Sunday, May 13, 2007

Study of Teacher Error

I enjoyed the Sara Biggs Chaney articlebecause it brought several things into perspective. As I brought up in class, I'd never thought of plagiarism as a form of resistance. Resistance, for me, always meant a student was reluctant to write a paper or turn in an assignment. Maybe they would only write half of the required pages or something of that nature. Plagiarism always fell in a category by itself. But, I suppose plagiarism is a form of resistance. I mean, it is a refusal of the student to complete the assignment. And, it begs the question of what was the student thinking? Could she have possibly thought she could get away with it?
One thing which really bothered me about the paper was that Chaney, though she had been careful to point out what plagiarism was and how it was used, somehow blamed herself for the student's choice (32). She spends pages explaining the process of telling the students about plagiarism, as well as examples. She went to great lengths to show that plagiarism is dishonest. But, she still wondered, "What am I doing wrong?"
Now, I think all teachers go through this sort of nagging feeling when grading a test. If some of the studentss fail, the first question we ask ourselves is, "What am I doing wrong?" I can understand trying to better your instruction methods in order to reach more students but, The fact of the matter is that "Amber" made a concious choice that did not involve the instruction of the class. She knew the possible punishment of such an action and was aware that it was dishonest, and she did it anyway. Some kids are just going to do bad things and it has nothing to do with teaching methods.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Yeah, that's what I wanted to say. It's good to look at how she could improve her teaching method, but it's bad to think she was at fault for Amber's failure.