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.

print Printing

Our pages are formatted to be printer-friendly. Simply click and print.

Twitter YouTube Facebook WordPress

Annotated Bibliography

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

Subject Acceleration

LeBeau, B. C., Assouline, S. G., Foley-Nicpon, M., Lupkowski-Shoplik, A., & Schabilion, K. (2023). Likelihood of whole-grade or subject acceleration for twice-exceptional students. University of Iowa.

Academic acceleration, which enhances challenges for academically gifted students, can be subject-based or whole-grade. Limited research has explored its application in the twice-exceptional population, where students possess notable cognitive strengths and challenges due to psychological diagnoses. Our clinical study investigates the likelihood of subject or whole-grade acceleration, considering IQ, age, and achievement differences across diagnosis types and demographics. Subject-based acceleration is more likely for students with diagnoses of depression or anxiety, gifted program participation, or medium socioeconomic status. Males with specific learning disabilities (SLD) are less likely to be subject-based accelerated. Whole-grade acceleration was likelier for students diagnosed with anxiety. At the same time, those with medium or low socioeconomic status, and ADHD, ASD, or SLD diagnoses, were less likely to be whole-grade accelerated.

Hemelt, S. W., & Lenard, M. A. (2020). Math acceleration in elementary school: Access and effects on student outcomes. Economics of Education Review, 74, 1–21.

This paper examines curricular acceleration in mathematics during elementary school using administrative data from a large, diverse school district that recently implemented a targeted, test-based acceleration policy. We first characterize access to advanced math and then estimate effects of acceleration in math on measures of short-run academic achievement as well as non-test-score measures of grit, engagement with schoolwork, future plans, and continued participation in the accelerated track. Experiences and effects of math acceleration differ markedly for girls and boys. Girls are less likely to be nominated for math acceleration and perform worse on the qualifying test, relative to boys with equivalent baseline performance. We find negative effects of acceleration on short-run retention of math knowledge for girls, but no such performance decay for boys. After initial exposure to accelerated math, girls are less likely than boys to appear in the accelerated track during late elementary school and at the start of middle school.

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.

Benbow, C. P., & J. C. Stanley (Eds.) (1983), Academic precocity: Aspects of its development. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Revised, expanded, and updated proceedings of the Tenth Annual Hyman Blumberg Symposium on Research in Early Childhood Education focus on the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY).

George, W. C., Cohn, S. J., & Stanley, J. C. (Eds.) (1977). Educating the gifted: Acceleration and enrichment. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Revised and expanded proceedings of the Seventh Annual Hyman Blumberg Symposium on Research in Early Childhood Education.