Monday, May 24, 2010

Cheating, Who's Rewarded?

Arthur Goldstein brought up a very important point in his article about cheating.  Naively, most of us are against cheating.  Isn't good teaching (and parenting) supposed to mean that students do their own honest work on tests and assignments?

As a parent I was willing to guide but not to do my children's schoolwork and home work for them.  I had done my own, for good or bad grades, and I didn't need my kids' teachers to grade me.  Not long ago at a wedding some stranger came up to me, looking for an English speaker to perfect his child's school paper.  After a few minutes I refused and told him that he wasn't doing his kid a favor.  The grade had to be for his kid's work, not for mine.

No wonder kids don't see what's so awful about cheating on a test when they're encouraged to bring in PERFECT assignments and papers.

Another problem is that a teacher's success is graded according to his/her students' grades.  Those whose students get the highest grades,whether honest or cheated, are considered superior teachers.

Is that the education we want for the next generation?


Hadassa said...

When I was in about sixth grade and slept over at a friend's house I was shocked when she left her homework for her parents to check after she was asleep. What good does that do? At least they should have checked the homework before dinner so that she could correct her mistakes by herself, although there is much to be said for having a teacher directly see a student's weaknesses. In a large class with an overworked teacher, which fortunately I never had, I can understand more parental involvement and ensuring that a child arrives in class with as good a grasp of the material as possible. This all, of course, depends on how homework is graded and how much help the student is allowed to receive.

Batya said...

Hadassa, there's a major difference between the parents fixing the mistakes and helping the child learn how to correct the mistakes alone. I don't like it when kids submit work done on the computer. Writing is learning.

Keli Ata said...

Sadly most parents today are more concerned with the educational and future economic and social success of their children that they ignore the moral development of their children. Society is paying for that.

My dad only had a fifth grade education (had to quit work to support his family in the Depression) and my mother was much to moral and honest a person to let us cheat. She did help us study and guided us.

Interestingly, threats to moral integrity of a child are included in the legal definition of endangering the welfare of a child, along with physical dangers and emotional harm.

Parents are legally required to guard their child's moral development.


I only cheated once in school. Well, not entirely. I was a junior in high school and afraid that I wouldn't pass my science exam. My plan was to write my notes on a piece of regular notebook paper and put it on top of one of my books under my desk but within my view.

I tried all night to make sure the notes were small enough to avoid detection and large enough that I could read them at a glance.

LOL. I made so many practice notes that when exam time came I didn't need them. I wrote so many practice cheat sheets that I memorized them!

There's something to be gained by the boring but nevertheless successful repetition of material.

Batya said...

Keli, that's quite a story. Nowadays, kids don't write enough, resulting in little learning and less comprehension.

Hadassa said...

Batya, I pointed out that difference, or at least I though that I had. My friends parents corrected her homework, a practice to which I've always been opposed. Other parents work WITH their children, and the homework turns out perfect, which is all right by me as long as the homework isn't graded, in which case the assistance is cheating.

Batya said...

Understood. The parents should have gotten the grade not your friend.