Updated: Jun 14, 2021
Photo by Jess Baily
How do we justify an educational system that ignores competence and achievement, and utilizes chronological age as the primary, or only, factor in student placement? – Miraca Gross, 2012
Keeping a child who can do sixth-grade work in a second-grade classroom is not saving that student's childhood but is instead robbing that child of the desire to learn. – Ellen Winner, Gifted Children: Myths and Realities
There is little doubt that educators have been largely negative about the practice of acceleration despite abundant research evidence attesting to its validity. It is difficult to understand the hostility of many educators to this acceleration strategy. – James T. Gallagher, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (2004)
No other arrangements for gifted children works as well as acceleration – James A. Kulik, The University of Michigan
All of us do not have equal talent, but all of us should have an equal opportunity to develop our talent. – John F. Kennedy Civil Rights Address
I know, there are a lot of quotes. But I was so excited to find people other than myself who see the wisdom in providing an accelerated learning experience, I just had to share some.
Here at Maricopa Christian Academy, students who have been labeled as gifted elsewhere are provided with an accelerated instruction in the class, especially for math and writing. Reading also, but I have consistently observed that even though students may have the vocabulary as a second grade student to read books typically assigned for eighth grade students, the second grade student lacks the six years of life experiences to understand reading materials that the typical eighth grade student has.
The accelerated program used here at Maricopa Christian Academy has been successfully used in the two other private k-12 schools I managed in Gilbert.
Science instruction gives me joy as an educator because my higher skilled students enjoy the opportunities of some experiments that have solutions with more than one path. And as science requires solving the experiment with a partner, in a collegial and respectful manner, the discussions can be fascinating.
The unique opportunity to accelerate is not limited to the higher skilled students. The anticipation of acceleration is a powerful motivator for those who have been labeled special education by other schools. Once a low skilled student is able to see success, the thought enters his mind that maybe he is able to even go farther than expected.
The one subject we do not have the opportunity to enjoy accelerated learning in is Bible. Our emphasis is in understanding Christ, his love and sacrifice, as well as his role for his people. Racing through the readings and study of at a breakneck speed helps no one.
I have tried to sell the idea of an accelerated class to a few public schools with no success. One district I even presented amazing test results from a class the principal allowed me to co-teach in for sixth months that as a class had below grade level math test score.. At the end of those six months, the whole class was at grade level or above.
The individualized, accelerated, time-tested education we practice at Maricopa Christian Academy works for all students and most parents. Have a good day.