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Shadow Scholars
I just read this:

It's by an individual who writes for an on-line write-your-essay-for-you company.
It's brilliant.
I was particularly delighted with the writer's research methods but there are lots of little revelations to enjoy.
It's something that we all know happens but it's so cogently put that I've got to pass it along.

It also brings to mind just how interconnected and interdependent we are because this kind of parasite/host/symbiosis relationship exists everywhere and all the time and sometimes it's good and sometimes it's not. 
It happens in venues other than the one the author writes about.
But it's always happening.
So I've posted it in the Mirrors discussion as well.

A couple of extracts:
'You've never heard of me, but there's a good chance that you've read some of my work. I'm a hired gun, a doctor of everything, an academic mercenary. My customers are your students. I promise you that. Somebody in your classroom uses a service that you can't detect, that you can't defend against, that you may not even know exists."

'You would be amazed by the incompetence of your students' writing. I have seen the word "desperate" misspelled every way you can imagine. And these students truly are desperate. They couldn't write a convincing grocery list, yet they are in graduate school. They really need help. They need help learning and, separately, they need help passing their courses. But they aren't getting it.

What are your thoughts?
It's gripping.  I lectured in five Universities this side of the Atlantic so can report with some confidence that the system is ripe for abuse like this.  Teaching has become secondary to research in prestige and supplementary income, so neither the quality of the teaching nor establishing a relationship with students is valued by the intitutions.  However, they are also funded for student admissions and retention so it suits the instituiton to pass students at exam boards rather than fail them. 

Few teaching staff get to know students well enough to care if they are really understanding or not, students are not receiving help to learn study or writing skills, but at the same time 'education' as it is still called is currency for a career.  So turning to the shadow scholar makes perfect economic sense, especially, as he says, for the intellectually or linguistically challenged or the lazy rich.  

Needless to say it is tragic for the progress of the human race because these graduates going through have learned very little in terms of intellectual progress or self knowledge, but plenty about working the system.  Its not all bad news in universities of course , but the system has become far too shallow, cynical and (don't get me started) corrupt.  - Or is that just me going off on a rant again?.
Thanks for sharing that article, Linda. I was surprised at how widespread this practice seems to be. The implications are harrowing.
Thanks a ton Linda for sharing. As Spock says "it's fascinating".
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Latest Post: December 17, 2010 at 9:22 PM
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