Here's a slightly different perspective--and one that I think embodies
what our students go through (and that I have experienced trying to
prepare my own teaching dossier). It's an unfamiliar genre and there's
a lot of fear about "doing it right." It's not that we don't care
about our work, but that we want to share it in a way that's accepted
by the institution. I'm not convinced those job applicants that Rob
referred to thought of it as plagiarizing. I'm inclined they were
trying to fit in in the same way that we ask our students to. Hence,
the same results.
Quoting Russ Hunt <[log in to unmask]>:
> I've heard this before -- there was a fairly well publicized
> case a couple of years ago, of exactly this, as I remember:
>> When one person's dossier started to sound familiar, one of my
>> colleagues typed a phrase into google. He found the teaching
>> dossier as a "sample" offered by a U.S. University as part its
>> instructions on teaching dossiers. In all, we found four who
>> had partially or largely plagiarized from such sources.
> What struck me then, and seems even clearer now, reading Rob's
> account, is that this is directly, immediately parallel to our
> students in a way that the usual academic plagiarism for
> publication isn't. The person who did this didn't accept the
> validity of the demand for a dossier, thought dosssiers were all
> BS anyway, assumed it was all a sort of perfunctory filling
> requirements for some irrelevant outside authority, and didn't
> think twice about it. I even remember, in the case I first
> heard about, the perp saying something like, "well, my teaching
> is just like everybody else's; why would I try to tart up some
> clever way to say it myself? I believed what the person I took
> it from was saying."
> _Mutatis mutandis_, I think most of the students I've ever
> encountering who weren't just totally ignorant of what
> plagiarism _meant_ (and they're the overwhelming majority),
> would have said just what that faculty member said, and what I
> imagine the person Rob's talking about would have said.
> (I just had a look to see if I could find the case I remembered,
> and didn't -- but I did find the Waterloo "Guidelines for
> Teaching Dossier" which has as its first item a link called
> "Please read this information about Plagiarism before starting
> your teaching dossier." (
> http://www.trace.uwaterloo.ca/tacerteach.html ). Wow.
>> I suppose this is just another instance of the "game" and taking the
>> risk. The stakes were indeed high. We thoroughly checked the top 10
>> contenders. Several disappeared from our consideration.
> Yep, it's the game. Just like that term paper.
>> I would have thought that those writers would have had plenty of
>> exigence for their own ideas. Apparently not.
> It seems pretty clear that they didn't think anybody was likely
> to have an actual interest in their ideas about teaching -- just
> as our students don't believe anyone has an actual interest in
> their ideas about, well, whatever "topic" has been assigned.
> -- Russ
> St. Thomas University
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