Gifted Education History

This timeline shows the intellectual history of the field of gifted education over the past 150 years.

The purpose of this project was to create an intellectual history of the field of gifted education. Dr. Tracy Cross’ EPPL 712 class developed this project to display the results of their research during the Spring 2012 and Spring 2013 semesters. The contributors to this project are: Lori Andersen, Patty Costis, Darlene Dockery, Natalie Dudnytska, Paige Hendricks, Ginny Hutcheson, Sakhavat Mammadov, Jessica McDonough, Amy Schmidt, Young Eun Son, Elizabeth Starke, and Anthony Washington. This is a foundational document. Our hope is that future students will take our efforts and continue to develop this timeline.

NAGC Established

Provides services to teachers, parents, administrators, counselors, and the community at large concerning issues related to the gifted.

Gifted Children: Psychological and Educational Perspectives

Abraham J. Tannenbaum wrote the book "Gifted Children: Psychological and Educational Perspectives". He was the professor of Rena Subotnik.

A Nation At Risk

National report that focused attention on gifted students in the United States.

Rising Above The Gathering Storm

Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future

Three Ring Conception of Giftedness

Joseph S. Renzulli described a new model for giftedness in a Phi Delta Kappan article entitled "What Makes Giftedness? Reexamining a Definition."

Developing Talent in Young People

Influential book by Benjamin Bloom.

Sputnik launched

Highlighted areas of disparity between Soviet and U.S. educational programming and increased interest in provisions for highly able students.

The Marland Report

Established the first federal definition and data-based rationale for educating gifted and talented students.

World Council for Gifted and Talented Children established

The World Council for Gifted and Talented Children is a worldwide network of parents and professionals.

Schooling the Gifted

Important work by Laurence J. Coleman. This book was replaced by the book "Being Gifted in School".

Being Gifted in School

Replacement to the out of print book Schooling the Gifted, coauthored by Laurence J. Coleman and Tracy L. Cross. 2nd Ed. in 2005.

Being Gifted in School (2nd Ed.)

Laurence J. Coleman, Ph.D. & Tracy L. Cross, Ph.D.

Genius Revisited

Rena Subotnik's first book about the graduates of Hunter College Elementary School.

Preparing the Next Generation of STEM Innovators

High Flyers Report

"Using data from an extensive student-level database maintained by the Northwest Evaluation AssociationTM (NWEA) and its Measures of Academic Pro- gressTM (MAP) assessments, we compared the performance and growth of high achievers to that of their peers over multiple years, examining two groups of students: an elementary/middle school cohort, followed from third through eighth grades; and a middle/high school cohort, followed from sixth through tenth grades. We sought answers to three key questions: Î Do high achievers maintain their altitude? In other words, are the nation’s star third graders the same students that graduate eighth grade at the top of the pack? Or do up-and-coming peers surpass them? To find out, we compared student achievement at the initial and final years of the analysis—third and eighth grades for elementary/middle school students, and sixth and tenth grades for middle/high school students. Î For those students who “lose altitude” over time, how far do they fall? And for those who climb into the top tier, how did they perform academically in earlier grades? We tracked the achievement of these volatile high flyers to determine whether they experienced large swings in performance or remained relatively solid students throughout their school careers. Î How much do high achievers grow academically over time? While high achievers, by definition, perform better than 90 percent of their peers, do they get further ahead each year? Or do low- and middle-achieving students gain ground relative to them? We examined the performance gaps between these three groups of students and whether those gaps grew or narrowed over time. The study also briefly investigated which students—by race, gender, and school environment—remained high achiev- ers throughout their careers, and whether certain types of high achievers (or high achievers in certain types of schools) displayed different rates of academic growth over time."

Aaron Harry Passow (1920-1996)

Received his Ph.D. in 1951 from Teacher's College, Columbia University. Was the Jacob H. Schiff professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he was a faculty member since 1952.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Carol Dweck's research bridges developmental psychology, social psychology, and personality psychology, and examines the self-conceptions (or mindsets) people use to structure the self and guide their behavior.

Conceptions of Giftedness

Book edited by Robert J. Sternberg and Janet E. Davidson.

Rethinking Gifted Education

edited by James Borland

Talented Teenagers

Important work by Csizkszentihalyi, Rathunde, & Whalen


Book by Mihalyi Csizszentmihalyi on the psychology of optimal experience. Has been influential in gifted education.

K. Anders Ericsson

Dr. K. Anders Ericsson is a Swedish psychologist and Conradi Eminent Scholar and Professor of Psychology at Florida State University who is widely recognized as one of the world's leading theoretical and experimental researchers on expertise.

Kazimierz Dabrowski (1902-1980)

Dabrowski, a Polish psychologist and psychiatrist (1902-1980), is the creator of the Theory of Positive Disintegration and the Overexcitabilities

Terman begins longitudinal study

Lewis Terman began his study of 1,528 gifted children in 1921. He selected children with IQ scores above 135. HIs findings are published in a five volume set: Genetic Studies of Genius.

Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM)

Joseph S. Renzulli and Sally M. Reis are co-authors and primary researchers on the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM).

Sally M. Reis (1951- )

Sally M. Reis is a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor and Teaching Fellow in Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut. She was past president of the National Association for Gifted Children from 1999 -2001.

Work Left Undone: Compromises and Challenges of Talented Females

Influential and best-known book by Sally M. Reis in the research on Talented Girls and Women.

Curriculum Compacting

Sally M. Reis and Joseph S. Renzulli have studied how differentiated teaching strategies enable teachers to streamline the regular curriculum, ensure student mastery of basic skills and provide time for challenging enrichment or acceleration activities.

Secondary Triad Model

A practical plan for implementing gifted programs at the junior and senior high school levels by Sally M. Reis & Joseph S. Renzulli.

Revolving Door Identification Model

The Revolving Door Identiifcation Model was developed by Renzulli, Reis, and Smith to broaden the pool of students who could be considered gifted.

Underachievement of Gifted Students

Reis,S.M, & McCoach,D. B. (2000). The Underachievement of gifted students: What do we know and where do we go? Gifted Child Quarterly, 44(3), 152-170

Sally M. Reis

Françoys Gagné

Gagné, F. (1985). Giftedness and talent: Reexamining a reexamination of the definitions. Gifted Child Quarterly, 29, 103-112.

Gagné's Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent

Francoys Gagné differentiates between gifts, defined as natural abilities, and talents, defined as systematically developed gifts.

Motivation within the DMGT Framework 2.0

Schoolhouse vs. Creative-Productive Giftedness

Renzulli's model of the two different types of gifedness.

Beyond Terman: Contemporary Studies of Giftedness and Talent

Book of longitundinal studies edited by Rena Subotnik and Karen Arnold.

Gifted Young in Science

Book published by National Science Teachers Association, edited by Paul Brandwein and A. Harry Passow.

Early Gifts: Recognizing and Nurturing Children's Talents

Book edited by Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, Lisa Limburg-Weber, and Steven Pfeiffer.


Joseph Renzulli and Sally Reis organized the first annual Confratute at the University of Connecticut.

Nuturing Talent in High School: LIfe in the Fast Lane

Book by Laurence J. Coleman. A qualitative study about the lives of academically talented and gifted adolescents at a residential public high school.

Renzulli Learning

Joseph Renzulli and Sally Reis create the Renzulli Learning System, an online differentiation and enrichment tool.

Enrichment Triad Model

The Enrichment Triad Model was created by Joseph S. Renzulli as a precursor to the Schoolwide Enrichment Model.

Howard Gardner (1943- )

Howard Gardner is the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Center for Gifted Education at The College of William & Mary

The Center for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary, a research and development center, was established in 1988 under the leadership of Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska.

Virginia Association for the Gifted

The Virginia Association for the Gifted supports research, advocacy, and teacher preparation in gifted education.

Institute for the Study of Advanced Development (ISAD) is formed

The Institute for the Study of Advanced Development (ISAD) and ISAD’s subsidiary, the Gifted Development Center, were founded by Dr. Linda K. Silverman.

Linda K. Silverman (1940- )

Linda Silverman is the Director and Founder of the Institute for the Study of Advanced Development and the Gifted Development Center.

James J. Gallagher (1926- )

James J. Gallagher served as president of the National Association for Gifted Children from 1993-1995. He is the former director of the FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina.

Donna Ford

Donna Y. Ford, Ph.D., is currently the Betts Chair of Education and Human Development at the Peabody College of Education at Vanderbilt University. Her focus is the recruitment and retention of minority and low income students in gifted programming.

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