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Merrotsy P. Academic acceleration. 2009.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/5182
The classical understanding of acceleration is progress through an educational program at a rate faster or at an age younger than conventional. This is now referred to, more appropriately, as academic acceleration. Academic acceleration is grounded in and well supported by research. It is valid pedagogics, and it is an appropriate response to the educational and social needs of a student whose cognitive ability and academic achievement are several years beyond those of their age-peers. (Southern & Jones, 1991.) Since the early 1990s, academic acceleration has been an educational option recommended by the NSW Board of Studies as one of the ways that should, at the least, be considered when responding to the learning needs of gifted children (their Guidelines for accelerated progression were first published in 1991; cf. NSW Board of Studies, 2004). However, it would appear that many teachers and executive teachers are reluctant to accelerate children, and that the wider community expresses antipathy, or stronger emotion, about its practice. This chapter presents an outline of current theory of academic acceleration through a discussion of curriculum for gifted students, the benefits of acceleration, a model for acceleration, guidelines for implementing an acceleration program, the findings of recent research on acceleration in rural and regional NSW, and on-going issues related to the practice of acceleration.