blogging gobbledygook and such

The other day, was told off for asking the lecturer a question regarding a small graded assignment. She said that self shouldn’t be asking such menial questions; self should be brave enough to take a risk when attempting the question and not be so dependent on the lecturer to “spoonfeed” self. That, and that we shouldn’t ask any question because it’s a graded assignment in the first place.

Remember someone who self know casually who wrote this is her column in a local daily: “It never hurts to ask. The worst answer you can get is no.” And it made a lot of sense to self. What’s wrong with asking? After all, if this is graded, self really should be asking more questions so as to avoid making an ignorant mistake and losing marks in the overall grade.

Maybe it’s wrong when the lecturer accuses you of wanting to be “spoonfed.”

Or does asking shows you are assertive and realising your own limitations and not being afraid of admitting it by asking?

Thank goodness not all of self’s lecturers are like this one. In fact, most encourage their students to ask or voice out if they don’t understand lessons in class.

And that bloody lecturer was so hypocritical. Just shortly after telling self off for asking questions, she told the class we can look for her if we have any questions regarding homework or assignments or lessons. Go figure.

Comments on: "Is asking a sign of dependence?" (4)

  1. Teachers are mean. Period.

    sulz: don’t say that! am actually considering teaching as a career…

  2. It’s my experience that about 1/4 of the students I have taught anything to were immature and insecure young people who achieved their grades by interviewing teachers trying to establish what the questions on exams would be ahead of time. You could easily spot them in elementary schools where most learning is of course by rote. In junior high schools and unless they went through a radical change both understanding the learning process and utilizing it independently there they would be in colleges and universities grown larger but not any wiser.

    This type of student relied on teachers to provide all the answers and were so shallow that they did not see beyond that. They did not grow wiser in grade school and know in a wordly college and university sense that teachers/lecturers of the moment lack definitive answers as the world and all the knowledge and wisdom in it is in a constant state of flux.

    The kind of student I’m referring to was a conscientious note taker in class. They would read the prescribed texts, reference books, recommended reading and even past exams and memorize answers from these sources without exercising much in the way of critical thinking skills.

    I always found it very difficult to motivate such students who were always grilling me for my answers and who were intent on finding them out ahead of time so they could feed my answers back to me and get good grades to go beyond this and find their own answers.They excelled at manufacturing cut and paste papers from those sources. They simply reguritated like parrots and at best were mediocre learners who got good grades but didn’t comprehend how to be a student of life and how to become their own instructors.

    These were the students who were least suited to entering a university environment but because they had good grades and accomodating parents they would go anyway. In time they would become competant professionals but nothing more than that.

    The most appealing students to teach by far were the free-thinkers who were willing to go off on their own, do their own research and take the risk of feeding me back a paper taking a point of view that challenged what they had learned in class. Their questions to me were those of a challenging an inquisitive mind who was frrequently at odds with what was being taught. They were not simply asking questions so they could scribble down answers and regurgitate them to me in examinations they way they did in elementary school when most learning was by rote. They began very early on teaching themselves. Thus they were the students most suited to entering a university environment and I let them know that.

    One of the characteristics of a truly “good” teacher will be the ability to assume the role of motivating his or her students to go beyond reguritating knowledge. Teachers and lecturers who insist students go beyond and insist they become proficent enough in using the learning process on their own to be able to teach the teacher something are perforce annoying and abrasive. This is bound to be particularly true if the student is just taking the class for credit and lacks a real interest in the subject matter.

    Sulz perhaps you can develop a more objective view of this lecturer and understand that at the level at which you are now you are expected to go take the risk of going beyond the teacher’s answers and the notes she provided you in class. In fact if she didn’t do that she wouldn’t in my opinion be a very “good” teacher at all. Please rise to the challenge – get out there and teach yourself something about this subject. You’re the right stuff so demonstrate that to yourself – go beyond and become your own teacher, not for the grades but for the inner joy of personal achievement.

    sulz: thank you for your comment. 🙂

  3. Ok, many teachers are mean. Some are good, fortunately.

  4. It never hurts to ask. This is true (especially if you decide you aren’t going to be hurt by the person’s response), but there is another part she forgot to add: the bit about asking the right questions at the right time.

    You have to pick your moment AND the right question otherwise it’s possible to leave the impression that you are asking either a stupid or inappropriate question. Some would say there are no stupid questions… again it depends on the context.

    Going on what you said, if an assignment carries a grade, why would you be asking a question that could lead to the teacher being accused of “favouring” you if she answered it? And why would she be answering it?

    sulz: was asking her to clarify a question in the assignment, as there were some ambiguity in it. it was the sort of question one would ask in the examination hall when unsure of what the instructions entail.

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