Do students benefit from leaping passed their age group or are they ultimately harmed by being the youngest of their peers? Owen Phillips of NPR seems to have made up his mind on this difficult question faced by parents and guardians with highly academic children.
"Researchers at the University of Iowa cite one pervasive, unsubstantiated myth: That jumping ahead is bad for students, even high-achieving ones. There's a powerful belief that placing younger children in classes with older, larger, more developed kids may do more harm than good."
"The researchers theorized that their youth turned from a disadvantage to an advantage. They believed these youngest students had developed grit, persistence and an ability to handle adversity at an early age, which paid off down the road."
Is it possible that there's no "one size fits all" approach to every student? Some may benefit by skipping ahead, while others may not. One child may benefit by excelling among peers their own age while another may thrive from the challenge of keeping up with the older kids. Statistics are powerful and the trends they reveal can be both valuable and persuasive, but when it comes to determining the level at which your student belongs, how much do the numbers really matter?
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