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Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Eleven Plus and Communication

Over many years the word mandrake has conjured up a vision of a drug that so powerful that men and women have craved it.

In `Anthony and Cleopatra’ Shakespeare used the word to describe a woman driven to despair.

Cleopatra: Ha, ha! Give me to drink mandragora.

Charmian: Why, madam?

Cleopatra: That I might sleep out this great gap of time. My Antony is away.

Parents may sometimes feel that there is a gap between their knowledge of the Eleven Plus and the steps they need to take to help their child pass the examination.

There could be a gap between what the teacher at school is permitted to say and what the parent wants to hear.

There could be a gap between the dreams of a mother and the needs and desires of the Eleven Plus child.

A gap could arise between a tutor and a pupil.

There could, sometimes, be a gap between the expertise of the teacher and the demands of the child.

In all the above uses of the word `gap’ we are looking at an imbalance – or some form of disparity. The different forms of gap need to be filled in different ways. Some gaps can be completed with knowledge. Understanding some one else’s points of view could help. It does seem, however, that many gaps in Eleven Plus knowledge can be filled by communication.

After all Cleopatra did herself away with an asp – because she thought that all was lost. If only Anthony had been able to text her in real time - and tell her his feelings. Then the two of them may have gone on to produce offspring capable of passing the Eleven Plus.

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