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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Eleven Plus and Yellow Fever

Parents working with their children during the eleven plus year have to play many parts. Obviously they have to be a mother or a father. At times they will also need to be social workers, psychologists and doctors.
Parents will need to be able to cope with intelligence testing, personality development, social behaviour and eleven plus work.

Eleven Plus parents do not have the questionable luxury, however, of being able to experiment on their children. They cannot advise their child that a score of less than 70% is punishable. Parents, very likely, have remarkably little desire to offer their child any form of retribution for low marks.

How are parents going to be sure that they have chosen the right books and eleven plus papers? You will probably remember your science teacher, many years ago, telling you about medical research in days gone by.

A group of men were exposed to mosquitoes known to have bitten yellow fever patients. Most of the men became ill.

A control group was exposed to all other possible causes of the disease. The control group was not subjected to mosquito bites.

None of the control group contracted yellow fever.

The evidence was clear- yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes.

It is very difficult for parents, however, to predict that all their children will pass the eleven plus. If, for example, other members of the family had passed with the same tutor and the same eleven plus papers – would the third child in the family also pass with the same tutor and the same books?

There may even be some parents who knew about other people who had taken performance enhancing drugs – like Benzedrine. A control group was offered Benzedrine before an examination. The control group was given a placebo. It was found that Benzedrine did not affect mental ability significantly.

Fortunately for many eleven plus children, many parents seem to realise that a variety of methods and approaches is needed. There is not one path that will lead to an eleven plus pass. The way to the eleven plus, at times, can be tortuous and winding. It can also be an exhilarating ride full of success and promise.