Lewis Terman was fundamental in establishing the empirical study of precocious children and contributed to the modern conception of the “gifted” child. He dispelled many of the popular misconceptions that gifted children were ultimately disadvantaged physically, socially, or professionally. Through his research on intelligence and testing, he provided the instruments that became the foundation of the study of gifted children and the educational policies that affected them for decades. Commonly referred to as “the father of gifted education,” he is often credited as the first psychologist to empirically study gifted children and adults. This entry describes Terman's background and his studies of genius.


Terman was born on the January 15, 1877, on a small farm in Johnson County, Indiana. Terman displayed an aptitude for school ...

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