Tuesday 2 September 2014

Adult learners' perspectives on cheating.

I had the pleasure of spending some time with Professor Diana Coben and Associate Professor Jenny Young-Loveridge on Monday.  I could spend hours with both of them as they each have so much knowledge and experience to share.  They also both have a wealth of interesting stories that I could sit and listen to all day.  If you ever get the opportunity to sit down with either of them over a coffee or cup of tea do so, it'll be one of the best insights into mathematics and numeracy education you can get.

In regards to adult numeracy Diana has been at the cutting edge for a long time and her involvement in adult numeracy across the globe is simply astounding.  If you are conducting research in adult numeracy you cannot but be amazed at the quantity and quality of the publications, projects and networks Diana has been involved in.  She really is inspiring.

We were talking about the attitude of many adult learners toward calculator use when Diana remembered having developed the poster below.  I asked her if she would mind if I could post it.  I thought it could be a great conversation starter with learners.  She wrote the following:

Here is the Cheating poster. Happy for you to include it in your blog.

It came about through a discussion with adult numeracy students in the East End of London, UK (Tower Hamlets Adult Education Institute) in the early 1980s. I was the tutor.

The poster came about entirely spontaneously. The words are those of the students themselves - spoken in that order by different students - one sentence each.

I said "Wow - write that down" and somebody did. Then one of the students who was also doing silkscreen printing in another class in the same building made it into a poster and we sold the posters for a while.

When the Numeracy Pack was published we used it on the back cover because it summed up so well how many adult numeracy students feel about cheating.

Best wishes


It would be very interesting to hear what opinions learners hold about calculators in your classes.  I've noticed that older learners have a bit of a bias against their use while younger learners have no qualms about it at all.

I really liked the "Cheating is pretending you understand when you don't".  Good to get that reaffirmed.

 Also, almost everything I know has been gleaned from the back of the book, with a process of working backwards to understand it.  Answer pages are not the enemy if you genuinely want to learn?  Thoughts?

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