The Pineapple and the Hare. Simple reading comprehension question BAFFLES NY educators.

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posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 10:35 AM
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Anyone who agrees that this question should have been pulled - YOU ARE WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY.

This was one of the simplest stories and lines of questioning I've ever seen in a standardized test.

All those who say it is ambiguous, or has too much non-pertinent information - I honestly believe you are simply too **ck*** stupid to figure out the answers to the questions! Just because YOU don't understand what is going on in this insanely simple story, it does not mean that you should take the challenge and lesson away from the students who DO have the intelligence to use this story to further their educations with some critical thinking.

No, it was not ambiguous, and what does it matter if it is based in reality? Kids watch cartoons all day long of characters like Sponge Bob who lives in a freaking pineapple under the sea, so I'd assume it would be even EASIER for the students to follow this simple, fictional line of events. Also, throwing irrelevant information into a question is a tried and true method of teaching the kids to pay attention to what information is important in communicating and problem solving.

Good lord - it really makes me mad how many people thought it was OKAY to take this question off of the table. No wonder I'm surrounded by a nation of sheep that are more than eager to uphold the (less than) mediocre status quo. Shameful.




posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 10:45 AM
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My beef with this is when it references the 4th paragraph - We were always taught that a paragraph should have at least x sentences to really be considered a paragraph. My only confusion lies with this conflict of teaching. By what I was taught, the 4th paragraph is damn near the end of the story.

Otherwise, I don't really see what the big deal is. I think one or two of the questions is subjective (wisest, why did they eat the pineapple) and don't belong in something that involves right and wrong answers. If you ask me, the crow was pretty wise for recognizing the situation was similar to the tortoise and the hare and going with that. And why did they eat the pineapple? I don't know, I wasn't there and the author didn't give me direct insight to the complex emotions running through the minds of these animals. I could make a good guess, but there's no definitive answer in the text. Presumably, they were mad at him for letting them put faith him. But maybe they all just said fuggit and had a picnic.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 10:47 AM
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There is nothing wrong with this story besides it's bizarre nature and almost blatant rip off of the tortoise and the hare. The teachers need to teach the students reading comprehension. But how can they do it if they do not have any of their own?



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 11:43 AM
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Originally posted by keldas

Originally posted by CaticusMaximus

Originally posted by Sly1one
It made no sense up till the questions.

The questions are easily answerable. The point is to answer the questions not analyze the logical practicality of the "story". They aren't looking for logical or rational explanations of the absurd...

All the questions are easily answerable if you stick to answering the questions and refrain from adding assumptions to what the story "means"...the story doesn't MEAN anything...the story isn't meant to be deconstructed to find meaning or value...its meant to test someones ability to answer the questions by identifying irrelevant information and identifying it as such, discarding it and answering the question without adding assumptions regardless of whether or not they are logical or rational.

I totally understand where they were going with this question and the intent they had behind it.

The debatable part from my stand point is whether or not its appropriate for that age/grade group.


Before reaching page 5, I was going to say something similar. I agree with these thoughts in this post and those following.

I think most of the objections people have over this story are insignificant. The story is a story to test reading comprehension, NOT a story meant to be contrasted with so called "real" life, with the goal to be the pointing out of inconsistency, nor a story meant for the individual to personally interpret.

The prime example being, of course, the question on whose the wisest. Who the individual personally perceives to be the wisest is not relevant, which I think is a severe hang up for most people here, and elsewhere (the problem is separating the contextually objective, from the subjective opinion, which Ive noticed throughout my life is a problem for most people). The question is practically answered for the individual in the final line of the story. Morals of stories are impartments of wisdom, thus the one who most closely reinforced that moral in the story was the most wise IN THE CONTEXT OF THE STORY AND QUESTION, which is the only thing that is relevant.

But since everyone seems to be adding their own take on who was the wisest, Ill add mine. It was the pineapple, because the pineapple, IMO, successfully played everyone else for a fool.

Honestly within the context of the story, the questions to me are easily and logically answerable.
edit on 4/23/2012 by CaticusMaximus because: (no reason given)
edit on 4/23/2012 by CaticusMaximus because: (no reason given)


I don't see how the pineapple was the wisest as the end result of him playing everyone for a fool resulted in him being eaten.


My personal reasoning is that to play others for fools, you must be wise, as wisdom is the opposite of foolery, and the wise will never be played by fools.

The pineapple may have been suicidal, but it is clear in my personal opinion, that the pineapple was in addition to possibly suicidal, the wisest.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by Infrasilent

Originally posted by CaticusMaximus

Originally posted by sligtlyskeptical
reply to post by kaylaluv
 


if they were simply annoyed they would have just smashed it. They ate it because they were hungry.

here is another that was on one of kids exams:

There is a band leader and 100 other band members. If the band members lined up in rows of 10 how many rows would they have in all?


Why waste a good fruit by smashing it though?


To answer this other question that on the test, the answer would be 11. There are 101 band members. One of them is the leader, but is still a member, implied by the word "other". If "other" was missing, it would imply the leader was not a "member", and would not line up with them. 10 rows of 10, and 1 row of 1, is 11.

Thats how I see that, anyway. If Im wrong, Ill blame the test writers lack of clarity


Actually, the band members question CAN'T be answered. It implies via the word "other" that there are 101 band members. You cannot line 101 people up in rows of 10. There will always be someone left over.


I did consider that fact. However if that were the case, you could claim lack of clarity, as I would have done if incorrect. But I assumed the maximum row size was set to ten, and rows of any length under 10 could be considered rows. The question did not specify that to classify as a row, the row must be 10 people long.

That was perhaps part of the intention of the test writers. If the question was more specific, it would be to easy.

Reading comprehension questions like these are not meant to be math equations with easily definable single answers, and all other answers being clearly false. Thats not how these things are written. These tests are designed for the individual to choose the MOST right answer, using logic and reasoning.

Personally I think that is a good thing. The "real world" frequently, in fact almost always, lacks hyper-definitive answers to questions, unless, again, its a math question. Most of the time we are going to be making the "best possible" decision when confront with a question, and we will most certainly not be able to determine if that decision is 100% accurate and precise at the time we make it. There will always be some room for error, and some estimation on some level. Sometimes itll be nothing more than best guess.

As someone else pointed out with the master hitting the pupil with the stick, I dont think the question was meant to be a trick question with hidden variables. It was meant to be plain, with one operative word, "other".



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 12:12 PM
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Originally posted by ShiningBeneath
Nothing indicates the animals hold grudges, so for this the answer should be because they are hungry - simplest cause and effect; hunger = eat - Occam's razor.


There is one major indication that the animals DO hold grudges: they are anthropomorphized. Being anthropomorphized, and knowing that the vast majority of humans do in fact hold grudges and seek revenge for perceived slightings, its logical to assume that their anthropomorphization would not cease when it comes to grudges and revenge, and their reactions would be consistent with a mob of typical humans who felt played for fools. Ie, they would be frustrated, their egos hurt, and seeking revenge for being made to look like buffoons.

Who the hell bets on a pineapple to win a race over a hare?


Honestly that answer is, again, in the story. It says they want to cheer for the winner, that implies they would be at a minimum, dissatisfied having cheered for the loser.
edit on 4/24/2012 by CaticusMaximus because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 12:25 PM
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Originally posted by FREEwoman
Anyone who agrees that this question should have been pulled - YOU ARE WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY.

This was one of the simplest stories and lines of questioning I've ever seen in a standardized test.

All those who say it is ambiguous, or has too much non-pertinent information - I honestly believe you are simply too **ck*** stupid to figure out the answers to the questions! Just because YOU don't understand what is going on in this insanely simple story, it does not mean that you should take the challenge and lesson away from the students who DO have the intelligence to use this story to further their educations with some critical thinking.

No, it was not ambiguous, and what does it matter if it is based in reality? Kids watch cartoons all day long of characters like Sponge Bob who lives in a freaking pineapple under the sea, so I'd assume it would be even EASIER for the students to follow this simple, fictional line of events. Also, throwing irrelevant information into a question is a tried and true method of teaching the kids to pay attention to what information is important in communicating and problem solving.

Good lord - it really makes me mad how many people thought it was OKAY to take this question off of the table. No wonder I'm surrounded by a nation of sheep that are more than eager to uphold the (less than) mediocre status quo. Shameful.


The problem with the question is that one could reasonably argue for a couple of the answers. Since its possible to have more than one correct answer, the question is invalid for a standardized test.

Personally, I think this is a great story for teaching critical thinking and debate. However, I would not include it in a standardized test UNLESS the questions are fine-tuned.

Most people don't know this: each standardized test has a set number of "field questions.". These are new questions that do not count for or against the student. After testing, the teachers have to "grade" the items and offer suggestions. We look for bias, ambiguity, grammar and more. This item may have been a field test item that was discarded.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 12:30 PM
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I think the biggest problem with this question was that it was presented in a multiple choice format with very limited options for the answers.

It would have been better if this had been an essay question in which student's were instructed to explain their reasoning for choosing which was the wisest and why they ate the pineapple. That way, these subjective questions would inspire the students to use their imagination to reason out their explanations and it would be possible for there to be more than one correct answer to the question, so long as the students could make reasonable arguments to back up their decision.

They would also get practice in writing and spelling along the way if it had been an essay question. That's the problem with standardized testing; its too narrow and limiting and doesn't allow for any creative thinking.

Add to that the high stakes of these tests and pandamonium is sure to follow.
edit on 4/24/12 by FortAnthem because:
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posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 12:32 PM
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I would agree with others, however, that this story and series of questions is probably out of place in a test for 8th graders. The depth of logic needed to accurately flesh out the answers is to deep for the vast majority of 8th graders. Im not so sure that comes down to bad schooling, either. I think it comes down to age, in this circumstance. I would not expect a 13 year old to be able to come to the conclusions that I or others did.

Perhaps this story/question placed on a test 2 or more grades higher would have been more appropriate. Its not a flawed story/question in its attempt to test reading comprehension; just perhaps out of place.

But its a good question to see a glimpse of who "gets it", and whose heads it just flies right over, at least for an adult audience... like ATS
edit on 4/24/2012 by CaticusMaximus because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 01:05 PM
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Originally posted by CaticusMaximus
I would agree with others, however, that this story and series of questions is probably out of place in a test for 8th graders. The depth of logic needed to accurately flesh out the answers is to deep for the vast majority of 8th graders. Im not so sure that comes down to bad schooling, either. I think it comes down to age, in this circumstance. I would not expect a 13 year old to be able to come to the conclusions that I or others did.



This I disagree with. 8th grade is the perfect time for children to learn reading comprehension and logic skills. People often underestimate the capacity of children to understand concepts and I think this is one of the main reasons the education system is being dumbed down.

Besides, 13 is the age when kids start to realize they know more than their parents. If they're smart enough to start arguing with their parents over everything and anything, they should be able to handle this type of question on a test.



edit on 4/24/12 by FortAnthem because:
_________ extra DIV



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 01:13 PM
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reply to post by kaylaluv
 


my question also, can anyone try to reply without sounding silly



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 01:24 PM
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It's a very sad state of the American education system if both teachers and students can't figure this out.

I'm a product of the British education system and can't see any difficulty at all with this problem, even for the average middle school student.

Students aren't expected to think critically in school any more, this might lead to them failing a test, and we can't have that because it's bad for kids' self esteem.

Give me a break.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 02:06 PM
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reply to post by FortAnthem
 


An essay would be a different exercise and a higher level of reading comprehension requiring critical thinking. In this type of exercise, there are different possible answers.

This test is basic, 3 litteral and 3 interpretative comprehension questions.
Interpretative but not subjective. I didn't check but I think almost everyone got it right that the animals were suspiscious of the pineapple though it is never stated in the text. But there is ample information to reach this conclusion, it is a large part of the story.
The annoyed animals and wise owl answers are found through the same process. It's only harder because there is less information in the text.

Once the litteral and interpretative reading comprehension skills are acquired then you move on to critical thinking and speculations.
You understand the facts first (basic) then you judge or elaborate (advanced).

This thread and discussion really deserve its place on ATS. It's so telling imo. We simply don't get most of the facts right but we have strong opinions on everything and we want to voice it and everyone that disagrees is a sheeple, an idiot or a shill !



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 02:50 PM
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I can't believe how many of you are sitting here analyzing this thing to death!

The author of the original work even found it amusing that this passage was put into a test. Just read what he says about it here: Nonsense on top of Nonsense



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 02:55 PM
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reply to post by FortAnthem
 


B
A
D
A
D
C

That should about cover it.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 03:02 PM
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Originally posted by questforevidence
This is ridiculous. A test should be simple to understand especially for 8th Grade Students


But, this is a reading comprehension test, the key word being comprehension. I'd say the problem is what they are being taught or more correctly how they are being taught.

If they can't grasp something that simple at that age, clearly the schools have let them down and cheated them out of an education. Any kid of that age should be able to use reason to glean the answers to that very simple test. If they cannot, they have little hope of success in this world. There is nothing hard in that test.

If the educators cannot all get those answers right, what are they doing educating our children? The real story here is why are the teaching standards so lax these folks were hired to begin with?



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 04:08 PM
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The issue here should not be about the absurd story, but whether the questions were valid in a comprehension test. Various definitions of 'comprehension':

The act of comprehending, containing, or comprising; inclusion.
That which is comprehended or inclosed within narrow limits; a summary; an epitome.
abstract principles
The complement of attributes which make up the notion signified by a general term.

We've all grown up with stories of talking animals - Mickey, Donald, Goofey. I don't even blink when I see television ads depciting M&M's arguing with each other.

I agree with another poster that this story was deserving of essay-type answers rather than multi-choice - particularly in respect of the 'who is the wisest' . That question is worthy of a philosophical debate. In the absence of factual reference within the story to 'wisdom', an answer could not be judged without the candidate being allowed to explain their reasoning. Just my tuppence worth.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 04:22 PM
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Pineapple was probably part of a team betting on the hare to win after the pineapple had levelled everyone into betting against it.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 04:47 PM
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reply to post by pavil
 

I agree. I probably missed the whoole point of the story, but I thought the moose was right in his thinking that the pineapple had a secret. That the owl said the hare had no sleeves is just an observation, but not a wise comment. How do I know what this pineapple can or cannot do? It turned out that the pineapple DIDN'T have a secret way to win, so it's true that it "didn't have sleeves". The owl was just lucky to say the correct thing. But I still think the moose was wiser...

I didn't really understand hte first question so skipped it. They ate the pineapple because they were annoyed that it would make a joke out of the race. And I thought that if they cheered for the hare then it could have changed the story. Logically, they would have been happy to cheer for the winner. But that's another story where the pineapple laughs at them and forfeits the race.
edit on 24-4-2012 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 04:48 PM
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I think I"m missing your point here . . . is your comment based on the grammatical structure? 'you and me' is grammatically correct (or it was when I went to school !)





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