Author: Louise Raw
Posted: 15 Jan 2015
Estimated time to read: 2 mins
In life there are always shortcuts. Shortcuts can come in many forms, be that a cheat for a video game to get you to the next level, serious performance enhancing drugs, or as simple as being afforded with the option of a diet drink over 'full fat'.
Unfortunately, the mother of all shortcuts, aka cheating, is something that the majority of pupils will experience at some point during their 13 years in education, most innocently at their youngest when the concept is not fully cemented, and confusion can arise with the shift towards autonomous learning.
As students progress through school, so does the method and severity in which cheating is likely to take place, e.g:
- The problem students face, is when cheating begins to affect them later in life, and...
- The equivalent of plagiarizing at university or Insider Trading would have grave consequences
- An individual's self-esteem and self-perception becomes damaged or warped
- Educators are left to deal with difficult conversations and decisions time and time again.
So what can we each do to prevent cheating in school?
1. Parents: Mitigate The Motivation
As their earliest role models, you have the chance to set examples, not only by discouraging cheating, but by reducing the chance of them heading down this road. By instilling examples of praise and encouragement for effort given, rather than rewarding good grades and punishing poor ones, students can avoid feeling so under pressure that they have to take these measures.
2. Teachers: Stay Classroom Savvy
For many students, they may be peer-pressured into taking a photo of an exam question or passing their book over for copying. There are some methods that can not be avoided, but you can minimise the likliehood by removing smartphones from class tests and implementing exam seating plans frequently through the term. When exam time rolls around, it will be second nature for students.
3. Schools: Voice Your Policy
In terms of cheating, schools have the most difficult decisions to make. Suspending and excluding a student is not a decision to take lightly, but schools have a duty to ensure academic integrity. When it comes to the exam itself, students could be penalized by the exam board by having marks removed or by being disqualified altogether. Voice your school's policy to cheating frequently and thoroughly so that all students are aware of the consequences.
With both technology and cheating rife in education, it's vital that we address this head on from day 1. When it comes to acaemic integrity and securing a meaningful, lasting education, there really is no 'diet' option.