8 February 2004
In high school many writing assignments required one to submit an essay along with the first and second drafts. Every student I knew wrote the essay then regressed it to create plausible looking precursors. At the time I assumed that this was just a generational gap between the typewriter-using teacher and the wordprocessor-using students.
But subsequent experience indicates that this backwards process is endemic to all levels of education:
In each case the process is considered more important that the problem. Consequently the problem tends to become trivial; too trivial to be worth applying the process. Give a student a rigged problem, and one will inevitably get a rigged solution.