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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Eleven Plus Freedom

When we look at a bright child learning, happy, excited and involved we are often drawn to want to share in the whole experience. New information seems to be assimilated and absorbed – as if by osmosis.

Of course educationalists have a `proper’ term. (Osmosis is for biologists.) `Experiential learning’ was an education buzzword, at one time. In the one sense experiential learning is all about coming to understand and made sense of one’s own experiences. Of course this definition would upset many of our more erudite community; unless it was accompanied by the rider that we use experiential learning to try to develop the whole person. In Eleven Plus terms this means parents and tutors trying hard to provide the necessary emotional support. In other words – setting up a garden of opportunity where the little eleven plus flower will flourish and grow.

Another meaning of experiential learning is concerned with encouraging the child to learn. Here every effort would need to be made to try to motivate the eleven plus child to do well academically.

We are all trying to give the eleven plus child the opportunity to be totally immersed in a powerful experience – and we hope that this, in turn, will helps to activate cognitive understanding.

(The more `cogs’ turning in the Eleven Plus brain – the more likely the child will pass the eleven plus.)

An eleven plus tutor may be under pressure, at times, to deliver a typical form of an eleven plus lesson. This type of lesson would possibly contain strong elements of exposition and interpretation. This must work very well for some types of bright children.

We need, sometimes but not always, the eleven plus tutor to be a person of authority. Some teachers will still, however, try to develop in an eleven plus lesson, a climate where academic knowledge and understanding are of fundamental importance.

(You pay your money or you take your choice.) As a parent you are paying the money so you need to keep seeking for the `right’ kind of tutor. While you may prefer a perfectly eleven plus lesson, your child may enjoy, on some days, a little more freedom of thought and deed.

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