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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Eleven Plus Parents

One of the arguments against the eleven plus is that undue familiarity with a test can produce artificially high results. If children work on the same sort of papers week after week and have to record and compare their results, then they may gain too much familiarity with the papers. This can lead to test fatigue as well as artificially high results.

Of course parents will react in different ways when they are trying to bump up marks on selection papers. Parents will probably stick to the papers and methods they are comfortable with. By the time their child is ten, few parents will have any illusions about how well their child will do in the eleven plus examinations

Parents will know that praise and reward will work at times.

A number of parents will react with horror at the idea that their child may need a stiff talking to.

Eleven plus children should not be made to endure their work when it is accompanied by a genuine fear of punishment.

Criticism is possibly occasionally used to try to correct mistakes. A parent may feel that their criticism is fair and justified – whereas their child may feel that the criticism is unwarranted and untimely.

Some children react confidently when they are put under pressure of time – but others look as if they hate the sound of the clock ticking the seconds away.

Some children will enjoy multiple choice questions. Others may prefer a true / false situation.

Some children may hate the restriction of test papers but flower when they have the opportunity to present a case or write an imaginative essay.

The eleven plus examination has to be all things to all people. It has to be fair – but demanding.

The eleven plus child has to rise above praise, reward, fear, criticism and perceived restrictions. The eleven plus child has to work to time limits and be confident and precise. It is quite a lot for some ten year old children to try to aspire to.

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