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Colton Cutchens

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How much of a right do students have to questioning and independent thinking?

What is your opinion on how much students should be allowed to question? Do they have the right to question if they may see a logical fallacy? If so, how far are they allowed to question it? Why?

In addition: I understand teachers try to allow students to question, but sometimes are limited by the administration (and/or bureaucracy). Why is this?

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      Jan 3 2013: As a part of the seemingly maligned and tainted profession you so eloquently detest I would like to ask you both what you do and what can be done in more general terms to fix the system as you see it? I know I am far from perfect, and any teacher who tells you they haven’t pressed on through a few questions to hit a learning objective or finish what they felt they had to in the given time is lying. Of course there are outdated and perhaps even harmful modalities, but I think you are tarring a great many people with the same brush here. But at least we are rolling our sleeves up and trying; it’s very easy to throw stones from the sidelines.
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          Jan 4 2013: I don't know any professional who would teach or omit those things, I certainly wouldn't. Although I don't think I would laided the children I teach with the guilt you imply; rather help them to see through history and recognise interconnectedness, causation and that it was often written by both the victors and/or people who had their own agenda when writting it. I think you do us a disservice suggecting that we do not teach about those things that might be uncomfortable.
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        Jan 4 2013: To James- To answer your question, I am a college student majoring in philosophy and psychology, and have asked this question to this community to better understand the subject of education. I mean to seek unbiased understanding, not to display disrespect to those in the field. Also, I have found a community of thinkers and questioners that seek what is true in this online community, and I am ecstatic. But many of the people in my area I have met, some of which are educators, allow students to question the subject as much as they wish, but once the teaching and education structure itself is questioned, they will not allow the students to question any further. Why is this? Is this right? Or is my perspective flawed?
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          Jan 4 2013: Apologies Colton, my comment was aimed more as a response to Carolyn's post rather than to your question. I think you have a point and it is a worthwhile issue for debate.

          I think the problem is a systemic one; I often feel constrained by the curriculum not supported. It seems that there is a view of education based of a transmitted model of learning, i.e. if you know a certain number of facts you are educated. Those who dictate policy are reluctant to listen to professionals because a certain quarter of the electorate have a very outdated view of learning and any sort of break from the traditional policies of the past gets stirred up in the media as new fangled hippy nonsense.

          As professionals we have to grasp every opportunity we can to empower learners to ask questions and explore their own curiousities; a move to enquiry based learning is a move in the right direction in my opinion.

          In answer to your intial question, yes learners do have a right to question and independent thought and in my opinion this right superceeds the right of policy makers to dictate to us what the template of an "educated" person looks like.
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      Jan 4 2013: I am sorry there is no way to prove you wrong. Your perception of a system philosophically based on a sexist racial supremacy is your perception. No one can change what you see. I see something else. I see a system of organizations that are charged with providing immature adults from a young age, the knowledge to become fully functional adults upon maturation. Schools. The primary knowledge givers, teachers, are a large group of professionals, some are extremely competent, some bad, most are dedicated and do the best they can. I believe that the reason so many of our schools fail the students rest more with mismanagement. The school bureaucracy is more centered on it's own survival that educating young adults, but that is another story..
      You sounded so angry at not being taught about all the inhumanity fostered on humanity. I would tell you that that may have been a kindness by all those adults around you. Consider. You are a young adult in middle school. You are dealing with puberty and all the physical and emotional trauma that brings. Did you really want to sit in class and discuss murder, mayhem and all those issues you addressed? You did finally learn about the real world probably at a more mature time in your life when you were better able to address these issues and their meanings. I would contend that the adults in your young life protected you from the harsh realities of life, maybe out of love...

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