If you are reading this article, you have probably heard over and over that, “Acceleration is the most research-supported educational option for advanced students.” You know that. But how do you convince others to pay attention to this important information?
The Belin-Blank Center is here to help. We provide the Acceleration Institute website, a comprehensive storehouse of information about acceleration. From this website, you can access many more tools and resources focused on academic acceleration. We’ve already done the hard work for you, and we have put together information that helps you show others that acceleration really does make sense for a lot of talented students.
For example, Volume 1 of A Nation Empowered (a free download provided on the Acceleration Institute website) is a short, informative book about acceleration. It tells the stories about several students, families, and teachers who have experienced acceleration. This puts a “face” on the idea of acceleration, and helps others see how much of an impact it can have. This also helps reduce the fears about negative impacts on socialization. If you want more information about the research behind the stories, check out Volume 2 of A Nation Empowered (also available as a free download). The 18 chapters summarize what we know about the research around acceleration and include topics such as grade-skipping, subject acceleration, socialization, and early entrance to college.
Dig a little deeper on the Acceleration Institute website, and you’ll find sections for educators, parents, policymakers, and researchers presented in the most user-friendly manner possible. The website is organized so people from those four constituent groups can easily find the resources that are most pertinent to their needs. For example, the policymakers’ page points to information about developing acceleration policies and provides examples of policies from various states and school districts. The researchers’ page supplies links to the research evidence and summarizes individual studies.
Parents often contact us asking for evidence supporting acceleration. Not only do they want to read the research studies, but also they want to see examples of acceleration applied to individual students. That information is conveniently found on the parents’ page. It includes many stories of acceleration from individual students and parents, as well as examples of how schools have implemented acceleration.
Educators concerned about making good decisions for specific students can feel confident by taking advantage of additional resources cited on the educators’ page. For example, the Integrated Acceleration System is designed to help guide the conversation about whole-grade acceleration, and IDEAL Solutions offers information for those thinking about subject matter acceleration in STEM subjects.
Explore the Acceleration Institute website a bit more, and discover the Menu section with links to Acceleration Explained (20 Types of Acceleration, Early Entrance to Kindergarten, Subject Acceleration, and Transition to Acceleration, for example) and Resources (Podcasts, Blogs, and Videos and Acceleration in the News).
Additional resources you might appreciate include a ready-made PowerPoint about acceleration that you are welcome to share with educators or families. We are also happy to share a list of our blogs about acceleration. If you’d like to subscribe to those blogs (so you receive them the instant they are written), sign up here!