Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Why Students Plagiarize...

It makes total sense  that students are cheating, when they have no motivation to learn the content.  If students don't care about what the assignment is, then why would they care about how they obtained the content in their assignment?    On the other hand, if we craft assignment with compelling content, which makes students think, investigate, and  synthesize-- they will want to draw original conclusions which are then supported from the text--drawn from evidence in the text--taken from what they have 'read closely,' and supported by concurrent conclusions they found in their research to support their point of view, opinion, and conclusion.  That my friend, is a mini summary of the Common Core ELA standards. 

Watch this new video posted from Tara Barbazone at the University of Bolton, UK.  This professor, teaching "Scholarship" investigated to understand and helped uncover and discover the roots of plagiarism: The lack of creativity, original thought, and more.  The kids admit it.  Until we motivate the students to think on their own, will they claim the thought of someone else, and plagiarize, because they are ashamed that they can't think themselves.   And, we thought they were just dishonest or lazy.  Shame on us. 

A properly prepared unit should by nature avoid plagiarism.  However, teacher themselves need instruction on how to repackage their units for higher level thought and student originality.  Heaven help us all.


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