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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Eleven Plus Ceremonies

In what we call `savage society’ initiation ceremonies were used to conduct young people into man-hood or woman-hood. During this initiation specific training was given in adult customs and obligations. We know of many examples of initiation ceremonies as they often been portrayed in books and on television. Fairly high up on any list must be the initiation ceremonies of the Red Indians. I can remember reading with due fascination Margaret Mead’s `Coming of Age in Samoa’ where she highlighted difference in the attitudes of Samoans and Americans.

What would anthropologists have made of the eleven plus? Would they consider the examination to be a rite of passage from being a child to becoming a worthy member of a grammar school? What will parents think about the eleven plus in fifty year’s time?

Can we picture an `eleven plus camp'? We would see a group of boys and girls around a large camp fire. The children would be holding eleven plus papers in their hands. Suddenly there would be a concerted wave - and the papers would be thrown onto the flames. The children would then sing an eleven plus song.

We sometimes like doing papers
We just don't want to do them every day.
Please ask some challenging questions
So we actually have to think.


We are the best. We are the best.
Papers don't make potential
Thinking always helps.

What do parents think about the eleven plus right now?

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