Week 22 Post (Catch up)

Apparently I did not post this week, although I clearly remember doing the reading, watching the videos, and even drafting a post. But…where is it? Okay, so I will start over. Oh, dear. It is end of the semester brain!

This image by Alec Couros really spoke to me bcause it gave me a very quick and immediate visual representation of all of the input and valubale sources we rely on to inform our decisions. I think this image is valuable for instructors and students! It also connected so well to Dean Shareski’s video, “Sharing: The Moral Imperative.”

Shareski’s idea that once we begin to think about protecting our work we become the very antithesis of what a teacher should be really made me stop and think. He said we lose our inner two year old! As children we share. We are taught to share. We also learn we should do it willingly and that behavior is positively re-enforced. Yet, as we grow older, we wonder, as he points out, “is it safe?” We begin to protect our ideas, our work, and somehow this leads us to think that people will steal what our ideas are. We re-enforce this concept by telling students not to cheat, don’t plagiarize, give credit where credit is due, and so on. All of those are powerful lessons, but I can see how they would also be viewed as “anti-sharing.” I’ll never forget in graduate school I took a composition class for future K-12 educators. The instructor was talking about plagiariasm and how different cultures view “sharing” differently. She provided an example of Chinese students who learn to work together because they view themselves as a unit. The idea that they could not use each other’s ideas was quite literally foreign to them when they came to America and were told in their college classrooms that sharing ideas between papers and students, wording, and so on, was considered plagiarism. This boiled down to a cultural distinction betwen the two countries and often led to much confusion for the Chinese students who had to learn to be individualistic and protective of work they normally would have willingly “shared.” Coming from that very individualistic American mindset myself, the idea that their own work as an individual creation was eye opening to me. I see this same idea coming forth again in “The Moral Imperative.”

Someone else said, and I’m sorry now I don’t remember who, that she loved this word “share.” The concept itself is so wonderful, and I agree! It is wonderful that we have become a sharing culture, and I think eduation needs to atch up with that. This week’s readings taught me how that was practical in an education setting!


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