Why Acceleration is a Controversial Debate Among Educators?

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Yıldız N. G.

Education Quarterly Reviews, vol.4, no.3, pp.232-242, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)



The concept of “acceleration” continues to pay subject to a number of controversial debates in education. Much of the controversy around the concept can be associated with the beliefs and attitudes of educators, which have little or no grounds in research (Vialle, Ashton, Carlon, & Rankin, 2001). While acceleration takes on many forms, educators often correlate the concept with radical acceleration or multiple grade skipping. Teachers oppose acceleration because they believe that students’ social and emotional needs come before their academic ones (Vialle, Ashton, Carlon, & Rankin, 2001). On the other hand, research on acceleration consistently indicates positive academic attainments for those who are accelerated (Assouline, Colangelo, VanTassel-Baska & Lupkowski-Shoplik, 2015; Benbow, 1992; Gross, 1992; Kulik & Kulik, 1991, 1992; Rogers, 2015; Swiatek, 1993). This paper aims to examine the reasons for the continuous gap between the effectiveness of research on acceleration and educators’ attitudes toward it; thus, I will be analyzing the factors that are believed to influence practitioners’ resistance toward using acceleration as an intervention strategy with gifted and talented students.