Thursday, February 12, 2009

But I don't want to be a scientist!

I had an interesting conversation with a student teacher last night. She's new on my sports team and I was explaining to her what I do including my work fighting plagiarism.

She exclaimed: Oh no, you can't do that, how else can I pass except by copying?

I thought at first she was joking, but she was dead serious. She only wants to be a sports and maths teacher, not a scientist. And she feels that things have been said so well by others, why should she try and say it again. I pointed out that this is how she learns things, by putting things in her own words. "I don't have time for that!" she exclaimed.

She was, of course, shocked to learn that her change-a-word-here-and-there process doesn't help: Three words suffice.

I think we have an even larger problem that student plagiarism rolling towards us like a tsunami wave. If even the young teachers - cut & pasters themselves - don't see a problem in copying, how will we teach the next generation independent thought and how to write?

1 comment:

  1. I have to say that this is disheartening in a way that I can barely put into words. I agree with you 100% on the issues, obviously, but I am at a loss about how to combat the problem if teachers themselves are part of it.

    When the castle has been breached, there is not much point in defending the gate...