Critical Reasoning- Process and Substance

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Critical Reasoning- Process and Substance

Many students, especially those who are poor, intuitively know what the schools do for them. They school them to confuse process and substance. Once these become blurred, a new logic is assumed: the more treatment there is, the better are the results; or, escalation leads to success. The pupil is thereby schooled to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. His imagination is schooled to accept service in place of value. Medical treatment is mistaken for health care, social work for the improvement of community life, police protection for safety, military poise for national security, the rat race for productive work. Health, learning, dignity, independence, and creative endeavor are defined as little more than the performance of the institutions which claim to serve these ends, and their improvement is made to depend on allocating more resources to the management of hospitals, schools, and other agencies in question.

What is the main idea of this paragraph?

  1. Allocating more resources to health, learning, dignity, independence, and creative endeavor is not likely to increase their quality.
  2. Schooling doctors thinking by teaching students to identify the process with the results.
  3. As a society we often mistake grades and diplomas for competence, medical treatment for healthcare, police protection for safety and the rat race for productive work.
  4. When it comes to schooling, less is more: the less the treatment there is, better the results
  5.  

    • Correct Answer
      Choice B

    Detailed Solution

    The paragraph squarely blames schools for confusing pupils, and making them believe that process and substance are the same. It cites several examples of how we are misled into confusing grades with education, teaching with learning, diplomas with competence, medical treatment with healthcare, police protection with safety, military poise with national security and the rat race, with productive work. The paragraph concludes by saying that when health, learning, dignity, independence, and creative endeavor are confused with the performance of the institutions that claim to serve these ends, we are led to believe, wrongly, that we can better achieve the said goals by merely increasing the resources allocated to them.

    Now, let us look at the answer options and see which one captures the main idea of the paragraph best:

    Option A - Allocating more resources to health, learning, dignity, independence, and creative endeavor is not likely to increase their quality.

    This is one of the key ideas of the paragraph. However, one other important point made in the paragraph- that we are led to think this is so because of schooling- is not touched upon by this option. So option A is not probably the best answer choice.

    Option B- Schooling doctors thinking by teaching students to identify the process with the results.

    This answer option summarizes the main idea of the paragraph very well. The paragraph, after all, discusses the idea that schooling is to blame the thinking that process equates to results.

    Option C- As a society we often mistake grades and diplomas for competence, medical treatment for healthcare, police protection for safety and the rat race for productive work.

    This statement is again partially correct, but does not talk of the role of schooling in promoting this kind of thinking. Option B is the better answer choice.

    Option D- When it comes to schooling, less is more: the less the treatment there is, better the results

    The paragraph does not suggest that less schooling can lead to better results. So option D is not the right choice.

    So the correct option is (b).

    Correct Answer: Choice (b)



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