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Educational Theorist: Recent editorials have called for limits on the

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Educational Theorist: Recent editorials have called for limits on the  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 05 Apr 2018, 21:11
3
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A
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Educational Theorist: Recent editorials have called for limits on the amount of homework assigned to children. They point out that free-time activities play an important role in childhood development and that large amounts of homework reduce children’s free time, hindering their development. But the average homework time for a ten year old, for example, is little more than 30 minutes per night. Clearly, therefore, there is no need to impose the limits these editorials are calling for.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the educational theorist’s argument relies?

(A) The free-time activities that ten year olds engage in most are all approximately equally effective at fostering development.

(B) Regularly doing homework assignments improves children’s academic performance.

(C) Individual teachers are not the best judges of how much homework to assign the children they teach.

(D) In most schools, if not all, the homework assignments given are of a length that does not diverge widely from the average.

(E) Free-time activities rarely teach children skills or information that they can use in their academic work.

Originally posted by arorag on 03 Oct 2008, 17:33.
Last edited by hazelnut on 05 Apr 2018, 21:11, edited 1 time in total.
Edited the question.
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Re: Educational Theorist: Recent editorials have called for limits on the  [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2015, 21:01
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Assumption questions are best approached with a kind of "shield" mentality. They are often difficult to predict (unlike more traditional strengthen/weaken questions, which you should try to make some kind of a prediction on). When reviewing the answer choices for these kinds of questions, you can typically rule out a few pretty quickly due to being out of scope. In this question I would say that A and E are the quick throwaway answers. A - there is no need to distinguish between which free-time activities are better than others, or how they are different, as the argument in no way depends on that; and E - we are discussing general child development, not development only as it pertains to academic work.

When you are then narrowing down between the final couple answer choices, you can use what Veritas refers to as the "assumption negation technique." You negate a possible answer choice, and then insert it back into the argument as an additional premise, and kaboom - the argument implodes. I view it as pulling out the "jenga piece," that final piece you pull when you lose the game of Jenga as the blocks come tumbling down.

Here the argument is:
Context) Free time activities play an important role in childhood development. Excessive homework reduces time for free time activities and therefore hinders their development
Premise) The average homework time for a 10 year old is only 30 minutes per night
Conclusion) There is no need to place limits on the homework assignments assigned to children

Negating the answer choices,
B - Regularly doing homework assignments does NOT improve academic performance: this does not crush the argument. If anything it actually strengthens the argument when negated, so is definitely not what I want
C - Individual teachers ARE the best judge of how much homework to assign: Again, if anything it strengthens the argument when negated. If teachers are the best judges, then that would further the argument that there is no need to place a limit.
D - In most schools, if not all, the homework assignments given are of a length that DOES diverge widely from the average: here's our winner. If we insert that back into the argument, then it basically nullifies the premise that the average homework time is only 30 minutes. It shows that there may be many schools that have 0 homework, and then some that have 3 hours of homework/night. The schools with 3 hours of homework/night are greatly hampering the children's development, and therefore there probably should be a limit placed.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Educational Theorist: Recent editorials have called for limits on the  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2015, 19:42
IMO (D)
"But the average homework time for a ten year old, for example, is little more than 30 minutes per night."
Mathematically we can have widely different sets of data with the same average. Therefore the theorist essentially assumes that for most schools the data does not deviate much from the average. In other words, the standard deviation is minimum.
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Re: Educational Theorist: Recent editorials have called for limits on the  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2015, 22:02
Premise: But the average homework time for a ten year old, for example, is little more than 30 minutes per night

Conclusion: Clearly, therefore, there is no need to impose the limits these editorials are calling for

Assumption: The average homework time is factor defining need to impose the limits



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Re: Educational Theorist: Recent editorials have called for limits on the  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2015, 22:24
+1 for D.
Premise: the "average homework time" for a ten year old...
Conclusion: no need to impose the limits these editorials are calling for.
The Educational Theorist assumes that since average time is less, there is not need for time limitation. The average of 0 and 60 is also 30 but the in the second time data, students are spending 60 mins in doing homework. This assumption could have supported the argument if the variance in sample times are not very high, i.e. if all the times in sample are very close to the average (30 mins).
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Re: Educational Theorist: Recent editorials have called for limits on the  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2015, 13:55
kanigmat011 wrote:
Can somebody post OE


Please follow my example on how I untangled this argument.

Every argument is composed of premises. Some have conclusions and some do not. For those that have conclusions, then you need to untangle its components and start your Assumption Hunting Mode!

Background information: Recent editorials have called for limits on the amount of homework assigned to children
P1: Editorials point out that free-time activities play an important role in childhood development
P2: Editorials point out that large amounts of homework reduce children’s free time, hindering their development
Counter premise (This is kind of against a point previously stated, again look at the word BUT counterpremise indicator): But the average homework time for a ten year old, for example, is little more than 30 minutes per night
Conclusion: There is no need to impose the limits these editorials are calling for.

Ok now that said, think about this. Why should we not impose the limits these editorials are calling for? What is the idea behind it?

The premise the conclusion maker used is that average homework time for a ten year old, for example, is little more than 30 minutes per night!

Now that said, next step is think of an assumption.... An assumption should be why this conclusion is true? Think for a reason this is true and then you may have come up with these:

1- that 30 minutes is not that much time to spend on homework and thus it is not going to affect development
2- that the measurements in this argument, i.e. "the average time" is representative.

The second answer is more subtle but once you start the argument analysis as in my method, you will be more comfortable to answer this question.

Only choice D is the correct answer to this question.

If it were not true, then an amount of time that diverges largely from the 30 minute mark would put in question the validity of the conclusion. If it were a lot more than 30 minutes then the conclusion falls apart.

hope I could help

The path I chose is not for the faint of heart! MM :)
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Re: Educational Theorist: Recent editorials have called for limits on the  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jun 2016, 11:45
Checking for correct Assumption- After negation of the correct answer choice , the conclusion falls apart(or shatters)

Conclusion - There is no need to place limits on the homework assignments assigned to children

option A and E are out of scope options or irrelevant for the given topic
use negation to check for correct answer choice
option B and C are strengthening the conclusion

if we negate option D,the conclusion falls apart
Correct Answer - D
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Re: Educational Theorist: Recent editorials have called for limits on the  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jun 2016, 11:10
sannidhya wrote:
Educational Theorist: Recent editorials have called for limits on the amount of homework assigned to children. They point out that free-time activities play an important role in childhood development and that large amounts of homework reduce children’s free time, hindering their development. But the average homework time for a ten year old, for example, is little more than 30 minutes per night. Clearly, therefore, there is no need to impose the limits these editorials are calling for.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the educational theorist’s argument relies?

A. The free-time activities that ten year olds engage in most are all approximately equally effective at fostering development
B. Regularly doing homework assignments improves children’s academic performance.
C. Individual teachers are not the best judges of how much homework to assign the children they teach
D. In most schools, if not all, the homework assignments given are of a length that does not diverge widely from the average.
E. Free-time activities rarely teach children skills or information that they can use in their academic work.


Limits on homework : More free time for childrens = development
( Total Duration / No of homeworks assigned to children) : 30+ minutes
Hence there is no need to impose limits on homework



A. The free-time activities that ten year olds engage in most are all approximately equally effective at fostering development

Out of scope.

B. Regularly doing homework assignments improves children’s academic performance.

Out of scope and irrelevant to the argument

C. Individual teachers are not the best judges of how much homework to assign the children they teach

Out of scope.

D. In most schools, if not all, the homework assignments given are of a length that does not diverge widely from the average.

If we negate this statement : " homework assignments given are of a length that does not diverge widely from the average. "

Say ,

School 1 : 10min & School 2 : 90 min

Average : 50 min

Thus there is an absolute requirement to impose the limits on the amount of homework assigned to children - The argument falls apart.

E. Free-time activities rarely teach children skills or information that they can use in their academic work

Out of scope and irrelevant


Hence among the given options only (D) follows....

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Re: Educational Theorist: Recent editorials have called for limits on the  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jul 2017, 01:40
The answer is D
D. In most schools, if not all, the homework assignments given are of a
length that does not diverge widely from the average.

If the average number of hours differ markedly from school to school then there is need for regulation.
Hope it helps
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Re: Educational Theorist: Recent editorials have called for limits on the  [#permalink]

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