Today, Mind/Shift highlighted the rising problem in academia of cheating. Professionals are asking is it the current demands and high stakes associated with grades that drives cheating, or the ease of access (with the internet and hand-held devices) simply making it easier to do so (and likewise, to catch perpetrators)?
Interestingly, thy find that cheating is a problem not just with students, but teachers and administrators. The recent scandal in Atlanta highlights the pervasiveness of academic dishonesty. If teachers are doing it, one can hardly be surprised that students are following suit. Additionally, the findings demonstrate the most cheating is done not by those students who are struggling, but far more by those in honors and advanced classes.
“I was in honors classes in high school because I wanted to get into the best schools, and all of us in those classes cheated; we needed the grades to get into the best schools.” – Anonymous Student, Psychology Today
So, what is behind this new culture of cheating? Is it simply that we talk about it more openly or that it truly has become more pervasive? I’ll admit, I always struggle with the issue of cheating as it is a feat I cannot fathom – I have never cheated on a test in my entire life. The idea of cheating on a test make me anxious and sweaty. In fact, I remember a time in middle school where I accidentally saw my neighbor’s answer on a multiple choice test. I wrote a note to the teacher on the exam stating what happened (I don’t remember the outcome). I really struggle with putting myself into the mind-set where cheating is a viable option.
To read more about the study and thoughts behind this issue, see the Mind/Shift article: “What’s Behind the Culture of Cheating?“