Some teachers claim that students would not learn curricular content without the incentive of grades. But students wi...

Audrey-Swope on February 8, 2020

Why answer E?

I choose B can someone explain the breakdown and what to look for in these types of questions?

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Skylar on February 8, 2020

@Audrey-Swope, happy to help.

Let's break down the argument:
P: Some teachers claim students would not learn the curriculum without the incentive of grades.
P: But students with an intense interest in the material would learn the curriculum without the incentive of grades.
P: Students lacking all interest are unaffected by the incentive of grades.
C: The incentive of grades serves no essential academic purpose.

Now we need to identify the flaw in the argument. Two tips:
(1) I recommend trying to identify the flaw before proceeding to read the answer choices, as these can sometimes throw you off track if you don't know what you're looking to find.
(2) Be cautious of absolutes and extremes.

Here we have two extremes - "students with an INTENSE interest" and "students lacking ALL interest." Therefore, only two ends of a spectrum are accounted for, while the middle is left unaddressed. What about the students who are mildly interested in the curriculum? Would grades be an effective incentive for them? Answer choice (E) is correct because it points this gap out. It states that the argument "fails to consider that some students may be neither fascinated by nor completely indifferent to the subject being taught."

Answer choice (B) states that the argument "takes for granted that the students who are indifferent to the grades they receive are genuinely interested in the curricular material." This is incorrect because it is untrue. The argument states that both students who have an intense interest in the curriculum and students who lack all interest in the curriculum are not affected by the incentive of grades. Therefore, the argument acknowledges that students who are indifferent to their grades may not be at all interested in the material.

Does that make sense? Please let us know if you have any other questions!