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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 10 2013: I'm not saying I'm always right, or that every single question is valid. I too would find it unfair if people were asking questions just to be off-putting. The point of asking questions is to further our knowledge on what ever subject the lecturer is talking, and any question that falls outside this remit should be held until another time; same as with any questions that do not benefit at least the majority of the class. The right to ask questions and be thinking independently can be taken to areas outside of the classroom also. I see no reason why a student cannot look at probing material in their essays and ask probing questions, such as in the example raised by Carolyn.

    Further to this, I have also taught for a number of years, albeit not in the same arena as a University. I have been asked questions about the sport I teach whilst lecturing and have also developed my own strategies for dealing with those that aren't relevant. But I would say that the majority of the time students are asking questions to further their understanding of what I have said, and I would argue that I would not be doing my job if I denied them this knowledge

    I feel like I should also clarify a point I made previously about lecturers facilitating our learning. I do not believe that they must give us a simple answer or present a simple argument to answer a question. For a lecturer to point us in the right direction of an author who has written on the subject we are asking about, or tell us the name of a book, or even tell us that they will be pleased to talk to us at the end of the lecture would suffice. All I would say it to be told that you are wrong and your question is baseless is wrong.
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      Jan 12 2013: Mind you - That is the attitude of the teachers in my country. I had one teacher who I respected despite his shortcomings because he genuinely was prepared to 'talk' through either his or my error and you discover something so much more beautiful at the end when you discover it this way.

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