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ERIC Number: EJ1120002
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0030-9230
Californian Genius: Lewis Terman's Gifted Child in Regional Perspective
Beauvais, Clémentine
Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education, v52 n6 p748-765 2016
This article pays attention to the regional embeddedness of early research on giftedness, looking principally at the works of Lewis Terman and his peers, between the 1910s and 1930s. The rhetoric, ideology, and aesthetics of giftedness in those early works were, I argue, stamped by the context and imaginary of Progressive-Era California and shaped by the institutional politics and academic ambitions of Stanford University at the time. Giftedness, in short, was not just an American scientific and educational object, but a Californian one. Terman's gifted children were understood as precious natural resources, and giftedness actualised and played with powerful Californian dreams of the time; the exclusive educational project and political ambitions associated with their upbringing must be read against the uniquely intense eugenicist concerns of Progressive-Era California. The relationship, however, went both ways. California did not just condition, or shape, the object of giftedness; Terman and his peers' scientific practice also placed California "on the map", so to speak, of high intelligence, and turned Stanford into a major "brand" for giftedness. By paying attention to the interlocking histories of California and giftedness, we can better understand California's unique involvement, that persists today, with a distinctive theory, practice, and economics of high intelligence.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Stanford Binet Intelligence Scale
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A