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Are parents setting the wrong example for their children?Historically, sociologists and psychologists have studied cheating behavior under the classification of aberrant or deviant behavior.
Editor's Note: Gary Niels is Head of Winchester Thurston School in Pittsburgh and the author of a very useful paper on cheating entitled Academic Practices, School Culture and Cheating Behavior. "' Everybody does it.' ' Unrealistic demands for academic achievement by state education boards.' ' Expediency or the easy way out' are some of the reasons students cheat. " The first thing to recognize about cheating is that the vast majority of young people (and adults for that matter) believe that cheating is wrong.
Yet, by nearly every poll, most young people cheat at least once in their high school career.
Don't let peer pressure and other influences steal your dream.
If you are caught, cheating has serious consequences.
Years ago cheaters lifted whole passages from an encyclopedia and called them their own. Plagiarism's newest incarnation is dead easy: you simply point and click your way to the site with the relevant information, swipe and paste it, reformat it somewhat and it's yours. You can quickly find a site which provide a paper for a fee.
Or go to a chat room and swap papers and projects with students nationwide.I am not a psychologist, but I believe there is a mechanism within each of us which triggers a need to "save face." Saving face can mean a desire to save oneself from the angry assault of a parent or teacher; it can mean avoiding embarrassment; it can mean economic survival or a perceived pressure be it self-inflicted or inflicted by some other extraneous force.Nowadays, college acceptance is the major instigator of this survival instinct.Educators really have no option but to produce the best possible results.To do that they must teach solely to the test or else.Private schools which devise tests requiring written answers rather than multiple guess answers discourage cheating.It's more work for teachers to grade, but written answers do eliminate an opportunity for cheating.Of course, the survival instinct isn't the only reason young people cheat.They might cheat because they find a lesson or a course to be meaningless -having no perceived relevance to their lives.The best antidotes for cheating are teachers who fill children with a love of learning, who impart some idea of life's possibilities and who understand that assessment is merely a means to an end, not the end itself.A meaningful curriculum will shift the focus from learning boring lists of irrelevant facts to exploring subjects in depth.