elements:
    1. General intellectual ability
    2. Specific academic attitude
    3. Creative productive thinking
    4. Leadership ability
    5. Visual and performing arts
    6. Psychomotor ability
  • USOE Definition Revised

    After the previous USOE definition was misused, USOE revised their definition of giftedness to exclude psychomotor ability. Athletically gifted students are provided athletic programs (elite teams), coaches are hired, expensive equipment is purchased, space is made available. Training is partly individualized, students meet with others like themselves, and ownership of the program exists.
  • Joseph Renzulli

    Joseph Renzulli
    Renzulli thinks that giftedness should be viewed as a behavior that could be developed in certain people, not all people, at certain times, not all times, and under certain circumstances, not all circumstances.
  • Calvin Taylor

    Taylor provided a broad definition of giftedness: All children possess a special gift or talent in a specific area. It is better to use these "smarts" and the implementation of the teaching of these for all kids. Six talents:
    1. Academic
    2. Creative
    3. Planning
    4. Communication
    5. Forecasting
    6. Decision-making
  • Abraham Tannebaum: "Total Talent Mobilization"

    After Sputnik launched, Tannebaum spoke of "total talent mobilization." Thus, there was the development of new math and science curricula. He introduced the notion of chance.
  • Howard Gardner

    Howard Gardner
    Gardner introduced the multiple intelligence theory:
    1. Visual/Spatial
    2. Bodily kinesthetic
    3. Musical
    4. Interpersonal
    5. Intrapersonal
    6. Linguistic
    7. Logical/Mathematical
    8. Naturalist
    9. Existentialist
  • Present

    Although not everyone, many people are beginning to accept that people may be gifted in different ways.