Leta Stetter Hollingworth, a pioneer of gifted education in America, embodies the dichotomy between the ideals of progressive education and the measurement movement prevalent at the beginning of this century, the movement most closely associated with the identification of gifted and talented students. The Speyer School experiment illustrated how the measurement paradigm could dominate a very democratic model of elementary education for exceptional children. There are vestiges of the strictly "objective" measurement paradigm in the identification of students for gifted programs today, juxtaposed with a very democratic paradigm in curriculum and teaching in those same programs. This article briefly documents that dichotomy, and uses the lens of some of Dewey's writing to analyze how it was articulated at the Speyer School, PS 500 in New York City between 1935 and 1940 by Hollingworth and her colleagues. This historical study will illuminate the roots of inconsistencies that have troubled reflective educators of gifted and talented students for much of this century.
Rutnitski, Rose A.
"Leta Stetter Hollingworth and the Speyer School, 1935-1940: Historical Roots of the Contradictions in Progressive Education for Gifted Children,"
Education and Culture:
1, Article 2.
Available at: http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/eandc/vol13/iss1/art2