Cheating is no doubt on the rise at all levels of education. I have seen parents with students as young as five doing their homework for them instead of making their child actually stop and try to figure out the answer on their own. The parents seem to want the student to get the work done as quickly as possible, NOT as accurately as possible or with at little help from them as possible. Does this mean that we as educators are assigning too much homework? Should rules be implemented about how much homework a school or teacher can assign? Is our attitude that letter grades, GPAs, and test scores are more important than actual learning and thinking? Possibly. But even if we agree that education needs to reform homework policies and reduce the significance of standardized testing, the fact remains that cheating in any form for any reason should be condemned. My students always say that cheating on homework is no big deal, but they wouldn’t cheat on a test. But does this mean it’s okay to cheat on a quiz in their minds? Project? Paper? And, isn’t this a slippery slope? Shouldn’t cheating in any form, in any way be absolutely prohibited and coined as morally and ethically wrong, even if its just a few homework math problems? Or am I alone in this thinking?
To further prove my point about rampant cheating and how it contributes to the overall helplessness of students, I just saw this video today about a cheating scandal at the University of Central Florida and a professor that is completely fed up with students that think its okay to cheat: http://news.yahoo.com/video#video=22902425. Not only does this report make me sad, but I can confirm that when I showed my students the video, more of them agreed with the mohawked interviewee who said everyone cheats in college and in life rather than siding with the interviewee who was disgusted by the cheaters and fellow classmates. I hope that we can get back to instilling pride in our children for a job well done instead of focusing on the grade or just getting things done as quickly as possible. If we encourage our children to do a good, quality job and emphasize that cheating on anything is just completely unacceptable (and severely punishable) from a young age, then the good grades will naturally follow because they will value hard work and be proud to be an independent thinker.
WESH. “Cheating Scandal Shakes UCF Business Class.” 8 November 2010. Web. 22 November 2010.