????? "A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America's Brightest Students" - this is a report that was written by Nicholas Colangelo, Susan G. Assouline and Miraca U.M. Gross, and The Templeton National Report on Acceleration.
????? This report was widely published in 8 languages.
????? In this report, the authors talk about the bright children, the children who read early, who love to learn. They talk about the change that happens when these children start school.
????? These children are bored in kindergarten, frustrated in first grade, and even though they hope that something will change, the keep presenting a "problem" to their teachers.
????? In the report, the authors mention that when the children dare to ask for more challenging activities or ask more advanced questions from the teacher, they are told to sit quietly, to "know their place", and the main word they hear is "no".
????? Students who should be moved ahead at their own natural pace, are told to stay put, to be patient, to put their dreams on hold.
????? I had a similar experience when my son Eric attended first grade. The activities were not challenging enough for him, and when we asked the school to move him ahead, the teachers
have rejected the idea, and strongly recommended to leave him with his age peers.
????? Parents are told that leaving the child in his current classroom is the best things for her. However, according to the report, it is definitely not a good thing for the child.
????? The authors believe that excellence starts with the word "yes". The way to promote excellence, they claim, is to let excellence advance.
????? When we neglect the bright child, and let the child be bored and frustrated, we hurt the child's eagerness to learn. Excellence can become complacent and the child can become apathethic.
????? The solution, according to this report is very cheap and very effective: let these kids accelerate. Acceleration cost is minimal, and in some cases even saves money. A high school student, who takes college AP classes (Advanced Placement) is actually saving her
parents money, because the student will not be required to repeat the class, which otherwise
would have to be paid for. The parents of over 1 million students who took AP classes in 2004, saved millions of dollars in college costs. The most important thing - acceleration saves the bright child from frustration, boredom and loneliness.
?????? When parents meet with their child's teacher to discuss the future, they hear the teacher's advice. Teachers advise against acceleration, and give the parent information? that sounds, at first, scary. Some of it is true, but a part of it is nonsensical. And part of it is only partly true.
?????? The authors of this report have read extensively into current research and have interviewed leading educators, and they have come to conclusions.
?????? Here is the definition of acceleration: Acceleration is an educational intervention that moves students through an educational program at a faster than usual rate or younger than typical age. It does not mean pushing students or forcing them to study more complicated material, it means matching a student and his ability to the materials he is allowed to study.
?????? In America, schools are not very confident about this method. Many educators use age as an indicator for what grade the student should be in, instead of readiness. Many teachers see non-acceleration as a safer option. The current situation seems less problematic than taking a risk and accelerating a child. Since acceleration is not taught in colleges of education, teachers don't trust it as a legitimate method. Some teachers see acceleration as pushy. It is viewed as hurrying children through childhood.
?????? There are also a few myths that pertain to acceleration, like the myth that acceleration is approrpriate only for the affluent. Of course, talent has no geographical, ethnical or financial limits. It appears in all parts of the population. However, children in the less affluent population benefit more from acceleration, since they are not getting as much enrichment classes as the affluent kids.
?????? Another option for early intervention and avoidance of problems later on, is starting school early.
?????? Usually, the parents are the ones who notice that a child is a good candidate for this
option. Research has shown that parents are good judges of their child's ability. They also
have an interest in finding the best solution for their children.
?????? Preschoolers who show early verbal ability, strong mathematical skills, long attention
span, exhibit early ability to reason abstractly and have early interest in time, are possibly
good candidates for this option.
?????? In most schools, a 4 year old who is ready to start school, will not be accepted. A report
for 2001 - 2002 shows that many states have no policies regarding early entrance to school.
?????? Children who are not allowed to start school early, will start school bored and continue
to be bored though their school education. Usually several school years have to pass before
a student will be considered for acceleration, by then precious time has been lost, and bad
influences on the child have made their mark.
?????? Acceleration is a topic that shows a big gap between what research has shown and what
is actually practiced in the field. The research is very uniformly positive, and yet the practice is not readily adopted by schools and educators are still opposing it.
????? If you want to learn more about how to develop your child's genius, you can find a free e-book and a free recording at http://www.all-gifted-children.com