Search This Blog

Monday, December 27, 2010

Innovation in the Eleven Plus

Do parents need ultra conservative eleven plus teachers or ones who a perpetually enthusiastic about new methods and ways of teaching eleven plus topics? Is there a middle road? In any eleven plus group of teachers there will be those who have seen it all before and may try to resist any dilution of the eleven plus syllabus. There will also be those who would welcome change and a break from tradition.

Way back in the mists of educational history (around 1962) the authority of teachers used to be firmly established in the classroom. Teachers taught classes in rows. There was often a formal divide between teachers and their pupils.

Of course there were teachers who asked for quiet – meaning `keep the noise down’.

There were also teachers who pleaded for their classes to get on with their work – meaning `look as if you are working’.

Changes, however, came to schools and to teaching and learning with a widespread introduction of group work. Relationships between some teachers and their pupils had to become less formal.

Eleven plus teaching, however, is traditionally offered on a one to one basis. Recently, however, I was invited to visit a group in a town where around twenty children were taught by one teacher. The eleven plus children sat in rows. The teacher went through a paper question by question – allowing each child to answer in turn. There was no attempt at all for individual differences or ability levels. The group, however, were quiet, extremely well behaved, and spoke only on invitation. The teacher was teaching in the manner she had been taught, many years before.

We have introducing on line teaching where a teacher teaches in a roundly traditional manner – but the introduction of on line white boards, speech, communication, chat rooms and interaction between pupils using and wearing headphones and microphones adds an innovative and exciting dimension to the eleven plus.

No comments: