Stanley, Julian C., Jr. 1918–2005

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Stanley, Julian C., Jr. 1918–2005

(Julian Cecil Stanley, Jr.)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born July 9, 1918, in East Point, GA; died of pneumonia, August 12, 2005, in Columbia, MD. Psychologist, educator, and author. A retired psychology professor, Stanley was best known for his groundbreaking research with mathematically gifted children and for helping to establish ways to better meet their educational needs. After finishing a B.S. in 1937 at what is now Georgia Southern College, he taught high-school math for five years. He then went to Harvard University to earn a master's degree in 1946 and a doctorate in experimental and educational psychology in 1950. Stanley was an associate professor at George Peabody College for Teachers until 1953, and he joined the University of Wisconsin—Madison faculty that year. At Madison, he was a professor of educational psychology and directed the laboratory of experimental design from 1961 to 1967. He specialized in quantitative psychology in these early years, but his focus changed shortly after transfering to a position at Johns Hopkins University in 1967. An encounter with a brilliant thirteen-year-old boy who was gifted in math led Stanley to worry that the educational system did not foster such talents well. He set out to find a way to test young children and find out which ones were mathematically gifted; thus began the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth at Johns Hopkins. Stanley used tests based on college-level exams to identify the most intelligent children, and he used his data to convince the university to start a program catering to these students. Johns Hopkins consequently founded the Center for Talented Youth, which offers challenging weekend and summer classes for gifted kids. Initially, Stanley believed that such children should be allowed to attend regular college classes, but he later changed his opinion, saying that young teens were not emotionally prepared for such a challenge. Stanley continued to teach at Johns Hopkins until retiring in 1999. In appreciation for his work with gifted children, Mensa presented him with a lifetime achievement award in 2000. Stanley wrote and edited numerous scholarly books over the years, including Statistical Methods in Education and Psychology (1970), Mathematical Talent: Discovery, Description, and Development (1974), Academic Precocity: Aspects of Its Development (1983), and Intellectual Talent: Psychometric and Social Issues (1996).



Chicago Tribune, August 16, 2005, section 3, p. 9.

New York Times, August 15, 2005, p. A19.


Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth Web site,∼gifted/ (August 31, 2005).

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Stanley, Julian C., Jr. 1918–2005

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