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A "Precious Minority": Constructing the "Gifted" and "Academically Talented" Student in the Era of Brown v. Board of Education and the National Defense Education Act
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History, The Hugo Valentin Centre.
2017 (English)In: Isis (Chicago, Ill.), ISSN 0021-1753, E-ISSN 1545-6994, Vol. 108, no 3, 581-605 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This essay investigates the emergence of a profusion of lay and specialist literature in the late 1950s United States advocating on behalf of "gifted" and "academically talented" students. This call to reform schools around individual differences in "intelligence" was associated in its moment with the Sputnik crisis and the passage of the National Defense Education Act (NDEA). The essay demonstrates, however, that the emergence of intensified interest in education for the "academically talented" was actually closely coterminous with Brown v. Board of Education and should also be understood in the context of early efforts to desegregate the public schools. It holds that a closer look at the NDEA- and a supporting body of literature working in tandem with it-reveals continuities in psychometric conceptions of "intelligence" and testing from the interwar period into the post-World War II era. This essay thus makes contributions to the historiographies of the Cold War, civil rights, psychometrics, and education in the 1950s.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Chicago Press, 2017. Vol. 108, no 3, 581-605 p.
National Category
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-336492DOI: 10.1086/694446ISI: 000411180900004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-336492DiVA: diva2:1166213
Available from: 2017-12-14 Created: 2017-12-14 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved

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Wynter Porter, Jim

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