Monday, February 14, 2011

cheating - ethical and/or practical reasons not to

The other day, I overheard several third grade girls talking about cheating and copying test answers from other people. Their conversations ranged from ethical reasons - it's not right to take another person's ideas as your own - to practical reasons - the answers could be wrong.

This reminded me of a book "Life Links" that was written by one of my mother's distant relatives. He was a very smart child and received a coveted spot in the Gymnasium in Russia but there was a proviso - he had to let two Russian princes, Prince Ivan and Prince Igor, copy his test papers. The situation worked out fine for everyone concerned. The relative got outstanding marks, 100's on all his papers and Prince Igor and Prince Ivan also got 100's. On one test, the relative performed less than his stellar work and received an 88. He looked at the papers that the princes received, with their marks, and saw 100's on both. He asked the teacher what happened. "I got an 88; Prince Igor and Prince Ivan got 100's. How is that possible?" The teacher explained. "Your answers were not 100% correct. That's why you got an 88. Prince Ivan and Prince Igor copied your paper exactly. That was their job. That is why they got 100."

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