A Passion for Learning: The Theory and Practice of Optimal Match at the University of WashingtonReport as inadecuate




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Journal of Advanced Academics, v19 n2 p236-270 Win 2008

Early entrance from secondary school to university, based on the principle of optimal match, is a rare but highly effective educational strategy for many gifted students. The University of Washington offers two early entrance options for gifted adolescents: the Early Entrance Program for students prior to age 15, and the UW Academy for Young Scholars for students after Grade 10. This study assessed the elements of optimal match that are best suited to different age groups. Four cohorts of Early Entrance Program and UW Academy students were surveyed on various themes, including their assessment of the transition and support services available to them, their satisfaction with the degree to which they had accelerated their education, their experience with family and friends, and their assessment of their own talents and abilities. Results suggested that similarities and differences in accelerative components exist for students of different ages. All early entrants need a period of intellectual preparation in a supportive and rigorous environment; a peer group; a home-base; communication with parents; a faculty and staff who enjoy teaching, advising, and mentoring gifted young scholars; and a welcoming university or college environment. However, programs for younger students need to provide more intensive academic transitioning during the first year, and programs for older students must balance students' competing needs for independence and guidance. Adequate preparation of parents and the institutional environment also are important to the success of early entrants, regardless of age. (Contains 3 tables.)

Descriptors: Academically Gifted, Research Universities, Early Admission, Acceleration (Education), Student Surveys, Student Attitudes, Student Motivation, Transitional Programs, Student Personnel Services, Participant Satisfaction, Parent Student Relationship, Self Evaluation (Individuals), Talent, Extracurricular Activities, Student Experience, Undergraduate Students, Social Life, Student Adjustment, Psychological Patterns

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Author: Noble, Kathleen D.; Childers, Sarah A.

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=2193&id=EJ794093



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