Search This Blog

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Eleven Plus Crime and Punishment

There is a law when dealing with children. It is called the law of cause and effect. We know that there are many different types of cause and effect.

Cause and Effect 1

A banker wants a big bonus. The banker tells his friend that a different bank is in trouble. The friend sells his shares in the bank. The banker buys them. The friends take a commission on the sale for selling the shares and the banker takes a commission for buying the shares. The banker then tells his friend that the company in questions is going to be all right as a result of a share issue. The banker sells his shares and takes a commission, and the friend buys the shares and takes a commission.

The banker expects a large bonus for anticipating problems with the company and having the skills to know when to buy and sell. The problem is that the bank is now partly owned by the government who want to change the rules so no commission is paid – unless both parties can agree.

Cause and Effect 2

A child who refuses to put his toys away at the end of play time finds that his mother refuses to let him have the toys when ever he wants.

The principal here is that a wrong act can be undone by a right one. The mother is fully within her rights to stop the child playing when he did not tidy up. The child has to learn.

Cause and Effect 3

A child who does not want to work on an Eleven Plus paper should be punished. An appropriate punishment would be taking away the mobile phone for the first offence. The next time there is an argument about working at home the television goes off for a week.

This is fair enough. The eleven plus child should learn. After all if a three year old child was playing with a sharp knife then no parent would leave the knife with the child `to see what happened’. The consequences may be too serious.

In the olden days if a child did wrong then the child would expect his ears to be boxed. Under rules of this type it would be fair to box a child’s ears – and then when the child asked, “Why did you box my ears?”

The answer would come: “It is up to you to find out why your ears are boxed.”

There must be some common link to these three different cause and effect scenarios. We can not box the ears of the banker for wanting to take a commission on every sale and purchase of shares. We do need to make sure that the punishment fits the crime.

Punishing an eleven plus child with a physical withdrawal of his `toys’ is indefensible – unless a moral ban is also imposed. We can not make the banker give up his commission. (After all it was written into his or her contract and so has earned it.) We can make the three year old give up the sharp knife. (After all it is dangerous.) Why should we punish the eleven plus candidate for not working by denying him something concrete?

Should the banker lose the bonus on the commission? Yes.

Should a child lose the right to his or her toys? Depends.

Should the Eleven Plus child have privileges withdrawn? If the punishment fits the crime.

Should you box a child’s ears? You can feel like it but you can’t do it!

No comments: