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The following appeared as part of a newspaper editorial:
“Two years ago Nova High School began to use interactive computer instruction in three academic subjects. The school dropout rate decline immediately and last year’s graduates have reported some impressive achievements in college. In future budgets the school board should use a greater portion of the available funds to buy more computers, and all schools in the district should adopt interactive computer instruction throughout the curriculum.”
Based only on the decline of the dropout rate and the graduates’ achievements in college, the author of the article recommends the school board to use more funds to adopt interactive computer instruction throughout the curriculum. However, the recommendation is flawed by several reasons from the lack of information about other changes in the school during those two years to the questionable assumption that the success of computer technologies implementation will continues after increasing funds of that program.
First of all, the author claims that exactly the computer instruction caused the decline in the dropout school and the improvements in the graduates’ achievements in college. As no reason is presented to prove this fact, this claim is unconvinced. For example, the school might hire a few really good teachers who motivate scholars and interested them in subjects. Presenting data that could prove the cause-effect relationship between the adoption interactive computer instruction and school success, the author could improve the argument.
Secondly, the argument assumes that the current rate of dropout and graduates’ achievements is an indication of success. However, the argument consist no information about the trend before the adoption of the technology. If both the dropout rate and the achievements had been improved before the implementation the computer instruction, the computer instruction might have no significant effects. If the author presented information that before the change in educational program no signs of improvement were observed, the argument could be more convincing.
Finally, the author unreasonably makes the assumption that by adopting the computer instruction widely, the decline of the dropout rate and the improvement of graduates’ achievement will continue. But the improvements could have a temporary effect and could disappear as the scholars become more accustomed with computers. In this case, the adoption of interactive computer instruction throughout the curriculum might have the negative effect.
To sum up, as the above discussion reveals, the author’s recommendation that the school board should adopt interactive computer instruction throughout the curriculum has many flaws and thus not fully supported. The argument could be more convincing if the author presented information about the trend of the dropout rate before adaptation of the interactive computer instruction and about other changes that has been made during two years. However, as presented, the argument is unconvincing.
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24 Sep 2013, 05:18