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Re: [xmca] The Shadow Scholar - He writes your students' papers.
I'd like to make two further observations:
I haven't read Engstrom's article, but I do want to stress this. You've got to
know your students personally. First, if you know the student and how he/she
normally writes, you will be able to catch any anomalies, like a paper obviously
plagiarised or ghost-written. More importantly, you will be able to identify the
type of student who is at risk and liable to resort to this sort of cheating.
Most schools have remedial services that can help, but the student has to be
aware and able to use them. Our elementary and secondary educational systems are
so broken that we can expect many students to arrive in college without knowing
how to write a lucid sentence. In many cases, the people who taught them English
couldn't tell one tense from another either.
Secondly, how can we complain when "legal" plagiarism is rampant in university
departments. How many times does the grad student do all the work of collecting
the data, crunching the numbers, and writing the paper, only to have the
"advising" professor put his name first when the paper is submitted for
publication. Isn't this theft? Isn't this an invitation to cynicism? If the
professor has advised or otherwise had some real input, then of course they
should receive the recognition, but not as first author if they didn't do the
great majority of the work.
So it isn't just the wayward students who are to blame. There's a whole culture
of dishonesty out there, and it starts at the top.
From: Larry Purss <email@example.com>
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Mon, January 10, 2011 8:50:02 AM
Subject: Re: [xmca] FW: The Shadow Scholar - He writes your students' papers.
I don't want to take a position on this topic, but was curious about what
seems a contradiction between issues of "control and trust" in a manner
similar to Engstrom's article on the use of technology in middle schools and
putting computers in the hallway. I wonder if the concepts "control" and
"trust" are primary or basic constructs when discussing institutional
structures or containers. I was wondering when reading Engstrom's article
if the terms control and trust were explanatory terms within 2nd person
actor narratives or if Engstrom abstracted these terms as explanatory 3rd
person narratives of what he observed in the middle school environment. Do
others see a contradiction or tension in the discussion of plagarism or is
it a clear case of civic virtue?
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