Friday, April 8, 2011

Combating misconceptions.

Educators have a slight problem when it comes to Wikipedia. On the one hand, it is a quick place to find answers to some random questions that inevitably pop up in the minds of the curious or the forgetful. (What is "zeugma"? Will that be on the test?)

A common misconception among students is that the word "research" means "spending five minutes on Google". And "writing a research paper" means paraphrasing the first five items that pop up. 

Many teachers do not allow their kids to use Wikipedia as a source for research papers, though its reference lists can be a good place to find some sources.  The idea is to force them to actually look around for information from sources that carry some academic weight.

But, perhaps there is a place in the secondary education universe for Wikipedia after all:


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