Student acceleration refers to the practice of allowing students to move through a curriculum at a faster pace than their peers, often by skipping grades or taking advanced courses.
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Student acceleration refers to the practice of allowing students to progress through a curriculum at a faster pace than their peers, with the goal of providing appropriate challenges and support to highly capable and motivated learners. This can include methods such as grade-skipping, dual enrollment in college courses, advanced placement courses, and the use of acceleration exams to determine readiness for advanced material.
According to the Acceleration Institute, acceleration has been shown to have many benefits for students, including higher academic achievement, increased motivation and engagement, better leadership and communication skills, and improved mental and emotional health. However, it can also pose challenges, such as social and emotional adjustment issues and the need for specialized support to ensure that students receive appropriate education and resources.
Famous educator and author Howard Gardner commented: “Acceleration can be exhilarating…but can also throw a child into exile if not handled sensitively.” Therefore, careful consideration must be given to a range of factors, including individual needs and strengths, family support, and school resources and policies.
Here are some interesting facts about student acceleration:
- A report by the National Association for Gifted Children found that only 6% of high-achieving high school students were accelerated in mathematics or science.
- The Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development has developed a variety of programs to support accelerated learners, including the Iowa Online Advanced Placement Academy and BLAST (Belin-Blank Advanced Science and Technology program).
- A 2017 study by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation found that high-achieving, low-income students were less likely to experience acceleration and advanced coursework than their more affluent peers.
- A 2019 article in Psychology Today suggested that acceleration may be particularly valuable for students with autism or other neurodivergent traits, as it can provide a structured and challenging environment that supports their unique strengths and interests.
To illustrate the potential benefits and challenges of acceleration for individual students, here is an example of a possible table summarizing key considerations:
|Factor||Potential Pros||Potential Cons|
|Academic readiness||Increased engagement and achievement||Stress or frustration if material is too difficult|
|Social/emotional readiness||Opportunity to connect with like-minded peers||Difficulty adjusting to new social settings|
|Family support||Encouragement and advocacy for student||Concerns about social isolation or stigma|
|School resources||Access to specialized programs or services||Limited availability or support for acceleration|
|Individual preferences||Desire for challenge and stimulation||Preference for consistency and stability|
Answer in the video
Superintendent Rick Surrency highlights the Putnam County School District’s acceleration opportunities, such as honors and Cambridge programs, advanced placement and dual enrollment classes, and collegiate high school programs, available to all students in the district. The first round of applications is due in February, and the superintendent believes that encouraging these programs will help boost the district’s student achievement. Parents are recommended to consider these opportunities for their students.
There are additional viewpoints
Learning acceleration is an ongoing instructional process by which educators engage in formative practices to improve students’ access to and mastery of grade-level standards.
Academic acceleration is moving students through an educational program at a rate faster or at an age younger than is typical. Students who would benefit from acceleration do not necessarily need to be identified as gifted in a particular subject. Acceleration places them ahead of where they would be in the regular school curriculum.
More interesting questions on the topic
What is an acceleration program in school?
Response will be: Academic acceleration is moving students through an educational program at a rate faster or at an age younger than is typical. Students who would benefit from acceleration do not necessarily need to be identified as gifted in a particular subject.
Is acceleration good for students?
In addition, researchers have found that, overall, acceleration influences high-ability students’ academic achievement in positive ways, and that these students outperform peers in other areas, including scores on standardized tests, grades in college, and the status of the universities they attend and their later
What is an example of acceleration for gifted students?
Acceleration is the practice of offering gifted students opportunities for advancement in learning. Three common methods of acceleration for gifted students are: grade skipping, subject acceleration, and curriculum compacting.
What does acceleration mean in high school?
Response to this: Academic acceleration is when a school or district places a student in a higher grade level than is typical given the student’s age for the purpose of providing the student access to appropriately challenging learning opportunities.
What is academic acceleration?
As an answer to this: A discussion class at Shimer College, which has offered an early entrance program since 1950 Academic acceleration is moving students through an educational program at a rate faster or at an age younger than is typical. Students who would benefit from acceleration do not necessarily need to be identified as gifted in a particular subject.
What is accelerated learning?
As a response to this: Accelerated learning instead suggests brief pauses before instruction of new content to assess students’ prior knowledge and take action by building pre-requisite skills into lessons. Through this approach, educators can focus on successful instruction of grade level content and minimize the need for more interventions down the line.
Is acceleration the answer to in-person schooling?
Answer will be: Most students will return to in-person schooling this fall, and teachers around the country are feeling the pressure to get their classes back on track. In many places, a model known as acceleration is being billed as the way to ameliorate less-than-ideal learning conditions from this past school year.
Does acceleration harm students?
Response to this: Some argue that acceleration can be harmful to students’ self-concept, ability to fit in with older peers, or other social-emotional needs. However, research on acceleration has demonstrated multiple academic benefits to students and suggests that acceleration does not harm students.