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Monday, November 08, 2010

The Eleven Plus Some Time Ago

If the eleven plus had been around two hundred years ago is possible that the name of Karl Witte (1800 – 1883) would have entered almost every eleven plus conversation. Karl Witte was a clergyman and lived in Austria. He felt then that traditional education placed too much emphasis on natural aptitude. In the early eighteen hundreds there was also a feeling among some educators that too much early education would sap a child’s vital energies and strain his or her brain.

A giraffe’s neck became part of the conversation. Some felt that because the giraffe stretched its neck to eat the fresh juicy leaves at the top of the tree – the neck became longer. Some people, however, also felt that the giraffe did not get its long neck by stretching – but by inheritance.

The Eleven Plus Today

Imagine passing these thoughts on to some of our eleven plus children today!

“No mother, I take after my father. He is good at mathematics. I inherited his ability. I will wait until he gets home as your explanations sometimes confuse me.”

“No mother, I take after you. Too much eleven plus work will sap my energy and strain my brain.”

“No mother, you said you passed the eleven plus without doing any extra work. I am sure I can pass without doing any extra work. You always say, like mother like son.”

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