Acceleration, Enrichment, or Internal Differentiation – Consequences of Measures to Promote Gifted Students Anticipated by German Secondary School Teachers Paper Presentation
Author(s): Martina Endepohls-Ulpe, (Institute of Psychology, University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany)
In the last decades numerous measures and programs to promote gifted students have been developed world wide, but in spite of these enhanced scientific and public efforts to improve gifted education there still are a lot of difficulties to implement some of these measures in the daily routine of schools.
The presented study examines the consequences – for students as well as for teachers – which teachers from German upper secondary (”Gymnasium”) and secondary modern schools (Realschule) anticipate for different measures to promote gifted students: acceleration, enrichment, internal differentiation and early placement at university.
175 teachers (111 Gymnasium teachers, 64 teachers from secondary modern schools) filled in a questionnaire with 4-step
Likert-Items on possible outcomes of the four different types of promotion for gifted students. Data analysis was done by 2x2x4 ANOVA, with type of school and experience with measures of promotion as between subject factors, type of measure as inner subject factor and mean values on items concerning anticipated consequences as dependent variable.
Results show significant differences with respect to assessed outcomes between the four specified measures. Especially for early placement at university teachers feared negative consequences for students like work overload, social marginalization and lack of leisure time, whilst for internal differentiation, the method with the most positive anticipated outcomes for students, strong negative consequences in form of work overload and organizational problems for teachers were anticipated.
To counteract these – mostly non-realistic – apprehensions and their possible negative consequences on the promotion of gifted students it seems both necessary to provide teachers with realistic information on the consequences of various measures of gifted education and to impart methods of internal differentiation already in teacher training at universities as well as in advanced teacher training.