In 2010 I read a New York Times editorial on
Plagiarism (in which I have highlighted two sections in yellow) that
accompanied a much longer article about cheating in college.
Please read the entire editorial. I focused on two items:
- There is a difference between education and training. In education, we are
not looking just for the right answer.
Instead, we are learning to think critically, to acquire skills, tools,
and the knowledge to use them, all towards the goal of being able to use
fundamental principles to find the answers to new, unanswered questions.
- By cheating, real learning/education is undermined.
One doesn't acquire the educational objectives mentioned above by avoiding
hard work and just finding and submitting the right answers (even if you
end-up understanding these answers).
What is interesting about this reading is that the author does not say cheating
is bad because it is unethical (which it is, and the consequences of cheating
can affect the cheaters and other students in class as well), but he does say
that cheating is bad becuase it prevents students from acquiring the
knowledge/experience they came to college to get, not only in the class in
which they cheat, but in later classes as well.