Category Archives: Research class blogs

A curiosity with Lewis Terman and George Stoddard

I heard of Lewis Terman and George Stoddard’s argument while mulling over a quiet disaster.

For five Saturdays over a recent semester I taught an “Advanced Language Arts” class to seventh and eighth-graders identified as gifted. Hosted by a nationally-known program advocating for gifted education and selected after advertising the class to an unspecified number of schools, our group was small, five girls and two boys, and met for three hours at a time. Our focus was creative nonfiction: personal narratives. No grades, no testing, just exercises, encouragement and feedback. Looking back on it, I shouldn’t have been surprised the class didn’t go as planned but these children had been identified as gifted, they were giving up several Saturdays to meet, their parents had paid three hundred bucks for the privilege and—this is where I made my first mistake—I accepted the assertion by one of the administrators in the program that I should assume they could read and write at the same level as the first year college students I’d been teaching for the past few years.

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Intelligence testing…a smattering of articles

From The New York Times (and Magazine)

The Junior Meritocracy, by Jennifer Senior

Gifted Programs’ Criteria Vary Widely by Pam Belluck

Raising Our IQ by Nicolas Kristof

(I’ll add more as time goes on…if you’ve got any send ’em my way.)

Arts-Based Research Project Proposal


I’d like to split the various components of our semester goals into two directions. One will allow me to revisit some old material, the other will allow for moving into material that I’m fairly certain will become my dissertation. The two projects are “A Misanthrope’s Guide to Living,” a graphic essay I’d like to complete based on research leading to my MFA thesis, and an investigation into the life of Lewis Terman, the psychologist who brought the IQ test to the United States and popularized it. For the sake of the clarity offered by a title, I’ll call it “IQ: the Man Behind the Score.”

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