Julian Stanley bigraphy, stories - Ameican psychologist

Julian Stanley : biography

July 9, 1918 - August 12, 2005

Julian Cecil Stanley (July 9, 1918 – August 12, 2005) was a psychologist, an educator, and an advocate of accelerated education for academically gifted children. He founded the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY), as well as a related research project, the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY), whose work has, since 1980, been supplemented by the Julian C. Stanley Study of Exceptional Talent (SET), which provides academic assistance to gifted children. Stanley was also widely known for his book, coauthored with Donald Campbell, on the design of educational research. Experimental and Quasi-experimental Designs for Research remains a classic in the field.


Julian Cecil Stanley Jr. was born in Macon, Georgia on July 9, 1918. After finishing high school he attended West Georgia Junior College (1936), now State University of West Georgia, and at the age of 19, after attending the Georgia Teacher’s College (1937), now Georgia Southern University, he became a high school math and chemistry teacher. During the Second World War he served in the Army Air Corps chemical warfare service (1942–1945). Upon his return he entered Harvard University where he completed his doctorate in education in 1950. Stanley’s first academic teaching position was as an associate professor in educational psychology at the George Peabody College for Teachers (1949), now Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. In 1951 he became the president of the Tennessee Psychological Association before moving onto the University of Wisconsin in 1953. It was here that he became famous for his work in experimental designs and psychometrics; his most cited work, Experimental and Quasi-experimental Designs for Research, was produced with co-author Donald T. Campbell (1963). In 1965, he moved on to Stanford, becoming a fellow of Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and then onto the final chapter of his career, which took place at Johns Hopkins University. It was here that he began his work with intellectually gifted youth, creating in 1971 the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY), which would eventually lead to a revolution in how gifted children were to be identified and treated within the education system. He retired as Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences (1992), although reportedly worked up until one week before his death in 2005 at the age of 87.Benbow, C. P. & Lubinski D. (2006) Julian C. Stanley Jr. (1918-2005). American Psychologist. 61(3), 251-252. retrieved from http://www.vanderbilt.edu/Peabody/SMPY/StanleyObit2006.pdf on June 9, 2010

When Stanley was a young math and science teacher he became fascinated with intellectual talent while taking “tests and measurements” course at University of Georgia.Benbow, C. P. & Stanley, J. C. (1983). Academic Precocity: Aspects of Its Development. Baltimore, Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press. But, it was in 1969 Julian Stanley’s interest with intellectually gifted youth was reignited when he was introduced to Joseph Bates, a 13-year-old boy from Baltimore, Maryland. Joseph was outperforming all of his classmates, specifically in mathematics. Stanley decided to test him using the SAT and found that it was a much more effective and reliable way to test for both advanced math and verbal skills and reasoned that such a method could be used to identify more of these high ability students, especially if a systematic approach was taken. Seeing a need for more research and development in mathematical reasoning ability, Stanley submitted a proposal to the Spencer Foundation of Chicago, which also had an interest in intellectual talent, to help fund his study.

On September 1, 1971 the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth was formed at Johns Hopkins University. It began as a project designed to model the longitudinal study by Lewis M. Terman in the “Genetic Studies of Genius” series. The project primarily included holding talent searches with the intent of identifying gifted youth, particularly in the area of mathematics. The study then proceeded to examine both short and long term results of the students identified through this method. But, it didn't stop there; Stanley was also invested in helping them to further their educations by devising and offering many different programs and classes geared towards acceleration. At the time there was very little research to support the idea of acceleration, with educators often pushing gifted youths and their parents towards enrichment instead, as it seemed best to avoid attracting too much attention to the unusual abilities of these students and thereby make it easier for educators within the current system at the time to deal with their intellectual capabilities. It should also be noted that up until the time of Stanley’s study, there was the prevalent idea that cultural assimilation, stemming from the melting pot ideology featured prominently within the United States’ immigration policies, was also a factor in educators veering away from providing acceleration opportunities for gifted students.Cohn, S. J., George, W. C. & Stanley, J. C. (1979). Educating the Gifted: Acceleration and Enrichment. Baltimore, Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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