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A study of the acceleration programme at West Vancouver Senior High School Cullis, Harry E.

Abstract

The West Vancouver Acceleration Programme was started in 1955 under the direction of the British Columbia Department of Education. It was part of an experiment carried out in three separate schools, to see if some of the top academic students could complete the regular High School curriculum, Grades 9-12, in three instead of four years. The 'above average students' were grouped into special classes in which both acceleration and enrichment took place. In this context, the 'above average students' were those students whose I.Q. was 113 or better and who had achieved consistently high results in the academic subjects English, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science. The question asked was: Have the accelerated students at West Vancouver Senior High School attained an academic standard in three years as high as that attained by a matched group of regular programme students in four years? The experimental group consisted of two divisions of accelerated students at the Grade 12 level, who covered the last four years of the regular High School programme in three years, completing it in 1958. The control group was drawn from the two top divisions of the regular Grade 12 students who were of comparable ability to the accelerated students, and who would probably have been on the "Acceleration Programme" had it commenced one year earlier. The marks used for comparison purposes were those obtained in the 1958 internal Easter examinations. The two groups were matched for I.Q. and the comparison carried out on a subject basis. In Mathematics a statistically significant difference between the means of the marks obtained was found in favour of the accelerated group. In Physics, French and Latin no significant difference was found. It was concluded that in general the accelerated students achieved an academic standard in three years as high as the regular programme students achieved in four years.

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