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We Can Stop Kids From Cheating in School By Eliminating the Need

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As a high school teacher, I’ve seen a lot of cheating. So much, that I’ve concluded most adults don’t realize how many kids, even otherwise good and honest kids, cheat in school.

If you think of cheating as simply acting unfairly or dishonestly to gain an academic advantage, many people reading this column might remember their own experiences cheating. Whether you actively sought to cheat, or the opportunity simply landed in front of you, many of us can recall at least one occurrence with vivid detail. Your heart raced, your palms sweated, and you felt that undeniable sinking in the pit of your stomach, all due to the fear of getting caught. Yet you still did it.

But why? Why continue the act even when the body sends all the signals identical to a near-death fight-or-flight response? For some, it may be for the sheer thrill. But I argue most people who are tempted to cheat choose the better of two evils, both connected to failure.

Today, more so than when you and I were teens, the pressure to excel is unbearable. From the parents who demand it and the peers competing for it, the colleges that require it and the “influencers” who embody it, the pressure to be perfect has become the driving force for many students. And when the need to maintain perfection trumps the actual learning that occurs, you’ll begin to override your body’s natural warnings.

Our kids cheat because they fear the consequences of failing. So many are raised in a bubble, completely protected from failure. Any time it may have approached, those around them, who love them very much, happily deflected that failure for them. So a disproportionate number of adolescents truly feel they are geniuses, that they can do no wrong.

Unfortunately, an educator’s job is to confront his or her students with challenging obstacles to overcome, and they won’t deflect that failure. This forces our inexperienced youth into a corner, and many react by ensuring their success by any means necessary.

I’m one of these educators, and I absolutely challenge my kids, but I made a decision a few years back that completely changed the culture of my classroom: I eliminated the need to cheat.

I made the decision that the goal of my science class was to learn and appreciate science. From that day, I recognized that to pull these anxious kids from the corner they’ve been trapped in, I had to entice them back to the center. I had to establish an environment that eliminated the fear of failing, and I did it with a few very basic but powerful methods.

First, I eliminated due dates within a unit and moved to a mastery grading model. There are many varieties of this, but in my model, the kids receive a list for the unit describing the tasks to be mastered by test day. For every activity, the kids were encouraged to copy from each other and work together, but their grades came from 30-second conversations I had with each student, when I’d ask a variety of questions to gauge their mastery on the topic. Completing an assignment meant nothing if it couldn’t be verbalized, so the kids quickly learned that copying without understanding was a waste of time in my class.

Then, I encouraged cheat sheets. I let students write or draw anything they’d like on the front and back of a 3-by-5 notecard. The card had to be hand-written and turned in with the test. Many teachers may argue that doing so would invalidate their tests, to which I say, if your kids can write the answers to your tests on a notecard, you write bad tests.

We’ve worked hard to build high-level questions that require students to expand beyond the basic content from a notecard, and the sheer process of internalizing and paraphrasing an entire unit into such a small space encourages that level of critical thinking for our kids; moving beyond comprehension and into application. Plus, I save their notecards and return them before semester and state exams, providing the most personalized, hand-written summative reviews they could ever create.

Finally, after taking the test once on their own, I let them take it again, this time in groups. After grading the exams, I assign them in homogeneous groups; As in one group, Bs in another, etc., but I don’t tell students their scores. Then, I hand them back their original exams to take again. They don’t know which questions are correct, so the intellectual debates that happen over each question are incredible. When they resubmit, the group score is averaged with a student’s individual score.

Of course, there are those who say we need to teach our kids responsibility, to prepare them for the real world by not allowing late work, cheat sheets or group corrections. But it’s these classrooms where cheating is rampant, and it’s specifically because no recovery is possible.

As for tests, consider what every major exam over the course of someone’s professional career has in common: SAT, ACT, CPA exams, MCAT, LSAT, teaching certifications. You can take all of these multiple times for full credit. So where did this fallacy begin that somehow my biology exam is more pertinent to their lives and future success?

In a world that’s constantly demanding risk-taking and creativity, we cannot continue to produce robots of compliance and task completion. As a young gymnast develops her technique, she rehearses in an environment developed to safely take risks, with balance beams low to the ground and foam pits into which she can fall.

So, too should be the goal of every classroom. When kids see that failure is recoverable, the demand to succeed the first time, by any means necessary, is eliminated, and they finally have the freedom to take a leap.

By: Ramy Mahmoud

Ramy Mahmoud is a lecturer at the University of Texas at Dallas Teacher Development Center, a high school science department head in Plano and a two-time TEDx speaker. He wrote this column for The Dallas Morning News.

Source: https://www.dallasnews.com/

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It’s Official: The MBA Degree Is In Crisis

Graduating MBA students this year have had no trouble landing very good jobs. In most cases, starting pay has hit record levels and placement rates for schools are at or near records as well.

Yet, for the second consecutive year, even the highest ranked business schools in the U.S. are beginning to report significant declines in MBA applications and the worse is yet to come, with many MBA programs experiencing double-digit declines. Last year, the top ten business schools combined saw a drop of about 3,400 MBA applicants, a 5.9% falloff to 53,907 candidates versus 57,311 a year earlier (see Acceptance Rates At The Top 50 Business Schools). The University of Michigan Ross School of Business experienced the worst drop, an 8.5% decline from 3,485 to 3,188 apps. Harvard fell 4.5%, UC-Berkeley Haas 7.5%, Wharton 6.7%, Stanford 4.6%, and Booth 8.2%.

“For the second consecutive year, the top ten schools all saw significant declines in applications,” says William Boulding, dean of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. “I have been hearing that some schools in the top ten are in double-digit territory so I think it is going to be worse than last year when all is said and done.”

The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School just announced that applicants for its fall 2019 intake numbered 5,905, down 5.4% from 2018 and 11.8% from the school’s all-time high of 6,692 in 2017. It was the first time in at least eight years that apps dipped below 6,000 at Wharton, and it corresponded with the lowest international student intake — 30% — in at least that span.

NYU’s Stern School of Business applications for its latest incoming class declined by more than 5% to 3,518 from 3,718 the prior year (see Average GMATs Up Five Points At Stern). Along with the previous year’s 3.7% drop in apps, the fall pushed the school’s acceptance rate to 26%, a three percentage point increase from 23% a year earlier. It also had an impact on the school’s entering class size of 359, down slightly from the 370 enrolled the previous year.

“The MBA market is in dire straits right now,” concedes Andrew Ainslie, dean of Rochester University’s Simon School of Business. “The joke among deans is that ‘flat is the new up.’ If we can just hold our numbers, that is an incredible achievement.” Ainslie says that when he meets with fellow deans, “half of our discussion is, ‘What are you doing about your MBA program?'”

Ainslie recently participated in an accreditation review at a leading business school and was shocked to find that its full-time MBA program now gets only three applicants for every enrolled student. “Most of us feel we need to make three offers to get one student” says Ainslie. “So once you get there that means you are making offers to just about everyone. And this is at a school that is an internationally known brand.”

Ainslie predicts that 10% to 20% of the top 100 MBA programs in the U.S. will likely close in the next few years, with even greater fallout among second- and third-tier schools. Just three months ago, University of Illinois’ Gies College of Business became the latest school to announce that it is getting out of the full-time, on-campus MBA market.

Simon saw its application volume remain stable this past year, largely because last year it become the first U.S. business school to gain full STEM designation for its full-time MBA program.  The change allows international students to apply for an additional 24 months optional practical training (OPT), which helps to bridge the gap between a student visa and a work visa. “We thought we would be in an incredible position with STEM. Given the news I’m hearing from everyone else, I am very happy being flat,” sighs Ainslie.

Deans attribute the decline to a confluence of factors that include a strong U.S. economy, which is keeping more people in their jobs, as well as uncertainly over work visas by international students who also have been scared off of coming to the U.S. due to anti-immigration rhetoric. Also playing a role is the rising cost of the degree and cannibalization of the full-time MBA market by the success of undergraduate business degrees, online MBA programs, and specialized master’s programs in such business disciplines as finance, accounting, analytics, marketing, and supply chain management.

MBA application volume, of course, goes up and down in different economic cycles. Typically, recessions bring a rebound as career opportunities diminish and more professionals seek to ride out a downturn in graduate school. In fact, says Ainslie, he hears fellow deans also joke that ‘All we need is a nice little recession.’ We are about the only people in the world who like a recession,” he says. “We think it will still be good enough for us.”

But when the next recession comes, he expects only a temporary and more mild bounce back in applications than history would suggest. Ted Snyder, who just left the deanship of Yale University’s School of Management, agrees with him, citing the high cost of the MBA degree as a reason why a recession won’t lead to double-digit jumps in application volume.

“Having followed along with annual increases in tuition rates at two percent above inflation for more than 25 years,” adds Snyder, “many schools have found themselves in a tuition trap in which they cannot find a market for their programs. I think the number one thing (holding back a rebound) is the high price so I don’t see how a recession is going to have a great effect. Schools have to stop raising the price.”

It’s not all bad news, of course. “The positive side of the news is that this is causing us to do some really interesting new product development,” adds Ainslie. “The online market is really maturing and there are some excellent offerings out there. Master’s programs in business are slowly moving from a product solely for international students to domestic students. We are seeing the demise of the MBA but we are still getting a lot of students in different degree programs.”

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I’m the editor-in-chief of Poets and Quants, the most read and most popular provider of information on business programs in the world. Our main website, PoetsandQuants.com, has been visited by nearly 100 million people and is updated daily with a wealth of admission and career statistics, school profiles, breaking news and long-form features on programs, students, faculty and alumni. Earlier in my career, I was editor-in-chief of Fast Company and executive editor of Business Week.

Source: It’s Official: The MBA Degree Is In Crisis

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MIT Awards $1 Million To Most Innovative Future Of Work Organizations In The World – Devin Cook

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The MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy has announced the four global grand prize winners for the 2018 MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC). The winning organizations were selected by the IIC Champion Committee from 20 Regional Winners in Latin America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. All were vetted after a year-long search for the most innovative, impactful, and scalable future of work solutions on the planet. from more than 1,500 global registrants by in-region experts and chosen by Selection Panels at regional celebrations this summer…………

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/gradsoflife/2018/11/15/mit-awards-1-million-to-most-innovative-future-of-work-organizations-in-the-world/#4847d4c2668a

 

 

 

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Read more: https://qz.com/1441113/why-singapore-is-so-good-at-english/

 

 

 

 

 

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Sitting in a fluorescently lit conference room dressed in a pressed gray work shirt, jeans and gray suede sneakers, Jeff Maggioncalda, the tightly wound 49-year-old CEO of Coursera, doesn’t touch his plate of plain spaghetti, edamame and artichoke hearts from the company cafeteria. By the end of our hour-and-a-half lunch meeting, he is still talking nonstop…….

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2018/10/16/this-company-could-be-your-next-teacher-coursera-plots-a-massive-future-for-online-education/

 

 

 

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Teaching Kids About Boundaries and Consent – Bonnie J. Rough

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As a growing number of #MeToo and #WhyIDidntReport stories have put a new focus on childhood sexual abuse, parents may have an urgent sense that they should frame conversations with their children about their bodies as safety lessons. But doubling down on warnings is the opposite of what children really need. In researching my new book about how gender equality begins with great sex ed, I learned that teaching what’s good about bodies, sex and love is actually what gives children a secure sense of body sovereignty, boundaries and consent.Children who feel confident in their body knowledge may be quicker to identify when something is awry, and those who learn empathy and egalitarianism less likely to cross another person’s boundaries……

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/27/well/family/the-new-birds-and-bees-teaching-kids-about-boundaries-and-consent.html

 

 

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via The Top Five Parenting Hacks You Never Knew You Needed — I’m Sick and So Are You

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