From the article:
...Tragically this culture of cheating afflicts children from a very early age. Children as young as seven or eight arrive at school showing off polished projects that have benefited from more than a little help from parents.
But parents are not entirely to blame. From day one in primary school they are told that the performance of their children is intimately linked to how much support they get at home. In a desperate attempt to improve standards of education, parents' concern for their children is manipulated to draw them in as unpaid teachers. The outsourcing of education by schools encourages a dynamic where many parents become far too directly involved in producing their children's homework.
Scott notes that the researcher who advances this theory, Prof. Furedi, is "correct that the internet is not a sufficient moral force to create a society of cheats." However, is it correct to assume that parental overinvolvement is a sufficient enough force? Scott says no:
...I think the answer is no - something deep, systemic and much more unfortunate has happened to the society at large, with ramifications that go beyond those of cheating in universities...
What has brought about the moral change in question is precisely this attitude: that immoral actions are no longer the responsibility of the individual concerned, who is perceived as an innocent let down by the system's deficiencies - deficiencies which can be corrected by social expenditure of resources.
This philosophical position, a mainstay of the academic left, is also prevalent among left-leaners in general; working together, such groups and individuals have largely succeeded in the creation of a society based on the principle of individual blamelessness.
A society, in other words, in which media coverage of cheating teachers always include quotes from "experts" explaining that this is the fault of our "testing culture;" the poor teachers just can't help themselves.Posted by kswygert at March 30, 2006 03:02 PM