- October 29, 2011 - 04:27
Why do some feel that they have to cheat? What sort of environment is it that makes them feel that they have to cheat? If they do not understand something, or of what may be expected, then where is the help for them? Are some in the wrong place and are being humiliated due to some sort of ignorance of others? Pushing them down the cracks does not work either.
- October 28, 2011 - 15:05
Reading along, somewhat wondering where you were going with this until paragraph #7. Did you, bychance, lose focus? "Cheating is not about the people who cheat......feelings and prospects.....are secondary." Followed by paragraph #8 ...."first, the integrity of the academic system, and second support for the efforts of non-cheaters....." So what actually are you considering secondary, the feelings and prospects of the cheaters or support for the efforts of non-cheaters? Really, you speak of "ivory tower" detachment yet you appear to preach from a pretty 'high horse'. I really don't believe that the district is offering blanket protection for all cheaters all the time as you imply, but are rather giving second chances to improve. Have you never had a second chance given to you in life or have you been so privileged as to have the perfect parents/be the perfect parent with the perfect children and never want for anything. There are many children struggling in school because they are dealing with turmoil at home; they are tired, they can't focus, they sometimes can't study due to their home situations, etc., etc. Do they deserve a second chance to write a test because they happened to try to read their neighbours answers or wrote the answers on their sleeve? Was it wrong, yes absolutely. Was it unforgivable, no I don't think so. Unfortunately, ESD can't pick and chose who they give the second chances to or they'd have people getting on their high horse screaming discrimination. Obviously I don't agree with you on this one.
- October 28, 2011 - 12:13
The author makes some excellent points, based on some naive assumptions, though. First off, cheating is part and parcel with corruption. The first evidence of corruption should lead to an investigation, not summary punishment. The parent may ask why? and their sarcastic reply makes their point accurately (in St. Johns's it was the harbour, not a cliff - which drove the point home even faster). But the missing question is which friends? There is all sorts of potential corruption in educational systems, from instructors favouring some students to recycled exam questions given by lazy teachers year over year - should they be summarily fired [seniority or no seniority] when half the class knew exactly what was going to be on the test? If one wants to deal with corruption they have to deal with it all?? However the more annoying item in the column is the presumption of quality of behaviour. In the denominational system generically bad behaviour was rebuked, of course, but lack of expected religious observance would lead to the punishment of isolation, at least. What our new public school system needs to do is to start from scratch with a course on corruption in society (not necessarily sin) - but they will have a difficult time explaining all the accepted theft of intellectual property , piracy, plagerism, that has become intrinsic with the digital/cyber world of the 21st. century - lol?.
- October 28, 2011 - 11:35
Excellent column Brian. Where in the world has common sense gone? The message being sent to students is that it's okay to do do bad things, so long as you don't get caught. To send such a message in an academic setting is plenty bad enough but will obviously encourage some kids to expect to get away with misdeeds in other areas of life as well. I'd like to sit down and have a chat with the people who come up with these hairbrain ideas.
- October 28, 2011 - 11:09
Well said Brian.