I’m sort of cheating today. My original intention for this post was to give you various ELA (English Language Arts) questions from different exams that students need to take. But when I looked at the questions, I realized that the passages were too long to include more than one example, so I am going to try to do an abbreviated example.
This is a passage from the New York State Regents exam that all High School students in New York state are required to take. I think that you must pass this exam in order to graduate.
If you want to play along, read the above passage.
These are the questions that go along with the exam.
Do you think you can answer them correctly? Let me rephrase that: Do you think that you can answer them the way the New York State Board of Regents thinks is correct? Can you make a case for all the answers to be correct depending on how you look at it? Or that they are equally wrong?
Here’s where the subjective/objective thing comes into play: How much does ones background, feelings, etc enter into the equation when trying to ascertain what the “right” answer is?
Is it possible to have an answer that is more right?
Now let’s jump to the next part of my thoughts:
In a world where we can all interpret things in different ways, how do we communicate with one another?
If Person A looks at something one way, and Person B looks at it another way…how do we learn to understand one another?
My background, feelings, experiences make me feel that something is a certain way. Someone with the opposite background might see something the opposite of the way I see/saw it?
In a world where no one is wrong, how do we move forward?
If no one is right, and no one is wrong, how do we resolve conflict? How do we come to an agreement? How do we fix things?
So while you are reading the passage and answering the questions, think about the greater context. Think about why you think one answer is right and one is wrong. Think about why someone might have a different answer to the question.
I will give you the correct answers on Sunday, and possibly in the podcast that will eventually align with this post.
Full disclosure: I chose this exam because this is the exam my daughter and her classmates took and I have a sort of baseline as to how actual students did on the exam.