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WHICH IS THE REAL GOAL, TO FINISH AN ASSIGNMENT OR LEARN SOMETHING NEW?

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"Can you help me with some homework tonight?"

"Of course I can, but the question is will I help you with homework tonight.""OK then. Will you help me with my homework?"

"It's past bedtime for most sixth-graders. Why didn't you get at it earlier?"

"My brain was full and I had to wait for the knowledge to settle. Besides, all I have to do is a work sheet for geography. All the answers are in the book, but I need some help."

"Well you're in luck. You have a dad who is expert in geography. You know most kids aren't this lucky."

"The first question looks easy. `Marseille is connected to the Paris Basin by canals, railroad and highways.' True or False?"

"That's not too tough. What did it say in the book?"

"I haven't read the book yet."

"How do you expect to know the answers if you haven't read the assignment?"

"The answers are usually in bold type or I can find them by checking out the headings. The index is last resort."

"Do you really learn by just finding the answers?"

"Are you going to help me or not? I don't have time to read the chapter or listen to a lecture because you told me to get to bed and I have an assignment to do. Do you want me to fail?"

"I'd hate to think that reading the chapter would make you fail the class. Let me see if I can find the answer. Here it is on the first page, the exact words in the question. The answer is true."

"Good! It was on the first page. That means that the answers go in order on this one and I don't have to keep thumbing through the chapter. The next question says, `List four reasons why Paris has become such an important city.' "

"I can think of many reasons."

"Don't bother to make something up. Just find the answer in the book."

"But there are hundreds of reasons why Paris is important, not just four. I'll bet the encyclopedia has some good ideas about this. Let's look up Paris."

"You're making this difficult. Just find the answer in the book or I'll fail. Look for the bold type, a heading, or the caption under a picture. And hurry, we've been at this for 5 minutes now and I just remembered that I have to do a word search too."

"I don't want to make you fail, but the encyclopedia cost good money and has some good answers if you use it."

"But they aren't the right answers. I need to find the answer in the book. Quit wasting time and help me. Find four reasons why Paris is important. Sometimes they try to fool you by putting one answer in each paragraph, so just look at the first sentence in each paragraph after you find the heading that gives it away."

"OK. Here it says `Why Paris is Important.' "

"You've got the idea. Now read the first part of each paragraph and we've got it."

"I hate to interrupt your home work here, but are you really learning about Paris this way? You haven't read the chapter, and browsing for the answers seems more like playing a game than studying. I also know that encyclopedias have correct answers and good information. We could discover some good answers together."

"I'll do this part later myself if you don't understand it. Just help me find the names of these French cities on this page of letters. It's not too hard. All you have to do is look for the first letter of the city you are looking for and then look all directions from that letter."

"Does this teach you about France?"

"You just don't want me to pass."

"What I want you to do is learn."

"What's more important?"