Does skipping a grade help gifted students, or harm them?

It helps. It is pointless to teach a student material he or she already knows. We should advance gifted children to whatever grade matches their abilities.
44% (711 votes)
It can do both. Although it is preferable to keep students in their current grade, in rare cases, it is best to advance them.
36% (581 votes)
It hurts. Grade skipping puts social and emotional pressure on kids who may lack the maturity of their older classmates. We should keep gifted students with their peers but provide them with enrichment inside and outside the classroom.
17% (275 votes)
None of the above. (Comment below.)
3% (52 votes)
Total votes: 1619

Comments (106)

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Anonymous (not verified)

The social downside of skipping grades

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I had the same issue.

In addition to that, another issue with being a 17 year old college freshman is that you aren't legally allowed to do anything your peers can do. So you can't go dancing, because all dance clubs are at least 18-over. And you can't date, because no college guy wants to run the legal risk of dating a 17-year old. But there isn't anyone else your age around. So by skipping a grade and going to college early, you end up missing out socially on a big part of growing up.

Been There (not verified)

As a gifted student, I found skipping grades harmful

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As a gifted student who skipped a grade, I can say that for me it was harmful. Yes, it probably put me into courses that were more appropriate for my ability level, and I was less bored in class than I would have been otherwise. But socially I went from an outgoing, popular student to a shy, awkward student who felt completely out of place among my new peers. The emotional and maturity difference between a 7th grader and an 8th grader is enormous and I just couldn't adjust. I think this would have been easier if I had skipped in elementary school, rather than middle school, and I would suggest to parents and teachers considering this that they do it early in the kid's life so that he or she has time to grow up with the older kids, rather than dealing with the shock of making such a huge change in middle school, when so much else is already crazy for kids.

Also, if your gifted kid is also athletically inclined, I would STRONGLY suggest keeping them in their own grade. After I skipped, coaches were constantly telling me that I was well above average ability for my age, but behind the other athletic kids in my new grade. That year makes a huge difference in sports. While sports are certainly less important than classes and academics, they should certainly be a consideration for parents and teachers of gifted students who happen to also get a lot of fulfillment out of sports.

Ginger Lewman (not verified)

A Nation Deceived report

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"We should keep gifted students with their peers but provide them with enrichment inside and outside the classroom."

I've got to say that should be happening already, and not waiting until the topic of radical acceleration is broached.

"A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America's Brightest Students" is a research-based myth debunker that addresses many of the arguments against acceleration of any type. I encourage every stakeholder in education to visit A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America's Brightest Students and download your own free copy!

Robert Beaumier (not verified)

School Media Specialist

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Experience and common sense seems to clearly tell us that every child is unique. Therefore, the decision as to whether or not gifted students should skip grade(s) must be considered on an individual basis.

Paul P (not verified)

Does skipping a grade help gifted students, or harm them?

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Here here. Well said ....well said!

Anonymous (not verified)

No one-size-fits-all education

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It really depends on the child; there is no "one-size-fits-all" when it comes to education (although the system tries to make it so). Children who are both academically advanced and socially mature can benefit from grade skipping. These children often feel as though they don't fit in when placed in their chronological age grouping classes. Therefore, other children may label them "snobs" and ostracize them. In such cases. grade advancement may be the best placement for the child.

Leonard Isenberg (not verified)

Does skipping a grade help gifted students, or harm them?

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It depends on the student, because it is both a matter of intellectual and emotional maturity which needs to be determined by all considered to determine what is subjectively best for the student.

Anonymous (not verified)

Does skipping a grade help gifted students, or harm them?

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After the first semester of 1st grade, my son moved into a 2nd grade class. He is a high school sophomore now, and I can't imagine how miserable he would be if he was in the 9th grade. He chooses to be friends with 11th grade students.
Each child is different, so there is no way to make a blanket statement about grade skipping. The most ideal situation would be to instruct them where they need to be while placing them where they need to be socially. Unfortunately, public schools do not have the means to do this. Once these students are in high school they can take classes that are a better fit for their abilities. For those who are not ready for college at a young age, I would encourage a year of self-discovery while taking a few classes at a local community college.

Anonymous (not verified)

Skipping a grade

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It depends upon the quality of teaching. Nothing can be worse for a student than classroom boredom. Each student must be challenged through differentiated instruction.

TeachMoore (not verified)

Skipping grade levels

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The poll begs a question: What exactly are "grade levels" and why do we measure students' learning or achievement by them? In fact, grade levels are simply convenient ways of dividing children by age groups within schools. There is nothing sacred and little scientific about them or the curriculum goals associated with each one. As a parent (of gifted, average, and disabled children) and as an educator, I have long believed we should replace the grade level system with one based on students' individual accomplishment of learning goals. Some may do this faster or slower than others; why do we keep trying to make all children march in artifical time?

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