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Students Should Always Question What They Are Taught Instead Of Accepting It Passively - With A Free Essay Review



Prompt: “Students should always question what they are taught instead of accepting it passively. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.”

Knowledge grows by learning and widens when one starts asking questions. So in order to gain a wide knowledge students must start asking questions. Questioning can be done either to oneself on what they are taught, which will help them go deep into the subjects or question the tutor when they don't understand the basics. But this questioning should be done properly. Students should not ask questions to just while away the time.

Students are taught based on a curriculum which involves a wide variety of subjects at elementary schools. They are exposed to many fields just to gain a basic knowledge on all areas and decide which career they are interested in. This is the initial and most important step in everyone's career. So the students should ask questions on what they are taught when they unable to follow. They should not be embarrassed about asking and neither the teacher should mock at the student for asking silly questions. The students have come to gain knowledge and the teachers to impart them. Without proper knowledge of basics it is impossible to travel in any specific discipline.

Consider the example of a ten year old girl Aishwarya Parashar from Lucknow, India was taught at her history class that Gandhiji is the father of our nation. This girl questioned her teacher to reason the title and who gave him that title. The teacher was not knowing. So the girl used the Right to Information Act and questioned the government, " Who bestowed Gandhiji with the title 'father of the nation'?", "Where are official orders for declaring public holidays like Republic day, Independence day and Martyr Day". To everyone's surprise there were no such orders and people could not date back to find why Gandhiji was called so. This shows children are more enthusiastic these days. They want to know more. If she had accepted passively like the millions who have done it before her, this fact would have not been known. These kind of healthy questions will help everyone to understand some unknown facts.

After gaining the basic knowledge, what’s next? Students should analyze what is taught. They should start questioning the facts. Only that has provided many great inventions and advancements in any field. If not for those questions, the world would have stagnated! If Newton had not asked why apple falls down from a tree and does not fly up; we would not have known of gravity. If Graham Bell had not thought of easy ways to communicate with people at long distances, we would not have got telephones and now cell phones either. So on gaining basic knowledge, students should start analyzing and develop their logical thinking skills. These skills were previously needed for inventions but now they have become so important that we need them to do even normal jobs. No enterprise is ready to provide a job for just things learnt from books, they want analytical reasoning skills. Applying the knowledge is gaining more importance.

On the whole, I would like to conclude that students should question on what they are taught primarily to understand those concepts thoroughly, to develop their reasoning skills to fetch challenging jobs and finally to carve their path for some inventions or advancements in existing technologies.

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ESSAY REVIEW

The first part of your essay relies on assertion rather than argument. Your first claim is that students should ask questions “to gain a wide knowledge” but you don’t demonstrate the link between questioning and gaining wide knowledge, you just assert that “knowledge ... widens when one starts asking questions.” Your second claim is that “students should ask questions ... when they are unable to follow.” With the use of the word “so” you imply a logical connection between that claim and the sentences that precede it, but there is no actual logical connection there, and the claim is otherwise unsubstantiated in that paragraph. When you begin your next paragraph with “consider the example,” it seems very much as though you are about to offer an example to support the claim you have just made, but in fact you are using an example to justify the different claim that questioning can lead to the revelation of previously unknown facts. Finally, you offer Newton as an example of one who questioned facts and so developed the theory of gravity, which is not a terrible example, but one only indirectly related to the question of how students should act as students (the Bell example is even less obviously an insightful example of the usefulness of questioning for students; in fact, it’s not a clear example of the usefulness of questioning).

Overall, then, I not sure that you’ve figured out a reasonable approach to this essay, which problem is reflected for me in the fact that so much of the essay is taken up by assertions (unsupported claims about things) or prescriptions (in this case, statements about what students should do), and so little by analysis of the issues raised by the prompt. For me, “questioning what one is taught” does not mean “asking for clarification when one doesn’t follow what the teacher means.” I’m not even sure it means “questioning how Gandhi became known as the father of India”; a better example, I think, would be: questioning whether Gandhi deserves to be called the father of the nation. For “questioning” when opposed to “passively accepting,” as is the case here, usually means something like “being skeptical of.”

So it seems to me the prompt is asking about the value of habitual skepticism for students and so your essay ought to be focused on elaborating rigorous arguments about that value in the context of student learning.

Finally, it is generally better to aim for arguments that are not one-sided; that is, you ought also to consider ways in which the original statement might not be true. Can “always” questioning, for instance, interrupt the process of listening and absorbing? Can it ever undermine the authority of, or respect for, the teacher? Can it always be justified, even if its only basis is prejudice or dogma (as when, for example, certain Christian students “question” traditional science once the teacher turns to the chapter on evolution)? Is there a sense in which “always questioning” can be paralysing? Are there types of questions that are inappropriate to certain subjects (for example, if you question the axioms of mathematics, does such questioning belong to the discipline of mathematics or the discipline of philosophy?)

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: LakshmiRam
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