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Sunday, November 29, 2009

An Eleven Plus Discussion

There may be other ways of examining at the eleven plus level.

The present `Eleven Plus’ is accepted by candidates, and parents, as being the best and only way that children can be selected for entry into grammar schools. Perhaps there is something to learn from other methods of examining. An advanced course of `Proficiency in English’, for example, requires mental maturity – and a good general knowledge.

There is an oral element which demands the ability to be able to take part in discussions on argumentative topics.

Students are only ensured of a good grade on the written side of the examination when they can tackle topics where a narrative or descriptive answer is not enough – the writer has to be able to cope with facts and opinions.

Students also have to be aware of a wide range of different styles of writing and speaking. The length of answers and the intellectual content are taken into account.

Of course an eleven plus examination where someone has to listen to the views and thoughts of ten year old children would prove to be vastly expensive and time consuming. It is much easier for the eleven plus administrators to encourage children to sit in vast rooms to complete multiple choice tests.

Perhaps the present system of eleven plus selection causes us to miss a number of bright and articulate children who can think, argue and discuss a wide range of topics.

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