One of the early thinkers about education and the development of young children was a man called Piaget. He was born in 1896. Some of his ideas may still be relevant to today’s eleven plus.
He used two main methods in his research.
One was to record everything said by children.
The other was set a number of standard questions to the children. The situations had to be contrived so to have some degree of conformity.
A typical Eleven Plus Conversation
“No, I don’t think that I understand. I am still not sure why the area of a triangle is half the base times the height.”
“Look at a rectangle. The area of a rectangle is base time height. Your triangle will be half the size of the rectangle.”
A typical Eleven Plus Contrived Situation
Find the area of a triangle of base 12cm and height 14cm.
Piaget set tasks that were not only foreign to school work – but excluded any form of readiness on the part of the child to give an expected answer.
Piaget used the example of a child being asked: “Why does the sun not fall?” He wanted to force the child to think on new and inaccessible problems.
If only Eleven Plus questions could be independent from knowledge, experience and learning.