A comparison of low-achieving and high-achieving gifted children in the public schools
Woodman, Raymond Hewitt
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This study attempted to identify characteristics associated with low achievement among gifted children in the public schools. An experimental group of eighteen persons, twelve boys and six girls, having ninth-grade Kuhlmann-Anderson IQ's of 130 or higher but ranking in the bottom third of their graduating classes between 1947 and 1951 in the High School of Brookline, Massachusetts, were compared with a control group. This control group was composed of twelve boys and six girls individually matched for sex, IQ and sibling rank, but selected from the highest third of their classes at the same school. The data that were studied concerned the pupils' parents, siblings, health, attendance, test results, achievement, extracurricular activities, ratings of personality, and early post-secondary experiences. A need for this type of investigation is seen inasmuch as waste of intellectual giftedness has deprived this country of many leaders, and leading educators have demonstrated that those who waste their talent in adult life also wasted their talent earlier in school. Assumptions on which the study was based were that the data, taken from school records, were valid and reliable, that the experiences and motivation of the pupils in the schools were similar, that salient factors were included in the study and that no factors of over-riding significance were excluded. The data were first used in the preparation of case histories of the eighteen low achievers and eighteen high achievers in order to reveal to what extent constellations of factors led to scholastic success or failure and to enable the educational personnel worker, more concerned with person-focussed data than with group data, to see individual patterns of failure and success.
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University
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