Ah, it is testing time in the United Kingdom and opposing voices are expressing happiness or sadness about compelling young children to regurgitate masses of information in order to prove to the world they are intelligent. Jim McAlpine, of the NSW Secondary Principals Council, warned there is trouble brewing, particularly after threats by teacher groups like the National Union of Teachers to boycott the 11 plus exam. He made clear in an era in which there are coaching of students to pass the exam, study publications and low security, the tests were becoming “flawed instruments for measuring school performance” and in such an environment one could argue if test results had any meaning.
The real question is why does society believe a test given at a certain age can provide evidence of intelligence or creative thinking? Most probably, these tests provide evidence of children who are primed to pass the exam.