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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Eleven Plus Motivation

When we are trying to motivate a child to do well in the Eleven Plus examinations we may, at times, need to encourage our child to participate fully in the learning environment.

It may be easier, in the long run, to simply ignore any great motivational speeches and pleas for co-operation and simply try help your child engage in the Eleven Plus activity.

The young men and women engaged in the Apprentice last night were all trying to win. A major motivation must have been the idea of being able to hold down a job with a six figure salary.

A very different motivation must be the idea of winning. “I am the winner. I beat everyone. I am the chosen one. Anything you can do I can do better.”

In the very first episode of this new series the women were pitted again the men. A new kind of motivation came into effect. The men, I am sure, were thinking: “They are only girls. We can beat them.”

The girls clearly were not prepared to be beaten by mere men. Many of the young women would have been little `Spice Girls’ – and so had had strong role models driving them forward.

Then we need to look at the task. The task was selling fish. The women focused on finding the best site – and then getting on with the task. The men argued and beat their chests. The women wanted to win. The men wanted to sort out a `top dog’ hierarchy.

Our Eleven Plus children will be motivated to the task of passing the Eleven Plus. Some will find the motivation within themselves. Others will need to be led and managed.

It would make fantastic gladiatorial television if a number of eleven year old had to fight off competition to win a place in a grammar school. I am not sure, however, that I would really want to watch eleven year olds adopting such a winner take all mentality.

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