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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.”

Students should question material to some extent. That enhances critical thinking and can amend biased material, but constant questioning can be as pernicious for studying as silent absorption, because it can instill wrong habits and lead to pointless discussions.

One reason to question what we are taught is that the process of questioning is itself an important element of critical thinking. If students ask to elaborate some issues it means that they are interested or at least follow the teacher. Another reason to question what we are taught is that the teacher might be wrong or might be presenting a view that is misleading or tendentious. Blind absorption of biased material is deleterious for true science and might evolve in doctrinism.

Contrary, if it becomes an ingrained habit to question everything, the student can be paralyzed by skepticism. The scientist cannot be fully skeptical, there is always must be place for believes and fantasy. Korolev would never be able to send Gagarin in outer space, being constantly skeptical. Imagine that you are about to do something that nobody had never done before, you will be pretty skeptical. Only fantasy, boldness and believes can lead you. Moreover there are types of question that are inappropriate to certain subject. For example, you can’t be skeptical regarding the axioms in math; this is the very case when you have to take it as it is. Furthermore, constant questioning might interrupt the process of absorbing information, which is especially detrimental on early stages of studying.

The questions might be of different kinds. While being skeptical at some extent might be conducive for studying, there are some kinds of questions that might hinder it.

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ESSAY REVIEW

The essay as a whole is organized well. In the introduction, you get straight to the point, which is appropriate for this kind of essay. The second paragraph makes reasonable claims that are articulated, for the most part, with clarity. You deal with those claims a little cursorily, however. You say that "one reason to question what we are taught is that the process of questioning is itself an important element of critical thinking," but you don't elaborate that claim at all. The sentence that follows it concerns a separate issue (and one that doesn't really speak to the value of questioning for students themselves). The third sentence of the second paragraph ("Another reason etc.") introduces a third claim. So you have three claims in three sentences, and only the last claim is developed, and it is developed only slightly. Obviously, there is only so much one can do in a short essay, but since you ought to be trying above all to demonstrate the complexity of your thinking and your ability to communicate complex thoughts (i.e., you should not just try to demonstrate your ability to think up good examples), and one of the ways of demonstrating such complexity is to tease out the implications of a particular claim, you should try to get some good examples of how you elaborate a claim into your essay.

So take your first claim, again: "the process of questioning is itself an important element of critical thinking." One could immediately elaborate that claim by explain why critical thinking involves asking questions (e.g., one might claim that critical thinking involves identifying and questioning the validity of an argument's assumptions). One could also elaborate the claim by identifying the general issue relevant to the original claim made in the prompt that you are addressing here; i.e., the issue of the possible value of questioning. But the original claim is that "students should always question." Presumably they should always question if questioning is always valuable. So if you claim that questioning can contribute to the development of critical thinking, and then ask under what circumstances it can do this, you will be in a better position to evaluate that original claim. Obviously "critical thinking" is not an important element of every subject. A student of poetry or music appreciation may need to develop her ability to think critically and may have an opportunity to do so as a student of those subjects who is always questioning what she is thought; a student of calligraphy or of the flute may not be in the same position. So the general conclusion that one might arrive at is that questioning is valuable under those specific circumstances in which critical thinking is an important component of the subject being taught.

In your penultimate paragraph, the same kind of problem exists. Although the first claim is elaborated somewhat (the others are not), it would be helpful to come to a conclusion that clarifies your position in relation to the original claim. You might be working under the assumption that the point is obvious, and in a different essay, for a different purpose, that might be a valid assumption. But according to the instructions "you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position"; your essay generally carries out the first of these instructions but not the second.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: SergeyVAlexeev
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Comments
SergeyVAlexeev
+1

Some examples are exactly those that you gave in your comments. What about the overall coherence of the esssay?
June,12 2012

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