Education of Gifted Children

October 28, 1959

Report Outline
Amercian Talent and Manpower Needs
Educational Adjustments for Talented
Particular Programs for the Gifted

Amercian Talent and Manpower Needs

Great interest in the schooling needs of children and youths of unusual ability is now evident at every level of American education. All over the country, classes are being regrouped, new courses introduced, and new material added to old courses to give bright boys and girls a tougher and more stimulating education. This activity is designed in general to benefit the upper fifth, in some cases the upper fourth or even third, of the school population as classified by ability.

Some schools make special provision for the top one or two per cent. However, the main object is not to single out a few prodigies but to fatten up the curriculum for millions with better than average minds. Generally speaking, these are the children who “develop good vocabularies at an early age, read widely, grasp new ideas easily, ask intelligent questions, and are really curious about the nature of the world about them.” Such children come from all walks of life, from poor homes and rich; many of them do not know they are capable of achievement beyond the general run for pupils of their age.

Sputnik's Spurring of Interest in the Gifted

Special schools or classes for bright children are not new to American education; some of the larger city school systems and private schools have made systematic provision for top-level students for years. What is new is that such practices, once limited to relatively few institutions, are now being widely adopted by public schools and by colleges. Never before has so extensive an effort been made to identify, to draw out, to encourage, and to provide challenging educational fare for the child of superior brainpower.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Gifted Education and Tracking
Mar. 28, 1997  Educating Gifted Students
Jul. 30, 1993  Intelligence Testing
Dec. 28, 1990  Why Schools Still Have Tracking
May 15, 1987  Magnet Schools
Sep. 14, 1979  Educating Gifted Children
Oct. 28, 1959  Education of Gifted Children
May 07, 1958  Elite vs. Mass Education
Nov. 23, 1955  Schooling for Fast and Slow Learners
Elementary and Secondary Education