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Old 14th April 2016, 02:35 PM
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Join Date: May 2012
Default Re: Reading Comprehension

As per your demand here I am providing you Reading Comprehension for Practice of SAT Exam

The pioneers of the teaching of science imagined that its
introduction into education would remove the conventionality,
artificiality, and backward-lookingness which were characteristic;
of classical studies, but they were gravely disappointed. So, too, in
5 their time had the humanists thought that the study of the classical
authors in the original would banish at once the dull pedantry and
superstition of mediaeval scholasticism. The professional
schoolmaster was a match for both of them, and has almost
managed to make the understanding of chemical reactions as dull
10 and as dogmatic an affair as the reading of Virgil's Aeneid.

The chief claim for the use of science in education is that it
teaches a child something about the actual universe in which he is
living, in making him acquainted with the results of scientific
15 discovery, and at the same time teaches him how to think logically
and inductively by studying scientific method. A certain limited
success has been reached in the first of these aims, but practically
none at all in the second. Those privileged members of the
community who have been through a secondary or public school
20 education may be expected to know something about the
elementary physics and chemistry of a hundred years ago, but they
probably know hardly more than any bright boy can pick up from
an interest in wireless or scientific hobbies out of school hours.
As to the learning of scientific method, the whole thing is palpably
25 a farce. Actually, for the convenience of teachers and the
requirements of the examination system, it is necessary that the
pupils not only do not learn scientific method but learn precisely
the reverse, that is, to believe exactly what they are told and to
reproduce it when asked, whether it seems nonsense to them or
30 not. The way in which educated people respond to such quackeries
as spiritualism or astrology, not to say more dangerous ones such
as racial theories or currency myths, shows that fifty years of
education in the method of science in Britain or Germany has
produced no visible effect whatever. The only way of learning the
35 method of science is the long and bitter way of personal
experience, and, until the educational or social systems are altered
to make this possible, the best we can expect is the production of a
minority of people who are able to acquire some of the techniques
of science and a still smaller minority who are able to use and
40 develop them.

Adapted from: The Social Function of Science, John D Bernal (1939)


1. The author implies that the 'professional schoolmaster' (line 7) has
A. no interest in teaching science
B. thwarted attempts to enliven education
C. aided true learning
D. supported the humanists
E. been a pioneer in both science and humanities.

2. The author’s attitude to secondary and public school education in the sciences is
A. ambivalent
B. neutral
C. supportive
D. satirical
E. contemptuous

3. The word ‘palpably’ (line 24) most nearly means
A. empirically
B. obviously
C. tentatively
D. markedly
E. ridiculously

4. The author blames all of the following for the failure to impart scientific method through the education system except
A. poor teaching
B. examination methods
C. lack of direct experience
D. the social and education systems
E. lack of interest on the part of students

5. If the author were to study current education in science to see how things have changed since he wrote the piece, he would probably be most interested in the answer to which of the following questions?
A. Do students know more about the world about them?
B. Do students spend more time in laboratories?
C. Can students apply their knowledge logically?
D. Have textbooks improved?
E. Do they respect their teachers?

6. Astrology (line 31) is mentioned as an example of
A. a science that needs to be better understood
B. a belief which no educated people hold
C. something unsupportable to those who have absorbed the methods of science
D. the gravest danger to society
E. an acknowledged failure of science

7. All of the following can be inferred from the text except
A. at the time of writing, not all children received a secondary school education
B. the author finds chemical reactions interesting
C. science teaching has imparted some knowledge of facts to some children
D. the author believes that many teachers are authoritarian
E. it is relatively easy to learn scientific method.
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