Authored by Seon-Young Lee, Paula Olszewski-Kubilius & George Peternel
Citation: Lee, S.-Y., Olszewski-Kubilius,P., & Peternel, G. (2010). The efficacy of academic acceleration for academically talented minority students. Gifted Child Quarterly, 54 (3), 189-208.
Though research indicates that acceleration is a viable means of curricular and instructional differentiation for gifted students, schools and educators generally do not use it or use it sparingly, particularly with gifted low-income or minority students. Very little research on acceleration has been conducted with low-income or minority students exclusively. This study is an in-depth qualitative investigation of the perceptions and experiences of academically talented minority students and their teachers, including classroom teachers, about an accelerative program in math. Results support the use of acceleration for gifted minority students in math. The gifted minority students in this study viewed taking accelerated math courses as exciting and beneficial for preparation for high school and college. They enjoyed working ahead and having a “leg up” in school and were infused with a special feeling of being gifted and talented in taking accelerated math. Ethnicity was not a major factor for teachers’ support for acceleration. The teachers believed that acceleration provides necessary challenges for students, makes them committed to schoolwork and enhances their academic achievement. No negative peer pressure resulting from academic acceleration was found.