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Acceleration: Best Practice for Gifted Children

Authors: Dr. Annette Heinbokel

Conference: 1st World Giftedness Center International Conference

Keywords: Decision-Making in Acceleration, Early Entry and Grade Skipping, Gifted Education


Abstract

There are two main options for gifted children: enrichment or acceleration and its combinations. From all the research that is known enrichment is offered and accepted more often, however, acceleration is twice as effective, so this presentation will focus on it. Accelerants report a beneficial effect on their intellectual as well as their emotional well-being. On the other hand, several forms of acceleration are decisions can affect the rest of the school career and life, especially early entry into school and whole grade skipping. It’s possible but not easy to reverse these decisions, so adults have to be very careful when and how to implement it. I did several studies on the subject: I had questionnaires for about 2000 schools (twice, to show the development), for parents and adult grade skippers, and I did interviews with youngsters who had skipped. After acceleration the pupils were intellectually more satisfied and emotionally happier. When there were problems, they were usually caused by adults who had made mistakes implementing it because of a lack of knowledge In the presentation information will be given when to suggest acceleration. One important question is whether IQ tests are necessary for the decision. They can be replaced by ‘Entscheidungshilfen’ (assistance for taking a decision): Which of the many forms of acceleration is best for which child, what to think of beforehand and how to accompany the pupil, and what to avoid?

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