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Are Child Prodigies Ready For University?

885 words - 4 pages

Academic acceleration is an educational intervention based on progress through an educational program at rates faster or at ages younger than typical (Pressey, 1949). For decades, there has been fierce debate regarding child prodigies’ early entrance to university, which is one of the 18 forms of academic acceleration identified by Southern, Jones and Stanley. There is no definite answer or consensus to this controversial issue as yet. Nonetheless, with respect to the various findings in this research, which include… it is to a moderately large extent that child prodigies excelling exceptionally in different academic fields are ready to embark on their university study at their young ...view middle of the document...

This was due to the Child Protection Rules. The university doubted Adam’s ability to learn and live a university life with many other older students, whereas Adam’s parents were convinced that Adam is mature, logical and sociable enough to study in the university despite his young age. According to his parents, his development is likely to “stagnate” if he is kept at secondary school.

2) “To address the pervasive concerns of educators about the social and emotional effects of mathematics acceleration on students and the paucity of findings on those issues, 6 students who had participated in 6 years of accelerated mathematics courses were purposefully identified and interviewed in this longitudinal study. Through a qualitative research design, using phenomenological methods, and accompanying descriptive statistics, the author elicited the students’ descriptions of their learning experiences. Major findings in this study were that all students described great benefits from the experience, negative effects were minor, and key factors contributing to success were work ethic, motivation, parents and teachers.” (mathematics acceleration)

A clear danger of not accelerating is that gifted students will respond to peer pressure by denying their giftedness to avoid feeling different (Rimm, 2002).

While there are those who think… (Why gifted children are just as likely to fail in life?)

Apart from the social and emotional effects of earlier entrance to university on child prodigies, the research also reveals some concerns about the possible academic difficulties child prodigies might encounter during university study. In one of the case studies that the research turned to, Cameron Thompson, who was a 14-year-old Mathemetics prodigy from North Wales taking an Open University degree in...

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