Creativity and Intelligence: Explorations with Gifted Students

By Jacob W. Getzels; Philip W. Jackson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 1
The problem: varieties of
giftedness in children

Any systematic consideration of giftedness in children must begin with reference, however brief, to the monumental studies by the late Lewis M. Terman. 1 Prior to his work -- and to some extent even since, for stereotypes die hard -- the gifted student was portrayed as an unattractive, bespectacled, badly coordinated, if not altogether anemic child, who was an outcast among both other children and adults. Terman's studies contradicted all this. The gifted student was found to be healthier than the average, more attractive personally, better co-ordinated, and in general to be enjoying a richer and fuller life.

To those interested in studying giftedness in children, Terman left a research model that was both simple and powerful. Briefly stated, here is the basis of Terman's procedure. He entered the schools of a particular area -- in his case, California -- and, applying group or individual intelligence tests, selected children in the top 1 or 2 or 3 per cent in IQ. Calling these children "gifted," he proceeded to pose the question: What other qualities are associated with this exceptional intellectual ability ("exceptional intellectual ability" being of course defined by the high IQ)? It was not long before other investigators were applying this model to other populations -- invariably using the IQ metric, relating it to other qual

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