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Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Maturity of Eleven Plus Girls

It is always a sense of amazement that girls have to write the same eleven plus papers as boys. There are remarkably fruitless discussions on whether men and women are equal – and on how girls mature faster than boys. Do ten year old boys and girls studying for the same examination think in the same ways?

Do boys and girls have the same pleasure or similar pleasure when they complete an eleven plus paper? “Boys are so active. That is why it takes him so long to settle down.” If the physical, social and emotional development and maturity of girls is so far ahead of boys – then is it possible that a boy’s general maturity as the eleven plus approaches can be suspect?

The eleven plus is not supposed to be an end in itself. It seems, however, that some of the authors of books and papers are determined to force some of the thought and imaginative process of boys and girls apart.

A girl approaching the eleven plus has the benefit of thousands of years of experience – be it mental, physical, legal, social and economic. Some girls will opt for girls only schools while others will want mix sexed – or co-educational- schools.

Back in 1923 the Consultative Committee of the Board of Education published their report on the “Differences of the Curriculum for Boys and Girls respectively in Secondary School.” At that time grammar school only accounted for about fifteen percent of the children in any age group. The committee made recommendations covering the assimilation of girls into the curriculum – but also made assumption about the amount of divergence. The committee felt that girls should learn the same mathematics as boys. Girls should do different sporting activities.

We know that girls have rather broad differences from boys in terms of early training and tradition. Anyone who has had the pleasure of working with remarkably able and highly mature nine year old female children will understand that to many of them the eleven plus is simply a blip on their stellar route to the stars.

“Girls rule. O.K.?”

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