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Friday, May 09, 2008

Eleven Plus Courses

Parents encounter a wide variety of choices in their lives. How they prepare their child for the Eleven Plus must count alongside moving house as being a highly stressful series of events.

Some parents will want their child to be prepared in a series of small steps – getting everything right and being rewarded with considerable positive feedback.

Other parents will want the much vaunted rifle shot approach. Here the problem is identified and the solution is supplied.

Some will want the shot gun to be used. This is lots of little pellets of information flung at their child in the hope that some of it sticks.

There could even be parents who would advocate a dart of information being thrown at their child. Here it would be `nice’ if a treble 20 could be thrown – but a dart any where on the board would be a bonus.

It may be a chastening experience for some teachers and parents if children could be empowered to write their own criteria for a good and fair Eleven Plus examination.

Children, especially eleven year olds, may opt for an Eleven Plus course with a heavy emphasis on how to conduct an argument.

Other children may opt for problem solving to be an integral part of the course. Some eleven plus exercises have nothing at all to do with solving a problem.

I wonder if some children would vote for a system where parents were sent on a `Pre Eleven Plus Course’ where the adults involved in the preparation were guided through a `Managing Change’ course. Part of `Managing Change’ would need to be full appreciation of the social dynamics of the effect of Eleven Plus preparation has on the whole family.

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