Saturday, October 21, 2006

Cheating

Recently, Lauren's piano instructor thought over whether to give us the answer booklet to Lauren's theory book. I'd offered to correct her work myself. (Though I can't understand any of it by now, I can check it against the answer key.)

"Do you have some place you can keep it under lock and key?" he asked.

Lauren and I looked at each other and smiled.

"Well, if I cheat," she answered, "how will I pass the test?"

See, she's studying this music theory for the next leg of her RACE level. The book helps her to learn the theory that will be tested in a proctored room at the University. If she cheats on the study workbook, she will have no chance whatsoever of passing the final test and she understands that.

This pointed out something so very different between the approach we are taking to education and maybe the more traditional view of it (with which I was raised). We are not comparing ourselves to other people in our abilities to learn new material. The grade is not the ultimate measure of self-worth, not worth attaining at any cost or by cheating. In the end, the only thing that matters is whether you learned and have the knowledge that you have the knowledge.

2 comments:

Anne said...

Excellent.

Camflock said...

Having had the honor of teaching Lauren for the last few months for Spanish, I have taken an approach with her I never could in pulbic education. NO TESTS. There is simply no need. She does the work. She knows the material. She asks great questions and the test then becomes redunant and a waste of her time and mine. I have provided quizzes to appease my need for grades, but even these seem silly now. Lauren is a self motivated learner and cheating would never cross her mind as a choice. She is to dedicated to achieving. It has been a real joy to work with her. Too bad other teachers have been "jaded" by the norm in society of wanting to take the "easy" way out. Lauren is an old fashion, I am going do what it takes to learn this kind of kid. --Christine

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