Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Merritt, James||Thompson, Michael L. (Professor of education)

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Secondary Education


Education--Great Britain; Examinations--Great Britain


The purpose of this study is to examine systematically the appraisals of the English secondary selection examination system made by English educators and the English public. This is done with the primary aim of making this problem of English education (the secondary selection examination system) readily comprehendible to the American reader so that he might benefit from their experiences. The secondary selection examination consists basically of an intelligence test and achievement tests in arithmetic and English administered at approximately the age of eleven. The examination has received wide criticism in England because it plants excessive pressure and anxiety on the student and the school; too many students are misplaced; the provisions for correcting mistaken placement are insufficient; and the examination relies on objective questions requiring only a superficial knowledge of material. However, attempts are being made to correct those problems. Probably the most serious problem of the present secondary selection system is that so many middle class parents will be satisfied with nothing less than grammar school for their child. The solution to this requires the improvement of the facilities and teaching in the secondary modern school so that the public will feel that it is providing a worthwhile secondary education that is more suitable than the grammar schools for many students. Although there is wide criticism of the secondary selection examination, the alternatives to the examination do not satisfy the English either. Of the alternatives to the secondary selection examination, the comprehensive school, which is on the order of the American high school, has so far acquired the most support, but it has also attracted the most criticism. It seems that the English love of tradition and small schools will only slowly and reluctantly permit the adoption of any alternative to the present system. The author believes that many of the arguments of the English for secondary selection and against comprehensive schools are not valid in the United States. He believes that rigorous grouping may, if adequately tried, encourage the students to work to the limit of their ability without the disadvantage of the examination.


Includes bibliographical references.


vi, 105 pages




Northern Illinois University

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