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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Eleven Plus Chatter

Back at Bett 2010 again.

The conversations I shared were about how to give a child the opportunity of determining the content and order of work. In other words an eleven plus child has to follow a certain specified syllabus. In theory there needs to be a set teaching order. It would be difficult, for example, for some children to learn how to do division of fractions before learning how to add fractions. Of course there will be some experts who maintain that eleven plus child do not need to learn how to do division of fractions! They could be right!

Think of an eleven plus child being encouraged to rummage around and work on something that appeals! This could be regarded in very poor taste by the old guard of eleven plus teachers. After all it is difficult to learn how to do percentages if the `candidate’ does not know how to multiply fractions and then bring them to lowest terms.

“Good, now class of eleven plus children we are going to learn how to do ratio today. Open your books to page 27. Let us read the rule together. Look at the board now; we will do some examples together.” Teachers have been encouraged to teach like this for years and years. Indeed OFSTEAD would be horrified by a lesson that did not follow a similar path.

“Look Mum, this looks fascinating! I would love to learn that? How did they do that?”

That is a different conversation to that of the teacher saying: “Open your books …..”

Some bright children would prefer to be told what to do.

Other bright children may prefer to think for themselves.

What would your child prefer?

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