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ERIC Number: EJ1200061
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Jan
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1934-9041
An Evaluation (and Vindication?) of Lewis Terman: What the Father of Gifted Education Can Teach the 21st Century
Warne, Russell T.
Gifted Child Quarterly, v63 n1 p3-21 Jan 2019
Lewis Terman is widely seen as the "father of gifted education," yet his work is controversial. Terman's "mixed legacy" includes the pioneering work in the creation of intelligence tests, the first large-scale longitudinal study, and the earliest discussions of gifted identification, curriculum, ability grouping, acceleration, and more. However, since the 1950s, Terman has been viewed as a sloppy thinker at best and a racist, sexist, and/or classist at worst. This article explores the most common criticisms of Terman's legacy: an overemphasis on IQ, support for the meritocracy, and emphasizing genetic explanations for the origin of intelligence differences over environmental ones. Each of these criticisms is justified to some extent by the historical record, and each is relevant today. Frequently overlooked, however, is Terman's willingness to form a strong opinion based on weak data. The article concludes with a discussion of the important lessons that Terman's work has for modern educators and psychologists, including his contributions to psychometrics and gifted education, his willingness to modify his opinions in the face of new evidence, and his inventiveness and inclination to experiment. Terman's legacy is complex, but one that provides insights that can enrich modern researchers and practitioners in these areas. [Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Association for Gifted Children (64th, Charlotte, NC, Nov 11 2017.)]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A