Ability Grouping to Aid Gifted Students in Better Learning

Posted on January 20, 2017

Photo: flickr

A new Northwestern University study reported that schools should adopt both ability grouping and acceleration to help gifted students.

Ability grouping places students of similar skills and abilities in the same classes. Acceleration, most commonly known as grade skipping, subject acceleration or early admission into kindergarten or college, gives students the chance to access opportunities earlier or progress more rapidly.

Co-authors in the study noticed that acceleration is not frequently used among schools even though it has been proven supportive by research as most schools do not systematically look for students who require it.

Proponents of ability and acceleration point to benefits for children who are under-challenged in their grade-level classroom. With a more homogenous learning environment, it's easier for teachers to match their instruction to a student's needs and the students benefit from interacting with comparable academic peers.

Accelerated students performed significantly better than non-accelerated same-age peers, and comparable to non-accelerated older students, according to the study.
Others have said education should "avoid trying to teach students what they already know," the authors wrote. "Based on the nearly century's worth of research, we believe the data clearly suggest that ability grouping and acceleration are two such strategies for achieving this goal."

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Category(s):Academic Issues

Source material from Science Daily