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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Eleven Plus Aptitude

Eleven plus parents, and their children, need to recall the grand work done by Johnson O’Connor of the Human Engineering Laboratory in Hoboken New Jersey.

He devised a Wiggly Block Test with which he measured ability to visualise in three dimensions. There were nine pieces of wood with wavy sides. When properly fitted together they formed a solid rectangular block.

O’Connor reported that of 4000 men taking his test, 82% of the engineers scored better than the midpoint of the whole group. In other words men who were able to complete the Wiggly Block Test showed ability that was important to mechanical and engineering work.

Now is the time for enterprise. It looks as if remarkably few sets of Wiggly Blocks will be available this Christmas. Even if the blocks could be bought online, delivery is likely to be difficult because of the snow.

Many mothers and fathers will have used the pencil on a string test to determine the sex of their baby eleven plus candidate. Perhaps parents could also wave wiggly blocks over the head of the unborn child to see if he or she is going to become an engineer. In years to come prospective university engineering candidates could state on their UCCA forms that their sex had been determined by a pencil, and their mechanical aptitude by wiggly blocks. This would obviate the need for an aspiring engineering candidate to pass as many A* A Levels as is currently required.

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