An Assessment of TAMS by Professor Julian Stanley

Dr. Stanley was an eminent scholar who studied gifted students for many decades. He was the founder of the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth at Johns Hopkins University.

In his article, "A Better Model for Residential High Schools for Talented Youth" (Thi Delta Kappan, Vol. 72, No. 6, pp 471-473), Dr. Stanley hailed TAMS:

  • TAMS is a considerably better model than the more familiar state residential high schools. TAMS provides highly challenging courses, all at the college level and for official college credit. It requires breadth of study in the sciences, humanities, and social sciences.
  • Extremely few college students anywhere choose such broad coverage. TAMS students take perhaps the most rigorous set of college courses offered by any high school in the nation.
  • There is no accelerated placement [at TAMS], either by age or by grade. This arrangement helps avoid the social and emotional problems that can somehow occur when students skip grades and then must compete and socialize with older classmates. In other words, the students have relatively 'normal' social and emotional experiences with their age mates, while benefiting from the increased academic challenge.
  • TAMSters have no high school courses. They must pass at least 57 semester hours of college work, most of it prescribed.
  • TAMSters have the social and emotional benefits and responsibilities of living with their age mates on a college campus and they are carefully supervised and guided by counselors.
  • TAMS students also have full access to all cultural activities on campus as well as to those in nearby Dallas and Fort Worth.
  • TAMS is a highly cost-effective model. Regular university facilities are used. The composition of the faculty means that TAMS can be directed by a distinguished scientist and full professor rather than by a school administrator, a feature that gives the program a more collegiate ambiance.
  • Living on a college campus for two years will make TAMS graduates feel more comfortable wherever they continue their education beyond high school.
In a related article:

"The research clearly shows that as a group, young entrants to college have been extremely successful academically and professionally and have not experienced significant social or emotional problems. There is no justification for assuming that academic difficulties or social and emotional adjustment problems are likely to accompany early entrance to college."

*Brody, L.E., & Stanley, J.C. (1991). Young college students:  Assessing factors that contribute to success.  In Southern, W.T., & Jones, E.D. (Eds.).The academic acceleration of gifted children, 102-132. New York: Teachers College Press.