Papers and Commentaries by Professor Virgil S. Ward on Differential Education for the Gifted

(All of these materials can be used to discuss and analyze the history of gifted education. They are copyrighted (© 2015) by Dr. Ward's  daughter, Rebecca Ward. Please contact Gifted Education Press for permission to reproduce these articles in a book or on a web site. Thank you, Maurice Fisher, Publisher.)

My father, Dr. Virgil S. Ward, Professor Emeritus, pioneering theorist in the field of gifted education, died in 2003 at age 87. Despite being two moves late in life, whole house moves involving his cherished 5,000+ books and thousands of meticulously written documents, several boxes of his select papers remain with his family. There are published and unpublished papers on gifted education, lifetime education and philosophy, as well as letters to professional cohorts that range in time frame from his early doctoral work in the 1940s to the end of his life thoughts in the early 2000s.

Recently, a chapter devoted to Virgil Ward’s life was published in Contributions to Gifted Education: Illuminating Lives (2013), Ann Robinson, Ed.  This chapter was written by Suzanna E. Henshon.  Having organized the papers to help Dr. Henshon know more about VSW’s contributions to the field, I am still searching for an appropriate university/organization to archive his papers.

Maurice Fisher, a long-time friend and former doctoral student of my father’s, came up with the idea of publishing some of VSW’s papers on his Gifted Education Press web site so they might be of use to teachers of the gifted, parents, professors and graduate students.  I believe my father would have greatly appreciated this opportunity to share his ideas with a new generation of educators.

Rebecca Ward


Background Information --

Fisher, Maurice D. (Editor). (2003). Ten Tributes to Professor Virgil S. Ward. Gifted Education Press Quarterly. 17 (3), pp. 1-13.

Ward, Virgil S. (1961). Educating the Gifted: An Axiomatic Appoach.   Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill.

Ward, Virgil S. (1980). Differential Education for the Gifted. Los Angeles: N/S-LTI-G/T.

Ward, Virgil S. (1983). Gifted Education: Exploratory Studies of Theory and Practice. Manassas, VA: Gifted Education Press.

Virgil S. Ward: An Axiomatic Approach to Work and Life (1916-2003) by Suzanna E. Henshon. In A Century of Contributions to Gifted Education: Illuminating Lives (2013). Edited by Ann Robinson & Jennifer E. Jolly.

Papers by Professor Virgil S. Ward


The Intellectually Superior Student -- Principal Address to the South Carolina State Convention of English Teachers (1953).


The Gifted Student: A Manual for Program Improvement  Atlanta: Southern Regional Education Board, 1962.   Excerpt.


The Role and Nature of Theory in the Education of the Gifted.  Reprinted from Educational Theory, Vol. X, No. 3, July 1960.


Systematic Intensification and Extensification of the School Curriculum.  Published in Exceptional Children, 27 (October 1960). pp. 67-71, 77.


LIFETIME EDUCATION: Propositions for a General Theory of Education for these Times, 1967


Systematic Program Construction for the Gifted; Forty Sixth Annual International Convention; Council for Exceptional Children; New York City; April 14 - 20, 1968