This information was produced by the staff of the Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development (B-BC) at the University of Iowa ( The resources and information listed here are for informational purposes; there is no direct or implied endorsement by the B-BC. Services provided by the B-BC include programs for academically talented K-12 and college students, professional development for teachers, the Assessment and Counseling Clinic, the Acceleration Institute (, and graduate programs and research in gifted education.

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Annotated Bibliography

Articles are listed in descending order by year (most recent first), and then by first author's last name.

Early Entrance to Kindergarten and First Grade

Hertzog, N. B. (2022). Early entrance to kindergarten? It depends... Gifted Child Today, 45(3), 137–142.

Entering kindergarten is one form of accelerating one's path through schooling. The unique needs of young learners require policies for early entrance to kindergarten to be flexible, and options for parents to be accessible and equitable across school districts and communities. In this article, the author discusses state policies for early entrance to kindergarten, issues to consider when making decisions about enrolling one's child into kindergarten early, and emphasizes the need to examine not only the child for indicators of readiness but also more importantly the environment in which the child is entering. Ideally, when considering early entrance to kindergarten, the child's holistic needs would match the placement.

Wellisch, M. (2021). Parenting with eyes wide open: Young gifted children, early entry and social isolation. Gifted Education International, 37(1), 3–21.

This case study outlines the challenges of eight Australian mothers with intellectually gifted preschoolers. The ideal ways of nurturing children’s giftedness, the parents’ role in early identification and the effect of maternal depression and possible association with twice exceptionality (gifted with a disorder) are discussed. The narratives of case study parents then describe how and whether the needs of their preschoolers were understood or met in early childhood services, and the advice they received about early entry. It was found that early entry met the needs of children whose parents chose this acceleration option and that the preschoolers who missed out because of intervention by their educators did not fare so well. Findings also indicated an urgent need for the inclusion of compulsory early childhood giftedness courses for Australian pre-service educators and an equally urgent need for professional development courses about giftedness for educators already working in early childhood services.

Wellish, M. (2019). Ceilinged out: Gifted preschoolers in early childhood services. Journal of Advanced Academics, 30(3), 326–354.

A relatively pervasive “silence” exists concerning giftedness in Australian preservice early childhood teacher courses. There is also a lack of research about educator attitudes to giftedness and programming in Australian early childhood services. This study, consisting of a survey and interviews, is intended to help to fill the research gap. A total of 184 early childhood educators were surveyed in relation to their knowledge and attitudes about giftedness, and 10 of those respondents were also interviewed. A purposive sample of eight parents whose gifted preschoolers had been recommended for early entry by a psychologist were also interviewed. Findings indicate that early childhood educators are at a loss in relation to gifted children’s intellectual, social, and emotional needs that are neither understood nor met according to their parents. Compulsory preservice coursework about giftedness is recommended.

Gagné, F., & Gagnier, N. (2004). The socio-affective and academic impact of early entrance to school. Roeper Review, 26(3), 128–138.

How well do early school entrants adjust socio-affectively when compared to their regularly admitted peers? Despite numerous publications on the subject, much controversy remains, mainly because of methodologically fragile studies. To assess the impact of a new early entrance policy in Quebec, 36 kindergarten and 42 Grade 2 teachers who had at least one early entrant in their class ranked all their students on four bipolar dimensions (conduct, social integration, academic maturity, and academic achievement). Data were collected for 98 early entrants and 1,723 regularly admitted children. The results revealed no substantial differences between the two groups, but a low correlation between age and adjustment among regularly admitted students. A semi-qualitative analysis showed that the teachers judged a significant percentage of early entrants less than well adjusted; perhaps explaining to a large extent the continuing resistance from educators and parents. Still, boys and the youngest among regularly admitted students were the two populations found much more at risk for social-emotional problems than early entrants.

Sankar-DeLeeuw, N. (1999). Gifted preschoolers: Parent and teacher views on identification, early admission and programming. Roeper Review, 21(3), 174–179.

An exploration of the issues and concerns of the parents of gifted preschoolers and preschool kindergarten teachers surrounding early identification and programming for giftedness was undertaken using a survey. The response rate was 51% for 91 parents and 52% for 44 teachers. The majority of parents reported that early identification can (91%) and should (74%) be done, while teachers acknowledged each at 78% and 50% respectively. The practice of differentiated curriculum was supported by 76% of parents and 32% of teachers surveyed, while the educational option of early entrance was supported by 37% of parents and 7% of teachers. The physical domain was superseded by both social-emotional and intellectual domains in the levels of importance for early entrance consideration by both respondent groups. Parental requests for information were categorized as resources for additional challenge, disciplinary techniques, educational options, and parenting guidelines. Teachers required information on balancing differing development rates and supportive programming. A number of professionals were acknowledged by both groups as beneficial to acquiring requested information, including school staff, support groups, medical staff, psychologists, the media, and political lobbyists.

McCluskey, K. W., Massey, K. J., & Baker, P. A. (1997). Early entrance to kindergarten: An alternative to consider. Gifted and Talented International, 12(1), 27–30.

The Lord Selkirk School Division #11 (Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada) had a kindergarten early admission policy in place for well over two decades. Thus, educators there had an opportunity to monitor and rate the progress of early entrants for 24 years. In each four-year block for students admitted from 1970 through 1990, performance improved over time. Specifically, an analysis of the longitudinal data indicates that early entrants received significantly higher ratings after their grade 5 year than they did at the end of kindergarten.

McCluskey, K. W., Baker, P. A., & Massey, K. J. (1996). A twenty-four year longitudinal look at early entrance to kindergarten. Gifted and Talented International, 11(2), 72–75.

For twenty-four years, the Lord Selkirk School Divison (Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada) has had a policy whereby some students are accepted for early entrance into kindergarten. A longitudinal study was undertaken to evaluate the performance of these early entrance students over the years. Educators’ ratings indicated that 41% fared exceptionally well in school, 39% performed solidly, and 20% did poorly.

Frunzi. (1995). Early school entry and later school success: The impact of a school district's early entrance policy. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

This study investigates the effects of the early entrance policy in Littleton Public Schools, Colorado, on subsequent student success. The study looks at the relationship among teachers' beliefs and attitudes regarding early entry, their reported use of developmentally appropriate practices in their classrooms, and measures of success of the early entry children in school.

The research design includes a matched pairs investigation of 25 early entry children matched with their grade equivalent peer group. Data were obtained through interviewing and surveying teachers, administering the Wide Range Achievement Test-Revised, and inspecting students' cumulative records.

The research results show that the district's screening procedures were successful in screening bright children to enter school early. The test data indicate that the early entry children are achieving significantly higher academically than their matched regular entrance peers in the area of math (P<.05); and are doing as well in the areas of reading and language.

The teachers on the whole viewed the early entry children as being more delayed than their matched regular entry peers in the social, maturity, and leadership areas. Fourty percent of the teachers interviewed and surveyed indicated that they do not agree with the district's early entrance policy. No relationships were found between teachers' beliefs or teachers' espoused developmentally appropriate practices and students' academic achievement. This study could not address the developmental issues, as there was not consistency in treatment across grade levels. Few of the early entry children had continuous developmentally appropriate opportunities.

Should a school district endorse the practice of allowing selected children to enter school early? After completing this study, I conclude that the question can not be answered with a simple "yes" or "no". If the children are carefully selected to enter school early, if the teachers have a positive attitude toward young children, and if the classrooms are developmentally appropriate, the chances of the early entry children's success are great. If these conditions are not in place, the chances of success of the early entry children are at risk.

Rimm, S. B., & Lovance, K. J. (1992). The use of subject and grade skipping for the prevention and reversal of underachievement. Gifted Child Quarterly, 36(2), 100–105.

Acceleration, including early entrance to kindergarten, grade skipping, and subject skipping, has been used as a strategy to prevent and reverse underachievement in a selected group of gifted students. Fourteen sets of parents and 11 students were interviewed to determine their perceptions of the effectiveness of the acceleration strategy. All the parents and all the students indicated they would make the same decision again.

Only two of the school administrators and six of the receiving teachers were initially positive about the skipping, but most of them changed their positions with the child's success, at least in regard to the specific accelerated child. There appeared to be a period (between one quarter and a semester) during which teachers expressed concern over the students' adjustment, but students did not perceive themselves as having adjustment difficulties.

Proctor, T. B., Black, K. N., & Feldhusen, J. F. (1986). Early admission of selected children to elementary school: A review of the research literature. The Journal of Educational Research, 80(2), 70–76.

Twenty-one studies reporting on early admission of selected children to elementary school are reviewed and discussed in terms of methodological design and findings. Two major kinds of designs were found. Comparisons of early entrants with their unselected classmates found, in general, no negative effects. Comparisons of early entrants with matched samples suggested that early admission may be preferable. Additional research is needed to formulate an ideal policy concerning early admission.

Weiss, R. G. (1962) The validity of early entrance into kindergarten. The Journal of Educational Research, 56(1), 53–354.

A controversial issue in recent years has been the need for flexibility in entrance age within the school system and its relation to individual differences among children. The issue is stimulated by the increasing awareness concerning developmental differences among children, the rate at which they learn, and the degree of learning they can attain. Whereas current admission policies vary, admission by chronological age is typical. It is also known that many school districts are quite dissatisfied with their present admission policies, but are hesitant to change them due to the citizens' tendency to maintain the status quo. Various acceleration methods are being used to admit pupils on the basis of individual differences. Among these, early entrance through testing programs has become quite popular throughout the country. Some schools will now permit children to enter kindergarten at an early age providing they are of superior intelligence, have an adequate degree of social and emotional maturity, and are considered to be in good physical health. However, when a child is put in a classroom at an early age it might not be in the best interest of the child1s achievement and adjustment. child with a rapid rate of mental growth appears to be ready for school long before his chronological age, but is he really ready? Research to compare the achievement and adjustment of bright and mature early-age children with normal-age kindergarten children under experimental conditions has been relatively neglected. Most of the literature concerning the problem of early-age entrance is based on educators' and clinicians' judgments, experiences and theories that may or may not be applicable for a given situation. None of these theories have been adequately tested. On the basis of the above concern, the author conducted an investigation concerning entrance age. The study involved the evaluation of the achievement and adjustment of selected emotionally and socially mature children with an I.Q. of at least one standard deviation above the norm in the Stanford Binet test who were admitted at an early age, by a testing program, into kindergarten classes specifically conducted for normal-age children.