Calvin W. Taylor
(May 23, 1915-April 26, 2000)
- University of Utah (Bachelor's and Master's Degrees)
- University of Chicago, Psychology (Ph.D., 1946)
- Professor of Psychology, University of Utah
Ideas and Interests
- Led National Science Foundation-funded conferences on scientific creativity
- Founded the Institute for Behavioral Research in Creativity, Salt
Lake City, Utah (1965)
- Received American Psychological Association's Richardson Creativity
- Developed and implemented the Multiple Creative Talent Teaching Approach.
Calvin Taylor was an important figure in the study of human creativity.
During the mid-1950s, in response to the Sputnik launch and other cold
war pressures, the United States began to devote increased funding to
the development of scientific talent. Taylor led several NSF-sponsored
conferences on scientific creativity (i.e., the Utah Conferences) that
brought together a diversity of perspectives and expertise to discuss
issues related to the development of scientific talent. Taylor edited
several important books that emerged from the Utah Conferences, many of
which are still widely used today.
Taylor, through his own basic research and educational theory, extended
and implemented Thurstone's factor analysis studies on The Vectors of
Mind into application by developing and implementing the Multiple Creative
Talent Teaching Approach. Taylor stated that not all gifted individuals
excelled in the same talents. Gifted students who have been evaluated
in one talent area as talented may not be very talented in another talent
area, and vice versa. Basing his ideas partially on Guilford's Structure of the Intellect model, Taylor
found that typical intelligence tests measure only a small fraction of
talents that have actually been identified, 10 percent at most.
Taylor proposed that multiple talents should be evaluated in the classroom
in order to identify more students as gifted in recognized talent areas.
Nine talent areas that Taylor has identified for instructional emphasis
include academic, productive thinking, planning, communicating, forecasting,
decision-making, implementing, human relations, and discerning opportunities.
Several positive outcomes to this approach were postulated:
- New star performers emerge from almost all levels of previous talent
- Many students who have been low performers in the traditional talent
levels will rise to at least a middle level in some of the the new talent
- Almost all students will have the rewarding experience of being above
average in one or another talent area if enough talent areas are cultivated
in the classroom.
- Approximately one third of students will be identified as highly
gifted in at least one major talent area.
Taylor expected this approach would produce higher motivation in students,
and allow for better development of human resource potential. A student
would be able learn a great deal about himself and can choose activities
that call for his best talents - a course that can lead to optimum self-actualization
In addition to his major achievements of the Utah Conferences and Multiple
Talent Approach, Taylor helped design the selection system for the NSF
Graduate Fellowship Program. He founded the Institute for Behavioral Research
in Creativity (IBRIC) and directed 19 summer creativity workshops for
- The Identification of creative scientific Talent: Report on The
1955 University of Utah Research Conference (1956)
- The Second (1957) University of Utah Research Conference on the
Identification of Creative Scientific Talent (1958)
- Scientific Creativity: Its Recognition and Development (1963)
- Development of a Theory of Education from Psychological and Other
Basic Research Findings (1964)
- Widening Horizons in Creativity (1964)
- Creativity: Progress and Potential (1964)
- Biographical Information and the Prediction of Multiple Criteria
of Success in Science (1966)
- Climate for Creativity; Report on The Seventh National Research
Conference on Creativity (1966)
- Instructional Media and Creativity (1966)
- Climate for Creativity (1968)
Anonymous (2001). Calvin W. Taylor (1915-2000). American Psychologist,
Taylor, C. W. (1968). Cultivating new talents: A way to reach the educationally
deprived. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 2, 83-90.
Taylor, C. W. (1986). Cultivating simultaneous student growth in both
multiple creative talents and knowledge. In J. S. Renzulli (Ed.), Systems
and Models for Developing Programs for the Gifted and Talented (pp.
307-350). Mansfield Center, CT: Creative Learning Press.
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