Thursday, September 8, 2011
Rob Jenkins has a nice piece in the Chronical of Higher Education about the pedagogical issues surrounding plagiarism enforcement. An excerpt:
"Either you can be a teacher or you can be the plagiarism police. I choose to be a teacher. As such, part of my job involves catching the occasional plagiarist. When that happens, I chalk one up for the good guys. Otherwise, I don't worry about it. I find that I'm much happier and more productive that way. True, some students may 'get away with' cheating, for the time being, but I believe they'll get their comeuppance eventually."
The article was written, at least in part, in light of the experience of Professor Ipeirotis (NYU Business) who blogged about his dissatisfaction as a teacher serving in the plagiarism police role. Still, I'm not sure about the cosmic-justice theory of plagiarism enforcement that Jenkins espouses, especially in legal education. Working to detect and report unethical future lawyers, if not a duty, would seem to be at least a moral or professional requirement in law teaching.