Dealing w/Student questions: a reply

klier at klier at
Sun Jan 30 17:46:40 EST 1994

In article <1994Jan29.132210.57876 at>, scottamy at writes:

> I would suggest only two small things from you all:

> 	2. If you do answer a student post, please don't give them all the
> answers, just point them in the right direction, give them a word of
> encouragement, and give them some suggested reading or pertinent literature
> citations.  Help them to THINK for themselves by giving them something to think
> about!  Remember, you don't teach a child to swim by keeping it away from the
> water OR by throwing it in the middle of the ocean!

I agree!  It's also kind, if you're going to give pointers to literature,
to inquire about library access.  I've been in high schools with wonderful
computer access, and lousy libraries.  The public library was no better,
and interlibrary loan can take a very long time  (I used to be a trustee
of a tiny public library).   A couple of times, I've answered student
questions with literature pointers, and had return mail describing
the lack of availability of resources I've suggested.  I figure
that the $0.15 I threw in the office "personal copy" fund and the $0.29
stamp and the envelope to mail a couple of sheets from a book sitting
on my office shelf was probably a good investment in the future of 
science... esp. attitudes to science!

Kay Klier  Biology Dept  UNI

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