ERIC Number: EJ798973
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Who's Cheating Whom?
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v73 n5 p4-11 Jan 2008
Just about everyone agrees that cheating is bad and that steps need to be taken to prevent it. In this article, the author reconsiders what the term actually signifies and examines what leads students to do what they're not supposed to--and what that tells about their schooling. A fair amount of research has accumulated to illuminate the situations in which students "are" most likely to cheat and to help teachers understand the reasons they do so. First, when teachers don't seem to have a real connection with their students, or when they don't seem to care much about them, students are more inclined to cheat. Second, cheating is more common when students experience the academic tasks they've been given as boring, irrelevant, or overwhelming. To put this point positively, cheating is relatively rare in classrooms where the learning is genuinely engaging and meaningful to students and where a commitment to exploring significant ideas hasn't been eclipsed by a single-minded emphasis on "rigor." Third, when students perceive that the ultimate goal of learning is to get good grades, they are more likely to see cheating as an acceptable, justifiable behavior. The author concludes that outraged condemnations of cheating may turn out to have more to do with power than with either ethics or pedagogy. In the final analysis, perhaps what actually elicits that outrage is not a lack of integrity on the part of students so much as a lack of conformity.
Descriptors: Cheating, Educational Environment, Competition, Student Behavior, Plagiarism, Educational Quality, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Student Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A