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Friday, January 30, 2009

A Shadow Over the Eleven Plus

There was a little article in the paper today – and I have searched fruitlessly for the on line link to no avail. The secret of great putting is not to think about it. A golfer’s performance was found to be undermined by talking about, mulling over, their last putting stroke between holes.

The researchers claimed the loss of performance was due to an effect called verbal over shadowing. This phenomenon makes the brain focus more on language centres than on systems that support the skills in question.

There must be very strong evidence for verbal over shadowing in our world of the eleven plus.

Is it the rather rude word that dad says when he realises that hi wife was actually able to the non verbal reasoning question that he was stumped by?

Is verbal over shadowing the way that mum goes on and on about the need to work hard and do well at school and do eleven plus papers and study and not be like ______ _____ who landed up being a ______ ?

Is verbal over shadowing the feeling you have when you are refused a mortgage that will enable you to move to that most perfect house that is so close to the grammar school? When you are offered the polite and regretful no: “If only I could you know that we would really like to lend the money, but I am so sorry.” (You then feel like offering a little verbal over shadowing of your own!)

Does verbal over shadowing occur when you bite your tongue when your child has just made a flip remark over – the `ELEVEN PLUS EXAMINATION!’ That moment of frustration could when you feel like offering to cast a little shadow over your child’s life.

If all else fails you can take this new found and freely offered advice, abandon the family, especially the eleven plus wonder, and take up golf.

This will really give your something to think and talk about. You just won’t have time to verbalise too much between holes.

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