alan simpson <sningbo@...
> wrote:"I caught a group cheating, which really annoyed me as I had put a lot of work into giving them an interesting exercise & they take the easy way out.
I said I had never come across a race that cheat so much & how we regard cheats in the west.
But, I had made a mistake & they had not cheated ..."
**************Even if they had ...cheating is a very difficult concept here and there are no doubt people on the list who can articulate this much better than I. However I will say that the value judgement we from certain cultures place on what we call cheating is very different here and we can't blame our students if they behave in this way.
What we can do is open up the issue and make it clear to them what our expectations are and why. In my case, part of my argument concerns what they will need to be accustomed to when they study abroad as most of them intend to do. Other ways are analogous - the relationship between the process and the goal (sometimes one and the same) and metaphors such as a beautiful garment stuck together with sticky tape (won't last long in everyday wear).
However, if their need for a high award is greater than their need for actual skill or knowledge, then they will always take the path that leads to their true goal. I don't recall which, but apparently one of the Ming Emperors was a noted poet. My 80-year-old highly cultured informant on such matters stoutly defended the guy's skills and could not understand my objections to acknowledging as the author a man who had had these great works written in his name by scholars. I have found it useful to recall my friend's attitude when faced with the issue of both cheating and plagiarism. I still tackle it, but I try not to judge it. (btw - I am acquainted with all sorts of unashamed cheats - academic, social security and otherwise in Australia. What we claim as a culture is not always what people do.)