Saturday, January 2, 2010


Kohn, Alfie, "Who's Cheating Whom?, Phi Delta Kappan , October 2007.

This article asserts that cheating mainly occurs because of the importance of grades and competition. Competition causes the need for one to be better than another, thus as Kohn states there are always losers. In school, this competition occurs in terms of grades. But what do these grades truly measure? It seems as though they teach students for the most part to focus "...on performance rather than on learning." (4) When there is a lack of emphasis on the process and learning for its own sake, cheating occurs. In addition, Kohn brings up the question of how cheating is defined. Who made these rules and what are the reasons behind them?
This article posed great questions about methodology, rules, and regulations within schools citing various studies to back up these questions. However, not much detail was given about these studies and I was left with a lot of questions and few answers. I was mainly left wondering if all these studies keep questioning grades why do they still exist and what could replace them?


-"We frequently pay so much attention to character, personality, and individual responsibility that we overlook how profoundly the social environment affects what we do and who we are."

-"Grades, however, are just the most common manifestation of a broader tendency on the part of schools to value product more than process, results more than discovery, achievement more than learning."

-"Competition is perhaps the single most toxic ingredient to be found in a classroom, and it is also a reliable predictor of cheating."

-"Human behavior is more influenced by things outside us than inside." -Philip Zimbardo

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