Furedi on cheating

29 03 2006

Follow-up to Plagiarism: are things really this bad? from Prole Art Threat

In the Guardian the other day there was a piece by Frank Furedi on cheating:

see: link

Sadly universities tend to accommodate rather than challenge the culture of cheating. Cheating is now so rife on campuses that it is covertly accepted as part of the daily routine of British university life. When a case occurs, the response is to try to avoid taking potentially time-consuming action. Authorities preoccupied with increasing student numbers are reluctant to get involved in the messy business of appeals and litigation. While officially condemning cheating, universities tend to be hesitant about taking a robust stand in specific cases. Is it any surprise that for many students cheating ceases to have any serious moral significance?

Furedi’s line seems to be that university staff are, effectively, complicit in a culture of cheating because it’s all a bit difficult and too much effort to tackle it. I just find it difficult to accept that this is genuinely the case.

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One response

30 03 2006
Steven Carpenter

It’s most certainly not the case at Warwick, if my experience of working on plagiarism prevention with staff across the institution is anything to go by. Furedi has a habit of stirring things up with his opinions. Jude Carroll had this to say:

I think the phrase that sticks in my mind from the Guardian/Ferudi article was his sudden shift from the exasperated tone implying this was all oh so simple to unexpectedly acknowledging an area of ambiguity. Whereas for most of the piece, he seemed to say that if folk would just take these oh-so-simple ideas like ‘cheating’ and ‘my own work’ and apply them to the oh-so-simple (sic) task of teaching and learning (!), then the issue of cheating would vanish. If only….. But surprisingly, he alludes to the difficulties parents might have in knowing when ‘helping’ slides into ‘doing it for them’……
I read that and thought ‘Well, yes’…..but I doubt there is much point in a letter to the Guardian to say so since that happens so often. I have regularly seen correspondents noting inconsistencies in his articles and yet the next has not shifted from the habit.

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