Teaching: The Use & Abuse of the Cept

Q. What is a cept?

A. A cept is the smallest convenient unit of knowledge.

Q. Give an example of a cept.

A. I just did.

In their pursuit of academic excellence, the better liberal-arts teachers insist that their students read the original writings of the world's great thinkers and then take essay tests for comprehension of ideas rather than multiple-choice quizzes for recall of facts. This strains both the study time of the student and the grading time of the teacher¬óbut neither has ever been shy about seeking short cuts. And, sometimes openly, sometimes secretively, a shortcut device known as the "cept"...

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