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Friday, January 01, 2010

Eleven Plus Wisdom

Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge. In order to pass an eleven plus examination children need some knowledge. Children writing an eleven plus mathematics examination will need to know that to find ten percent of an amount he or she will need to divide by ten. A child working on a verbal reasoning paper may need to understand what the word `opposite’ means.

As the children acquire more eleven plus knowledge and information they will be building a structure in their minds about how to tackle different types of questions. As the examination grow closer eleven plus teachers and wise parents have to be careful that they are not supplying unnecessary information. The emphasis needs to shift to encouraging the child to organise his or her thoughts – and attack the question in a calm and logical manner.

Some parents may need to look beyond the particular question – and think about where their child is in the eleven plus journey. “How close is my child to the destination?” Of course parents, who have been working with their child, will have a fair idea of where their child is up to.

Parents are always able to use the touch paper of eleven plus exercises to provide continuous assessment. Most parents are also able to diagnose, reasonably confidently, where their child is likely to have a problem.

An eleven plus mantra for this year could be: “The family must try to avoid training specific performance but work to promote understanding.” It is no good training a child to achieve 80% on an eleven plus paper if the same child can not understand how to answer an unseen eleven plus question.

We all remember our Tennyson where he wrote: “Knowledge comes but wisdom lingers.”

We all want our eleven plus children to be wise little examination candidates.

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