Go to navigation
It is currently Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:46 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 50 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:48 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:39 pm
Posts: 5
In the interests of balance, can I just say that I amazed at the amount of time and money spent (I am tempted to say wasted) on tutors.

If your child is suitable for grammar school, they will pass the 11+. If they need extra tutoring to pass the 11+, they are probably better off in a comprehensive.

Am I alone in taking this view ?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:13 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 87
Your sentiment sums up the feelings of majority of parents but with exams in NVR and VR which are not taught in schools where does that leave one's child faced with thousands of other children (who have had tutoring opportunities) all vying for 700+ places. What option do parents have but to help in getting the child on an even footing by preparing him/her no matter how minimal the preparation is!! :oops: Above all, the brightest child could fail 11+ while the smartest pass. :shock: Some parents believe you have to be in it to win it. :(


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:09 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:51 pm
Posts: 179
It is true that the most able will pass the 11 + without a tutor, however the problem is that with around 600 children passing out of a 1200 cohort, but only 100 - 200 places depending on schools, you don't just need to pass anymore to actually be offered a place; therefore with so many children having the advantage of a tutor giving them those vital extra points to gain a place, it has now become a disadvantage not to have one. (Or at least lots of prep at home with an able parent)

It is fair to say that some children are so bright that they will pass and be awarded a place with very little or no preparation - but they are few and far between. My DD1 had a tutor for 9 months and was lucky enough to be awarded her 1st choice school with a good score. She has not had any tutoring since and has in no way struggled, she is now in year 10. I do not know if she would have passed without the tutor, but I was not willing to risk it, as I am sure many other parents feel the same. No one likes to waste money, but when you see year after year brighter children not gaining places and slightly less able (but still bright) children gaining places following tuition - many parents want to give their child the best chance possible. If a child is not able no amount of tuition will get them through, they might scrape a pass, but not by enough to be awarded a place, but those who would have passed without tuition will attain a higher score, with tuition, and therefore a better chance of an actual place.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:22 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
Posts: 2439
Unfortunately, passing without tutoring/home-coaching is a naive view, although I wish it were true. We've all heard stories from our parents how they took the 11+ exam and was hardly aware that they took it, as well as children today who passed without a tutor.

If you never have seen a NVR or VR paper before the exam, then you will struggle in interpreting the questions, and waste valuable time. Even those who are familiar with 11+ type question frequently report that they run out of time. Tutoring/home-coaching prepares them for these questions, and the whole exam set-up in general.

I agree, alot of money is spent on tutoring, probably far too much. However, a good tutor will not just educate the child to pass the exam, but improve his/her academic standards overall.

A bright child may be able to obtain a basic pass which is required in some areas. However, in others, scores matter, and thats where tutoring/home coaching helps.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:50 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:38 am
Posts: 86
AB5 wrote:
In the interests of balance, can I just say that I amazed at the amount of time and money spent (I am tempted to say wasted) on tutors.

If your child is suitable for grammar school, they will pass the 11+. If they need extra tutoring to pass the 11+, they are probably better off in a comprehensive.

Am I alone in taking this view ?




We can all trot out anecdote ("my child got in on no tutoring"; "my child was tutored ten hours a day for four years and I know she wouldn't have got in had she had a minute's less") but real research is needed.

I was only able to find a few papers directly on the topic. The first (1) is twenty years old, studies seven children in each arm of the trial and claims huge effects effects from tutoring. Unfortunately, my library doesn't subscribe to the online versions of the BJEP prior to 1999, so I can't read the details from home and therefore I don't know what "tutoring" means: I might wander past the physical library this morning and see if I can find a paper copy, or someone else on the forum might have access to it.

Quote:
Two 11+ (transfer tests) practice tests, issued by the Department of Education in Northern Ireland, were administered to two groups of primary seven children. One group was intensively coached for the test, while a second group received no coaching. The children in both groups were also assessed on a separate index of ability, Raven's Progressive Matrices. Very large differences were found between the coached and uncoached groups. Differences in the region of 30 to 40+ points were maintained, even when ability as assessed by the Raven's Matrices was held constant. This is in the context of a possible 100-point scale. Differences of this size are some two to three times higher than previously reported estimates. The results also indicate that test scores continued to improve between tests one and two for coached children while remaining stable for the uncoached group, contrary to previous research, which suggested a ceiling effect after a sustained period of coaching.



The second (2) has much larger sample sizes, and is based on intensive in-classroom VR coaching in two schools, with other schools as controls:

Quote:
This study examines the effects of test familiarisation/practice and coaching on 11-plus test performance. Seven parallel forms of a test were administered to school children (aged 10-11 years) under two conditions. In the first condition children were given 3 hours of coaching prior to the administration of the tests ( n = 311). The second group received coaching only after the third test ( n = 241). Five of the seven tests were administered over a 2-week period and the remaining two were given some 9 months later. (...) The effects of familiarisation/practice did not produce a significant change in the means. Coaching for a period of 3 hours did produce a statistically significant shift in the means, though the individuals maintained their rank order. The effect of sustained coaching over a period of 9 months is shown to be substantial.


I have got the text of this paper, and although I'm slightly surprised they got ethical approval, it looks pretty solid. The statistics are over my head, but the basic contention --- that nine months' intensive coaching in VR improves VR --- doesn't seem unreasonable. What the paper doesn't measure, of course, is the effect all that coaching had on the children in terms of the things they weren't doing.

(2) also cites some other work (3) (4) which seems interesting, especially (4) which is available online without needing a subscription. Psychology isn't my field, and a lot of the language in the later papers needs a gloss, so perhaps someone who understands the field a bit might like to read around and report back. And note that (5) gets referenced a lot, which might be considered something of a warning sign...


(1) The effects of coaching on 11+ scores, Egan, M; Bunting, B. British Journal of Educational Psychology 61. Feb 91 (February 1991): 85-91.

(2) Brendan P. Bunting & Eugene Mooney (2001): The Effects of Practice and Coaching on Test Results for Educational Selection at Eleven Years of Age, Educational Psychology, 21:3, 243-253

(3) Vernon, P.E. (1954). Symposium on the effects of coaching and practice in intelligence tests. British
Journal of Educational Psychology, 24, 57–63.

(4) Allalouf, A., & Ben-Shakhar, G. (1998). The effect of coaching on the predictive validity of scholastic
aptitude tests. Journal of Educational Measurement, 35, 31–47. Text available free: http://www.openu.ac.il/Personal_sites/G ... BJEM98.pdf

(5) Burt, C. (1947). Symposium on the selection of pupils for different types of secondary schools. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 17, 57-71.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:19 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 4608
I presume you just signed up to EPE to have a debate, OP? That's fine we all like a good debate, and your points should, sadly, be true.

Here in Buckinghamshire approximately 30% of candidates pass the 11 plus - this sounds as though it might be easy, but in order to pass (presumably because of the high level of coaching, rather than an easy test), they need to score between 85-90% depending on their age. My DCs are thriving at GS (one still to take the 11 plus) but I know they would not have got there without coaching. One of them, who in the end passed very easily, completed about half a paper the first time he attempted one. This wasn't down to not knowing the VR techniques (he knew them well after 6 months of tutoring), but exam technique. If he had gone in without knowing the techniques either he really wouldn't have got very far. They need to start off with the basic intelligence, the schools can help by giving them a good grounding in vocabulary, spellings and tables, but without training in the specific techniques (which are not used for anything else), I beleive most children would struggle. I admire anyone who coaches their own children, I couldn't do it, and yes, I wish I hadn't had to spend a lot of money doing it, but we all want the best for our children. Most people who start off on the 11 plus "journey" believing that if their child is bright enough, they will pass anyway, often change their mind when they realsie how much coaching the other children have - it is not a level playing field unfortunately. I wish there was a way of testing them that was immune to coaching.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:49 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:22 am
Posts: 3664
Hi ABS....were your 3 children tutored at all for the 11 plus ? I don't think anyone would take an exam without doing at least a small amount of preparation ...although I have to say I didn't bother to read the book for my driving test and what a fool I looked when I was asked those questions about speed limits, signs etc !

I tutor ( after a fashion ) my children myself and have one already doing well at Grammar . The biggest bonus that I can see is how beneficial the maths and literacy aspect to the work had on my sons ...academically and for their self confidence, so I think as long as they are not gibbering wrecks by the end, then that has to be a positive thing. My eldest son wasn't particularly academic on the run up to the 11 plus, I was told he wouldn't pass the 11 plus, but with just a little bit of work one to one, he came up from below average to level 6 s when leaving primary . Where would he be if I'd left him scratching around in the paint corner all day and not having that confidence to think that yes, I can do this work and get it all right.That's a great life skill . Plus I feel good about myself for helping my son achieve his full potential .( not blowing my own trumpet, of course. :) )


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:06 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
OP, I thought like you before I moved to Kent, and when I taught in comprehensives in other parts of the country.

Having moved to Kent, seen the 11+ practice papers (particularly the maths - def a test of taught maths skills as much as IQ), and seen some of the non-selectives from the inside (there are no true comprehensives in an 11+ county) I no longer agree with you. But of course there will be many children who would have passed the Kent test whether they were tutored or not, and many who pass the test who were not tutored.

But for my own children I will not be taking the risk.

You also need to take into account that the education you get at primary school is also a bit of a lottery in places so this could account for the difference, but also that many good and outstanding school's KS2 results are influenced by external tuition / parental help.

Take as an example Amherst Junior School in Riverhead near Sevenoaks (not my children's school I hasten to add). Every year they get fantastic level 5 results (the vast majority get level 5s) at KS2 - look it up in the DfE tables. So you might think that no 11+ tutors would be needed there, fantastic school etc. But parents there tell me that many children there are tutored for 11+. They get v. good 11+ pass rate too. It's a big school, 90 children per year.

Until recently the head discouraged parents from tutoring. I don't think people took that advice, it just made them more secretive about it. Now he advises parents to tutor. Also there is a shop not far from that school which many parents use called the Parent - Teacher centre. It stocks all kinds of educational stuff for home use including practice papers etc. Certainly a lot of parents from Amherst use it. A whole shop in a small place is surviving on the basis of parents wanting to do more at home with their kids.

I also muse on the proliferation of stuff in WH Smiths etc for helping your child at home and I do wonder what has happened over the last few decades. I assume that when I was a child (and I am ancient) more of the day was devoted to reading, writing and arithmetic, and less to watching, speaking, listening, and other subjects. So now the practise that needs to take place (which some children need more of than others) takes place at home instead.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:08 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
oops - practice, not practise.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:39 pm
Posts: 5
Just to respond to some of the comments...

The purpose of posting was to challenge the presumption that tutoring was necessary, valuable, appropriate, etc. My own perspective is based on 3 children so far who have sat the 11+, 2 are in grammar school and doing very well, the third is awaiting the result shortly. In each case, we have encouraged the children to use practice papers beforehand, and only for one of the children did we pay for coaching - 3 sessions mainly focussed on giving her some confidence and avoiding a major panic on the day. However, along the way, I have seen the huge industry that has been created around "getting children through the 11+". I find that interesting, and, as I started out by saying, surprising - not that there is such an industry, more the scale of it.

I suppose there are a few sub-questions here :
1. Is tutoring effective ? - In all honesty, I have no doubt that tutoring is effective, if only on the basis of providing additional practice.
2. Is tutoring worth paying for ? For example, do parents typically have the ability (it is a test for 10 year olds after all) to coach their children ?
3. Is tutoring necessary ? This gets to the purpose of tutoring, and maybe the most interesting element of the debate. What is the real motivation ?
4. How much tutoring is appropriate ? 1 session, 6 months, 1 year, several years - there seems to be no limit
5. Is there a downside to tutoring ? I see a lot of stress around the 11+ - parents and children alike - does tutoring relieve or exacerbate this ?
6. Is choosing NOT to tutor a viable option ?
7. What's the worst that can happen ?

Everyone will obviously make there own minds up, but maybe for those whose children are yet to take the 11+, it is worth weighing up. Tutoring is a choice.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 50 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
CALL 020 8204 5060
   
Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright © 2004 – 2016