Front Cover
 Title Page
 Half Title
 Table of Contents
 The problem and definitions of...
 Review of the literature
 The method of study and analysis...
 Summary, conclusions and recom...
 Back Cover

Title: Analysis of the Literature on the Education of the Negro Gifted Children from 1940-1950
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AM00000043/00001
 Material Information
Title: Analysis of the Literature on the Education of the Negro Gifted Children from 1940-1950
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Polk, Marion Tillinghast
Affiliation: Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College
Publisher: Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College
Publication Date: 1953
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: AM00000043
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Florida A&M University (FAMU)
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: notis - AAA0921
notis - ABV5535

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front cover
    Title Page
        Page i
    Half Title
        Page ii
        Page iii
    Table of Contents
        Page iv
    The problem and definitions of terms used
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Review of the literature
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    The method of study and analysis of data
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
    Summary, conclusions and recommendations
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
    Back Cover
        Back cover
Full Text


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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.




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


The method of study ............................. 31

The analysis of data ............................ 32


Summary ....... ................. ...... ..... ... 54

Conclusions ......... ... ... .. ... ......... ... 56

Recommendations .................................. 58

BIBLIOGRAPHY .................. ..... ...... ....... .. 60



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

that end.


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

intellectual child.

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
human endowment.

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
the gifted.

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
their potentialities.
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

social maladjustments.

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

future leaders.

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.


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.


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.




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

that category.
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

interpret them.

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
the exception."

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.


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

17 d
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
Ingram (1942).
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,
p. 265.


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

of leadership.

Ibid, p. 268.



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

that period.

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

culture possible."

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

2 -
L. S. Hollingworth, 39th Yearbook, Part 1, p. 62, NSSE.
John L. Rockwell, Educational Method, 19: 80-92,
November, 1939.
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
electrical engineer.

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,

6 months.

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-
round superiority."

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,
p. 399.
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
"test" intelligence.

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
grade levels.

4. The incidence of superior
Negro children in the later
elementary school years re-
flects no retrogression of
high I.Q.'s.

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.



Investigator Date Locality Test No. Cases I.Q. Intervals
120-29 130-39 140






Schwegler &




Garth &


1923 California

1934 Washington,
D. C.

1926 Oklahoma

1926 Missouri

1930 Virginia

1920 Kansas

1926 Tennessee

1926 Oklahoma

1926 Tennessee

1925 Texas

1939 Maryland
D. C.










































3)1 H



---- -- -- --- -~-- --

- md



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

superior intelligence.



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
superior children."
5. The superior children of this study are fairly
evenly distributed among the different grade and
age levels.
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
superior intelligence.

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.




1. Adams, F. and Brown, W., Teaching the Bright Pupil, New
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
Company, 1916.
6. Garrison, K. C., The Psychology of Exceptional Children,
Ronald Company, 1940O
7. Hildreth, G., Educating Gifted Children, New York.
8. Hollingworth, L. S., Gifted Children, MacMillan Company,
New York, 1926.
9. Loutitt, C. M., Clinical Psychology, New York, Harper and
Brothers, 1947, 661 pp.

10. Murchinson, C. A., Handbook of Child Psychology (2ed.),
Clark University, Worcoster, 193.

11. Merry, F. K. and Merry, R. V., The First Two Decades of
Life, New York, Harper and Brothers, 1970, 600 pp.
12. Sumption, M. R., Three Hundred Gifted Children; A Follow
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



15. Atkinson, B., "School Administration and the Gifted
Student," Calif. Sec. Ed. 23 (1948), 54-56.

16. Brumbaugh, Florence, "A School for Gifted Children,"
Childhood Ed., 20 (1944), 325-327.

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,"
Journal of Negro Education, 10 (1941) 51-53.
19. Dunlap, J. M., "We Meet the Needs of All Except the
Gifted Child," Nations Sch., 45 (1950), 46.
20. Goddard, H. H., "Gifted Child," Journal of Educational
Sociology, 6 (1933) 354-61.
21. Gray, W. S., "Education of the Gifted Child: With
Special Reference to Reading," Elem. Sch. J., 42
(1942) 736-744.
22. Hildreth, G. and Ingram, C. P., "Selected References
from the Literature of Exceptional Children,"
Elem. Sch. J., 41 (1941) 692-707.
23. Hollingworth, Leta S., "Growing up With a Gifted Child,"
Understanding the Child, 17 (1948) 45-47.
24. Hollingworth, L. S. "Review of Research," Yearb, Nat.
Soc. Stud. Educ., 39 (I), (1940), 43-661
25. Jenkins, M. D., "Case Studies of Negro Children of
Binet I. Q. of 160 and Above," J. Negro Educ., 12
(1943), 59-166.
26. Jenkins, M. D., "Socio-Psychological Study of Negro
Children of Superior Intelligence," bibliog. from
Journal of Negro Education, 5 (1936), 175-190.
27. Jenkins, M. D., "Upper Limit of Ability Among American
Negroes," Scientific Monthly, 66 (1948), 399-401.


28. Terman, L. M., "Psychological Approaches to the Biogra-
phy of Genius," Science, 92: (1940) 293-301.
29. Terman, L. M., and Oden, M. H., "Status of the California
Gifted Group at the End of Sixteen Years," (In
National Society for the Study of Education.
Thirty-Ninth Yearbook, pt. 1, p. 67-74.

30. Terwilliger, A. J., "Study of Negro Children of I. Q.
above 125; Abstract," Journal of Negro Education,
4 (1935) 572-573.
31. Theman, V. and Witty, P., "Case Studies and Genetic
Records of Two Gifted Negroes," J. Psy., 15 (1943)

32. Witty, Paul, "Thirty Years of Research Upon Gifted
Children," Understanding the Child, 17 (1948) 35-40.

33. Witty, P. A., and Jenkins, M. D., "Educational Achieve-
ment and a Group of Gifted Negro Children,"
bibliog., Journal of Educational Psychology 25
(1934) 585-97.
34. Witty, P. and Theman, V., "A Follow-up Study of the
Educational Attainment of Gifted Negroes," J. Educ.
Psy., 34 (1943), 35-47.


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