March 11

Cheating

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Blog | 9 Comments

I read this article on MSN today about students cheating:
http://momshomeroom.msn.com/?topic_id=2&section_name=InfoList&section_id=17917819&source=hp
(Yes, I know its from a page called “Mom’s Homeroom” and I assure you I don’t frequent the site).
I was likely drawn to it as I have suspected several of my college students of cheating this semester.
The article talks about the overwhelmingly high numbers of students who admit in a survey that they have cheated. And what’s more, they don’t feel much guilt about it.
I’m wondering if we are as a culture moving in a direction of “the ends justifies the means,” which results in doing whatever it takes to make things easier and more profitable.
It seems all you have to do when caught is express remorse, and all is forgiven. Perhaps the younger generation is grasping this, and seeing little cost to cheating.
Anyhow, I welcome any comments on the article or on cheating.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 11th, 2009 at 8:36 AM and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 Responses to “Cheating”

  1. Cynthia on March 11th, 2009 at 10:31 AM

    I think cheating is something they dont feel guilty because they see it as “everyone is doing it”. All throughout high school teachers say, “If I catch you cheating you will be suspended” but I think they let many students get away with it. Some of my teachers said that if they caught someone cheating, they would come tear their test up, but it never happened and I saw people cheating, switching tests and everything, I’m pretty sure the teacher saw that. So Students dont take it seriously.

  2. William Berry on March 11th, 2009 at 12:45 PM

    Thank you for your comment. But I’m curious as to how it has become this way. The article suggests more than half of students admit to some sort of cheating. In this book I read the author (Helgoe) suggested (and I am generalizing here) that the cessation of a negative behavior is supported initially by consequences (test getting tore up, an F, shame, etc.) but later by an attraction to higher values. I am certainly attempting to take his specific statement and generalize it to other negative behaviors. But I believe that acting in a more positive fashion, in this case not cheating when the opportunity presents itself, at times is a result of wanting to be true to yourself, or to some moral standard you hold. If that is the case, is this higher value of self lacking in what this article presents as high percentages of today’s youth?

  3. Chet on March 11th, 2009 at 3:15 PM

    You know, I think it’s a very touchy issue. When I was younger (early HS), I already had strong skills in certain subjects, particularly English, Algebra, and Science. This was probably from the level of challenge that I had in middle school.

    As I entered high school, I didn’t see the point of having to do busy work that I already knew. Why do this when I could spend the time learning something that I’m genuinely interested in? In my case, it was web development. So, if I copied a brainless busy work assignment, I felt no remorse at all. I never cheated on tests and never will. That’s “real” measurement of mastery in a course I think. Mathematics and science aside, I still don’t think tests gauge mastery as well as they should. I digress.

    I know the issue is far larger than my scope of it. I’ve actually told a few of my teachers and professors, and the funny thing is that they have reciprocated similar stories.

    Nonetheless, now standing as a senior in college, I am learning what I am here to learn and therefore don’t need to scratch as much time as I need from class. I have a new job as well that’s stimulating to my desired area of work. I guarantee that in the field I’m in now, you won’t pass by cheating. So, the question I ask for someone analyzing my situation:

    What effects (if any) did cheating have on my education? Did it hurt my growth? Did it affect the growth of others? Or is my feeling of no remorse warranted?

    I already have my answer, but I’m wondering what other people may think.

  4. William Berry on March 11th, 2009 at 3:38 PM

    You know Chet, its interesting that the article I referred to in the post is actually billed on MSN as “Why Student Cheating has an Upside.” It seems to relate to your question for others, as well as your feeling that copying a busy assignment freed you up to study subjects you enjoyed more. But didn’t it also free you up to hang out, play video games, or otherwise do things you found more pleasurable than studying, or writing, or otherwise doing what you determined (and might very well have been) menial tasks?
    I am also interested in what others think. I also feel this relates to the article about drugs and sports http://www.wmberry.com/articles/sports-drugs-and-americas-drug-problem/#more-130 and how most who replied were more upset with Alex Rodriguez using steroids (cheating) than Phelps use of marijuana. Hopefully we will continue to get feedback on this topic.

  5. Chet on March 11th, 2009 at 4:08 PM

    You know, in the beginning of high school, maybe it did free up more time for video games and hanging out with my friends. Thing is, I didn’t play many video games in those couple of years and I went to school 2 cities away from where I lived. Therefore, I didn’t hang out with my friends much. The kids in town here were very immature and did things such as lining street gutters with newspapers that would fly up when cars drove by and other stupid antics.

    In my free time, I studied martial arts and was a part of computer club for those two years. Around junior year, I’d say “senioritis” started to kick in. I didn’t even bother with the busy assignments because I knew my papers and test grades would make up for it.

    It seems that I never (perhaps “rarely”) cheated to merely not do work, but rather to be more productive. When I did get heavily involved with video games, I would always do my homework and all of that first. Often times I wouldn’t even start playing video games until 10:00pm and fall asleep sometime around 4:00am. It was nice that my parents woke me up and had to drive me to school, where I would sleep most of the day, come home and nap for a couple ours, do my homework, study, and the entire cycle over and over again.

    I certainly had an interesting experience in high school. Perhaps I should personally blog about it a little. Then again, I don’t want to give teenagers any bad ideas that they can’t handle.

    I think the article drives a good point about showing students how information can be meaningful in the future. I think its very important, but in many of my cases, I really don’t think that was an option. Take, for instance, the constellations in the galaxy. OK, it was cool and I memorized them, but if I’m not going to be an astronomer or an astrologist, what does it really mean to be other than neat coincidences of star patterns in space?

    I think my personal learning was mostly facilitated via open discussion and debate, with key points thrown in by the teacher. I like when a teacher plays devil’s advocate and knows how to play both sides.

    I know that went a bit off task, but I thought that was interesting in the article and wanted to share my opinion on that.

  6. William Berry on March 13th, 2009 at 12:53 PM

    A friend who read the previous article (but for some reason hasn’t commented) sent me the link for a related article about cheating:
    http://www.newsweek.com/id/188953?GT1=43002
    In this article an experiment about college students cheating was conducted. An interesting outcome was when an actor posing as a student cheated and got away with it, cheating among the other students went up. However, when the actor wore a T-shirt from a rival school cheating went down from the previous study.

  7. Dishonesty and “I Love You Man” | Blog | WmBerry.com on March 22nd, 2009 at 10:35 AM

    [...] my blog I reference an article on students cheating  that discusses the alarming number of students who do [...]

  8. William Berry on February 2nd, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    I recently received a heads up to this article, which is interesting in regard to cheating. I especially like the business school story.
    http://onlinedegreeprograms.org/blog/2010/top-10-cheating-scandals-in-college-history/

  9. Your crack and keygens on June 30th, 2013 at 9:11 AM

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    The problem is something too few men and women are speaking intelligently about.

    I’m very happy that I came across this in my search for something regarding this.

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