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Thursday, October 18, 2012

An Eleven Plus Paradox

It is a pity that the eleven plus has evolved into a race for time through sets of papers. Few children have the luxury of being able to reflect and think during the test. The clock ticks remorselessly.

There has been much recent discussion about GCSE and A Level examinations. Eleven plus parents and schools do not seem to have same opportunities. Is this a case of: “Be thankful for the mark you are given. There are plenty more who would like your place!”?

Not all children who are bright and intelligent find themselves able to do justice to demands of the examination. There could be a select few who may benefit from a different type of eleven plus. Why can’t some children enjoy an eleven plus where the ability to think and come to conclusions is venerated?

What about the barber paradox?

“In the village there lives a barber who shaves all and only the people who do not shave themselves. So who shaves the barber? If he shaves himself, he does not; if he does not shave himself, he does.”

Would a group of nine or ten potential eleven plus children enjoy debating this paradox? Would leaders and the truly `grammar stream material’ emerge?