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Sunday, April 07, 2013

An Eleven Plus Definition

If there is a strident voice in the playground espousing unsavoury thoughts on the eleven plus, then it may be politic, at times, to step back.

Do you remember Socrates? He used a teaching method by which progress and understanding were preceded by sustained and directed questioning. He used part of the correct answer to one of his questions – and then worried away at the detail.

If the playground fanatic makes otherwise sane parents want to ridicule or reject any unsubstantiated statements then it may be useful to remember what happen to Socrates in the end. He refused to temper his teachings and was finally executed by the Athenian state. (Some say he drank hemlock to speed his death.)

Socrates raised questions along the lines of: what is justice, what is knowledge, what is beauty? He then showed through the questions and answers that there was seldom a clear understanding of the concepts involved.

Imagine Socrates sitting in your school playground. A group parents are gathered around. He then poses the question: “What is the eleven plus?”

Socrates felt that true knowledge was being able to define something.

 How many true eleven plus answers would he receive?

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