Gilbert Clark’s test and my conversations with Enid Zimmerman

My acquaintance with Enid Zimmerman, Professor Emerita of Art Education and High Ability Education at Indiana University, began in the Fall of 2018, shortly after her husband, Gil Clark, passed away. He had researched and authored the CDAT. I was working on a webinar for the National Art Education Association (NAEA), had read just about everything she and Gil had written since the 1990’s, and looked to Enid as a Distinguished Fellow of the NAEA for help maintaining perspective on a tricky topic. The webinar was called, “Teaching the Gifted and Talented in Art,” a topic only just emerging from a period of neglect in the field of art education.

Besides offering to edit the script and chiming in on the webinar in February, 2019, Enid also met with me in Boston at the NAEA National Convention in March. We talked about the CDAT. She told me she was still getting requests for access to and scoring of the instrument, which has been used as a tool to help identify students in need of specialized art instruction to develop art talent.

Until months before his death, Enid explained, Gil would receive and see to the scoring of stacks of the student responses from classes or schools near and far. Knowing of my interest in artistic development and assessment, Enid introduced me to her colleague, Marjorie Manifold, also Professor of Art Education at Indiana University, who was one of the early group taught to score the CDAT. Her hope was that Marjorie might relate to me what she knows about the scoring, passing the torch to meet the need that persists for an instrument to quantify art talent for the purpose of identification of high ability.

When encountering this problem, I did what’s typical of my generation, born in the 1970s and coming of age with modems, bulletin board systems (BBSs) and eventually, the Internet. I started a new independent website (as opposed to dealing with the existing social media megaplatforms of the millennium.)

In the coming months I intend to offer here a free resource that presents about all you would want to know about the CDAT. Exploring a mixture of Web Apps, Content Management Systems, and Learning Management Systems here on this site, I wouldn’t be surprised if the training found here becomes quite interactive and maybe even evolves responsively as users work with it.

Enid asked in her most recent email if I would score the tests that need scoring and work on the interrater reliability and norming issues to keep them up to date. I imagine we should be able to do that together, you and me, with what’s to come.

Enjoy, and please feel free to give feedback and check back often for further developments.