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Monday, November 19, 2012

Ancient Rome and the Eleven Plus

Oh dear!

This is not going to please everyone – but we are talking about two thousand years ago when the Romans were intent on subjugating and educating everyone for miles around. The Roman father had the power of life and death over the whole family. (But did this really happen?)

The wife was brought under the family gods of the husband – and lost all legal connection with her family.

But things changed. Parents were allowed to chastise their children. But bit by bit Rome lost much of her Empire. The role of women changed – and woman became far more equal. As progress moved on children were not beaten as much.

The Romans did not have machinery to play with and they did not really recognise the value of scientific methods.

How would the Romans have coped with the eleven plus? How could any self- respecting Eleven Plus Roman mother have coped without having access to the internet? We know that most Romans taught their own children- because if the parents could read then they taught their children. The children, however, may have had to have concentrated very hard at times - if corporal punishment was just around the corner.

Let us look together at a little picture. We see a family grouped around Roman Eleven Plus papers.

Dad was saying: “If you don’t pass your eleven plus you will not be able to become a centurion.”

Mum would ask: “Now how many years are there in a century?”

Older sister would say: “Forget it. You will never pass the eleven plus unless you are prepared to do extra work.”

Younger brother would ask: “When can I start?”

We may be two thousand years on – but the questions are just the same. Some of the answers may also be remarkably similar!