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Acceleration - differences for boys/girls? Facts and anecdotes, please!

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Cross-posted in Parenting the Gifted Child

 

Whenever I read the threads about grade skipping/early entrance and people provide their own or their kids' or some other kids' experiences, I come away with the impression that boys struggle more with the effects of being younger and thus (presumably) being smaller, weaker and less mature than girls. That's all anecdotal, of course, but if one has a large enough sample of anecdotes, a trend may emerge, and I think it would be interesting to know whether strong gender differences in acceleration are a myth or whether there is a real concern that should be considered.

 

So, if you you know of any facts or statistics, numbers, research etc in that respect, have us know. For those who have studied A Nation Deceived reports or done the Iowa Acceleration Scale with their kids, what, if anything, do they have to say about that question? Are you are a reseacher, teacher, gifted coordinator, gifted association leader, mom of more than 10 accelerated kids etc. and thus happen to know the outcomes of a sizable sample, let us know too!

 

I am also interested in anecdotes about your or your own kids experiences, also the neighbour kids, the cousins or, if you are a teacher, your students etc, which you feel have a bearing on that question. If you can only remember accelerated kids with problems, please let us know whether you are sure that all the kids you knew who hadn't had any problems were not accelerated (because you're a teacher, or know all the birthdays from your kids' classes, or the school made it clear that they normally never accelerate) or whether there may be sample bias we should be aware of.

 

And finally, if you know any facts backed up by research, or opinions borne out by your experience (please specify which), let us know, too!

 

For instance: I live in a country which traditionally has two cutoffs: one regular summer or fall cutoff, after which attendance is mandatory and children may only be held back after an evaluation and a Dec 31 cutoff for children whose parents can request early entrance at the discretion of the principal. (Children born after Dec. 31 may still be entered early, but again need an evaluation.)

 

There are statistics which show that early entrance is requested and granted disproportionately for girls (numbers are fairly large, eg with a June cutoff, about half of all July-born girls are entered early), and holding back requested and granted disproportionately for boys, which skews the age ranges by gender, but statistically, girls still do better altogether academically and behaviorally (though the differences are small and boys still do somewhat better in math). Which would mean there is statistical proof that girls can compensate for being younger more easily.

 

Anecdotally, I was, as a grade skipped girl with a regular June cutoff and a January birthday, up to two years younger than my classmates and did well academically and, um, at least better than in my regular class socially, which does not say much, but was very worried about my oldest boy being entered early in a class with a September cutoff and an October birthday, and don't hink I would have considered iif he had been April born, which would be the equivalent age difference. Am I being borne out by facts and experiences or prey to a myth?

 

post #2 of 2
I will have to look, but I recall John Holt had data on this subject in the book titled " Learning All the Time".
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