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Unfortunately, while in theory you are correct, in practice it seems to be a demonstrable fact that many people who can write the 5-paragraph essay and score very well on such standardized tests can still in fact be incapable of coherently expressing themselves in any other context. I'm not sure I can entirely explain it, but the observation is pretty clear. I'd theorize that it's the same basic story as any other excessively-structured thing we teach our children; we think they're learning X, when in fact they're just learning the structure we poured X into.

(See also our math curriculum's ability to convince people that "=" is not symmetric by the repeated hammering of "1 + 4 = ___"; we think we're teaching them math and using "equals", they're learning that the "=" symbol means something more like "simplify and reduce" and that it has a direction. Grab three random people with the "usual" math education (i.e., not programmers), and see if they will agree that "1 + 3 = 2 + 2" (you may need to put an underline under the 2 + 2); I think you'll find a lot of them insist that is "wrong" and the right hand side "should/must be 4". And that's just one example.)




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