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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: Unlimited right........
    Why should be there any limit ?
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      Jan 4 2013: yes. there should definitely not be!
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      Jan 4 2013: When the questions prevent other students from learning, a limit should be in place.
      So teachers having to set some limits and they have rights also, how to find the balance between each of the rights is the tricky part.
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        Jan 4 2013: i agree.

        if you're being flat out disrespectful by asking questions for the wrong reasons rather than genuinely possessing a question, or simply to be a jerk to the teacher in the middle of class for whatever reason, there should be a limit on that. as soon as it becomes disruptive, that's stepping outside the student's given right and is infringing on other students' right (to be educated without such disruption.)

        the teachers definitely do have rights. there's got to be a balance. perhaps one thing that would help is if questions and comments were encouraged for after class, instead of in the middle of class. this right is NOT an excuse to cause disruptions and be disrespectful! there is a proper way to ask and make comments.
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        Jan 5 2013: "No question is dumb , answers can be".....having said that I do agree questions can be intensionally disrespectful or disruptive....which need to be handled in right way instead of just limiting the questioning....

        Students also need to learn how a question can be such disruptive ...so through answers they need learn not repeat such. The challenge is , many a times we adults don't know answers of all question that comes in curious mind of kids.....in many instances we feel insecure to agree that we don't know everything or even if we know due to taboo don;t know how to answer it so consider those question to be disrespectful or disruptive (it can have cultrual bias as well)....and that's the risk.

        @Linda I agree that we should also encourage kids to find answers of questions of their own , which will make them explorative and also drive their independant thinking....

        Many a times personally I ask my sons to find answers from books or internet though I know the asnwer ....that I do in a playful way....and this technique I don't feel as to be way of "limiting" question it's rather the other way.....however it's my personal feeling....
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          Jan 7 2013: i do the same thing with people. telling them to look it up, just as a way to show that you are capable of finding answers with your own resourcefulness and don't always need to be taught. it's a very important skill. :)
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      Jan 4 2013: I'm with Don. You can question all you want but do not expect the answers. Those you have to find out for yourself.
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        Jan 4 2013: I see what you are trying to state here and in your previous comment, but I think I need a little more explanation. Students have a right to unlimited questions and find the answers they are seeking about the information themselves, but sometimes must trust what the teacher is doing, whether it be the information itself or the structure of teaching. So does this also apply if a student thinks they see a fallacy within the procedure itself, set forth by the teacher or the administration? Should they be allowed to question it?
        • Jan 4 2013: It sounds like you are questioning where exactly that balance lies, right?

          The answer seems contextual, but there is no doubt this it is tough to determine regardless of the context. I think that in a group educational setting, students should definitely be encouraged to understand the material as much as possible, but learn to trust the teacher/book/others when the other student are not learning anything from one student's persistent questioning.

          With that said, I think it is ultimately the students that never stop asking "why" who end up becoming experts, innovators, and trailblazers in their field and who end up pushing the boundaries of what we know as a species. For example, we were once taught that electrons, neutrons, and protons were the smallest subatomic particles. If every student, in previous group setting, trusted the teacher after offered that conclusion, nobody would have never discovered fermions, bosons, quarks, etc (except maybe by accident, which they may have in a parallel universe).

          My point, which I think is just an extended form of Don and Linda's, is that questioning in the group setting should be encouraged up to the point where others students would not benefit. Outside of the group setting, they should be allowed to question without limit. In that case, the capacity to individually understand, the capacity of the collective human knowledge, and/or physical limitations become the only obstacles to finding the answers.

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