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What did you think of the Sec C

December 1, 2022 by Doug McCurry from BooBook Education

And what did you think of the 2022 Section C?

I was disappointed to see yet another Section C task with only one text in 2022.

If the appropriateness of a text to purpose and audience is fundamental to this task, as it is to the study design, a comparison of two texts with different purposes and audiences (especially by the same creator) would be a most appropriate way of examining the skills of comprehension and analysis involved. There were two texts in 2017 and 2018, but there has only been one text in 2020, 2021 and now 2022. One wonders why something that seems fundamental to the curriculum is not part of the exam.

One suspects that the reason for eschewing the comparison of texts is because the students do it badly. One can imagine the difficulty of assessing students attempting to apply the same labels for persuasive devices to quite different texts. The rote nature of the analysis would be awkwardly obvious.

There is a problem with the topic of 2022 in that the text is difficult to describe (which is the task) in a neutral fashion. The straight-forward enthusiasm of Ava in the 2021 task was easy to describe without slipping into evaluation. Her value position was benign and uncontroversial, whereas the position of Janelle Tanley in the task of 2022 is partisan and political.

Tanley uses aspersions to insinuate suspicion and distrust of the developer's proposal for the Hapsey wetlands. She offers next to no argument as such but implies that the proposal is the thin end of the wedge that will end up with the wetlands concreted over to become the Hapsey Wetlands Shopping Centre or the Hapsey Amusement Park (with exclamation mark). This is an exaggerated claim.

Tanley is playing to the like-minded audience of her podcast, and she gives next to no information about the actual nature of the proposed development or substantive argument against it. She does not consider the views of those who support the proposal. The key characteristic of this text is the prominence of innuendo, and it is hard to actually describe how it seeks to persuade without identifying how it plays to prejudice against developers. The text is an example of preaching to the converted or the contemporary equivalent of speaking into the echo chamber.

FYI Here is an article from The Age online, December 2 2022 that reports on a walking group that wants some development of the wetlands they cherish:
“You introduce the community to the wetlands, and you bring people together, show it off, interpret it, and people suddenly understand the value in it,” volunteer Gordon Lescinsky says.

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