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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Our Eleven Plus Community

There was once a famous professor who was concerned with education and the wider community. Professor M.V.C. Jeffreys, who died in in 1984 aged 84, when talking about society and culture, maintained:

Education, properly understood, is an activity of the whole community. At the same time the greatest contribution that the school can make towards the realisation of this ideal of the educative society is the education of its members in the meaning of community.

The Professor wrote this in 1950 well before the advent of the Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and all the other ways that exist, at the moment, for parents to communicate. Once parents start on eleven plus work with their children they have the ability to choose to join and become fully fledged members of the `Eleven Plus Community’.

Somewhere, along the way, some parents may be faced with helping their child understand some different types of eleven plus questions.

Mrs Henry, the mythical elven plus parent, wants to buy some new eleven plus books for her daughter.

There is a special offer from one publisher. `Three eleven plus books at £9.50 each for the price of Two!

She scrolls down the page and sees an advertisement from a different book seller – but the same publisher. `These eleven plus books are only £8.90 each. Special offer – but one and get one half price.’

Mrs Henry turns to her daughter. “Well dear, should we get these books or these?”

Her daughter rapidly considers a number of choices. Does her mother want her to work the answer out on price or on educational value. She offers a rather non-committal answer.

The mother, on her mobile phone, tweets a friend and also poses the question on face-book.

Her daughter, meanwhile, is far more community orientated than her mother and simply phones a friend. Her friend asks her what the options are. The girls agree that while buying more eleven plus books could be desirable it may be more valuable to the community to pass all their eleven plus books on to the wider community.

“But Mum, we want to educate the community.”

An epiphany comes in mysterious ways!