Parents are sometimes able to argue with some conviction that there is a strong case to leave eleven plus revision to simply working through a few papers just before the examination. “We only did a two or three papers, untimed of course, and my daughter passed with flying colours.”
These parents have strong evidence, of course, to back up their claims that go back over many years.
Case 1: Salamanders
Salamanders reared with little opportunity to swim freely learnt to swim remarkably quickly when they are offered the opportunity.
Case 2: Chicks
Chicks reared in darkness fir a few days actually learnt to peck accurately with a far faster rate of improvement than did chicks that were give every opportunity in learning to peck.
Case 3: Children
Children who were given special practice in stair climbing and tower building showed improvement – but children who were not given such special practice learnt the same skills but took much less time.
Case 4: Hopi Indians
Hopi Indian children who were reared on cradle boards, so they could not use their legs, learnt to walk at much the same time as other Hopi Indian children.
Parents of Eleven Plus children will no doubt rejoice in the results of this research. They will be able to justify in their own minds that there is little need to purchase piles of eleven plus papers. The parents will be able to say that there is little need for tutors and eleven plus courses. Playground gossip will agree that their no real need for their school to be blamed for not doing any extra eleven plus work.
There will naturally be some unconvinced parents who will maintain that: “It is better to be safe than sorry.”