The world’s foremost longitudinal examination of gifted children is the
subject of a new film, “Quick Learners; High Achievers: Study of
Mathematically Precocious Youth.”
Emmy Award-winning film and television actor Andre Braugher (“The Mist,”
“City of Angels”) lends his voice talent to the 14-minute
mini-documentary, which was produced by Vanderbilt University’s Peabody
It was produced and edited by Emmy Award-winner Lyle Jackson. Emmy
Award-winner Jack Isenhour is the writer.
The film chronicles SMPY’s 45-year history thus far, featuring rarely
seen photographs of SMPY founder and acclaimed academic Julian C.
It also as features commentary from SMPY co-directors Camilla P. Benbow
and David Lubinski, both psychology researchers at Vanderbilt’s Peabody
College of education and human development.
launched SMPY in the early 1970s near the end of his career at Johns
Hopkins University. In those days, gifted programs were in their
infancy, and asking 13-year-olds to take the SAT was unheard of. Benbow,
now the Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development
at Peabody, was Stanley’s graduate student and protégé at the time.
When Stanley retired, he turned the study over to Benbow who later moved
the study to Iowa State. More than a decade later, Benbow and
co-director David Lubinski brought the thriving study to Vanderbilt,
where it is currently housed.
Now comprising 5,000 individuals, SMPY boasts many members of the
nation’s elite innovators and captains of industry. Their participation
has yielded a wealth of scientific data over the decades on myriad
aspects of the gifted child’s journey through life, from early teens to