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Sunday, December 09, 2012

Eleven Plus Technology

Technology is now an inescapable part of the eleven plus. Could the wise men who thought that the eleven plus would prove an escape route for children who came from disadvantaged homes have envisaged children hooking up to the internet? Technology is used in homes – town and country - factories, industry and has even contributed to send a man to the moon!

As time goes by fewer parents appear to be technologically disenfranchised. Advances in the ability of smart phones to access the internet has allowed many to be able to surf the net. How many eleven plus children will be offered smart phones this Christmas? What percentage will use these phones for eleven plus work?

We must all hope that eleven plus children continue to develop interests in scientific and technological areas. We must also hope that a sound proportion go on to study these subjects at university and then enjoy fruitful careers. Can the very nature of eleven plus questions make a contribution? Instead of asking for the odd one out of house, tree, dwelling and apartment why can’t more use be made of questions based around the sciences?

The administrators of the eleven plus must understand that many children are prepared and able to learn from the internet. One day some types of text books and eleven plus papers may become obsolete – especially if bold decisions are made to move away from question of the ilk: Camel is to desert as gorilla is to …..

Many years ago man worked out how to use stones to make tools. He used flints to make axe heads and used them as weapons to hunt animals. The wheel brought great advances – and then along came Caxton and Gutenberg.  The eleven plus die was cast!