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Frequently Asked Questions about Academic Acceleration Mary Ann Swiatek, Ph.D. PA Licensed Psychologist

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Presentation on theme: "Frequently Asked Questions about Academic Acceleration Mary Ann Swiatek, Ph.D. PA Licensed Psychologist"— Presentation transcript:

1 Frequently Asked Questions about Academic Acceleration Mary Ann Swiatek, Ph.D. PA Licensed Psychologist

2 What’s the difference between acceleration and enrichment? Enrichment –Adding breadth –Adding depth Acceleration –Increasing pace –Skipping material that is already known Acceleration and enrichment

3 What methods of acceleration are available? Whole-grade acceleration –Early entrance to kindergarten or first grade –Early entrance to junior high, high school, or college –Grade skipping

4 What methods of acceleration are available? Subject-matter acceleration –Self-paced instruction –Combined classes –Curriculum telescoping –Concurrent enrollment –Advanced placement –Credit by examination –Distance-learning courses

5 What methods of acceleration are available? Extracurricular programs Mentorships

6 What Works for Whom? Pyramid of Educational Options

7 Will accelerated students have gaps in their knowledge? Diagnostic testing  prescriptive instruction Test scores equal those of gifted new classmates Strong performance at advanced levels of study suggests that there are no gaps Grades may not be top in class (although often they are)

8 Will accelerated students “burn out” on academics? Most accelerated students attend college Many accelerates earn advanced degrees Math/science accelerates continue to express positive attitudes toward math and science

9 Will accelerated students be able to make friends? Extremely gifted students often are better accepted by older students Gifted children often choose older friends Social status more negative for accelerants in one study in the Netherlands (Hoogeveen, van Hell, & Verhoeven, 2009)

10 Will acceleration hurt students’ self-concept? Global self-concept Academic self-concept Social self-concept New study: Hoogeveen, van Hell, & Verhoeven (2009)

11 Will recognition of academic ability cause accelerated students to become conceited? No evidence of conceit Consistent with predictions of social comparison theory

12 Will accelerated students suffer due to missed social experiences? High levels of satisfaction with acceleration Missed experiences are regarded as “worth it”

13 In retrospect, are accelerated students happy with their decision? Positive effects on personal development are reported Accelerates do not later regret their decision

14 What should be considered in deciding whether to accelerate a particular student? Critical issues for grade skipping –Attitude of student –Level of ability (IQ) –Grade level of sibling(s)

15 What should be considered in deciding whether to accelerate a particular student? Other considerations –School history (including grades) –Ability and achievement test results –Professional evaluation results

16 What should be considered in deciding whether to accelerate a particular student? –Developmental factors - Age - Physical size -Motor coordination

17 What should be considered in deciding whether to accelerate a particular student? –Interpersonal factors Emotional development Behavior Relationship with peers Relationship with teachers Participation in non-school extracurricular activities

18 What should be considered in deciding whether to accelerate a particular student? Attitude and support of: –Student –Parent –School system Prior Planning

19 What resources can help with decisions about acceleration? Research studies A Nation Deceived The Iowa Acceleration Scale (IAS)


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