Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Don't ask why

Finally figured out what annoys me about the so-called "paired approach" of responding to GP essay questions.

The "paired approach" is a fancy name for a "reasons-for vs reasons-against" pairing as we consider a given proposition.

Reasons are prompted by the question "why", to which the logical response is "because...". Conversely, to answer "because" only makes logical sense when responding to "why".

Therein lies the problem: GP questions are never "why" questions. Therefore, to argue "because this... however, because that..." neither makes sense, nor is any help in the decision-making process.

The "paired approach" is inherently self-negating, yet it is the default technique by which across the board we teach kids to argue essays. When the kids do what we taught them to do, we say they aren't answering the question, and they don't get it, no matter how much we teach them. We are logical readers, after all. Then we wonder where we went wrong.

Well, at least now I know.

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