Week One cheating

Been stuck at every approach to the Week One question. Like the idea of a troll blocking a bridge until the travler answers a question correctly…

I didn’t like school and felt it was chamber of questions that no kid could possibly know about asked by adults who not only worked together to screw you up but were allowed to pass judgement on your performance that effected your whole life. And no one even asked if I wanted to do this. Even though I tried my inability became a sign of uncooperative behaviour which began to suit me. Working with apprentices in construction you weren’t allowed to substitute not-getting-it with low grades or some other judgmental convenience. You had to keep trying.

Cheating = assuming that someone is inferior or fractious because they don’t understand YOUR explanations.

Who decides meaning? Why are there Deciders who establish meaning and Guessers who labor over what the Deciders were thinking? Why does one group control reality and the second group have to agree with them in the form of correct answers and proper procedural thinking? Based on personal experience I think reality runs on in spite of our misunderstandings but so what? It’s interesting that things are versioned out, misplaced or misunderstood and I think we might be mistaking the purpose of learning to achieve a false clarity.

Cheating = Naming something called “learning” the pursuit of one understanding. And saying that works.

My understanding of reality never sits still. Though there are times when ideas seem very persuasive, being a person is complex, undecided and contradictory like crazy.  We cheat this with certainties we don’t have.

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  • VanessaVaile  On January 17, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    so much depends on who does the naming…defines cheating. from another perspective, expecting student to know and understand rules no one really explained is another kind of cheating — in the sense of cutting corners on the job

    • scottx5  On January 17, 2014 at 10:35 PM

      Cutting corners can cheat a person their right to stumble over things. Right and Wrong devalue the attempt, disrespect effort. Even the idea of expectation is a short cut, a pre-judgment. To be fair this is a two way street. After a while I stopped listening and didn’t care about the explanations. Growing up with nearly deaf people in the family, and being hard of hearing myself, I learned to nod and smile to get it over with.

      There’s also the terror of not getting it and being seen as defective. Not being able to explain is such a place of helplessness, especially with others effortlessly babbling away around you. Worst for me is the idea of not being able to find my way back. Maybe the idea of cheating carries the whisper of losing ourselves? It’s about who we are. Think I’ll stop there.

      • VanessaVaile  On January 18, 2014 at 10:38 AM

        Tying in with that — a key idea imo: too much depends on — is weighed down — by the expectations of others. Who we are should not depend on that.

        I’m still fussing with mine, which will probably be mostly free association rambling — all the less coherent by shoehorning the EVO in with it

      • scottx5  On January 18, 2014 at 12:02 PM

        Why do the expectations of others weigh on us so much? It might be an expression of concern or empathy from the other that our ego sees as intrusive? Since you’re I’ll solve this by admitting I’m more interested in being pigheaded than carrying the load of responsibility that comes with autonomy.

      • VanessaVaile  On January 18, 2014 at 12:08 PM

        does that mean,in other words, “follow bitching every step of the way”?

      • scottx5  On January 18, 2014 at 1:02 PM

        Left out the word “busy” in the sentence “Since you’re busy I’ll solve this…” Following, and bitching every step of the way is an attitude I’ve often had. It’s sadly a form of weakness, though it IS handy for passing authorship of problems onto others.

        Just occurred to me. Do you think we learn the wrong problem solving methods in school?

      • VanessaVaile  On January 18, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        handy and can be very satisfying

        maybe not so much wrong as led to believe they were the only ones — or at least the only ones of ‘value’


      • scottx5  On January 18, 2014 at 6:08 PM

        Funny when I think of school there isn’t any strict memory of being told what to do–more a chain of suggestions to seek options that worked within the system. And preference fell to those that didn’t.

  • jaapsoft2  On January 17, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    If learning and education is about becoming an adult, a person, how could one cheat? If being a human adult is the most important objective of education, what would cheating look like?
    Pretending to know is called cheating, pretending to be what is that? If someone pretends to be an careful adult and acts like a careful adult, how could we know he is not?

    • scottx5  On January 18, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      Jaap, from what I’ve read on pretending it’s not really a falseness. Like “cheating” though it carries meanings and emotional triggers that make it difficult to talk about. Have to think about this. What if school is pretending to be education and a path to becoming an authentic adult and it turns out to be just porridge with the lumps taken out?:-)

  • balimaha  On January 17, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    Scott, that was a beautiful post, and seemed to be expressing years of frustration and pain. I like your new definitions of cheating.
    I might have said this elsewhere: i benefited during my PhD from NOT being immersed in a formal learning context, i was a remote student. This meant i did not really know how others were doing educational research in my field (no access to colleagues or professors other than my supervisor, and only occasional access to him). Because of that, i figured out a way on my own and my ways of doing edu research is not traditional or named. It is something in between. I first used to think this was a shortcoming of my PhD education but now i think i am lucky not to have been indoctrinated into any particular approach and blinded to others (as happens to some people). Of course, in the end, i still had to justify it to some ppl to get a degree, so still not free of judgment
    Will stop here. Really enjoyed your reflections. You make some postmodern ideas in very clear language and your writing really touches me and makes me feel kind of guilty for being one of those ppl who were good at school and did not rebel for the sake of others who did not enjoy it as much as i did
    However, i do recognize that most teachers were nerds at aome point which makes it hard to reach non nerdy students:

    • scottx5  On January 18, 2014 at 12:29 PM

      Maha, not doing well in school interests me because I haven’t gone a year in my life without being enrolled in at least two courses in something or other. My wife thinks I may have had a learning disability and I’d be interested in having that tested. What I’m starting to believe has nothing to do with the teachers, administrators or any of the “people” part of the system but my sense of the falsehood in a system constructed of conclusions I was not allowed to help arrive at, only to faithfully repeat them.

      Being “allowed” to make up your own mind by those around is a gift I was given that didn’t apply to school. This seems to apply to your research methods too. I bet you resist being told things? Maybe on a level that seems almost irrational? Once you find out you can trust yourself, others need to be careful about TELLING you things.

      I don’t think there was deliberate intent to ignore or hurt me in school. It was just the institutional way of dispensing knowledge that made me feel invisible. I’ll check out your blog.

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