Education A National Roundup

Death: Pioneer in Gifted Education Dies

By Christina A. Samuels — August 30, 2005 1 min read

Julian C. Stanley, a psychologist, statistician, and educator who championed the cause of accelerated instruction for academically precocious children, died Aug. 12 in Columbia, Md. He was 87 and had pneumonia, his family said.

Mr. Stanley had already done pioneering work in the design of educational research when he was introduced in 1969 to a 13-year-old boy who had run out of mathematics options available to him through his public school system. Mr. Stanley tested the boy, Joseph Bates, using the SAT, an unusual step for the time. He persuaded the boy’s family to let him enroll at Johns Hopkins University, where the student earned a master’s degree in computer science by 17.

The boy’s situation inspired Mr. Stanley to create regular “talent searches” for gifted youths. He went on to found the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins, located in Baltimore. His talent-search model expanded to universities across the country and the world, eventually enrolling more than 200,000 gifted students.

Mr. Stanley also documented the results of such programs. Many schools today use the methods he initiated to respond to the needs of gifted students.