reasons

Score Evaluation Marks in A Level Economics Singapore. Step 1: Identify the Assumptions & Question the Premises !

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Recently, I read Prof Tommy Koh’s opinion piece “There is a difference between sin and a crime“. The issue was regarding whether to repeal Section 377A.

He pointed out that we needed to make rational decisions, based on “facts, science and reason“. He went on to share that WHO has long deleted homosexuality from the list of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. He also said that “Scientific research has shown that homosexuality is a normal and natural variation in human sexuality”.

I was shocked…and then I thought…could the Science be wrong?

shrug min e1539149433335 1 score evaluation marks in economics“If we truly endeavour to make rational decisions with facts, reasoning and scienceā€¦perhaps we need to repeal the Science!”

If such sexual orientation is “normal”, then with its increasing trend and acceptance by society today, mankind is possibly doomed for extinction!!! It does not take a scientist to understand why…

It is also unreasonable to believe that it is “normal”, when biologically, it really does not make sense for a man to be ejaculating into faeces. (Pardon me, but I think we need to get to the bottom of the issue. Pun intended.)

Next, there are many diseases as well as behavioural disorders (for example road rage), that today can be linked to some genetic mutation. Does it make them normal because they are encoded genetically? Or should we ask what abnormality has occurred that resulted in such genetic changes and tendencies?

I don’t have the answers. However, I think we need to agree that Science (as it stands) can be wrong. And our reasoning can also be prejudiced by my our own moral convictions. Perhaps, this could also be true where “scientific conclusions” are concerned.

Afew days since I started working on this post, I think my common-sense was justified by Prof Thio Li-Ann’s article “Section 377A: A contemporary, important law“. You can read it for yourself.

All these reminded me about the “Evaluation points” that students are supposed to produce. Often the evaluation points surround identifying key assumptions and questioning them. For example, in Economics, we often talk about rational decision making. We can question if humans even do so and if not then how should our economic models reflect that. Students are also taught that rational decision making entails maximising self interests. Hmmmm…I am not sure what students really make out of that.

Have they paused and reflected? Or just happily snapped that up as a fact to be regurgitated in the exams? Would this cause them to be more self centred and consider such behaviour as rational? Is it really rational?

In recent years, the field of behavioural economics has become very popular, integrating the knowledge of psychology with economics. This is in fact very relevant to the real world, where people do not necessary behave rationally and where what defines rationality should be challenged.

If only we had more time to think and reflect…Far too often, assumptions make an ass out of you and me!

assume min score evaluation marks in economics

Evaluation at the Singapore Cambridge A Level Economics Exams is not an easy thing to do. It is a higher-order thinking skill, which actually requires a lot of reasoning abilities, understanding and experience. That is why my students are repeatedly trained on this. Just looking at HL economics alone, evaluation marks are about 10/60 for Case studies and 15/75 out of Essays. That is a big deal and it makes a “GRADE difference”. With my training, tips and techniques as well as all the experiences garnered through many lessons, most students finally master it just before the Prelims, where most of my students will start scoring well for Evaluation. Indeed, it takes quite a lot of work to score evaluation marks in economics.

Back to the very interesting Section 377A issue. Actually, I don’t think repealing the law or not should really be the focus. If we truly endeavour to make rational decisions with facts, reasoning and science…perhaps we need to repeal the Science!

Comments 2

  1. It’s too common these days that a majority use confirmation and negativity biases to reinforce what they already feel about an issue. Are people open to premise recognition? Not sure.

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      Isn’t that also a fundamental problem with the rat race and our education system. Far too often, we just regurgitate what we are told/taught…there is lack of time to rethink/reinvent/reflect.

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