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2017 WCGTC Biennial World Conference

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2.11.5 Do ability grouping and acceleration damage self-esteem? How ability grouping turns little fish into big fish

This study examined shifts in self-esteem in three groups of Australian students enrolled in their first year of secondary school, students in comprehensive (mixed ability) schools, students in selective high schools (fulltime ability grouping) and students in selective high schools who were also collapsing the first two grades into one, a synthesis of ability grouping and acceleration. Interestingly this last group was the only group in the study that did not experience a significant dip in self-esteem.


Miraca Gross
University of New South Wales

Professor Miraca Gross is Emeritus Professor of Gifted Education in UNSW's School of Education as well as Director of GERRIC. She is recognised nationally and internationally as a leading authority on the education of gifted and talented students.

She began her career as a teacher and has 22 years' experience as a classroom teacher and school administrator in State education systems in Scotland and Australia. For 12 years, she was a specialist teacher of gifted and talented children in several different classroom settings, including the regular classroom, cluster grouped classes, pullout programs, and full-time classes.


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