Important Contributors to Gifted Education

  • Francis Galton

    Francis Galton
    Credited with the earliest research and writing dedicated to intelligence testing. Also famous for his conclusion that intelligence is due to natural selection and heredity in his book "Hereditary Genius" (Davis, Rimm, & Siegle, 2011).
  • Alfred Binet

    Alfred Binet
    A significant contribution was his notion of "mental age" in which children grow in intelligence. He also introduced intelligence testing to better identify a baseline for intelligence with the help of T. Simon (Davis, Rimm, & Siegle, 2011).
  • Lewis Terman

    Lewis Terman
    Titled "Father of The Gifted Education Movement" in which he first supervised the modification and Americanization of Binet-Simon tests which truly began intelligence testing and the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale. He also performed a longitudinal study of 1,528 gifted students with high IQs in California (Davis, Rimm, & Siegle, 2011)(Miller, 2012).
  • Leta Hollingworth

    Leta Hollingworth
    Titled "Nuturant Mother" of gifted education. Her contributions and accomplishments simply cannot be easily summarized, however, she is most well known for her studies and testing of high IQ students in New York City. She also made early contributions to counseling the gifted students with their emotional problems that she claimed were associated with giftedness (Davis, Rimm, & Siegle, 2011).
  • Calvin Taylor

    Credited with the creation of Multiple-Talent Totem Poles which is a concept that does not define gifts and talents but demonstrates recognition of all students developing special skills and talents of some type. It includes nine talents; academic, productive thinking, communication, forecasting, decision making, planning, implementing, human relations, and discerning opportunities (Davis, Rimm, & Siegle, 2011).
  • Howard Gardner

    Howard Gardner
    Developed the theory of Multiple Intelligences which included eight types; linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist (Davis, Rimm, & Siegle, 2011).
  • Francois Gagne

    Francois Gagne
    Developed the Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent which addressed the distinction of giftedness (aptitude domains), talents (fields in which aptitudes are expressed), and the developmental processes as the connecting paths. Consideration of the influence of environment, intrapersonal aspects, and chance are included in the model (Miller, 2012).
  • Joseph Renzulli

    Joseph Renzulli
    Creation of the Three-Ring Model which presents giftedness as an interaction of three attributes including; above-average ability, task commitment, and creativity (Miller, 2012).
  • Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray

    Authors of the controversial book "The Bell Curve" which discussed different IQs of different racial groups. The book sought to support gifted programs in the belief that gifted students are the professional leaders that America needs. The book caused other researchers to remind people that there are many factors that affect life outcomes (Davis, Rimm, & Siegle, 2011).
  • Donna Ford

    Donna Ford
    Researcher and expert in multicultural gifted education- more specifically for the African Americans. Her use of nonverbal ability testing for identification is what she is most well-known for ("Donna Ford", 2017)
  • Robert Sternberg

    Robert Sternberg
    Creation of the Triarchic Theory of Intelligence Model which included three types of intelligence; analytic, creative, and practical. The theory suggests that giftedness is present when an individual demonstrates high levels of intelligence. He also created the WICS Model which suggested that the gifted lead not through ability to learn quickly but through the ability to share and incorporate ideas within the field (Miller, 2012).
  • Abraham Tannenbaum

    Development of The Star Model where giftedness is defined as the ability to produce thoughts or tangibles, or perform staged artistry or human services in ways that are creative or proficient. The five elements include; superior general intellect, distinctive special aptitudes, nonintellective requisites, environmental supports, and chance element at a point to suggest interaction (Miller, 2012).