Monday, October 10, 2011

Multiple Choice Fallacy

I have recently read a whole bunch about the problems of multiple choice tests, and I just want to throw out there that perhaps we live in a multiple choice world.

Let me explain.

We are not always the expert. In fact, we are more often NOT the expert. Instead of really having the opportunity to create an open-ended answer to the questions of life, we are more frequently asked to make a choice between several common options. We need to be able to weigh these options, recognize how our situation differs from other similar situations, discern how our logic is likely to be misled, and make an appropriate choice. This realm of choice-making extends to most everything from purchasing food at the grocery store (unless you really ARE raising everything yourself, this is multiple choice) to deciding on an appropriate course of treatment for a life-threatening illness.

Perhaps the multiple choice test does NOT best indicate how well we will understand “MacBeth” (most probably not), but it can and should teach us how to make informed decisions later on, to recognize the tricks most often played, and to flag those questions without any truly good answers. This decision-making process is far more important in the long run than understanding “MacBeth” ever will be to most of us.

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