Cheating is not collaborative work. “What schools call cheating — getting the right answer from others — is “effective workplace behavior” and a valuable skill, she argues.” and she would be wrong.
She wants to mask the true problem with excusing cheating by equating it with workplace skills. In school, you are learning how to do things. You are developing the abilities and information base and your “production” is that development. Collaboration doesn’t “work” unless you learn the material or skills. No one is expecting students to produce an advertisement campaign for real even though the task might approximate the steps to doing so.
School is about that base of fundamental skills that can be applied to any situation and the fundamental knowledge that all future tasks would appear to require. The problem with the Stuyvesant scandal was that the students weren't learning, someone else was doing it for them. There was also the whole "honesty" and "plagiarism" thing.
|Which employee would you hire and trust?|
Why is the workplace different? Because it is assumed that the workers already have achieved the “learning”, the acquisition of skills and methods, and the acquisition of a fundamental knowledge base. You can tolerate “research” and “getting the answer from others” if the job to be done is a unique job compared to the skillset of the worker. It is cheaper to pay for usage rights, or copyright, or independent contractor for that one job and then move on to the next. If the worker, however, cannot produce on his own, can ONLY copy from others, it is in the company’s best interest to fire that worker and hire someone who can.
Teaching students that cheating is okay and “effective workplace behavior” is directly damaging to the learning process even though it appears, on the surface, to be allowing the student to show more “knowledge” without spending any mental effort. Learning is hard because it is new. Avoiding that difficulty merely ensures that it will never occur.
It may seem more efficient and effective in the short run and certainly develops the person who can copy but fails at the long term goal of developing the person who can do the work.
If you give me the choice, I will always choose the method that develops the one who can tutor others, who can think and take responsibility, and who can be the source for all the lazy, stupid people, because that is how I define a successful and educated student, the “A” student: The kid you copy from.
Which worker would you pay?