Many years ago, before even the much vaunted Eleven Plus was born lived a man called John Locke. He thought that true education was gaining self control by the individual. Intellectual self control was to be fostered by giving experience and practice. (Sounds familiar?)
He thought that the tutor should answer questions truthfully when ever the thirst for knowledge appeared genuine.
He thought that children hated to be idle and that it was the tutor’s task to tempt or trick them into worthwhile pursuits.
Locke wanted the content of education to cover virtue, wisdom, breeding and learning.
Keep speaking the truth and be good natured. (No fighting with mum and dad about doing an eleven plus paper!)
To raise a child’s mind to true and worthy thoughts. (No sharp little comments from the much loved eleven year old.)
Showing good will and regard for all people. (Respecting that mother and father can have an opinion – and really do know how to do long division and algebra.)
Many years are spent on it, and what a noise and business it makes to no purpose. (Having to persist with eleven plus questions that rely on rote rather than thought.)
Now Locke lived between 1632 and 1704. We still want our eleven plus children to be virtuous, wise, and able to demonstrate good breeding and manners as well as be imbued with a fierce desire to learn. These are all good eleven plus attributes. It is a pity that the Eleven Plus examination itself can not gives more credit to the whole child.