Search This Blog

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Intelligence and the Eleven Plus

I know the following comments show a complete lack of academic sensibility - but the article in today's Times is illuminating. The heading is :"How to make your child more intelligent." I have not yet read the book by Richard Nisbett `Intelligence and how to get it' and have only read the article. I know I should read the whole book before commenting - and will naturally do this in time.

There is a quote in this article about James Flynn who has collated scores on I.Q. tests from all over the world. This quote by Flynn is from the article - and once again I have nor read the source.

`Our ancestors intelligence was anchored in everyday reality. We differ from them in that we can use use abstraction and logic and the hypothetical.' In an IQ test, he says, we might be asked what rabbits and and dogs have in common. `The correct answer is that they are both mammal, assumes that it is important thing about the world is to classify it in terms of categories of science. To an American in 1900, that would be absurdly trivial.'

Present day verbal reasoning tests continue to throw up excruciating types of questions that are rooted in the perception of ability and the needs of the eleven plus of fifty years ago.

I have argued over many of the last thousand blogs that there is a need to change the present eleven plus. My credentials are not those of professors or academics - but those of a practicing eleven plus tutor. I have prepared programs for around 600 children a year for the last three years - and many more children over the past years.

Some types of verbal reasoning question are not relevant to today's children. It is very difficult to see how some questions can meaningfully select eleven plus children for today's world.

The whole concept of selection and the eleven plus needs a review that embraces not only the needs of the grammar schools - but the intellectual makeup of today's children.

No comments: