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Acceleration Enhanced by 
Technology 
Ohio Association for Gifted Children Parent Day 2014 
Eric Calvert, Ed.D. 
Northwest...
Goals for the hour: 
• Review research on various types academic 
acceleration 
• Explore barriers to the effective use of...
Acceleration 101 
• The process of acceleration should 
always begin with assessment. 
• This an acceleration workshop. 
•...
Physics Pop Quiz 
(Feel free to cheat using your smart phones) 
• Are speed and velocity synonymous? How are their 
meanin...
Physics Pop Quiz 
(Feel free to cheat using your smart phones) 
Putting it all together: 
It takes ____ to overcome ______...
Overextending the Metaphor 
Inertia exists in all systems, including schools, 
particularly related to the velocity of lea...
Part 2: 
A Brief Review of Research on 
Academic Acceleration
Definitions: Acceleration 
Pressey (1949): 
“Progress through an 
educational program at rates 
faster or ages younger tha...
Common Types of 
Acceleration 
• Whole grade acceleration 
• Subject acceleration 
• Early entrance 
• Early graduation 
•...
Popular Beliefs About 
Acceleration 
• Acceleration usually results in problematic “knowledge gaps” 
• Acceleration may be...
Conventional = Natural? 
• The way students progress through school today comes from bureaucratic 
convention, not nature....
What does the 
research on 
acceleration 
actually say?
What are the academic 
effects of acceleration? 
• Kulik and Kulik: 
• First, on achievement tests, bright accelerated 
yo...
What does research say about 
social/emotional effects of 
acceleration? 
• The overwhelming majority of studies have 
fou...
What does the research say about the 
effects of acceleration on others? 
• Age mates and new classmates 
• Siblings 
• Te...
Effects on Peers 
• No lasting negative effects found on 
classmates from “sending” setting. 
• No negative effects found ...
Siblings 
• Effects on siblings were generally 
benign... 
• Unless student is to be accelerated into 
the same grade as a...
Effects on Teachers 
• Gagne and Gagnier: Gifted students admitted early to 
kindergarten were academically on par with gi...
Why is acceleration rarely used? 
A Nation Deceived: 
• Lack of awareness of the research on acceleration 
• Belief that a...
"Every system 
is perfectly designed to get the 
results it gets.” 
Peter Batalden
Acceleration in Ohio 
• Acceleration has been “allowed” in Ohio law for at least 
50 years 
• State Department of Educatio...
The Status Quo 
• Acceleration was severely underused in 
Ohio. (Southern & Jones, ODE) 
• Majority of Ohio districts did ...
Research Process 
• Reviewed current national research 
• Analyzed policies from all 615 Ohio school 
districts in Ohio 
•...
Barriers to Acceleration 
• Lack of knowledge about acceleration 
• Barriers in local policies 
• Anti-acceleration langua...
Today, You Have Rights 
Thanks to advocacy efforts by OAGC and parents like you, 
Ohio is the first state in which: 
• Par...
Today, You Have Rights 
Thanks to advocacy efforts by OAGC and parents 
like you, Ohio students also have access to “credi...
Options for Acceleration 
• Local Options: 
• Early entrance to kindergarten 
• Subject and whole-grade acceleration withi...
Benefits of Online Learning 
• Online learning can overcome practical obstacles to accessing 
more advanced curriculum: 
•...
Examples 
• Gifted LearningLinks (GLL) at Northwestern University offers 
more than 100 courses designed specifically for ...
Examples 
• EPGY courses (formerly offered by Stanford, now offered 
by for-profit Redbird Learning) provides self-paced, ...
Considerations 
• Privacy and security. Some programs designed for high school, college, 
and adult students have privacy ...
For More Information 
• Ohio Model Policy on Academic Acceleration 
and Ohio Credit Flexibility Plan 
http://www.oagc.com/...
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Acceleration and Online Options - OAGC Parent Day 2014

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Slides on academic acceleration research, policy, and technology supports from the Ohio Association for Gifted Children Parent Day 2014

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Acceleration and Online Options - OAGC Parent Day 2014

  1. 1. Acceleration Enhanced by Technology Ohio Association for Gifted Children Parent Day 2014 Eric Calvert, Ed.D. Northwestern University Center for Talent Development
  2. 2. Goals for the hour: • Review research on various types academic acceleration • Explore barriers to the effective use of acceleration • Explore parent rights and responsibilities related to acceleration • Explore online resources that can support acceleration for gifted and advanced students
  3. 3. Acceleration 101 • The process of acceleration should always begin with assessment. • This an acceleration workshop. • Let’s start with an assessment!
  4. 4. Physics Pop Quiz (Feel free to cheat using your smart phones) • Are speed and velocity synonymous? How are their meanings alike and different? • Define inertia. • Define force. • Define acceleration (in the physical science sense of the word). • Define work. • How are inertia, work, and acceleration related concepts?
  5. 5. Physics Pop Quiz (Feel free to cheat using your smart phones) Putting it all together: It takes ____ to overcome _______ in order to __________ an object to a different ________. (Unfortunately, this is also often true of accelerating students and learning in schools.)
  6. 6. Overextending the Metaphor Inertia exists in all systems, including schools, particularly related to the velocity of learning. “Work” has to be invested if the velocity of a child’s education is to change. When, where, and how should we do that?
  7. 7. Part 2: A Brief Review of Research on Academic Acceleration
  8. 8. Definitions: Acceleration Pressey (1949): “Progress through an educational program at rates faster or ages younger than conventional.”
  9. 9. Common Types of Acceleration • Whole grade acceleration • Subject acceleration • Early entrance • Early graduation • Multi-age / multi-grade classrooms • Informal acceleration • Self-directed acceleration
  10. 10. Popular Beliefs About Acceleration • Acceleration usually results in problematic “knowledge gaps” • Acceleration may be helpful academically, but at a high social/emotional cost to kids • Acceleration should be reserved for extremely gifted/advanced students • Acceleration should be used an an “intervention of last resort” • Standard grade levels reflect what is developmentally appropriate for students of a certain age. Therefore, acceleration defies biological developmental realities.
  11. 11. Conventional = Natural? • The way students progress through school today comes from bureaucratic convention, not nature. • “Carnegie Unit” developed in early 20th Century to standardize higher education units • Initially used to determine retirement eligibility for professors • Simplify student admission processes as U.S. shifted from agrarian to industrial economy • College admissions processes drove adoption of the model by high schools • Unified K-12 school calendars then made “seat time” the primary measure of learning for all students • Standardized bell schedules and lock-step progression of same-age children through school was inspired by American’s awe of the efficiency of Henry Ford’s development of the modern assembly line.
  12. 12. What does the research on acceleration actually say?
  13. 13. What are the academic effects of acceleration? • Kulik and Kulik: • First, on achievement tests, bright accelerated youngsters usually perform like their bright, older non-accelerated classmates. • Second, the accelerated youngsters usually score almost one grade-level higher on achievement tests than bright, same-age non-accelerated students do.”
  14. 14. What does research say about social/emotional effects of acceleration? • The overwhelming majority of studies have found either benign or positive effects • Many gifted students prefer company of older peers • Concerns about delayed effects in adolescence are overblown • Some have observed short-terms drops in self-efficacy/ self-esteem
  15. 15. What does the research say about the effects of acceleration on others? • Age mates and new classmates • Siblings • Teachers (and differentiation)
  16. 16. Effects on Peers • No lasting negative effects found on classmates from “sending” setting. • No negative effects found on “receiving” classmates. Accelerated student reported as “short-term novelties” in one school in Ohio study. • Spontaneous mentoring reported.
  17. 17. Siblings • Effects on siblings were generally benign... • Unless student is to be accelerated into the same grade as a sibling
  18. 18. Effects on Teachers • Gagne and Gagnier: Gifted students admitted early to kindergarten were academically on par with gifted second grade classmates, rated above class mean for maturity and behavior. • Teachers and administrators unfamiliar with the research on acceleration tend to view it negatively. • Southern and Jones (Ohio): Where acceleration was being used programmatically, it tended to be viewed positively by teachers • Feldhusen: Acceleration can narrow differentiation burden for teachers
  19. 19. Why is acceleration rarely used? A Nation Deceived: • Lack of awareness of the research on acceleration • Belief that age trumps everything else • Educator training programs provide an artificially simple view of age as a factor in child development. • Belief that “Safe is better than sorry.” Teachers see not accelerating students as “safer” option, feel that doing nothing is not harmful
  20. 20. "Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets.” Peter Batalden
  21. 21. Acceleration in Ohio • Acceleration has been “allowed” in Ohio law for at least 50 years • State Department of Education had endorsed and encouraged the practice for at least 40 years • Yet, when we reviewed statewide data in wake of A Nation Deceived, we found that acceleration almost never happened in the vast majority of Ohio • So, we conducted a study…
  22. 22. The Status Quo • Acceleration was severely underused in Ohio. (Southern & Jones, ODE) • Majority of Ohio districts did not accelerate a single student by early entrance or grade acceleration in 2004- 2005. • Mean number of both types (per district) in 2004-2005 was less than 0.4. • Why so few?
  23. 23. Research Process • Reviewed current national research • Analyzed policies from all 615 Ohio school districts in Ohio • Analyzed annual district self reports on gifted services • Analyzed acceleration data in state data system • Analyzed data from supplementary survey to district gifted coordinators and administrators
  24. 24. Barriers to Acceleration • Lack of knowledge about acceleration • Barriers in local policies • Anti-acceleration language • Unattainable criteria • Confusion about state policies, accountability testing, and graduation requirements • “Deficit thinking” regarding abilities of advanced minority students • Unscientific assessment processes may have led to inappropriate placements in the past
  25. 25. Today, You Have Rights Thanks to advocacy efforts by OAGC and parents like you, Ohio is the first state in which: • Parents have the right to request screening for possible accelerated placement • Districts are required to provide in writing local policies and procedures related to acceleration • Acceleration decisions can’t be made by single gatekeepers, and parents must be provided a process for appeal • Formal acceleration must be documented to help ensure continuous progress if leadership changes or a child moves to a different school • Schools must provide for a “transition period” to accelerated settings
  26. 26. Today, You Have Rights Thanks to advocacy efforts by OAGC and parents like you, Ohio students also have access to “credit flexibility.” All schools are now required to provide alternatives to traditional “seat-time” based courses through which students can learn and demonstrate mastery of academic content standards.
  27. 27. Options for Acceleration • Local Options: • Early entrance to kindergarten • Subject and whole-grade acceleration within your school • Early graduation • Dual high school/college enrollment programs • Online Options: • Informal Enrichment • Full-time homeschooling • Out-of-school course taking • Mix and match course taking
  28. 28. Benefits of Online Learning • Online learning can overcome practical obstacles to accessing more advanced curriculum: • No higher grade in your school? No problem. Scheduling problem? Solved. • Online learning can provide more flexibility for accelerated pacing • Online learning can provide more opportunities for differentiation tapping into students’ unique interests • Because online learning can connect students from wide geographic regions, online learning can connect students who may not have similar peers who share their interests locally with a network of friends and mentors • Online learning can provide access to topics local schools often do not have the capacity or economy to support
  29. 29. Examples • Gifted LearningLinks (GLL) at Northwestern University offers more than 100 courses designed specifically for gifted students K-12. • GLL expressly allows academically prepared middle school students to take high school courses for credit, and allows students younger than grade 11 or 12 to take AP courses. • GLL courses have “real” trained teachers and small class sizes. • CTD is AdvancEd accredited, and high school courses are approved by NCAA. All AP Courses are College Board Approved. • New “Family Program” provides activities for parents to do together online with K-3 children.
  30. 30. Examples • EPGY courses (formerly offered by Stanford, now offered by for-profit Redbird Learning) provides self-paced, software-based courses that allow students to complete online activities aligned with academic content standards. Embedded assessments adapt to student performance. • University of Missouri Online High School and Stanford University Online High School allow students to enroll full-time and earn high school diplomas • OpenMIT, Coursera, Khan Academy, and a growing number of “Massive Open Online Courses” (MOOCs) provide media-rich supplemental resources and full courses.
  31. 31. Considerations • Privacy and security. Some programs designed for high school, college, and adult students have privacy policies that prohibit use by students under 13 and may share student information in ways schools can’t allow without violating federal children’s privacy rules. • Even very bright students vary in their ability to succeed in online environments that provide less direct structure than traditional courses. • Does the program include structures that provide guidance? • Who will provide support of needed? • Is the program flexible enough to accommodate other parts of my child’s schooling and life? • Will my child be able to interact frequently with a teacher and appropriate peer group? • Credit. What systems are in place to help ensure my child’s online learning is recognized by her own school and future institutions?
  32. 32. For More Information • Ohio Model Policy on Academic Acceleration and Ohio Credit Flexibility Plan http://www.oagc.com/accelerationPolicyDocuments.asp • OAGC Parent Division (Please join!) http://www.oagc.com/parents.asp • Gifted LearningLinks: http://ctd.northwestern.edu/gll • Gifted LearningLinks on Facebook: http://facebook.com/GLLatCTD • Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search: http://ctd.northwestern.edu/numats

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