The age old conundrum about gifted children has been whether to nurture their innate brilliance or to allow them to be ‘children’ and age gracefully (normally). Many parents are faced with the dilemma and with their decision come conflicting feelings often laced with guilt. Either way, the gifted student ‘misses’ something.
The University of NSW will publish a report in 2015 extolling the virtues of accelerating children’s entry into higher education. The report, co-authored by Jae Yup Jared is to be published in the January edition of Roeper Review.
Results of the study should give parents of gifted children solace as the evidence supports the acceleration of their learning. Dr Jung said that very few of these children regret being put into higher grades.
“In fact, many would have preferred to have accelerated further or started their acceleration earlier,” he said.
It’s all about stimulation. Without elevating these students a couple of years higher or even skipping swathes of secondary schooling to enter university they risk boredom through under stimulation.
When it comes to the viability of entering university at a young age some of these students hit a wall. Dr Jung says that about 35 or 40 universities in Australia have no minimum age requirements. The grey area is in the statement: “as long as the student has finished his or her high school requirements”.
The small percentage of universities that stipulate minimum age assist the gifted students by offering dual study programs, allowing students to undertake university study while finishing secondary school.