Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Honesty and integrity, in my opinion, are essential to good science, and, to life in general. Here are some stories related to plagiarism, cheating, and lack of good ethics. As parents and educators and community members and students, we can reflect on these stories and move toward a better world. What follows are true stories. There is also a link to a story on plagiarism n China. Lack of integrity is not limited to one country. Corruption and lack of integrity can be found everywhere.
I once had a student that came to me and thanked me for having made her cite works she used in a science term paper. I used to jump up and down in class to get students to pay attention to not plagiarizing. That effort on my part, she told me, saved her college degree. How? Every other paper she had done did not cite paraphrased works. I am not sure if they cited quoted works. One teacher called her on it and failed her, which set off an investigation of all her college papers. She was found to have plagiarized in all of them except the one she did for my class. The college interviewed her and also me on this point.
She told them something to the effect of she didn't plagiarize in my class because I made it absolutely clear that citation was necessary for quotes and for paraphrases. She said that the students all thought I was, "mean," because no other teachers required that. (Note that the college catalog did make that, "plagiarism-no-allowed," point.) She said if the other teacher's had required it, she would have cited.
When the interviewers asked me, I told them how I made a big deal out of proper citation, even though it was science class and not English. Yes, I told them I jumped up and down to make the point and told them they might lose their degrees if they plagiarized, citing the college catalog for the regulation. I understand that the college talked to her other teachers, too, and they hadn't made mention of plagiarism in their classes, as I understand it.
Because of my comments, they decided to give the student a chance to keep her degree. The student was given the chance because the college felt that she hadn't intentionally plagiarized. She had to re-write every other term paper, citing correctly, and turn them in to be graded in the next two weeks, or, fail and lose her degree. I think she had to re-write 8, or perhaps it was 12, papers in two weeks. She did. She managed to salvage her degree. She thanked me. That was appreciated. I was glad Providence College supported honesty in publication.
At ...[a famous high school]..., many students cheated. One I know did not cheat and got a B...what for that school was a low grade. His parents reported the cheating but the cheaters were allowed to keep their "A" grades. The, "B student," was smarter and had more integrity than any of them. He was punished for being honest and knowing the material. The parents were told by the teacher concerned that he was stupid for not cheating. Maybe the teacher should lose her degree and license.
Later, there was a big scandal when all the cheating was discovered by an outside source. It would have been far better if the parents of the honest boy had been heard. Perhaps the scandal could have been avoided.
A graduate student lost her assistantship (funding) [...at a university in the Middle West...] when she wouldn't fudge data to say what a ...[big chemical producer]...wanted her to say. Instead, they gave 2 students, who did not have the credentials to get funded for graduate work, twice the money each, and handed them jobs with [a federal agency] when they graduated. They were able to retire at 45...The honest person is still struggling with a career [black-listed?].
A [...grant recipient's....] boss took a grant report out of the mail, took off part of the report and replaced it with fudged data on the new "grant report" and left the recipient's signature off. (It was on the original page.) The boss got caught when the award giver called the researcher asking about something written in the report and for the signature, "That's not what was written," and, "I signed the report. I have a copy of it." The funder then asked for a copy of the report. The researcher sent it in, and the boss ended up being caught, and was proven guilty of theft, fraud, and other crimes. The boss kept his job. The researcher lost the job, but, was not accused of anything, and did nothing wrong. The research was honest and good as the researcher had turned it in. The researcher did not know the boss had changed it and left the signature blank.
"‘There are two kinds of cheaters, those who are not interested in academics but only in money, and those who do not have the capacity to produce,' Jiawen said."
(Source: http://blog.ithenticate.com/2010/10/plagiarism-in-china/, Accessed November 13, 2010.)
Think, reflect, be honest, and build a better world.
(c) 2010 J S Shipman