Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Great Little Story about Cheating

"Ultimately the problem, both then and now, was an education system that made pupils’ futures contingent on their ability to regurgitate information. In that kind of system, with so much pressure and competition, perhaps cheating is the only sane response. Michael Gove wants more learning by rote, tougher exams and more competition between pupils in British schools. Which probably means more cheating, too. "

And, of course, we are seeing the same problems in the US.

1 comment:

  1. My roommate who bought papers in college made a similar argument, and I didn't buy it then either.

    It is probably true that raising the stakes on tests while making it easier to cheat will result in more cheating, but it's the uneven enforcement of anti-cheating rules that drives the fairness objection in the article. And the sanity claim depends on widespread unenforcement of anti-cheating rules, so that honest students are likely to lose out in the high stakes exams. Presumably, even Grove is against uneven and underenforcement of anti-cheating policies, so the move from the story about the school in Hunan province to the proposed changes to the British system is a non-sequitur. But even then, the problem with a system that encourages rote repetition isn't that it makes cheating easy, but that the students don't learn very much whether or not they cheat.


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