Myth: Gifted Students Make Everyone Else in the Class Smarter by Providing A Role Model or A Challenge
Like most of us, students are generally more comfortable around others who are similar to themselves. Average students often feel uncomfortable taking on a challenge in the presence of gifted students who already seem to “get it.” Average students are more likely to be motivated by the successes of like students than they are by their gifted classmates. Studies show that working with intellectual peers at school increases ability, performance, and comfort for the entire spectrum of student achievement and ability. The positive benefits of grouping by ability for instruction have been demonstrated in a variety of research studies. Results show increased achievement scores for all groups of students. The following webpages and articles about grouping reveal the success of grouping strategies. The word “grouping,” does not connotate “tracking” and should be instead thought of as a flexible strategy with grouping decisions being made for various projects and subjects.
• Explore the "Grouping" webpage to see what the research has to say about the effectiveness of grouping.
• Visit NAGC’s position page on grouping to learn more about grouping, and why it is an effective teaching strategy.
• Gentry, M. & Owen, S. V. (1999). An investigation of the effects of total school flexible clustering grouping identification, achievement, and classroom practices. Gifted Child Quarterly 43(4), 224-243.
• Neihart, M. (2007). The Socioaffective impact of acceleration and ability grouping: Recommendations for best practice. Gifted Child Quarterly, 51(4), 330-341.
• Rogers, K. B. (2006). A menu of options for grouping gifted students. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.