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Friday, February 17, 2012

Reasoned Eleven Plus Answers

When you were at school one of your careers teachers may have mentioned Karl Manheim. (1893 – 1947) He believed that there should be planned guidance in the lives of people and that this should be on a sociological basis – with the aid of psychology.

He saw society as a whole and integrated, and education was something that permeated all its groups and institutions. He thought that the training of teachers should not be concerned with the tricks of the trade and with method – but with the fullest possible education of the educator.

In eleven plus terms – would your child benefit more from a teacher who carefully explained how to do the different processes – or a teacher who was more involved with helping your child to solve problems?

“But sometimes you do have to tell an eleven plus child how to do something.” Of course, and who could argue with this statement? It you have to leave it to the child to try to solve the problem you may never complete the exercise or the paper or the task. A big change that could take place, however,  is trying to change the emphasis in an eleven plus session from instruction and learning to thinking and solving problems. Sometimes a parent could consider guiding their eleven plus child to an answer rather than telling him or her how to answer the question.

Jacks, writing in Total Education – 1946 - felt that the trained teacher was too often the untrained human being. He maintained:

“The era of the training of teachers is past; our business today is with the education of the educator.”

If this is still true eleven plus parents can rejoice.  It does not matter if they do not know all the answers to eleven plus questions. What does matter is that they help their child to find ways to reason.