Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Clare Flowers- Cheating

Cheating in school has roots as long as a 100-year oak tree.  Since chalkboards recorded answers to the teacher’s questions, students tried to look over the shoulder of their neighbor in search of the right answer.  In an article from 2005 entitled “Cheating at School” published on www.Lawyers.com, it states 75 percent of students admitted to cheating in school and 90% admitted to copying another student’s homework or test paper.  Because students are not allowed to cheat via their cell phones or I-pads in the classroom, harsh consequences should be outlined in the school rulebook, underscored by the teacher’s syllabus and staff guidebooks.  More importantly, harsh punishments should be listed such as strike 1 the consequence is staying after school to take a different test, strike 2 could be a call to the parents along with the consequence of strike 1 and strike 3 should be a zero score for the assignment.  Some schools actually expel students for cheating.

“According to many studies, in between 80 and 95 percent of high school students admitted to cheating at least once in the past year and 75 percent admitted to cheating four or more times.” (NEA Today, December 2012 “What can be Done About Student Cheating?)  There is a lot of pressure on students to get good grades so cheating is one way to make it work.  Colleges require higher grade point averages for admission.  Less harsh punishments for cheating could be considered if the practice was not epidemic.  This could easily be put into place by asking students to move their desks farther apart, putting away their cell phones and I-pads or by working in teams.  Success would be depend on collaborative learning and teamwork.  

To me, cheating in the classroom will always be the case.  Harsh punishments do not necessarily stop the behavior, there is a lot of pressure to do well in school and students feel overwhelmed by pressure from their parents or teachers and punishments such as a zero for the class assignment or more severe like expulsion may lead to higher dropout rates or lack of motivation to better their lives.

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