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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 am not saying that all questions warrant an immediate response. I would say that all questions made in class should be relevant to the class. They should be probing, and insightful, and on topic. I too dislike those who ask questions just to disrupt the class.

    I have taught for a few years, and although I teach in a very different arena to a University lecture, there are some parallels which cannot be forgotten. I too have experienced the students to are just there to be disruptive, but they have a right to ask questions, and I will do my upmost to answer them during their breaks (that is, if they are still interested without the rest of the class present!). But I would say that in my experience the majority of questions are there so that students can clarify what I have said, and to expand their knowledge on something they are interested - these are questions I will always try and answer in class as they are to the benefit of all present. I would go so far as to say that if I ignored them I wouldn't be doing my job. I would also add, that in my experience at least, being flippent to students does more harm then good as they can lose respect for you. I would much rather come out on top by telling them I will talk to them about it later should they wish, than tell than ridicule them.

    In answer to Brock, I never said that I was always right, and there is nothing wrong in me being wrong. But there is a huge difference between being told you are categorically wrong, and explaining the error you are making. I would say that explaining the error is actual teaching as I would be able to improve for next time, whilst being told to sit down and shut up leaves no room for free thought.

    Also, Carolyn's original point above does say 'example'. Either way, the point she is making is no less valid.

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