QUORA: What makes Wikipedia so detested by teachers?
[Sub-note from QUORA: “You were redirected because the question What makes Wikipedia so detested by teachers? was merged with this question.”]
Who knows? Maybe frustrated intellectual power-lust. The teaching profession has lost some power to influence their students’ minds because Wikipedia has made it so easy to check what they’re being taught. Or maybe teachers just resent being questioned by students who have consulted Wikipedia.
In any event, at least one teacher gave Wikipedia it’s proper due. Richard Muller, Prof Physics, UC Berkeley, author of "Physics for Future Presidents", had a great answer. Not only does Muller not discourage kids from consulting Wikipedia, he affirmatively encourages them to use it.
[Students] have been scolded for using Wikipedia. And yet they had discovered that starting with Wikipedia was the best way to research a topic. Finally, from me, they heard someone in a position of authority confirming what they already had determined to be true.
I agree. It’s refreshing whenever I encounter a teacher who has such a strong sense of self to proclaim that he doesn’t know everything. A true educator seeks to encourage self-learning and expand his students’ knowledge, wherever that comes from. Collectively, the teaching profession is the most full-of itself profession. It’s over-inflated sense of its own importance evades the fact that by far most learning occurs after the student has left school. The ability to self-learn and a love of doing so are the legacies of a great teacher. And there are great teachers. Muller concludes:
When I was a student, Wikipedia didn’t exist, and the teachers admonished us never to look up answers in an Encyclopedia. Of course I used encyclopedias! And I learned how to disguise the fact that I did so. Now it is Wikipedia.
Amen. A “teacher” who discourages students from looking outside the classroom for knowledge and perspective and bringing it into the classroom, be it Wikipedia, Fox News or CNN, books, et al, is not a true educator. There is no one source for learning.
I left this simple reply to Muller:
My middle school granddaughter told me that a teacher discouraged students from using Wikipedia, saying “You can’t trust everything you read on Wikipedia.” My answer: “You can’t trust everything a teacher tells you, either.”