Accelerate?

When Dr. Janneke Frank visited Grande Prairie last winter, she indicated that the number one modification for gifted students is acceleration. If you read “A Nation Deceived” put out by the Institute for Research and Policy on Acceleration at the University of Iowa in 2004, it argues that we are holding back our brightest students even though the research supports the practice. So why has the practice of acceleration been discouraged?

It turns out that this topic can be a lightning rod for responses. Bring it up in a conversation and almost everyone “knows someone who…” There is often a deep concern over the question of maturity and dangers of young students being grouped with older students. The conversation also turns quite often to the topic of “enrichment” and how differentiating for students would eliminate the need for acceleration. So what do we do for our students who able to work far ahead of their grade level?

A quick reading of the Inspiring Education document and the possibility of personalizing education for all students may hold some answers for these students. As curriculums are being rewritten to allow students various “ways of knowing” and metacognitive components to encourage an understanding of the value of “process” as well as a stronger foundation in larger concepts…will this meet the needs of our gifted students?

That is what I am hoping to find out when I attend Dr. Miraca Gross’ workshop in Calgary on November 16 and 17th in Calgary. Anyone who is interesting in attending can contact labyrinthcurriculumdesign@gmail.com

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