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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Changes to the Eleven Plus

Some of the questions in some eleven plus papers seem to suit children who have the ability to focus and solve problems.

Some grammar schools may then miss out on children who think creatively.

If the verbal reasoning test had a slot for creative thought then it could invite a wider range of answers.

Give a fourth word in this series:

creative imaginative inventive ………..

If questions like this were asked then parents could argue about the responses their child made.

“My child offered an original and probably unique answer. You can not penalise him.”

“Thirty five seconds is not enough time to arrive at an answer that shows true creativity and depth of thought.”

“There is not one correct answer – so how can you mark his work right or wrong.”

“My child and I have spent the last two years learning a page of the dictionary each day. We have learnt nearly seven hundred pages. The words in this section of the eleven plus test were not in the pages we studied.”

If creativity was to be included in a number of questions eleven plus parents would also be able to argue about the format of the examination.

“Does this test actually measure what it is supposed to measure?”

“What is creativity?”

“Do children in grammar schools need to be creative?”

There could also be wider questions about the nature of the creativity.

“If my child is in the school orchestra and can play the violin to Grade 5 – surely that is more creative than a child who is able to string words together?”

“How have you been able to verify that creative children will turn out to be creative adults? Do we need creative adults?”

“My child is just two marks away from passing. Did his superior creativity militate against his achieving a pass mark just because he found solutions to answer that the examiners had not thought about?”

Of course it may possibly be easier for the current authors of the `real’ eleven plus examinations to keep repeating the same questions year after year. After all if it is not broken – why change?

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