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# In reaction to a rigid, overrefined classical curriculum,

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Manager
Joined: 02 Nov 2009
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In reaction to a rigid, overrefined classical curriculum,  [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2012, 09:16
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In reaction to a rigid, overrefined classical curriculum, some educational philosophers have swung sharply to an espousal of “life experience” as the sole source of learning. Using their narrow interpretation of John Dewey’s theories for support and spouting such phrases as “Teach the child, not the subject,” they demand an end to rigorous study and insist that only through doing can learning take place. While not all adherents to this philosophy would totally eliminate the study of great books, the gradual subordination of literature in the school curriculum reflects their influence.

What is the purpose of literature? Why read if life alone is to be our teacher? James Joyce tells us that the artist reveals the human condition by re-creating life out of life; Aristotle, that art presents universal truths because its form is taken from nature. Thus, consciously or otherwise, great writers extend our understanding of ourselves and our world. We can soar with them to the heights of aspiration or plummet with them to the depths of despair. How much wider is the understanding we gain from reading than from viewing life through the keyhole of our individual experience.

This function of literature, the enlarging of our life sphere, is of major importance in itself. Additionally, however, literature suggests solutions to social problems. The overweening ambitions of political leaders—and their sneering contempt for the law—did not appear for the first time in the writings of Bernstein and Woodward. The problems and behavior of the guilt-ridden did not await the appearance of the bearded psychoanalysts of the nineteenth century.

Federal Judge Learned Hand wrote, “I venture to believe that it is as important to a judge called upon to pass on a question of constitutional law, to have at least a bowing acquaintance with Thucydides, Gibbon, and Carlyle, with Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, and Milton, with Montaigne and Rabelais, with Plato, Bacon, Hume, and Kant, as with the books which have been specifically written on the subject. For in such matters everything turns upon the spirit in which he approaches the questions before him.”
How do we overcome our dissenter? We must start with the field of agreement: the belief that education should serve to improve the individual and society. We must persuade our dissenters that the voices of human experience stretch our human faculties and open us to learning. We must convince them of the unity of life and art. We must prove to them that far from being separate, literature is that part of life that illumines life.
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to
(A) list the writers who make up the backbone of a great literature curriculum
(B) explain the function of literature
(D) plead for the retention of great literature as a fundamental part of the school curriculum
(E) overcome the opposition of Dewey’s followers to the inclusion of contemporary literature in the curriculum

2. It can be inferred from the passage that the author considers those who believe in “‘life experience’ as the sole source of learning” (line 3) to be
(A) practical
(B) progressive
(C) misguided
(D) inflexible
(E) ignorant

3. The passage supplies information to suggest that the author and the educational philosophers mentioned in the first paragraph would agree that
(A) learning is the key to adaptability in an ever-changing environment
(B) the traditional classroom should be transformed into a learning laboratory
(C) the purpose of education is to improve society as well as the individual
(D) one must know history in order to understand the present and the future
(E) the primary aim of education is the transmission of culture

4. It can be inferred from the passage that the author makes which of the following assumptions about his readers?
(A) They believe that schools should reflect society.
(B) They believe that the subject, not the child, should be taught.
(D) They share his view that the study of great books is essential to education.
(E) They believe that only through reading can learning take place.

Please see highlighted text narrow interpreation would imply inflexible and not misguided the answer should then be D not C why is the answer C in this question 2

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Re: In reaction to a rigid, overrefined classical curriculum,  [#permalink]

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25 Aug 2012, 08:05
I believe "We must persuade our dissenters that the voices of human experience stretch " - this led to believe that they are misguided
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Re: In reaction to a rigid, overrefined classical curriculum,  [#permalink]

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03 Oct 2012, 09:35
The primary purpose of the passage is:
(A) list the writers who make up the backbone of a great literature curriculum
(B) explain the function of literature
(D) plead for the retention of great literature as a fundamental part of the school curriculum
(E) overcome the opposition of Dewey’s followers to the inclusion of contemporary literature in the curriculum

Please explain your reasons for the above question from the same passage.
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Re: In reaction to a rigid, overrefined classical curriculum,  [#permalink]

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04 Oct 2012, 10:55
1
venmic wrote:

It can be inferred from the passage that the author considers those who believe in “‘life experience’ as the sole source of learning” (line 3) to be
(A) practical
(B) progressive
(C) misguided
(D) inflexible
(E) ignorant

Please see highlighted text narrow interpreation would imply inflexible and not misguided the answer should then be D not C why is the answer C in this question

I will refer to these lines for an answer to this question -
"While not all adherents to this philosophy would totally eliminate the study of great books, the gradual subordination of literature in the school curriculum reflects their influence."

This line states that NOT ALL adherents of this philosophy - "More Doing than learning" would discard the study of great books, thus implying that there are still some people amongst that group who believe that studying books do help.

Thus suggesting that these people are not inflexible, as not all of them share same rigid thoughts, but few of them do support learning by books.

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Re: In reaction to a rigid, overrefined classical curriculum,  [#permalink]

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04 Oct 2012, 11:05
vivekdixit07 wrote:
The primary purpose of the passage is:
(A) list the writers who make up the backbone of a great literature curriculum
(B) explain the function of literature
(D) plead for the retention of great literature as a fundamental part of the school curriculum
(E) overcome the opposition of Dewey’s followers to the inclusion of contemporary literature in the curriculum

Please explain your reasons for the above question from the same passage.

To answer such question - IT is imperative to understand the Tone of the passage - in the first passage it suggests how some people detest Learning books but emphasize that doing things will make children learn better.

Then in second passage how the author puts together a great piece of convincing to suggest that by studying books we learn a lot not only about our own self, but also about life and various experiences.

Thus overall the Passage is trying in its requesting tone for those people {who do not believe much in learning by books} to understand why and how studying by books will make children know more of human tendencies and faculties thus enriching their experience.

(A) Author Lists various writers just as an example to qualify that what essential things one can learn from various authors - he does not mean to list writers of great literature curriculum. Reject A.
(B) Author is not explaining the function of Literature, instead he is elaborating the benefits children can have on learning by studying great authors. Reject B.
(C) Advocate the new philosophy of education - No where the passage describes learning from books as "NEW" philosophy - Reject C.
(D) Yes that's the nearest AC you have out of all the 5 options available.
(E) Overcome opposition of Dewey's followers - this may be the case for first passage but its not the Primary Purpose of the Passage. Reject E.
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Re: In reaction to a rigid, overrefined classical curriculum,  [#permalink]

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17 Apr 2014, 07:45
Experts
Need to explain question "D".

What should be ideal time to attack the passage.

Rgds
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Re: In reaction to a rigid, overrefined classical curriculum,  [#permalink]

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02 Jul 2015, 04:37
7 minutes
1.D
2.C
3.C
4.D

Can anybody post OE for 3 question
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Re: In reaction to a rigid, overrefined classical curriculum,  [#permalink]

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28 Jan 2019, 09:33
1

could you explain question 2 and 3's answer ?
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Re: In reaction to a rigid, overrefined classical curriculum,  [#permalink]

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14 Feb 2019, 09:19
Can anyone please explain Q-2 and Q-3?
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Re: In reaction to a rigid, overrefined classical curriculum,  [#permalink]

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02 Jul 2019, 21:58
passage is not complete. it has less question also
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Re: In reaction to a rigid, overrefined classical curriculum,  [#permalink]

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06 Aug 2019, 07:20
emma4490 wrote:
Can anyone please explain Q-2 and Q-3?

Hi, I will attempt.
Question 2:
After reading following lines from Para 1 & observing the tone of author:
"Using their narrow interpretation of John Dewey’s theories for support and spouting such phrases as “Teach the child, not the subject,” they demand an end to rigorous study and insist that only through doing can learning take place."
We can safely say that Author does not consider those who believe in “‘life experience’ as the sole source of learning” to be practical, progressive & inflexible. Use of words "narrow interpretation" gives a hint that author believes that such people have limited knowledge about the subject in discussion. Only options C & E provide debatable choice. Misguided i.e. C would IMO be a better choice than Ignorant i.e. E since ignorant would mean not aware while misguided would mean aware but not to the T.
Question 3:
It is explicitly mentioned in last para in following lines:
"How do we overcome our dissenter? We must start with the field of agreement: the belief that education should serve to improve the individual and society." The dissenter that the author is talking about is the philosopher. The author is explicitly saying that the philosopher and he himself agree on 1 thing i.e. the belief that education should serve to improve the individual and society.
Re: In reaction to a rigid, overrefined classical curriculum,   [#permalink] 06 Aug 2019, 07:20
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