Mathematics teacher: Teaching students calculus before they attend university may significantly benefit them. Yet if...

shafieiava on January 13, 2020

Answer choice A

Can someone please explain why answer choice A is correct? The terms used in the answer choice seem to be out of scope of the terms used in the stimulus. Additionally, any tips on how to generally approach strengthen principle questions would be helpful. Thank you!

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shafieiava on January 13, 2020

Additionally, if someone could explain why answer choice B is incorrect that would be very helpful. Thanks in advance.

Ravi on January 15, 2020


Let's look at (A) and (B).

(B) says, "Only those parts of university-level mathematics that are
the most concrete should be taught to preuniversity students."

The problem with (B) is that it does not apply to the argument because
the author qualifies her conclusion by saying, "if we're going to
teach pre-university students calculus." It's possible that the author
could agree with (B) but still offer advice about what to do if you
ignore this recommendation and teach something abstract regardless.
Thus, we can get rid of (B).

(A) says, "Only those who, without losing motivation, can meet the
cognitive challenges that new intellectual work involves should be
introduced to it"

(A) basically means that being able to meet the mental challenges of
new work is essential for an introduction to that type of intellectual
work. Although it has very general language, (A) does make the
mathematics teacher's argument stronger. Abstract thinking is a
certain type of mental challenge, and calculus qualifies as
intellectual work, so (A) strengthens the author's argument by
providing us with a strong premise that helps justify what the teacher
is saying. Thus, (A) is the correct answer choice.

Hope this helps. Let us know if you have any other questions!