GMAT Essay Topic 522 - The following appeared as part of an editorial in the Waymarsh City newspaper. "Last year the parents of first graders in our school district expressed satisfaction with the reading skills their children developed but complained strongly about their children's math skills. To remedy this serious problem and improve our district's elementary education, everyone in the teacher-training program at Waymarsh University should be required to take more courses in mathematics." Discuss how well reasoned . . . Etc.
Author: Victor | Date: July 14, 2007 | Score: 5
The writer of the editorial suggests that teachers in the training program at Waymarsh University take more mathematics courses in order to alleviate a serious educational deficiency in the school district. The line of reasoning is that the level of elementary education is in a difficult situatio...
This essay has been rated a score of 5. Essays in this score category are premium content. Please Register to access this essay.
Under the same topic
In the argument, the author concludes that teachers at Waymarsh University should take more courses in mathematics to improve the math skills of first graders in the district school. To solidy the conclusion, the arguer gives the evidence that parents of these first graders are satisfied with the children's reading skills, but are strongly dissatisfied with the their math skills. At first glance, the conclusion appears to be a convincing solution to solve the problem. Several logical fallacies, however, seriously cast doubts on the line of reasoning, rendering the conclusion highly suspect.
To begin with, the problem is raised by some of the parents of the students. The evidence fails to give more details about the number of parents who have the common opinions and the reason why they think the reading skills of their children is better than their math skills. Without the relevant background, the comments given by some of the parents is not truly representative of the population at large. Possibly, the parents only notice that the student spend more time on reading rather than calculating, therefore, they make the groundless conclusion and report their opinions to the school.
Secondly, the authority of Waymarsh city try to improve the quality of match-teaching through adding more relevant courses in Waymarsh University. While this is a reasonable solusion, it is by no means a certaity. Other factor that may cause the weak math skill of first graders should be considered and ruled out. The students may not be interested in mathematics, therefore, even if the teachers gain more math knowledge, the situation still cannot be changed. The key is to understand the reason why the math skills of the students are not as good as their reading skills. Moreover, there is no causal relationship between the improvement of students' skills and the courses taken by teachers in university. The teachers with good marks in the math may be not skillful enough to spread their knowledge to students. Meanwhile, the lecturers of other courses, such as history and music, are not necessary to hone their math skills which are useless in the courses they teach.
In conclusion, the argument fails to consider the representativeness of the complaints made by the parents and does not establish a solid relationship between the solution and the problem. To substantiate the conclusion, the author should provide more information concerning the details of the parents who have such opinions and take other fators that may lead to the problem into consideration.Read more