Myths and Misconceptions of AccelerationReport as inadecuate

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Accelerating students through school at a faster than normal rate is routinely met with skepticism and doubt pertaining to its effectiveness. In the research community, however, the topic is nearly dead. Research has continually supported this practice as effective when carefully implemented. This article attempts to debunk common myths (such as social strain, achievement gaps, etc.) by presenting decades of research showing the benefits of acceleration and the detriments of withholding for a child in need. Reviews of single and meta-analysis studies are presented, as well as stories of successful and unsuccessful acceleration. Possible explanations for unsuccessful acceleration are suggested. Overall acceleration has shown to be very beneficial when used appropriately. No other implementation for gifted students has seen such positive results. There is a wide disconnect between research and practice. Leaders of the field of gifted education have fought for acceleration as a viable intervention, yet it appears to fall on deaf ears. Appended is: Effects Table of Academic, Socialization, and Psychological Outcomes for 12 Forms of Acceleration for Gifted Students.

Descriptors: Academically Gifted, Misconceptions, Intervention, Outcomes of Education, Social Integration, Acceleration (Education), Adjustment (to Environment), Student Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes, Elementary Education, Administrator Attitudes

Author: Anderson, Daniel


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