Is cheating worse than it once was?
Good, thought-provoking commentaries are always a joy. “Why are Iowa high school graduates two years behind?” by Sue Atkinson, Ph.D., published on Monday, June 3, was excellent. Her analysis of problems in our education today is scary. Fingers can be pointed, but we all have to realize that some or many fingers point directly back at us.
Another avenue to explore that I consider “gaming the system” is by teaching to the test. Through that we have consistently taught students that cheating is OK if it gives you the results you want. Academic cheating today is prevalent. Actually, all types of cheating is prevalent. One of my nightmares grading research papers was plagiarism, which is not only cheating but stealing someone else’s material. Is cheating really worse than it once was?
Cheating includes a number of aspects and people cheat for various reasons. In truth, only well-developed personal integrity keeps us from cheating. We develop integrity from what we see, hear, and are taught. At some point we intertwine all of that into what we personally believe. Integrity is not a one-time thing; it is a policy that we live by and if we offend it enough, we create a lesser integrity.
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