One problem with good students asking even good questions, is it can take away class time from everyone else. For example, say the teacher is talking about electrons orbiting the nucleus like the planets orbit the sun, This is an elementary way to introduce the atom, but is a good building block for what will come next. A bright student who is reading way ahead brings up wave functions.
Avoidance may not be the teacher avoiding this good question. It is more complicated than that. If they try to answer that question they may lose most of the class, who is just getting their hands on the orbit analogy. Even if they wanted to explain wave functions, at what level do you do that? Do you use the phD version for this bright college sophomore, which may make him feel embarrassed? Or do you dumb it down to the level of what that bright student might understand. Even if you chose that, you may also need to build other background, since he may not know all the jargon and math for how even the simple answer is derived. In the mean time, this private tutorage during class time is not fair to the other 25 students who are not being taught. You may lose them, as they get bored and begin to phase out. If the phase out happens, when you go back to the formal lessons, getting them back becomes another problem.
Many professors use a lecture format to avoid interruptions so they can keep the ball rolling for all. The extra questions is where office time comes in. But even that is more geared to help the students who are having problems with the lessons. There are only so many hours, and so many students, so it makes no sense to give all that time to one student, who already knows the lessons, at the expense of the many students who need help.
One solution for the bright student is to volunteer to tutor. This frees teacher time so he/she will have more time to answer some of the more interesting but unrelated questions.
I've been sitting at the computer waiting for the Florida State football game to start and started cleaning out some old, old files. I came across one that several of us came up with in the faculty lounge during our "gossiping" many years ago - think Arpanet days.
Somehow, my low intellect gave me a faint notion that somehow this might be appropos to the discussion - but don't count on it since I've been exposed as an intellectual fraud with low IQ.
STUDENT RAISE OF GRADE FORM
Dear Professor __________________________ Date: __________
My grade in _________________ should be raised from _____ to _____
____ There must be a mistake somewhere.
____ I actually studied for this exam.
____ I was not well at the time of the examination.
____ My mind always goes blank during an examination.
____ This grade ruined my prospect of getting a scholarship, a job, a life, a place in medical school.
____ This is the only course in which I received a poor grade.
____ The grade grieved my mother (or father), whose pride I am.
____ I knew the right answer but I wrote down the wrong answer by mistake.
____ I was unable to study due to the pressing demands of fraternity or sorority activities/political demonstrations/sports events/jail/family crises/roommate suicide/gambling debts/litigation.
____ Conditions in the room were not conducive to concentration.
____ The examination was unfair and unfairly distributed over the subject matter.
____ I have to work after school and nights; therefore I should be given a break.
____ I am married and have a family; therefore, I should be given a break.
____ I am alone in the world; therefore I should be given a break.
____ I was under stress; therefore I should be given a break.
____ I no speak English good - give me break.
____ I would have done much better if I had taken the examination given to one of the other sections.
____ The person I got the notes from had neglected to write down several key points, and I should not be penalized for his/her laxity.
____ Several people around me copied from my paper during the examination yet they received higher grades than I did. Surely this is not fair.
____ The questions were ambiguous, and therefore my answers should be graded according to the reasonable interpretations I made of your question.
____ Many of the questions could not be answered with straight facts; they were matters of opinion. I should not be penalized just because my opinions differ from those of the instructor.
____ I know many people in the class who do not work as hard as I do and who got a better grade. I am recognized among my classmates as a good and conscientious student; just ask any of them.
____ I circled the right answers on the question booklet, as you can now see, but when transferring the information to the answer sheet I inadvertently marked the wrong blanks. Of course a University student should not be penalized for petty clerical errors.
____ I have studied this subject from the broad philosophical viewpoint and therefore was unable to answer you detail-oriented, technical questions.
____ I am philosophically oriented to the realm of ideas; I respond to the sweep and scope of great intellects. My work is beyond the interest in petty details and parrot-like memorizing of those who are merely students.
____ At the time of the examination I was suffering a severe case of cognitive dissonance and was incapable of coping with the stress of the hour.
____ It is not a higher grade I seek; I care nothing about grades; I think grades are wicked and I disapprove of them. However, this pernicious system of which I am a victim requires grades for achieving success, and therefore I seek a higher grade.