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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Eleven Plus Questions

I am very fortunate to have a copy of the 1958 EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH Volume 1 No 1.

Educational Research was published for the National Foundation for Education Research by Newnes Educational Publishing Co. Ltd., once a term in November, February and June. The price, post free throughout the world, was 5/6.

The idea of Educational Research was to try to bridge the gap between the worlds or research and the schools.

The first article was by Professor Philip E. Vernon who was Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of London, Institute of Education. The title was:


He wrote – and here I quote – “One other practical point to emphasise is that non verbal or pictorial group tests, and individual performance tests, are much inferior to verbal ones in predicting educability (except, possibly, in predicting ability for science and technical courses among older pupils).

Thus, their use for scholastic purposes should be avoided.

They may appear to give a fairer chance to very young children, or to older readers who are poor readers.”

In the same article he wrote: “General thinking skills, as well as attainment in junior school subjects, are highly relevant to grammar school success.”

We work with lots of children in Bexley where the Local Authority used to test children in Mathematics, English as well as Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning. Bexley now tests, for the first time this year, in Verbal Reasoning and Mathematics.

Bexley, therefore, is no longer relying on non verbal reasoning and English – but is using verbal reasoning where `General thinking skills’ are required.

I brought my copy of `Educational Research’ with me when I left Zimbabwe all those years ago. I have subsequently worked with thousands of Eleven Plus children over the years. I still wish that I knew at least some of the answers.

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