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ERIC Number: EJ1221322
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0009-1383
Natural and Normal, but Unethical and Evitable: The Epidemic of Academic Dishonesty and How We End It
Stephens, Jason M.
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v51 n4 p8-17 2019
Epidemic is an apt adjective for describing the problem of academic dishonesty. When asked if they have cheated in the past year, a "disproportionately large number" (i.e., the majority) of secondary and tertiary students in the United States (and in every other country in which it's been studied) report having done so. The problem of academic dishonesty has been labeled "epidemic" since the 1980s, but research evidence suggests it had been so for many decades (Atkins & Atkins, 1936; Bowers, 1964). In addition to being "excessively prevalent," academic dishonesty is also "contagious"--seeing others cheat significantly increases one's likelihood of doing so. Academic dishonesty not only undermines students' learning and the validity of its assessment but also their moral development and character. Students who cheat in high school are significantly more likely cheat at university and more likely to be dishonest with their spouses and employers in adulthood. With this mind, educators--at all levels and in all roles--might ask themselves two basic questions: Why do so many students cheat? And what, if anything, can been done to abate the seemingly intractable problem? In this article, the author will answer both questions as he argues that academic dishonesty is "natural" and "normal," while also "unethical" and "evitable." In doing so, the author offers faculty, administrators, and policy makers a well-grounded explanation of the nature of cheating but also a clear articulation of why it's wrong and how the epidemic can be ended.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Administrators; Policymakers; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand