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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 4 2013: Hi Colton, I'll bet you are amazed with all the comments on your question. It's a goodie. Let me talk to you like a grandfather. Maybe I can address your concerns. First, it is not a right, it is your responsibility for you to learn. Second, a lot of responses are from people in other countries that have better educational systems then we have here. So, they may be surprised by your question.
    Let me tell you a story. Grandfathers love to tell stories. My oldest son always asked questions, a lot of questions. He barely made it through high school with so many questions. He went to college. He consistently ran into professors who did not appreciate his curiosity. So, he changed classes. He changed many classes. He spent 12 years as an undergraduate student. He acquired hundreds of undergraduate credits. Finally, the University told him to declare a major and graduate. He did.
    So, why this tale, that is the rest of the story. You see, he became a teacher. He teaches in a public school for "difficult" students. The rest of this story is his. He loves to teach, he wants questions and he wants to answer, but...
    he can't. The school gives him detailed lesson plans, with the prescribed questions and desired answers. There are the workbooks specifically to instruct the students to be successful on the state required exams. There are no allowances for deviations. On a recent occasion, he finished the required sessions early, so he opened the class to other subjects... he was caught. He explained hat he had finished the required work and was using the time to expand on his students experiences. He was told that if he had sped though work, he was to go back and repeat the lesson to the end of class. You see the problems here. Your teachers aren't bad, they maybe restricted by their employment. They may even be resentful if you push them to do something they can't.
    So, what to do. Become self taught. The world of information is out here. You can do it.
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        Jan 4 2013: To Carolyn- I have read many of your comments and I think your issue is with administration and curriculum, am I correct? I do not wish at all to leave any comment I have with implied information so I can properly address your point. All I ask is what you are specifically trying to address?
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      Jan 4 2013: Did I understand you correctly that the school gives your son detailed lesson plans? That is very different from the situation in the UK. I don't think I could work in such a prescriptive environment; you need to be able to go off topic and be flexible. Although it is hard to do that as much as I would like.
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      Jan 4 2013: To Mike- I see your point, I agree, and that is my question. It is not with the teachers themselves, but their administration. From my own educational experience (yes, it is a small perspective), that it is because of the structure set forth by the administration that can potentially limit students in their pursuit of understanding.

      Unfortunately, that is how many public schools are ran here in the US, well at least mine. The administration gives teachers a curriculum they can barely waiver from, if at all, and must teach them sometimes in specific ways.
      Also, I always am pursuing to be self taught and self-aware in order to understand.

      If I need to edit the description of the question I will do so.

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