Roeper Consultation Services    
Revised January 15, 2010

The Annemarie Roeper Methodsm
of Qualitative Assessment

“There is a goldmine of hidden creativity in each one of these children, which can blossom into spiritual, emotional, creative and scientific growth. We need to build
bridges between the inner world of the individual and the outer world of society, so that knowledge, thoughts and emotions can flow freely between them. To contribute to the accomplishment of this great goal continues to drive my life passionately.” 

—Dr. Annemarie Roeper  

The Annemarie Roeper Philosophy of Assessment

If we are to understand children, we must honor the inner world of the child, relate to the unconscious as well as the conscious, and the emotional as well as the cognitive. Education needs a clinical and developmental approach to assessment. The Annemarie Roeper (AMR) Methodsm of Qualitative Assessment uses a relational, experiential approach to facilitate the deeper understanding of individuals and, thus, nurture them in being more fully who they are. 

Many schools profess to serve the whole child and to provide appropriate educational approaches. However, they lack a legitimate, authentic method of assessing the whole child, of understanding the deepest wellspring of motivation and personality. AMR Methodsm of Qualitative Assessment fills this gap. It is a proven, rigorous means of experiencing the gifted child. It enables parents and teachers more effectively to open the door to learning opportunities and life experiences for the child. In this way, gifted children have greater possibilities to live their life in a way that fully expresses who they are and enables them to contribute to society with fewer obstacles. 

History of the Annemarie Roeper Methodsm

In 1941, Drs. George and Annemarie Roeper founded Roeper City and Country School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. They soon became aware of the emotional characteristics and educational needs of gifted children. Under the leadership of Dr. Harry Passow, they convened a week-long, intensive conference of experts to plan a curriculum appropriate for gifted children. By 1956, the school was converted into a school for the gifted. The IQ test was introduced and used along with observation and interviews to decide enrollment. After becoming acquainted with the child, the Roeper’s began to estimate the applicant’s IQ score. They understood that giftedness expresses itself in the emotional reactions of children. Therefore, they were not surprised when their independent assessment almost always coincided with the result of the IQ test, while offering additional information. 

After retirement, Annemarie opened the Roeper Consultation Service and created AMR Methodsm of Qualitative Assessment. For the next 20 years and continuing into the present, she uses her method of evaluation, independent of IQ tests, to determine giftedness. She helps parents and schools better understand gifted children and make appropriate decisions for them. Now in her 85th year, she feels it is important that others learn to use this method for the benefit of gifted children. (For more information about Annemarie Roeper, please see Appendix A.)

The Approach

AMR Methodsm of Qualitative Assessment is used as an alternative to or in conjunction with, traditional testing and offers a unique approach to evaluation for giftedness. The wealth of information gained through AMR Methodsm of Qualitative Assessment is used to facilitate more effective planning for the education and parenting of children to better meet their needs. It is based on an understanding of giftedness that looks beyond multiple intelligences or the ability to perform on an IQ test. The human psyche is one of enormous complexity, not fully measurable by standardized psychometric examinations. The only instrument complex enough to understand a human being is another human being. AMR Methodsm practitioners use themselves as the instrument through which to understand the child or adult. AMR Methodsm of Qualitative Assessment offers a broader perspective to the assessment process, revealing the inner world of the individual. This method acknowledges individuals in terms of their uniqueness, independent of the expectations of the practitioner, the school, or society.  

By observing and reacting to a great variety of clues, including consideration of conscious and unconscious motivations, the practitioner replaces the conventional instrument of testing with his or her own finely tuned intuitive abilities to form an overall impression of the child. Central to the process is an attempt to understand the child’s complex inner landscape of the Self. This understanding is supplemented by information and insights from the parents and the school, as well as the practitioner’s own educational and psychological experience, empathy and intuition. The practitioner also draws on his or her own knowledge and experience of the characteristics of gifted children, such as heightened empathy, a strong sense of justice with a need to right the wrong, perfectionism, acute sensitivity, intensity and all-encompassing passion. 

An essential element of AMR Methodsm of Qualitative Assessment is to provide an open and totally non-judgmental atmosphere in which the child has freedom of expression. When the practitioner suspends judgment, letting go of all preconceived notions, and giving, as Freud says, impartial attention to everything there is to observe, this is accomplished. The intention is to create a relationship of trust between the practitioner and the child. The practitioner conveys to the child that the purpose of the meeting lies only in discovering—with the child’s permission—who that child is, without expectations of performance.  

AMR Methodsm of Qualitative Assessment can be used to qualify children for placement in gifted programs and schools for advanced learners. It is extremely useful in designing programs, provisions, individual plans of development, and home education that nourishes the inner agenda, interests, emotional and spiritual development, and unique needs of the child. Evaluators experience the child through a variety of verbal and nonverbal clues, observation, intuition, and information from the child, the parents, and the school. From insights gained about the child, the evaluator helps build a bridge to the appropriate educational resources available to the family. Families are helped to construct their own educational path. The goal is to empower the child and the parents to take charge of their own destiny. (The “Process of Evaluation” better explains how a practitioner implements the AMR Methodsm of Qualitative Assessment.  The use of the AMR Methodsm explains the steps taken in the process.)

Using the AMR Methodsm with Families

The basic process of the assessment of children consists primarily of three sessions: a parent interview, a child interview, and a final discussion. The process uses the specific AMR Methodsm of Qualitative Assessment approach in order to gain deep insights into the Self of the child. The practitioner becomes acquainted with the child’s family through a variety of methods. There is initial telephone and e-mail connection and a questionnaire that includes factual information as well as the parents’ impressions of the child. This is followed by a thorough but unstructured interview with the parents and a free-flowing session with the child.  

Parent Interview 

The purpose of this session is to form a basis of mutual trust and understanding and to discover their expectations and the questions that the parents hope to have addressed. The evaluator attempts to gain as much information as possible about the child through interviewing the parents and reviewing background information offered in the parent questionnaire. Hopefully, channels of communication will open between the parents and the evaluator, thus creating a forum for cooperation to further address the needs of the family and child. 

Child Interview 

In this session, the evaluator experiences the child directly. The evaluator encourages the child to bring something of interest from home but does not impose any expectations. When children realize that they will not be judged, they usually relax. By allowing children to be themselves, the evaluator is able to glimpse the children’s view of the world and their approaches to discovering it. In this way, the evaluator experiences the children’s advanced abilities as well as their inner lives. The evaluator can experience the child emotionally in a way that is free of the child’s family dynamics and society’s expectations.  

The children frequently talk openly about their interests and experiences, their hopes, their disappointments, and their problems. In addition to talking with them, the evaluator plays games with them that require strategies or problem-solving abilities. The evaluator allows them to express themselves with building materials, art, or story telling. Approaching the child without preconceived notions allows the evaluator to access a deeper source of information.  

All interactions that take place during the session have diagnostic value. From the moment the child enters the session to the moment he or she leaves, the information flow that evolves in the exchange between the evaluator and the child becomes the source of conscious and unconscious knowledge about the child’s Self. However, the evaluator respects the privacy of the child and is careful not to be intrusive. The evaluator offers suggestions, when appropriate, while allowing the child to lead the interchange and set the pace. The evaluator conveys acceptance of the child’s unique developmental path—honoring where he or she has come from and where he or she is going. Usually, a genuine, mutual relationship and trust will develop during this interaction. 

Final Discussion 

The session with the child is followed by a feedback and discussion session with the parents and, if desired, a written report. The main purpose of the communication process between the evaluator and the child’s parents is to create deeper emotional access to the child’s unique Self. The evaluator shares his or her findings with the parents, and together they build a bridge between the Self of the child and the environment. The judgment of the evaluator is of utmost importance to the parents. Thus an essential part of the communication with parents is sensitivity with which the practitioner and family discuss the findings; especially when there is a difference between the evaluator’s judgment and parents’ expectations.  

Appendix A

Annemarie Roeper, Ed.d.: A Founding Force

Initiator, developer, and practitioner of the Annemarie Roeper Method of Qualitative Assessment, Dr. Annemarie Roeper is highly respected for her work with gifted children.  Along with her husband, George, Dr. Annemarie Roeper became well known in the United States for a philosophy of education that resulted in her co-founding the Roeper School for the Gifted in the State of Michigan, an independent school that is still providing innovative education for gifted children.

Now in her 91st year, Dr. Roeper works tirelessly to increase understanding among parents and educators of the importance of providing an appropriate environment in which children can blossom.  She has seen their passions, their knowledge and incredible insights and intuitive wisdom, their abilities, their struggles and their misunderstandings and pain.

Through the course of her involvement with children, Dr. Roeper has pioneered a method of assessment that incorporates the emotional and spiritual aspects of children into a deeper understanding of who they are.  This method has proven to be an important complement to more quantitative assessment that provides a more complete view of the child.


Some signs of giftedness in children and adults compiled by Annemarie Roeper, Ed.D. and Betty Maxwell, Ph.D.


Remembering insults forever

Doing three things at once

Doing the outwardly foolish thing, taking up lost causes


Interest in life and death

Driven to comprehend, complexity of understanding

Wanting to know the reasons and origins of things

Asks, “What is my purpose?”


Recognition of falsity, no “trophy friends”

Complexifying solutions

Finding non-conventional solutions, originality

Not motivated by extrinsic awards, discomfort with praise


Undeterred by conventional expectations

Self taught, non-sequential learning

Need for precision

Recognition of unfairness, strong sense of justice

Making intuitive leaps, making logical projections

Noticing what no one else does

Manipulation and bargaining

Make and follow their own plans, less teachable

Devise practical experiments to see “What if?”

Saying, “Actually”

Large vocabulary, love of big words

Delayed in toilet training, difficulty in separating from mom

Early sense of responsibility

Not wanting to grow up and face the world

Less physical risk-taking

Zipping through Piagetian stages

Friends of both genders, later sexual interests

Abstract thinkers before having the emotional ability to handle it

Symbolic thinkers

Can animate their fears, powerful emotional imagination


Please send your good wishes for Annemarie c/o Karen Mireau at and we will post them here.

Recent Congratulations:

Your work has been such an inspiration for looking at the world through the eyes of gifted children and validating their inner world and honoring the soul in all children. I think of the school you created as an ideal environment for keeping a child's spirit alive - in a world that wants to solve the problem of the "spirited child." I believe that your unique approach to children and education is the solution to what ails the education system and medicine for the future. - Dr. Lara Honos-Webb

This is not a re-launching of your career but the mere launching of a new website! Your career is and has always been a seamless continuation of a lifetime of experiences from which you extract a pure, translucent insight. You then use your skillfulness to apply this insight to your work with others. Your approach to understanding and working with gifted individuals of all ages is non-dualistic, holistic, nurturing, kind and intuitive. For this reason, people of all ages are instinctively drawn to you seeking to grow under your tutelage. I send you wishes for continued success. - Cindi Lardner

I LOVE YOUR WEBSITE!!!! It makes me so happy to see you in pictures, and to read your wonderful words, and view this tribute to your 60 years of accomplishments. I LOVE IT! It feels like new life....just like the springtime! You are re-budding!!!! AMEN! - Patty Gatto-Walden

I LOVE your blog! First, the photo of you captures your true essence: kindness that is obvious in that knowing smile that I have come to love. I had a chance to watch some of the videos that are linked to your site. Fabulous! - Jim DeLisle

HOORAY! The new website give a fresh look and re-launches Annemarie's consulting practice. It is a compilation of many aspects of your life, Annemarie, and it is a great look to the past as well as to the future. - Michele Kane

Onederful!!!! You didn't mention this when I visited....what a great way to continue your work and share it with so many more.... - Susan Ryan

Ellen D. Fiedler, Ph.D. writes:


“Ageless” is the word that I’ve always used to describe my dear friend and treasured colleague, Annemarie Roeper. Her vitality of mind and spirit transcends all chronological boundaries, and issues of age simply vaporize in the clear, bright light of times shared with her.

“Ageless” is a word that also describes Annemarie’s perspectives on “life, the universe, and everything.” The wisdom she brings to every conversation I’ve ever had with her, as well as to her writings, presentations, and consultations, defy the boundaries of time and space. The pioneering work that she (with her beloved husband, George) did in creating and heading Roeper School and in developing “The Roeper Philosophy” has stood the test of time in honoring the Self of the child and broadening our perspectives on giftedness far beyond the narrow thinking of those who focus solely on the academic achievements and scholastic accomplishments of the gifted.

Most recently, one of the many manifestations of Annemarie’s ageless wisdom has been related to her Qualitative Assessment method for understanding the giftedness of children. She realized long ago that there was much more to identifying giftedness than was being revealed through traditional methods (test scores, teacher observations, performance tasks, etc.) and that she had been going well beyond those methods for years, dating well back to the days when she was at Roeper School full time. Her Qualitative Assessment (QA) method involves entering the world of the child and discovering much more about emotional and spiritual aspects of that individual, in addition to the child’s cognitive functioning, than could ever be revealed otherwise. So, Annemarie enlisted the aid of many of us who were close to her and very familiar with her work (Linda Silverman, Betty Meckstroth, Patty Gatto-Walden, Michele Kane, and others, including me) to establish an “apprenticeship” program that currently is well along in developing a cadre of skilled QA practitioners.

Spending time with Annemarie is, in itself, a timeless experience. Whether it was our conversations at the breakfast table, walking along one beach or another, riding together in a car, or sharing a meal, I invariably have found our discussions lively and intriguing and very influential in relationship to my work with teachers, schools, and school districts who are concerned with gifted children. (In fact, I often said that Annemarie and I should keep a tape-recorder going as we explored all those many complex and significant topics.) In an ongoing interplay between the past and the present, Annemarie draws on the experiences of a lifetime lived deeply and intensely while simultaneously being fully present in the here and now as her thoughts and feelings are dynamically shaped and reshaped in meaningful conversation with others.

Those of us who have known Annemarie well continue to be enriched by our connection with her. However, others who know her only through her prolific writings and speeches have continued to benefit by her timeless and ageless wisdom, benefits that have permanently changed the course of the field of gifted education for the better.

Ellen D. Fiedler, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL. Educational Consultant: Wings for Education LLC, New Buffalo, MI.



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The “I” of the Beholder


Educating Children For Life


My Life Experiences

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Living with Intensity


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