Subject Acceleration

This year, Illinois’ Accelerated Placement Act goes into effect, requiring schools to implement policies which provide opportunities for whole grade acceleration (also known as “grade skipping”), as well as subject acceleration, where a student who is highly advanced in one subject area but more age typical in another goes to a higher-level course for part of their school day.

What student qualities make a good candidate for subject acceleration?

  • Advanced academic ability in a subject area
  • High interest in the course topic
  • An intrepid attitude toward technology and learning in new ways
  • Above-average self-regulation and time management skills
  • A desire to connect with others who share their interests

I find this to be an interesting perspective from a gifted adult.   What is it that we are trying to communicate to our “abstract-intense” children?  We want them to feel included in the world, not excluded.  We want them to find a place where their strengths are celebrated and not ridiculed or brushed over.  We want our gifted children to be given the tools to take their abstract and intense ideas and share them with the world.

Is the traditional format of school the right format for our students?  And here I am not just talking about our gifted students.  Students need to learn the basics that’s for sure.  We need to teach them how to read.  Our goals are read independently, comprehend, and synthesize the information.  We want them to love to read and appreciate a variety of genres.  They need to know their math facts.  We want to show them real-world problems to apply these such as going to a grocery store, creating a play space, or hanging a picture on a wall! We should strive to teach them research techniques, to elaborate on their creative, passionate ideas and help them develop these.

How does your child’s program implement both a traditional curriculum and “real-world” ideas?