Hmm, let’s think about this one for a moment.
This myth defies common sense, as well as the research in the field. Most adults and children feel more comfortable with their “equals”, or in this case intellectual peers than with others who demonstrate stronger abilities than they do. I mean, would you feel comfortable playing golf with a professional golf player when you only play occasionally? I think not.
Classrooms are similar. Average students typically prefer to take risks with intellectually similar peers, as opposed to the children who seem to have no problem understanding the material. Likewise, most gifted students are more comfortable with intellectual peers when it comes to performing in the classroom setting.
Research studies that look at the impact of ability grouping indicated increases in achievement for all groups when they were grouped according to ability. It is important to note, that grouping is flexible and can vary from activity to activity, or subject to subject – as opposed to tracking which implies a single track for all students based on a very narrow definition of potential (Gentry & Owen, 1999; Neihart, 2007). The research not only indicates positive academic outcomes, but positive social outcomes for our gifted kids, something that is truly in our kids best interest.
What are your thoughts on this?