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The best way to teach is to praise positive action and ignore negative action

The role of a teacher is not only to impart knowledge, but also to develop the overall personality of the student. The personality of student is shaped by his ability to discern between right and wrong, and to understand the consequences between right and wrong. This ability is developed at a young age when he understands the benefits of positive action, and drawbacks of negative actions. Hence the best way to teach is to praise positive action and reprimand the negative ones.

The importance of praise for positive action should not be ignored. It is human tendency to expect positive feedback for positive action. If this positive feedback is not received, it could lead to disillusionment and prevent further positive action. In certain cases, it might lead to disastrous consequences too. For example suppose there is a student who takes intiative and responsibility whenever required. If such a student does not receive a positive feedback, he would shy away from taking initiative and responsibillity in the future. In addition this would also harm his personal development. Hence, for a teacher it is extremely necessary that he reinforces the belief in student that positive action has great benefits. 

Since for positive action there is a positive reaction, for negative action there has to be a negative reaction. The policy of ignoring and appeasing will always have a detrimental effect. If the negative actions are ignored, the individual might be led to believe that they will continue to be ignored in the future. This could lead to a snowballing effect, where the individual is unable to understand the potential ramifications of his actions. There are innumerous examples where unchecked negative actions lead to the creation of a socially incoherent individual

While dealing with both positive and negative action, it is extremely important to not go overboard in the reaction. Here the role of teacher is important as will decide on the quantum of reaction. 

In conclusion, it is necessary that positive actions receive their share of praise, while negative actions should be met with contempt to prevent recurrence of such actions.

The above topic is from ETS GRE practice test 1. Please evaluate the essay and provide the areas for improvement. It would be very helpful if someone could provide some illustrations or examples which i could have used here. 


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The following appeared in an article written by Dr Karp, an anthropologist.

"Twenty years ago, Dr Field, a noted anthropologist, visited the island of Tertia and concluded from his observations that children in Tertia were reared by an entire village rather than by their own biological parents. However, my recent interviews with children living in the group of islands that includes Tertia show that these children spend much more time talking about their biological parents than about other adults in the village. This research of mine proves that Dr. Field's conclusion abut Tertian village culture is invalid and thus that the observation-centered approach to studying cultures is invalid as well. The interview-centered method that my team  of graduate students is currently using in Tertia will establish a much more accurate understanding of child-rearing traditions there and in other island cultures"

Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument


The argument is based on the premise that interviews from the group of islands which includes Tertia are same as interviews only from island of Tertia. This argument is clearly flawed as the child rearing tradition in Tertia could be radicaly different from that in the other islands. It is possible that a very small number of interviewed children are from Tertia, hence the tradition of Tertia cannot be determined from this interview. An understanding of child rearing tradition can be established by interviews with group of children living in Tertia alone

The argument wants to challenge the observations made by Dr Field twenty years ago. It is very likely that the tradition of Tertia has changed in these decades. The ingress of outside cultures and traditions could have altered the child-rearing tradition of Tertia due to which children are now reared only by their biological parents. 

There are loopholes in the interview methodology adopted by Dr Karp. Firstly, the argument does not go into details of the questions asked in the interview. If the questions pertain to interaction of children with their biological parents, then it is obvious that children will spend more time talking about their biological parents. 

Secondly, the conclusion is based on the time children spend talking about their biological parents, and not the time children spend with their biological parents. If the interview questions the actual time children spend with their biological parents, that would provide better insights into the child-rearing traditions.

Hence, based on the above-mentioned statements, it is clear that the interviews conducted by Dr Karp are an insufficient indicator of child-rearing traditions in Tertia. 

The above argument topic is from ETS Practice Test 1. Please evaluate the essay and provide suggestions to improve the same.




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