Are You a Cheater?

I know for most of you, summer break has already started and for others, it’s starting very soon.  For those of you working year ’round, I know how you feel.  Summer break is a time to recharge and refresh, often a time not to do a lot of heavy thinking – at least these first few days after school is out.  With that being said, I want you to think about this post and share your thoughts.

I recently came across an article in the Washington Post called, “Why schools should relax about cheating.”  When I first read the title, I thought to myself, no way.  But after I read it, my thoughts changed.  There are three main ideas that the author feels are considered cheating in schools, but are not in the workplace – networking, collaboration, and leveraging technology.

The author states, “It’s completely ridiculous that schools are so uptight about cheating because what schools call cheating is what people in the work world call effective workplace behavior.”

The following quote really stuck with me and changed my thoughts on this issue.

In the age of information, sharing information rules the day, and there’s no longer a place for a Lone Ranger at the office who works independently of everyone else. Today’s business world is too complicated and too networked for people to work so independently as to not be getting information from other people.

So what do you think?  Is “cheating” really that bad?  Do you “cheat” at work?  Do schools need to rethink this idea?  I know I reach out to colleagues frequently when I need help.  I’ve never once thought of this as a negative, yet it is in schools.

On the flip side, read this rebuttal from a high school teacher in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Share your thoughts.



One Comment;

  1. Brad said:

    The reason there’s no cheating is because we train employees to use resources if they don’t know something. In schools we convince ourselves that WE are the only purveyors of knowledge. We penalize students for using the exact skills that we look for in employees. Cheating, in most cases, consists of a student that doesn’t know the “what” but does know the “how” to get to an answer. I’ll ask you this, “If you are stumped by a question do you just guess?” Answer: NO! You will go to the Internet, “phone a friend”, or look it up in a book.

    I don’t advocate cheating but I do think it’s time to redefine the term and stop hamstringing our students due to our 300 year old system and beliefs on education.

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