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Friday, February 04, 2011

Eleven Plus Thoughts

We have this impression of California as being the home of the sun and the surf. We are fed pictures of sun kissed orange groves and beautiful people. We know too that in recent years California has built a huge budget deficit. Terman, and his Stanford Associates, were in California when they published their Volume 1 of the Genetic Studies of Genius in 1925. It is hoped that the early protagonists of the eleven plus were aware of this research. In fact elements of the thinking behind the studies of genius may have influenced the early stages of the development of the content of the present eleven plus examination.

Terman looked at 1500 California children with I.Q.s of 140 and over. He looked at:

Racial origins
Sex ratio
Anthropometric measurements
School progress
Specialised abilities
Intellectual, social and play interests
Character traits

These findings formed the core of scientific knowledge about intellectually gifted children.

In our little world of the eleven plus we work with around six hundred children a year in lessons and on courses. Naturally we see children who are aiming at full marks on the various eleven plus tests. Would anyone find it interesting if a comparative study was done on very bright children? The results of the best and the brightest of 2011 could be compared with the best and the brightest of 1925.

If some `sleeper’ questions were mixed in we could find out just what our very bright eleven plus candidates think about the present form of the eleven plus. The phrase `out of the mouth of babes’ may be highly relevant.

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