Research: Endeavors and Opportunities
To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield …
Because of the inherent fascination of the subject, education of the gifted has stimulated considerable research in the past and continues to offer a challenge to research workers. Research on the gifted has reflected the modes of inquiry that have prevailed at a given time, and the range of procedures has included biography, literary studies, the development and testing of measurement instruments, the comparison of segments of the population, long-term longitudinal studies, controlled group comparisons in schools, and action research to test proposals for program development in actual school situations.
Toward the close of the nineteenth century the influence of Darwin and the new sciences of biology and genetics aroused an interest in the hereditary nature of genius. Genius was defined in terms of notable performance in various fields. A number of researchers employed biographical and literary methods to inquire into the hypothesized hereditary quality of exceptional talent. These inquiries were limited, of course, by the absence of objective measures, by the inability to distinguish between ability and achievement, by the necessity to trace backwards from performance to heredity and education, and by the consequent lack of ex