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View Diary: Cheating? How about the Cheated (40 comments)

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  •  Culture of Isolation - Chinese observations (1+ / 0-)
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    This is so true:

    Testing creates a culture of isolation, a central component of cheating in fact. Learning and teaching, however, are best and necessarily communal and collaborative.

    I teach university in China, the country with over 2000 years of standardized testing determining students' futures and ranking schools.

    I have to tell you, my Chinese students are very bright, and can achieve more on tests than I ever could hope to. But they are so isolated. They really have a difficult time working together. In my classes, I don't simply ask my 22-year-olds to work in groups, but I use all my American elementary school techniques to teach them exactly how.  And later they thank me for that.

    These kids are smart, they are capable, and yet in 22 years they were kept from working in groups, mainly due to the pressures of the all-important test.  Often, for example, their primary school teachers advised them not to work with others because they could end up helping their competition.

    This isolation extends throughout the culture, by the way - did anybody ever notice how excellent the Chinese athletes were in individual competitions at the Olympics, yet how middling their performance was in team sports?

    Is that what we want for American students as well? I sure don't.

    None of this makes a bit of difference if they don't count your vote.

    by Toddlerbob on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 02:21:42 PM PDT

    •  Yes, thats the authoritarian politics... (0+ / 0-)

      ....of standardized testing -- such tests make it difficult for students to build bridges to each other. STs are inherently authoritarian in nature.

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