The Importance Of Independent Thinkers In Education

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Education would not exist without teachers, nor would students gain knowledge without effective teachers. But what makes a good teacher? A good teacher is someone who motivates their students to do the best they can, and to be independent thinkers. A student who is an independent thinker not only acknowledges the teachers lessons, but finds additional information outside of class. Independent thinkers are defined as people who change the way they think, and question authorities. Thomas G. Plummer, a professor at BYU, points out a problem called the “Ophelia Syndrome” in his article “Diagnosing and Treating the Ophelia Syndrome.” The “Ophelia” is described as a person who does not know their own thoughts or opinions, while the “Polonius” is …show more content…
Independent thinking is the ability to trust your own judgments, making your own observations rather than depending on others. Students have two options while in a classroom; listen quietly to the teacher’s explanation and agree without question, or reach outside sources and figure out what you think of the lesson. Plummer cautioned, “teacher has failed if students leave the classroom assuming that the task of thinking through the next step lies entirely with the teacher” (3). An example is students that have been in a class for a few weeks can detect if the class is easy because the teacher gives all the answers to questions, so students don’t have to think about the question themselves. The students then can pass the class just by memorizing the answers and leave with no quality education to benefit them in the future. Bottom line, teachers need to give their students the opportunity to think for themselves, even if it costs a bad grade. These teachers are the ones that refuse to be a “Polonius”, they won’t do the work for their students, and disapprove thinking for them. These teachers may seem tough and may have a reputation as the mean teacher but they are the ones students will benefit from in the long …show more content…
“Much of what we come by in life, after our initial enculturation, involves a mixture of acquisition and learning” (Gee 539). By “acquisition” Gee explains it as a way to gain knowledge through practice and experience, while “learning” is the opposite, it’s teaching a concept by breaking the subject down entirely (Gee 539). A good teacher uses both “acquisition” and “learning” in teaching their students. Teachers should have students acquire the subject on their own; for instance, having the students learn in class while acquiring what they learned outside of class in the real world. Teachers should also encourage creativity into their classrooms, furthermore giving lessons that are creative and out of the box get the gears in the student’s heads moving. Instead of relying on the teacher to think of a topic for a project students get creative and come up with new ideas, thus making wonderful thinkers for the modern world. “Too often, the aspect of creativity and personal expression are hidden from students, who are only driven toward academic or professional tasks in writing” (Nielsen 148). Teachers that don’t bring out the independence and creativeness of their students are missing out on the great ideas their mind creates. Hence, good teachers prepare their students for the real world giving them lifelong skills that

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