OfNgr dChlre r 'm 1419
MI TILLINGHAST POLK
AN ANALYSIS OF THE LITERATURE ON THE EDUCATION
OF NEGRO GIFTED CHILDREN FROM 1940-1950
THE GRADUATE COMMITTEE OF
THE FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL AND MECHANICAL COLLEGE
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN EDUCATION
MARION TILLINGHAST POLK
AN ANALYSIS OF THE LITERATURE ON THE EDUCATION
OF NEGRO GIFTED CHILDREN FROM 1940-1950
THE FACULTY AND GRADUATE COMMITTEE OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL AND MECHANICAL COLLEGE
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN EDUCATION
MARION TILLINGHAST POLK
f r %IC~
ss~.j r vu do~i~
The writer wishes to express her sincere appreciation
to Dean T. W. McKinny, who served as chairman, for his
untiring efforts in the development of this thesis. Also,
sincere gratitude is extended to Mr. L. H. 0. Spearman who
suggested exploration of this topic and Mr. S. R. Edmonds
who also served as a member of the committee, for their
critical suggestions and help.
Credit and thanks are extended to my sister, Mrs.
Viola T. Hill and the Reverend N. G. Staggers for their
kind words of encouragement in the preparation of this
A note of appreciation is also extended to Mrs.
Valeria B. Spearman for having typed this paper.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. THE PROBLEM AND DEFINITIONS OF TERMS USED .......... 1
Introduction ........................ ...........* 1
The Problem ......... .............. ......... ..... 2
Importance of the study ........................ 3
Delimitations .................................. 9
Definition of terms used ......................... 9
Organization of remainder of the thesis .......... 11
II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ........................... 12
Identification ................................... 12
Characteristics .............. ................ .... 19
Special school and curriculum programs ........... 23
III. THE METHOD OF STUDY AND ANALYSIS OF DATA ........... 31
The method of study ............................. 31
The analysis of data ............................ 32
IV. SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ........... 54
Summary ....... ................. ...... ..... ... 54
Conclusions ......... ... ... .. ... ......... ... 56
Recommendations .................................. 58
BIBLIOGRAPHY .................. ..... ...... ....... .. 60
THE PROBLEM AND DEFINITIONS OF TERMS USED
A political philosophy which maintained that "all men
are created equal" gained widespread acceptance in 18th and
19th century America. Democratic education was founded on
this ideal. This doctrine of equality of opportunity has
often been construed to mean identical opportunity. There
are certainly a number of distinctive features about this
point of view. As John Dewey says: "If a democracy has a
moral and ideal meaning it is that a social return be
demanded from all and that opportunity for development of
distinctive capacities be afforded all."
Terman and others in stating the case for gifted
children say: there is nothing undemocratic in utilizing
all social resources for the betterment of society. No
people can afford to disregard the differences in human
materials. Special education aims to prepare the child of
low mentality for the place in society in which he is best
fitted. Is it any less important that the child of superior
mentality be prepared for social leadership? ....society is
in injudicious in the extreme to neglect those children who
John Dewey, Education and Democracy, (New York:
MacMillan Company, 1916) p. 142.
possess the potentialities of high quality leadership....
Today we face problems of world magnitude which threaten
the existence of society itself. Education is challenged
to develop leadership for the tremendous challenge which
lies ahead. Under such conditions special education is not
only justified but is demanded by the lessons of history.2
The case for education of the gifted child is dramati-
cally stated in the aforementioned quotation. This group of
children who face the responsibility of guiding America's
future must be identified and trained. Only when there is
widespread dissemination of knowledge coupled with the
development of functional programs can we expect any signi-
ficant gains in the education of this group. The writer
hopes that this paper will make its unique contribution to
I. THE PROBLEM
Statement of the problem. This problem is an analysis
of the literature on the education of the gifted child from
1940-50. Specifically, the writer is attempting to isolate
those unique contributions which have been made by authorities
in making adequate provisions in the identification of
L. M. Terman and others, "Special Education for the
Gifted Child", The National Society for the Study
Education, Part7T 1950, p.261.
administrative organization, curriculum development and
special institutions for the full achievement of this
gifted group. It is further hoped that the writer will
make a significant contribution to that large body of
teachers who seek a newer concept of method in dealing
with the gifted child in the normal public school. That
this group of teachers is significant in number and their
eagerness to derive a "set" of specifics which will enable
more effective instructor procedures is desired.
Importance of the stu The experimental claim that
children of gifted abilities are the most neglected in our
educational institutions appears somewhat paradoxican in
light of the voluminous amount of literature written on the
subject in the last fifty years. Yet, the evidence indi-
cates that a far greater number of these children with
unusual talents could contribute a far more effective
influence in the development of a democratic state were
provisions made for their training.
Teachers, philosophers and military leaders throughout
the annals of history have made attempts to provide an
appropriate educational curricula to meet their needs. Even
as early as Plato, attempts were made to identify and train
the most able youths for leadership. However, effective
these methods which existed to identify and educate the
gifted child, present day evidence impels us to regard it as
unsystematic and inadequate.
Different concepts of superiority based on factors
such as material wealth, birth, and power, seem to have
been dominant during various historical periods.
A political philosophy which held that all men were
created equal dominated educational practice in 18th and
19th century America. It was not unusual, therefore, for
attention to be directed towards the slow learner, thereby
decreasing the emphasis directed towards the superior
The evidence which Terman reveals seems to indicate
that the 19th century research studies sought to point out
the nature and needs of the slow learner. He further points
to four factors which operated to limit research on the
1. The influence of current beliefs, partaking of the
nature of super-situations, regarding the essen-
tial nature of the Great Man, who has commonly
been regarded by the masses as qualitative by set
off from the rest of mankind, the product of
supernatural causes, and moved by forces which are
not to be explained by the natural laws of human
2. The widespread belief, hardly less superstitious
in its origin that intellectual precocity is
3. The vigorous growth of democratic sentiment in
Western Europe and America during the last few
hundred years which has necessarily tended to
encourage an attitude unfavorable to a just
appreciation of native individual differences in
4. The tardy birth of the biological sciences,
particularly genetics, psychology and education.
Witty indicates that "despite the fact that educational
provisions for gifted children were conspicuously inadequate
during the last thirty years, one notable contribution has
been made to the solution of the problem of the gifted child.
Extensive scientific studies yielded a vast amount of
information concerning the nature and needs of this group.
From the extensive amount of literature available in
the field at this present period Lawsons indicates four
stages in the development of our knowledge on the gifted:
1. Devising a scientific measure that would locate
superior and gifted children.
2. Applying the new instrument in order to locate
and describe gifted children; for example, the
work of Terman, Hollinsworth and others.
3. Experimenting with special classes and other
methods designed to offer suitable opportunities
for the gifted.
4. Making follow-up studies, including experimental
studies in curriculum development at the high
school and college levels.
Witty further suggests that we are entering a fifth
stage in the field of the gifted the stage of rapid
dissemination of knowledge about gifted children and of a
concerted effort to offer gifted and talented children more
adequate educational opportunities.
L. M. Terman and others, Genetics Studies of Genuis:
Vol. I, Mental and Physical Traits of A Thousand Gifted
Children, Stanford University Press, 1925, Preface.
Paul Witty, The Gifted Child, The American Association
of Gifted Children, D C. Heath and Company, Boston, p. 4.
Several outstanding texts in education and psychology,
along with journals and the work of the American Association
of Gifted Children have attempted to stimulate a more wide-
spread interest in the gifted child.
In a recent report of the National Education Associa-
tion "Education of the gifted" it was indicated that the
highly gifted and the moderately gifted constitute the
educational policies for 10 percent of the total school
population.... Because gifted children learn more rapidly
than others, they can learn more when their educational
programs are enriched and when they are challenged to meet
higher standards of attainment.... The American people must,
therefore, invest a larger portion of their economic
resources in the education of individuals with superior
talents. Such investment will result in a disapproport-
ionately large return in social dividends.
The results of many stimulating experiments have been
carried on over the past decade which has contributed to the
understanding of the gifted child. The High School of
Science located at Bronx, New York offers tremendous edu-
cational advantages to gifted students in the area of science.
President James Conant of Harvard very frequently
pointed to the need in stimulating interest in the gifted in
his statement, "I wish some organization identified in the
public mind would take some dramatic action to demonstrate a
vigorous interest in the gifted boy and girl."
It is evident from President Conant's statement that
even as late as 1948 educators were still faced with the
problem of making adequate provision for the education of
Although it is generally recognized today that the
gifted child constitute only one area to be taken into
consideration, to point to the need of special education
would also include the gifted. The 49th Yearbook emphasized
completely that exceptional children do not profit
sufficiently from the group education techniques used in
most of our schools for the teaching of children of average
ability. Society has not constructed enough classrooms....
has not provided enough qualified teachers, It is, there-
fore, necessary to furnish special services for exceptional
children, either in the regular classroom or in special
school and classes if we expect them to grow according to
This statement becomes especially significant when we
realize that for a time the area of special education was
narrow in scope. However, the present day educators consider
three basic areas under this heading, they are as follows:
James Bryant Conant, "Education In An Armed Truce",
Atlantic Monthly, Vol. CLXXXII (October, 1948) pp. 48-52.
(1) children with physical handicaps; (2) children with
mental deviations, and; (3) children with emotional and
However, it might be well to indicate that the writer
is primarily concerned in this paper with the attempts which
have been made to educate and direct the lives of these boys
and girls who possess gifted talents.
The evidence seems to point assuredly to the fact that
there have been contributions made to the records of our
world which only the child of gifted ability could make.
If this then, it true, it is our task to conserve and direct
these talented boys and girls so that they might make their
unique contributions to society and still live healthy,
social lives with their peers.
The writer of this paper then becomes primarily con-
cerned with an analysis of the literature on the education
of the gifted Negro child from 1940-1950 in order that a
contribution might be made to the total educational process,
specifically, the improvement of teaching and the provision
for a more adequate environment for the stimulation of
The writer further deems it necessary in the light of
the present world crisis to make whatever contribution
possible in enlightening the public in the possible attain-
ments of gifted children if they can be identified, and if
desirable educational provisions can be made for their
It is hoped that this paper will serve a purpose to
those teachers who seek newer ways of identifying and
guiding those pupils who have demonstrated repeatedly
their superior intellectuality. That these teachers will
move in the direction of collectively uniting the efforts
of school and community in making more adequate provisions
for this group is also desired. Only when there is growing
realization among these two groups can there be a truly
effective program for the purpose of educating America's
Delimitations. This paper is primarily concerned with
one group of exceptional children....the gifted Negro child.
Further, the writer is not concerned specifically with the
problems of the community or mental hygiene of this group.
Though the writer has devoted some attention to the
characteristics of the gifted, it is not the primary purpose
here, although the writer is concerned with techniques of
identification. The voluminous amount of material on the
problem of the gifted impels us to make this consideration.
II. DEFINITIONS OF TERMS USED
1. Gifted children. Miles .defines the group which has
been labeled as gifted as; those who show unusual interest in
a facility with its more intellectual branches or its higher
creative expressions...endowed with superior natural abili-
ties which clearly distinguishes their possessor from the
average of those of the same age or experience... those
objectively certified on the basis of a generalized norm
system which recognizes absolute values in terms of standard
Precocious children. Those who at an earlier age than
others show behavior not necessarily of specific merit in
terms of intellectual or creative development, but popularly
supposed to be characteristic of older children or adults...
overtly expressive in ways that are directly recognized by
their day-to-day associates.
Exceptional children. A term used to refer to those
who deviate from what is supposed to be average in physical,
mental, emotional or social characteristics to such an
extent that they require special educational services in
order to develop to their maximum capacity.
Acceleration. To be accelerated means that a child
is under age for his grade.
Retardation. To be retarded means that a child is
over age for his grade.
L. Carmichael, (Editor) Manual of Child Psychology,
C. C. Miles, nGifted Children", New Tfo?, 1946, J. Wiley &
Sons, Inc., pp. 831-932.
Intelligence quotient. A ratio between the mental age
and the chronological age or actual age....a ratio to indi-
cate performance relative to age.
Intelligence. Although there are many definitions of
intelligence, the writer feels that the clearest concept of
intelligence is stated by Merry... our appraisal of how
quickly and how well a person behaves in every day
situations... adaptive behavior resulting primarily from
the activity of the higher brain centers.
Curriculum. The actual experiences which children
have under the guidance of the school.
III. ORGANIZATION OF REMAINDER OF THE THESIS
In Chapter II, the writer attempts to bring together
in a systematic way the literature which is specifically
related to the topic under consideration.
Chapter III is devoted to an analysis of the specific
literature concerning the gifted Negro child.
Chapter IV includes the summary and conclusions, also
the writer makes several recommendations growing out of
this study which she believes will offer new points of
departure for future research on the gifted Negro child.
F. K. Merry, and R. V. Merry, The First Two Decades
Of Life, Harper and Brothers, New Yor7,~1950 pp. 215-218.
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
The problems involved in identifying gifted children
are manifold. Not only because giftedness appears in sundry
forms in every cultural group and at every level of society
but because most of all, like most "other human resources,
it remains a potentiality until it has been discovered and
First of all giftedness, showing itself in the posses-
sion of a high level of general intelligence, may be measured
by means of traditional test. On the other hand, a gifted
child may not necessarily possess a high intelligent quotient,
but a number of special abilities. In consequence any program
concerned with the identification of gifted children, must
develop methods of detecting not only individuals with high
intellectual abilities but "those who exhibit special gifts
in such areas as the arts, music, mechanics, science, social
relations, leadership, and organization.
The multiplicity of variables entering the definition
of giftedness, make it difficult to determine satisfactory
the normal expectancy of giftedness in any given population
1Paul Witty, Ed, The Gifted Child, The American
Association for Gifted Children, (Boston: D. C. Heath &
Company), p. 10.
2bid, p. 10.
at any given time, for while some define giftedness so rigor-
ously that only one out of each one hundred might qualify for
Various studies have shown somewhat conclusively that
the environment influences the gifted, that is, certain sti-
muli tend to facilitate or block the full growth and expression
of the gifted child's abilities. "Of these influences the
foremost is the drive to accomplish, the urge or motivation
to use exceptional abilities, which most but not all gifted
persons possess." The chance of reaching eminence is remote
when this drive is absent, nevertheless the mere possession
of exceptional abilities is a fundamental asset. The signal
hazard is the denial of adequate means of expression or lack
of understanding on the part of adults of the need for whole-
some outlets. Ridicule, jealousy, and even fear, result in
not only unhappiness but deeprooted emotional aberrations on
the part of the gifted individual. There is a high connection
between the economic and cultural environment and the emergence
of giftedness especially during early years when environmental
factors play such far-reaching roles.
It has been shown that the discovery (and identification)
of the gifted is the responsibility of parents, teachers,
school administrators, physicians, guidance counselors and all
Ibid, p. 10.
others who work with children. Yet the means of identifying
and guiding the gifted leaves much to be desired. Some
children show giftedness, for example, at a tender age,
others not until adolescence or even maturity, still others
who are potentially gifted never have the opportunity to
realize their capabilities. Untold waste has been occasioned
by the failure to either identify or encourage individuals
who might have contributed immeasurably to society on a whole.
To combat these blunders one is forced to realize the gifted-
ness may be found anywhere, it manifests many forms and that
there is a specific culture medium for giftedness (environment
which makes possible the maximum realization of all innate
In order to determine whether a child is or is not
gifted many factors must be taken into consideration. Such
factors include physical, emotional and social characteristics
plus day to day observation. Anecdotal records, photographs
and even self-evaluation are helpful. If all the physical,
emotional and social needs are notified and opportunities for
the development and expression of gifts are not an attractive,
or anti-social behavior sometimes associated with superior
intelligence is not a holemark of giftedness but rather a sign
of the antogonism aroused by social rejection or ridicule."
Ibid p 0
Ibid, p. 10.
Studies show that the performance of the gifted child
is consistently superior in areas of his special interests.
Such a child may collect a vast amount of information in
his field of interest. If the child's general advancement
shows rapid advancement on one developmental level, the
same rapid advancement is observed as the child progress to
higher levels. The gifted child therefore, "often shows the
capacity to create and to develop activities which are
exceptional in the light of what is normally expected of a
child of his age and cultural background." The gifted child
should not be hampered by fears, but by pressures exploited
because of his abilities but wherever his gifts lie, it is
important to remember that the superior child has the funda-
mental needs of all children (is to grow physically,
emotionally, mentally or socially). The gifted child needs
comfort, affection, challenging and creative activities and
a helpful and encouraging environment in which to grow.
Research has shown that individuals vary considerably
in their innate ability to acquire, arrange and use facts.
As a result mental tests are first of all utilized to gain
insight as far as a person's "intelligence" is concerned.
The score is merely a numerical appraisal of the gifted
child's mental abilities which are, of course, conditioned
in part by the child's previous experience, the tester,
Ibid, p. 10.
performance and cooperation. The test score itself usually
gives only the varest clue to other abilities of the gifted
such as creativeness, initiative and intellectual curiosity,
gifted children rate high in respect to general intelligence
(which Spearman designated as "G"). According to Thurstone,
they possess a high degree of "primary mental abilities;
according to Thorndike, "abstract intelligence," gifted
children evidence "power" in the Peorsid Stanford-Binet
tests (digits, memory for sentences, vocabulary, etc.).
They are alert and quick, have a broad attention-span,
"high degree" insight and a professional ability to solve
Aptitude Tests are important, for not only do gifted
children possess a high degree of intelligence but special
gifts which may lie in one or more such areas as art, music,
drama, mechanics, or language ability. Aptitude Tests are
utilized, therefore, in order to cast some light at least on
in the nature of the abilities of the gifted. The value of
the tests lie upon the background and training of those who
The reports of parents may be utilized to identify
gifted children; these reports are valuable. Terman and
Oden showed that parents recognize early such indications of
superior intelligence as quick understanding, insatiable
curiosity, extensive information, retentive memory, large
vocabulary and unusual interest in such things as number
relations, atlases, and encyclopedias. Of course, gifted
children are likely to have parents who are either gifted
or definitely superior in intelligence themselves and who
are therefore more likely to have insight into the ability
of their children. Certain factors, according to Carroll,
lead parents astray in judging their children's intelligence
such as bias, inaccurate observation and failure to keep in
mind the total child population.
No small part is played by the reports of teachers and
other professional workers. True, many teachers fail to
identify gifted children. In fact, only 15.7 of 6,000 children
nominated by tests as "most intelligent" were found to be gifted.
Teachers fail to identify gifted children because they utilize
school achievement as their main criteria, little as they
realize that boredom with school tasks, for example, furnish
no challenge for the development of intelligence among gifted
children with the resillant poor habits of work and thinking
and a general lack of interest in school work. Teachers may
underestimate giftedness by overlooking the factor of chrono-
logical age. Reactions to the personality of different
Lewis M. Terman and Melita H. Odea, Genetic Studies Of
Genius: Vol. IV, The Gifted Child Grows U_, (Stanford,
California: Stanford University Press, 1947), p. 15.
Herbert A. Carroll, Genius in the Making, (New York:
McGraw Hill Book Company, 1940), p. 6.
children may influence the teacher's evaluation of ability.
The teacher may not even know how to identify giftedness.
Yet, of the teacher's judgments one relied on exclusively,
the majority of gifted children are not likely to be
discovered during their school career, so social workers,
boy scout and girl scout leaders, 4-H Club leaders, leaders
of church groups for boys and girls must be trained today
to detect exceptional (gifted) children (Leta Hollingworth).
Terman and Oden state "if you are allowed only one
method of locating the highest I.Q. in a classroom, your
chance of getting the right child is better if you merely
look in the class register and take the youngest rather than
trust the teacher's -judgment."
Standard tests of achievement pick out gifted children
very much better than do school work. The tests have a real
place in identifying the gifted child.
"Investigations reveal that gifted children typically
are above the average in personality development."lO
All in all "gifted" in the broadest sense includes both
those who have high intelligence and those who have special
abilities or talents in creative fields such as art and music.
Lewis M. Terman and Melita H. Oden, op, cit., p. 6.
Ibid, p. 26.
Paul Witty, op. cit., p. 269.
Terman including"Supernormal, highly endowed, intellectually,
talented, bright, apt and competent, have been supplanted
by the simpler term, gifted..."ll
School Progress. Gifted children who attend school at
an early age have a rapid grade advancement and acquire a
more than average interest in the more theoretical subjects.
Of Terman's children 85 per cent skipped one or more half
grades. Gifted children are at times promoted in terms of
mental age; the school work of the gifted is rated
subjectively by their teachers as superior to that of their
classmates in debating, history, composition, literature,
grammar, general science, geography, civics, reading and
arithmetic. Hollingworth found that gifted children did
better on musical sensitivity measured by the Seashore tests.
Hollingworth and Cobb found them superior in speed and
quality of penmanship. "The weaknesses of the gifted appear
most often in subjects requiring manual consideration a
dexterity; those of the control children, in work requiring
abstract thought."13 Gifted boys are more alike in their
preferences than the girls. Gifted children have found to
be regular in school attendance.
Leonard Carmichael, Manual of Child Psychology,
"Gifted Children", Catherine Cox Miles, p. 86.
12Ibid, p. 902.
13Ibid, p. 902.
School Achievement. The Stanford Achievement Tests
for gifted groups were utilized. Intelligence, not formal
Schooling, largely determines their level. Cobler and
Johnson found that brightest children in regular public
school classes are generally relatively lower than for the
moderated superior children. Gray, Patrick, Hildreth and
Wood have obtained the same results. DeVoss found that the
achievement profiles of the gifted are like those of average
children in pattern, but they rate at a much higher level.
Extracurricular Pursuits and Interests. More than
half of Terman's gifted children excelled in music, art,
dancing, language, etc. The gifted children devoted 61 hours
a week to these studies. "Those who report recognition of
intellectual superiority state that it was first noted just
before 31 years of age in the girls and a little later in the
boys. Musical ability is noted on the average at five and
the other special abilities at six."14
Parents enumerate quick understanding, great curiosity,
retentive memory, early speed, unusual vocabulary. Approxi-
mately half the California gifted children learned to read
before starting to school. Reading is the favorite pastime
of the gifted children. In fact, gifted children read more
than twice as many books as control children. Gifted boys
prefer stories of adventure and mystery, girls preferring
14 d, 905
Ibid, p. 905,
stories of home and school life. On the Barr Scale, gifted
children showed preference for occupations nearer to the
occupational status of their fathers; among the girls
especially, culture and custom limit their choice and
Play Activities. Gifted boys exceed girls in play
information. Both sexes however, express as much liking
for games and fondness for playing with others as usual
girls and boys. Gifted children however, love to play
with others older than themselves. The average amount of
play a day for girls is 24 hours, 2 3/4 hours for boys.
The play interests of gifted and average children are
generally similar rather than contrasting, nevertheless some
studies show that the gifted less frequently takes part in
certain kinds of vigorous physical play exercises and more
often in game and pursuits in which reading is an element.
Physical Traits and Health Histoy. Baldwin found
that the California gifted children were superior to the age
norms in 36 arthropometric measurements (height, weight,
muscular energy, etc.). At each, Terman reported the age
they exceeded Shuttleworth's superior socio-economic group;
they were slightly heavier than Baldwin and Wood's norms.
Gifted children are usually well nourished (Taylor).
Monahan and Hollingworth found them superior in neuromus-
cular capacity (eg. in strength of grip, jumping, etc.).
Hildreth found that Jewish gifted children were superior in
"resistance to fatigue." Physically, gifted children rank
above the average child in the community, probably because
they have parents with superior intelligence who provide
better diet, hours of sleep, etc.
Test Results. On the basis of many tests, gifted
children as a group tend to differ characteristically and
favorably from unselected children. On the Woodworth
Personality Inventory, Cady found them free from "psycho-
pathic trends." R. L. Thorndike found them high on develop-
mental-maturity quotients, he found the same on the Pressey
Test as far as interest and attitude. Boys rated definitely
more mature than girls. Both sexes were superior in certain
traits such as sense of humor, truthfulness, conscientious-
ness, leadership, etc. Speight found gifted children possess
many desirable traits. Contrary to popular opinion, they
were not egotistical, domineering or self-willed according to
Johnson, Laycock and Hildreth. They are responsive to school
discipline (Witty) and active in classroom discussion (Johnson).
Heredity and Home Background. Gifted children may come
from "superior" or "humble" homes. On the Barr Scale Witty
found that fathers of high school children had an average
I.Q. of Ill. Heals found that 64 per cent of parents were
business and 34 per cent professional. Parents and grand-
parents of gifted children have superior academic backgrounds.
Jones found 55 per cent of the fathers and 20 per cent of
mothers were college graduates. "It is characteristic for
gifted children to be born in families where positions of
honor, trust, and responsibility are the rule rather than
Sex Ratio. There is an excess of boys over girls in
the higher I.Q. brackets. Jenkins (1936) show that Negro
girls exceed Negro boys. Lewis (1940) showed that girls
exceed boys. However, Witty, Terman, A. M. Jones show
that boys exceed girls in the higher I.Q. brackets.
Racial Origin. Gifted children have been found in
all racial groups. Indians and Negroes have been insuffi-
ciently represented in group surveyed. Jenkins, (1943)
found many Negroes with high I.Q.'s of 200. Englishmen
and Scotsmen have the same I.Q.'s as white Americans.
A. M. Jones found Negroes, Mexicans, and Orientals with
high I.Q.'s. Superior intelligence is therefore, not
possessed by any one racial group.
SPECIAL SCHOOL AND CURRICULUM PROGRAMS
There have been systematic attempts to segregate and
specially train gifted children in the more progressive
localities as a practical consequence of the selection and
Ibid, p. 899.
study of the gifted by mental test method. Many schools
emphasized enrichment and individualized instruction within
their regular groups. Before these methods were systemati-
cally formulated a few far-seeing educators had tried to
meet the needs of the brighter pupils by various administra-
tive plans. These included flexibility in promotion, double
or multiple track curricula with varying rates of speed,
constant and shifting group systems promotion on the basis
of separate subject mastery, and self reliant programs with
or without preparatory training centers for the rapid
advancement of the more successful pupils at certain crucial
points in the curriculum. In these procedures and their
variations two aspects of individual and group differences
in learning may be recognized: (1) diverse rates of advance-
ment or appropriate for children of varying abilities, and
the pupils at widely different levels on the intelligence
scale can best be accommodated by some form of segregation
or system of diversified progress; (2) wide differences in
the amount and complexity of content that can be readily
acquired by children of differing degrees of competence can
be met by some flexible form of curriculum enrichment."
Today, private schools in the United States and
elsewhere are actually carrying on the segregated education
of superior children. Reports of the 1940 and 1943
lCatherine C. Miles "Gifted Children", Manual of
Child Psychology, pp. 831-932.
Educational Records Bureau indicate that 90 per cent of such
children have above average intelligence and are gifted in
the technical sense (Having I.Q. ratings of 130/ or 140/).
In fact the average rate of learning in such schools is 15
to 20 per cent faster than in average public elementary
schools. Exceptional children are not adequately taken
care of by the usual routine of public schools, according
to Terman. Some public schools have even adopted multiple
track or XYZ class systems that is "segregation of the
average (y) from the dull (z) and the high average and
superior (x) from the middle group."
Special classes explicitly for gifted children are a
development of the mental test period. Race, Speight,
Whipple, Coy and Cleveland have reported an early segregation
of gifted children from dull and average groups prior to
1920 to 1930. However, there was a gradual increase in the
number of special classes. Lanmermann showed that in German,
as in America, the segregation of superior children was
based not only on tests, but teachers' appraisals of health,
motivation, and personality. Early consideration in the
United States were discussed and summarized by Whipple,
Freeman, Stedman, Henry, Hollingsworth, Jensen and Goddard
before 1930. After 1930, methodology and objectives were
Ibid, p. 932.
formulated by Adams and Brown (1930). Osburn and Roban
(1931) Doansfield (1933), Cohen and Corzell (1935), and in
terms of basic principles by Hollingsworth (1942) Carroll
(1940) Heck (1940), and Garrison (1940), and Hildreth and
Now while enthusiasts for segregation repeatedly
emphasized the values of the method in making possible the
maximal possible mental stimulation and better social
adjustment, Whitty has spoken of the "undemocratic trend of
gifted segregation in the public schools." Myers believes
that the gifted child should be allowed to work at his own
rate but in a regular class of normal children. Duorah and
Roe concluded that both segregation and enrichment had
positive value. The experimental work on the segregated
over against the non-segregated groups according to Cox,
points to the forms as far as progress is concerned.
Martens and her collaborates illustrated types of
organizations for making curriculum adjustment in urban and
rural communities. Many bulletins began to appear even
prior to Marten's study, revealing "actual practices of
junior and senior high schools with respect to the education
Elsie H. Martens, Curriculum Adjustments for Gifted
Children, United States Office of Education Bulletin, 1946
No. 1, (Washington, D. C., U. S. Government Printing Office,
of superior students." The spreading of information con-
cerning the gifted was seen especially in Merle E. Sumptionts
book, Three Hundred Gifted Children. L. Hollingsworth's book,
Children Above 180 I.Q. described the nature and needs of
extraordinarily able pupils. Undoubtedly the most signifi-
cant where, in awakening general interest, was Terman and
Odis, The Gifted Child Grows U_.
As far back as 1935 Cohen and Corzell showed that "the
time is ripe for an organized effort in every high school as
a unit and in the system of high schools as a whole to
discuss and develop to their fullest possibilities, these
gifted pupils." They say what Miles said as, "The Gifted,
the potential leaders, discoverers, and creators, however,
are usually left to develop their own skills in their own
way and in terms of personal initiative alone." This
neglect is evident within the elementary and secondary
In the small school districts in towns and rural areas,
individual instruction in a large measure may necessarily be
the method adopted. Full time special class are ruled out.
"High School Methods with Superior Students," National
Education Association Research Bulletin Vol. XIC, No. 4
(Washington, D. C. N. Association, 1941)
Helen L. Cohen and Nancy G. Coryele, editors, Educating
Superior Students, (New York: American Book Company, 1935)
Miles, op. cit.
Regular teachers are seldom well versed enough to teach the
gifted and proper materials are seldom on hand. "One
solution to the problem is probably the employment of a
special teacher of the gifted whose job is to help identify
the gifted, set up programs of individual instruction for
them, provide necessary materials, and assist the regular
teacher in enriching the curriculum and in providing proper
instruction of the gifted. This teacher might be termed a
supervisor of this phase of special education. He should
provide stimulation as well as technical knowledge and
skill. His work can go far to insure adequate educational
opportunity for the superior child." He can develop a
co-ordinated program and serve a fairly large rural or town-
centered district. He may initiate field trips, individual
projects, plays, publish school papers and finally recommend
desirable acceleration for gifted students and enriched
curricula for these gifted children.
In large cities it is possible to establish special
classes for the gifted. In fact, the Cleveland Public Schools
reported in "The Major Work Class Handbook," the tailoring of
education to fit the mentality of the superior child.
According to them the objectives of these classes are:
1. Increasing the range of knowledge and skills of the
Sumpton, Norris and Terman, The Forty Ninth Yearbook,
2. Developing alertness
3. Developing initiative and creative power
4. Developing an attitude of critical thinking
5. Developing power to work independently, to plan,
to execute, and to judge
6. Developing increased ability to share in under-
7. Developing leadership
In special classes in metropolitan areas, the classrooms
are pleasant and informal. Fixed desks are replaced by tables
and chairs, and book shelves, curtains, pictures, plants,
attractive library corners, maps, globes, encyclopedias and
reference books are "installed." As far as the curriculum is
concerned, "major works" are utilized. Special instruction
in art, intensive rush in language and literature, type-
writing, writing and producing plays, making reports to the
class, reviewing books, and writing stories, articles, and
editorials for school papers, all of which are fundamental
for "growth." Opportunities for learning by observation and
direct experience are provided by trips to the museums, to
symphony concerts, and to industrial plants.
The methods of instruction shcwno one process used, an
electric approach is utilized. Informal discussions makes
Ibid, p. 266.
Ibid, p. 261.
possible the practice of desirable social habits such as
tolerance, patience, courtesy and respect for the talents
of others. The work is planned in large units, varying
speeds are utilized and drill is used when needed. "Each
pupil has the experience of carrying on a peice of work
(resembling research) along some line of his own special
interest. This is finally presented to the class and is
discussed and evaluated by the group." Each year the
school achievement is measured by carefully selected
standardized tests. Each child has an individual record,
kept in an especially planned folder. Leaders are members
of safety patrol, student council, choral groups, school
orchestra or band; they are leaders in physical education;
they edit and contribute to newspapers and periodicals and
participate in competitive events. Study of current affairs
is emphasized and vocational guidance is offered.
The objective in the education of the gifted, therefore,
are the same as for other children. The difference lies in
the greater emphasis placed on creative effort, intellectual
initiative, critical thinking, social adjustment, social
responsibility, and the development of unselfish qualities
Ibid, p. 268.
THE METHOD OF STUDY AND ANALYSIS OF DATA
The Method of Study The extremely small number of
Negroes included in the studies of gifted children, together
with the scarcity of superior Negro children reported in
racial difference studies has invariably lead to the
assumption that "Negro variants at the upper levels of
intelligence constitute, by comparison with white children,
a most unusual phenomenon. In order to dispose of this
fallacy, the author decided to conduct a study of the Negro
gifted child. In so doing all the available data was
The data included herein were studied from a number
of sources. The writer went about collecting research
material from a number of journals, notably the Journals
of Negro Education, Psychology, Educational Psychology,
Social Psychology; Bulletins; Magazines (scientific) and
texts by noted authorities on the gifted children are cited
in the bibliography.
After having read these pieces of research the data
were categorized according to such factors as racial and
geographical distribution, sex, age, etc. This was then
followed by a profound analysis of the most pertinent
information with special emphasis on the Negro gifted child.
The period between 1930-1940 was especially important
although consideration was given the researches before
The research findings of all authors were then syste-
matically analyzed and presented in the form of thesis
dissertation concerning the Negro gifted child between
Analysis of the Data. About 1920 the concept was
advanced that an extraordinary high I.Q. was associated
with genuis. L. M. Terman designated his volume which
described 643 children having I.Q.'s of 140 plus "genetic
studies of genius." Moreover, he stated that from the
ranks of gifted children (I.Q. 14 plus) and from nowhere
else our genuises in every line are recruited." L. S.
Hollingworth also made similar prognostications; she
asserted "only the gifted can create," and "individuals of
surpassing intelligence create national wealth, determine,
the state of industry, advance science and make general
Speaking of genius, Terman and Oden state that in
this group "with few exceptions, creative intellectual
productivity is confined to the males." However, "at and
above 180 I.Q. performance begins to appear that correspond
L. M. Terman and M. Oden, 39th Yearbook, Part 1, p.73,
to the lexicographer's idea of genius." Data reviewed
indicate that "above the I.Q. level of 140 adult success
is easily determined by such factors as social adjustment,
emotional stability, and drive to accomplish." But Witty
states "it is abundantly clear that an extraordinarily high
I.Q. in childhood is not an indication of later attainment
that may be regarded as highly or significantly creative;
nor do the most remarkable test ratings in childhood
warrant expectancies of adult performance which may be
characterized as the work of a genuis.
It is difficult for an intelligence test to identify
a gifted child..."The content of the intelligence test is
potently lacking in situations which disclose originality
or creativity." The intelligence test neglects the role
of feeling and motive and requires only the habituated
response of the child to situations which are "set" and
which are "low in feeling tone." Nevertheless, "psycho-
logists no longer doubt that it is not possible to predict
L. S. Hollingworth, 39th Yearbook, Part 1, p. 62, NSSE.
John L. Rockwell, Educational Method, 19: 80-92,
Paul Witty, "Contributions to the I.Q. Controversy for
the Study of Superior Deviates", Vol. 51, No. 1321, April 20,
1940, p. 504.
Ibid, p. 504.
Ibid, p. 505.
when a child is six years old what his relative position
will be in the total range of intellects when he is
sixteen." Heredity or environment (or both) can account
for superior achievement. But Witty points out that "three
trends are at once discernable in these recent studies and
interpretations of the gifted: (1) an abandonment of the
claim for creativity or genius predicted upon high I.Q.,
(2) a tendency to be cautious in assigning present ages of
influence to heredity and environment respectively; and
(3) a willingness to acknowledge the complexity of
"giftedness" and its motivation." One must bear in mind,
according to Hollingworth that "all surveys have agreed in
finding that a large majority of children testing at or
above 140 I.Q. have been fathered by persons in classes 1
to 111 on occupational scales devised by economists; and
that classes IV, V and VI yield very few of such children..."
(These studies of gifted children have been usually made
among the white population in urban centers, this does by
no means imply that the noi-caucasian ethnic groups do not
"possess" gifted children or that these children are then
found solely in urban areas). Stoke and Lehman contend
L. S. Hollingworth, Gifted Children: Their Nature
And Nurture, (New York: MacMillan, 1926), pp.-~56-158.
Witty, op. cit., p. 506.
Hollingworth, op. cit., pp. 58.
that..."The great majority of superior children (I.Q. 120-
140) and the great majority of gifted children (I.Q. 140
and above) come from the non-professional classes."
Jennings goes further by saying "examination shows that
in man a very large proportion of the individual recognized
as superior come from parents that give no evidence of
Needless to say that gifted children are found in all
ethnic groups. "According to mental surveys so far made,
the American Indian, the Negro, the Mexican and the Sicilian
yield few superior deviates. To this may be added that the
Portuguese in California contributed few or no children who
tested above 140 I.Q. to Terman's sample." Hollingworth
says also, in.the same breath, that "...several surveys
unexceptionally show a low average of intellect among
children having Negro blood. Comparatively few of these
children are found within the range which includes the best
one per cent of white children. It is, however, possible
by prolonged search to find an occasional Negro or Mulatto
child testing above 130 I.Q." She continues that "in
S. M. Stoke and M. C. Lehman, School And Society,
31: 372-77, 1930.
H. S. Jennings, "The Biological Basis of Human
Nature (New York: W. W. Norton Company, 1930T pp. 219-220.
Hollingworth, op. cit., p. 56.
3L. S. Hollingworth, Gifted Children, (New York:
MacMillan, 1926) (My Italics), pp. 69-70.
twenty-three years seeking in New York and the local
metropolitan area...I have only found twelve children who
test at or above 180 I.Q. (5-B)."l
Jenkins, in one of his famous studies, had a number
of subjects, Negro children with Binet I.Q.'s of 160 and
above. They were assembled together in order to (1)
ascertain the existence of such children in diverse
populations; (2) to examine the origin and characteristics
of the children; and (3) to follow the development of the
subjects over a period of years. The children were tested
by reputable psychologists and for the group of children
used for standardizing the original Stanford-Binet, I.Q.
160 is approximately 7.5 P.E. above the median. Five of
the subjects of Jenkins' study were at or above I.Q. 180.
Jenkins says "a word may be inserted here concerning the
difficulty of securing verified cases of Negro children
of exceptionally high Binet I.Q. In general, the high I.Q.
child (without regard to race) is identified either (1) in
surveys of gifted children, (2) in psycho-educational
clinics, usually those connected with universities, or
(3) in schools or school system, which provide for the
individual examination of exceptional children. A rela-
tively small proportion of the Negro population is covered
L. S. Hollingworth, Children Above 180 I.Q., Yonkers-
On-Hudson, (New York: World Book, 19942), p. 13.
by any of these." In the southern states not a single
Negro with an I.Q. score of 160 or above has been recorded
or identified. This is probably so because there are
extended few places where such a child might be identified.
In testing Negro children Jenkins gave them an
achievement test and found "characteristically the edu-
cational test performance of these children is not so high
as their mental test performance." He continues, "with
one exception these children attended traditionally
organized'schools. Recognition appears to have been given
to the superiority of these children, in most instances,
by either acceleration or enrichment. In some cases, how-
ever, teachers of these children were unaware of the extent
of their deviation. The teacher who nominated child one as
the "best student" in her fifth grade class, named as the
"most intelligent" a 12 year old girl of 90 I.Q." With two
(or possibly three) exceptions these children attended
racially segregated schools.
The family background of superior Negro children has
not been fully explored. There are occasions where except-
ional ability tends to show "linkage." Numerous individuals
Martin D. Jenkins, "Case Studies of Negro Children
of Binet I.Q. 160 and Above." Journal of Negro Education,
Vol. 12 1943, p. 160.
Ibid., p. 162.
Ibid., p. 162.
in the families of these children have been highly successful
physicians, teachers, and workers as a whole.
There is no valid method of determing the degree of
racial mixture; indeed, there is no really valid method for
determining race. Nevertheless, an attempt was made by
Jenkins to present a rough picture of the racila composition
of the subjects. Based on a combination of the generalogical
report of the parents and observation of subject, these cases
were classified in the following categories: "(1) no
apparent white ancestory (N); (2) more Negro than white
ancestry (NNW); (3) approximately equal amounts of Negro and
white ancestry (NW); (4) more white than Negro ancestry
(NWW)". In his study, each category of racial mixture was
represented among the subjects.
In concluding, Jenkins states "perhaps the most
important fact revealed by this study is that an appreciable
number of Negro children of extremely high I.Q. are to be
found. These extreme deviates are of the greatest signifi-
cance as they indicate that Negroes are as variable as other
racial groups, and that a Negro is not a limiting factor,
per se, in psychometric intelligence. These cases give
emphasis to the fact that it is individual differences
rather than so-called racial differences which are important."
Ibid., p. 164.
Ibid., p. 164.
Ellis states, "and further, while we have to recognize the
deeprooted prejudices of the white man where the black man
is concerned, we see that there is no ground for the
commonly proclaimed limiting influence of Negro blood on
intelligence." Further, there is no reason to believe
that Negro children of the I.Q. level being considered as
genius are concentrated in cities, for similar children,
unidentified and unrecognized, are to found in other
communities throughout the country. "Finally, these cases
bring into sharp focus the limitations which our society
places on the development of the highly gifted Negro.
These children are nurtured in a culture in which racial
inferiority of the Negro is a basic assumption. Conse-
quently, they will experience throughout their lives
educational, social and occupational restrictions which
might inevitably affect achievement and motivation. Wide
individual differences of course, are to be anticipated in
reaction to this condition. Some of these individuals will
meet frustration and draw away; others will go on to careers
of high usefulness and accomplishment". Witty and Jenkins
in 1935, described in detail the racial composition, family
background, developmental history, results on mental and
Havlock Ellis, "Precocious Children", Chicago Herald
and Examiner, 1935, P. 7.
performance tests, school achievement, social adjustment,
reading and play interest of a gifted Negro girl B.
In a follow-up study, Terman and Witty studied the
following of the said gifted child:
a. Racial composition: The mother reported the
child to be of pure Negro stock.
b. Family background: B's parents appeared to be
distinctly above the average with intelligence
and in academic training. Her mother finished
a two-year normal course and her father was an
c. Economic status: The family was "well off."
There were a very large number of books owned
by the family, both parents had college
education and both had superior occupational
d. Developmental history: Data secured from B's
"baby book" showed that she was an only child,
born November 18, 1924. She weighed 6 3/4
pounds at birth and 171 pounds at nine months.
At the age of 9 years and 5 months she weighed
60 pounds and was 50 inches in height. She
walked at 8 months, for a while at least. At
the age of two she had an extensive vocabulary.
She could read at the age of four. She had no
history of illnesses or accidents, had regular
habits, slept soundly, displayed no fears and
adopted herself willingly to demands of her child
e. Mental tests: On the Stanford-Binet B achieved a
mental age of 18 years, 8 months (corrected score)
with a result of I.Q. of 200. The uncorrected,
M.A. and I.Q. are 1705 and 187, respectively.
The quality of her responses in exemplified in the
Mars "god of war in Roman mythology"
Orange "a citrus fruit; orange in color -
fruit is named therefrom
Mosaic "A number of brightly colored stones -
no tiles put together to form a
Treasury "Place where a cooperating group
keeps the money"
Forfeit "Something given up no sacrifice."
On the Otis S A (Intermediate Form A) her I.Q. was 180.
She made a score of 66....this 20 minute test; the norm for
children of her age is 18. Army Alpha (1925 revision), her
I.Q. was 185. B's score of 119 placed her at the 87.5
percentile. Her McCall Multi-Mental-Score was 369. This,
when considered in terms of B's chronological age, yields
an I.Q. of 170.
f. Performance Tests: B displayed superiority on
performance tests. For example, on the Grace
Asther Performance Scale her M. A. was 10 years,
7 months; her I.Q. 112.
g. Sociability, reading and play interests: B has a
well developed personality. She got along well
with other children. She was not snobbish and had
no idea of her general superiority. Her play
interests were somewhat "tomboyish" and her
favorite leisure-time activity, after reading, was
playing with miniature chemistry set. She read
such books as Louisa Alcott's books. "Up From
Slavery" by Washington, "Arabian Nights," "Twenty
Thousand Leagues Under the Sea", "The Boy Chemist"
by Collins, "Buried Cities" by Hale.
B stated that, since she was about 12 years old she
felt that boys and girls did not like her. Because of her
longing for companionship, and because of a feeling of
social inadequacy she made the following plans which
included "to force myself to learn to play tennis because
I'm very clumsy and even hate to play volley ball; to swim;
and to avoid public libraries; because I don't intend to
read a single book."
Concerning the question "what is your opinion of
racial segregation in schools?," she retorted by saying,
"It is unfair because it ostensibly held that our role is
just as good as the other, and that the faculties of the
white schools are equal to those of Negro schools, but
generally Negro schools are inferior even though they aren't
supposed to be. Segregation gives both groups distorted
ideas." Asked the question, "How would you characterize or
describe the attitude of the majority of your white teachers
toward you and toward other Negro pupils?," she replied,
"In high school, they are usually, but not always very
cooperative." Only occasionally they are disgusted with us.
But a number of teachers in the elementary school just held
their jobs; had they been working in white schools they may
have showed more interest."
"When February came, B was awarded a partial scholar-
ship in an eastern college for Negroes. Her work during her
first semester there was above average in everything except
English; in this subject she fail( because of her frequent
absences from class. In the interview in June, 1941, she
explained that the class work and assignments in English
were so dull and lacking in inspiration that she could not
force herself to attend the meetings of her class.
At the same time, she was uncertain about the wisdom
of returning to college even if she should be awarded a
second scholarship, the possibility of which she doubted.
She recognized her lack of preparation for work of any
kind and said that if she were financially able and free
to choose she would engage in scientific research....
Arrangements were made with a southern university
for Negroes which B was awarded a full scholarship and
transportation expenses for the school year 1941-1942.
She gave this offer serious consideration and rejected it.
Finally, on March 16, 1942 her professor stated, "I
think I am going to advise her to drop out of school for a
while and take a few hard knocks."
The case of E a gifted Negro boy was investigated
by Terman and Witty. E was born on November 7, 1923. He
was first identified when he was in the first grade. At
the age of 10 years, 6 months E was nominated by his teacher
as the best and most intelligent student in class. On the
McCall Multi-Mental Test, E scored an I.Q. of 169. He
obtained a M.A. of 17-1 and an I.Q. of 163 on the Stanford-
His family ranked high socially and economically. His
mother was a teacher with a M.A. degree, and father a lawyer.
Terman and Witty, op. cit., p. 177.
At college, E continued to rank in the upper one per cent
of the population at large.
He graduated from the elementary at the age of 10
years, 6 months and from high school at the age of 13 years,
At the age of 16 years and 8 months he received the
Bachelors degree at the University of Chicago and elected
to Phi Beta Kappa.
"When E was interviewed in 1940 he expected to become
either a lawyer or a teacher of mathematics since he
believed there were unusual opportunities for him in these
two occupations; he remarked that choosing between these
fields of endeavor was his most perplexing problem. His
pursuit of graduate work in mathematics after that date,
however, appears to indicate that he has made up his mind;
and the outstanding ability he has shown in mathematics
demonstrates the soundness of his choice."
In 1942 E received the M.S. degree and elected to
Sigma Xi. In December 1942, at the age of 18 years and 10
months he received the Ph.D. degree at the University of
Chicago. At present (1943) he was a research worker in
the Institute for advanced study at Princeton, New Jersey,
Ibid., p. l 0.
where he was awarded a fellowship in mathematics. "From
all available data, therefore, it is apparent that E has
shown remarkable progress-educationally, socially, and
intellectually. He has more than lived up to his earlier
promise and gives every indication of maintain his all-
Instill another study Jenkins states "The question
of the upper limit among Negroes has both theoretical and
practical signigicance. Psychologists generally attribute
the low average performance of Negro groups in intelligence
tests, to cultural factors. It is, well known that Negroes
generally experience an inferior environment; and there is
certainly no question but that an inferior environment tends
to depress the psychometric intelligence. There are,
however, many Negro children who are matured in an environ-
ment that is equal or superior to that of the average white
child. Thus, we may hypothesize that if race in itself i
not a limiting factor in intelligence, this, ~a Negroes
whose total environment compares favorably with that of the
average American white, there should be found a "normal"
proportion of very superior cases and the upper limit of
ability should coincide with that of the white population.
This, hypothesis is especially attractive from a negative
Ibid., p. 181.
aspect; if very superior individuals are not to be found
in the Negro population, the environmental explanation can
clearly be inadequate to account for the phenomena. The
existence of such individuals, on the other hand, would
afford additional evidence, but not absolute proof, of
course, of the validity of the environmental explanation
of "racial differences" in psychometric intelligence."
Jenkins went further. He assembled from various
scores the case records of 18 Negro children whose test
scores were above I.Q. 160. Seven of these cases tested
above I.Q. 170, four above I.Q. 180 and one at I.Q. 200.
Most were from northern or border state cities (New York,
Chicago, Washington and Cincinnati). As stated above, no
children have been identified as gifted in the south.
"It is certain, that among the 80 per cent of the total
Negro population that lives in the southern states, children's
potentiality for such development exist."
Jenkins again clarifies his position by saying that "I
am not attempting here to show that approximately as many
Negro children as white are to befound at the highest level
of psychometric intelligence. There appears little doubt
M. D. Jenkins, "The Upper Limit of Ability Among
American Negroes", Scientific Monthly, May, 1948, Vol. LXVI,
M. D. Jenkins, "American Negroes", Scientific
Monthly, May, 1948, Vol. LXVI, p. 400.
that the number of very bright Negro children is relatively
smaller than the number of bright white children in the
total American population. Nevertheless, it is apparent
that children of very superior psychometric intelligence
may be found in many Negro populations, and, that the upper
limit of the range attained by the extreme deviates is
higher than is generally believed." Race per se (at least
as it is represented in the American Negro) is not a limiting
factor in psychometric intelligence.
Wilkerson made the following "chart:"
Ibid., p. 400.
D. A. Wilkerson, "Negro Children of Superior Intelli-
gence", Journal of ro Education, Vol. I, 1936, p. 130.
Jo r a f __ _
Tenets of the Racial Differences
Finding of the Present Inves-
1. The "gifted" Negro child is an
2. Superior Negro children excell
by a predominately white
3. Very bright Negro children are
found chiefly in the primary
grades and at younger years.
4. The I.Q. of the superior Negro
child retrogresses during
later elementary school years.
5. Racial inequalities in edu-
cation do not significantly
influence racial differences
in "test" intelligence.
6. Negro ancestry is more potent
than inferior socio-economic
status as a determiner of low
7. Because of limitations in
racial heredity, Negro
children reveal relatively
lower scholastic achievement
in linguistic and highly
"verbal" school subjects.
1. The incidence and character-
istics of "gifted" Negro
children are approximately
the same as for American
children in general.
2. Superior Negro children come
from preponderately Negroid
stock, and as regards to
degree of racial admixture
are "strikingly in line
with.... the general Negro
3. Brilliant Negro children are
distributed fairly evenly
among the different age and
4. The incidence of superior
Negro children in the later
elementary school years re-
flects no retrogression of
5. No one of these (Negro)
children of (Superior intelli-
gence) has ever attended
school in a southern state.
6. Superior Negro children, like
superior white children, come
from superior socio-economic
7. Superior Negro children show
greatest scholastic achieve-
ment in language and reading,
highly "verbal" subject
_ __ _
_ _ __ _
Jenkins, however, is forced to conclude that, "in view
of the relatively large number of very superior Negro
children reported by Clark, Long, Strachen, Hewitt, Proctor
and the writer, it is singular that there still persists the
idea that the Negro child of high I.Q. is found but rarely."
A review of this literature may be summarized is Chart II.
M. D. Jenkins, "A Socio-Psychological Study of Negro
Children of Superior Intelligence", Journal of Negro Education,
Vol. V, 1936, p. 188.
SUMMARY REVIEW OF LITERATURE ON NEGRO GIFTED CHILDREN
Investigator Date Locality Test No. Cases I.Q. Intervals
120-29 130-39 140
---- -- -- --- -~-- --
CHART II CONTINUED
SUMMARY REVIEW OF LITERATURE ON NEGRO GIFTED CHILDREN
Investigator Date Locality Test No. Cases I.Q. Interval
120-29 130-39 140
Tervilleger 1934 New York Stanford 3,681 4 4 2
Proctor 1935 Washington, Stanford --- 1 16 13
D. C. Binet
Long 1929 Washington, Stanford --- 25 4 5
D. C. Binet
Jenkins 1935 Illinois McCall 8,145 82 54 36
Stanford 8,145 45 39 29
The analysis of this literature leads to two conclusions:
(1) The Negro child of high I.Q. is not an anomaly in the
school population, (2) Superior Negro children manifest, in
general, the same characteristics as do other children of
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Summary. The evidence which the writer has revealed
regarding the literature on the gifted child points to the
fact that since 1923 attention has been directed chiefly to
the curriculum and problems of enrichment.
Many schools emphasize enrichment and individualized
instruction within their regular groups. However, many
types of administrative plans have been introduced to meet
the needs of those pupils. Flexibility in promotion,
double or multiple track curricula, constant and shifting
group systems and many other types of administrative plans
have been developed.
Miles reports that in these procedures and their
variations two aspects of individual and group differences
in learning may be recognized: (1) diverse rates of
advancement are appropriate for children of varying abili-
ties, and the pupils at widely different levels on the
intelligence scale can best be accommodated by some form of
segregation or system of diversified progress; (2) wide
differences in the amount and complexity of content that can
be readily acquired by children of differing degrees of com-
petence can be met by some form of curriculum enrichment.
Catherine C. Miles, "Gifted Children," n Manual of Child
Psychology, Leonard Carmichael (ed.), (New York: John Wiley
& Sons, Inc.) pp. 931-935
Problems of segregation and the development of special
classes explicitly for the gifted children are a development
of the mental test period. Whether segregation or special
classes prove more effective in the training of the gifted
appears to be a subject for much debate with a rather
difinite difference of opinion as to the effect of member-
ship in a special class upon their social adjustment.
The experimental work with gifted children in which
segregated are compared with non-segregated groups seems to
give a slight advantage to the former rather than the latter.
There is still an unusual amount of research needed to com-
pletely substantiate this finding.
The following statements presented by Hildreth seem to
well summarize the policies of separate education for gifted
children: (1) When gifted children remain in regular school
they tend to be idle and neglected. (2) The gifted child's
classmates in a regular class adopt unfavorable attitudes
toward him. (3) A curriculum specially designed for the
gifted can be developed for these children grouped in special
classes. (4) Acceleration in learning can be provided
without the disadvantage of skipping grades. (5) The gifted
child meets a greater challenge to his abilities in separate
classes. (6) Separate classes at elementary school level
Gertrude H. Hildreth and others, Educating Gifted
Children, (New York: Harper and Brothers), pp. 257-256,
prepare the pupils for special class work at higher school
levels. (7) A congenial school life can be provided for
the gifted in separate classes.
Conclusions. Since the writer has primarily concerned
herself with the literature on the gifted Negro child and
since the data of this study are relatively unique in
educational literature, and in view of the non-availability
of the unpublished dissertation to the general public, it
seems appropriate here to run counter to conventional canons
of reviewing and to provide a selective summary of the
writer's findings. Major findings relative to the incidence
of superior Negro children are summarized below:
1. Of the total population of 8,145 children studied,
3.3 per 1,000 are on the I.Q. 140 or above level,
6.6 per 1,000 are on the I.Q. 130 or above level,
and 12.3 per 1,000 are on the I.Q. 120 or above
2. As compared with the subjects of this study,
unselected American children are distributed in
approximately the same proportion on the I.Q.
140 or above level (4 per 1,000) in slightly
large proportion on the I.Q. 130 and above level
(1 per 1,000), and is much greater proportion on
the I.Q. 120 or above level (60 per 1,000).
3. Included among the subjects of the study was one
girl who scored an I.Q. of 200, a rating which
has been equaled or exceeded by fewer than 10 of
the hundreds of thousands of children to whom
intelligence tests have been administered. Her
family has no record of white ancestry.
4. There is a proportion of girls among these
superior Negro children, the ratio, girls to boys
being 233:100. This, the author states, "represents
the only point at which there is a real difference
between our subjects and previously studied
5. The superior children of this study are fairly
evenly distributed among the different grade and
The "typical" Negro child of superior intelligence, in
the light of data presented in the study, may be characterized
as one who: (1) come from a racial stock which is predomi-
nately Negroid (68.3 per cent have more Negro than white
ancestry; 15.9 per cent have more white than Negro ancestry);
(2) comes from well educated parents (median grade level:
fathers 13.9, mothers 12.8 percentage with college degrees:
fathers 31 per cent, mothers 12 per cent); (3) was born in
Chicago (73.4 per cent were born in Chicago, 15.6 per cent in
southern states) and had his entire education in the north
("No one of the children have ever attended school in a
southern state"); (4) comes from parents and grandparents who
were born in the south (76.4 per cent and 85.5 per cent
respectively); (5) lives in a house which warrants a superior
socio-economic rating (median Sims S-C rating 18.7 or "high,"
Tsussig rating: gr. V, or "highest" 33.4 per cent, gr. Iv -
36.6 per cent Gr. I. or "lowest" 6.3 per cent); (6) conforms
in developmental history to the general pattern of American
children of superior intelligence; (7) is under age for his
grade tone of 81 per cent and has skipped 1.2 half grades in
school (Median Progress Quotient 119, S.D.7.7); (8) has
mastered school subject matter 1.1 grades above the norm
for his age (median E.Q. 127.2 S.D. 1012), but is achieving
on a level somewhat below his ability level (A.Q. 95.4, S.D.
6.9); (9) reveals character and personality traits which are
"above average;" (10) has much the same intellectual, social,
scholastic, activity interest as characterize a typical....
section of the school population of which he is a part; and
(11) differs widely in all respects other than degree of
mental acceleration from other individual subjects of the
All in all the subjects conform to the general pattern
children, as reported by other investigators. There is
every evidence that Negro children are simply children
(without the qualifying adjective). Certainly the findings
of this study can lead to no other conclusion than that
Negro children of superior intelligence are typical of
Recommendations. The writer makes the following recom-
mendations as a result of extensive literature on the
education of the gifted child:
1. More investigations should be focused toward
answering the following questions:
a. What sort of curriculum offerings will best meet
the needs of these children?
b. What sort of equipment are needed to implement a
broad educational program for the gifted?
c. What environmental factors tend to retard or
(excel) the growth of the gifted?
d. Do gifted children profit most in a school for
the typically normal children?
e. For what reasons do gifted children fail in
f. What type of teacher is needed for the gifted?
g. Are there proportionate distributions of gifted
children in our population according to
geographical locale, sex and race?
The answers to these questions should furnish a basis
for the wise planning and nurture of the gifted child.
Further, the writer hopes that these suggestions will serve
as a point of departure for even more significant contri-
butions to the literature on the gifted child.
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York, Holt and Co., 1930.
2. Baker, H. J., Education of Exceptional Children, New York,
MacMillan Company, 1945, 496 pp.
3. Carmichael, Leonard, (ed.), Manual of Child Psychology,
John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1946, 1,068 pp.
4. Carroll, H. A., Genius in the Making, New York, McGraw-
Hill Book Company, 1T4Z5.
5. Dewey, Joh, Education and Democracy, New York, MacMillan
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Ronald Company, 1940O
7. Hildreth, G., Educating Gifted Children, New York.
8. Hollingworth, L. S., Gifted Children, MacMillan Company,
New York, 1926.
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Brothers, 1947, 661 pp.
10. Murchinson, C. A., Handbook of Child Psychology (2ed.),
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Life, New York, Harper and Brothers, 1970, 600 pp.
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Study of the results of Special Education of Superior
Children, World Book Company, Yonkers-on-Hudson, 1941.
13. Terman, L. M. and Oden, Melita H., The Gifted Child Grows
Up: Twenty-five Years Follow-up of a Superior Group,
Stanford University Press, 1947.
14. Witty, Paul, (ed.), The Gifted Child, The American Asso-
ciation of Gifted Children, Boston, D. C. Heath and
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Student," Calif. Sec. Ed. 23 (1948), 54-56.
16. Brumbaugh, Florence, "A School for Gifted Children,"
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17. Carlson, Edith F., "Problems in Educating the Highly
Endowed," J. Except. Child., 13 (1947), 201-204,
18. Clarke, D. P., "Role of Psychology in Race Survival,"
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19. Dunlap, J. M., "We Meet the Needs of All Except the
Gifted Child," Nations Sch., 45 (1950), 46.
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Children," Understanding the Child, 17 (1948) 35-40.
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Educational Attainment of Gifted Negroes," J. Educ.
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