Is cheating on the increase in schools?

Cheating on a massive scale has been exposed at some of the nation’s most prestigious schools that include Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, the Air Force Academy and even Harvard. There will always be students who cheat to pass exams said but a larger number of students now resort to cheating to succeed and get higher grades. Students have become more competitive, are under greater pressure than before to get the highest grades possible.  Teachers say the reasons are quite simple: Cheating has become easier and more widely tolerated, and both schools and parents have failed to give students strong, repetitive messages about what is allowed and what is prohibited. Moreover, there is evidence that the problem has worsened over the last few decades.

The Internet has helped in making cheating much easier, making it possible for students to get answers immediately, for consulting with others and content that they can plagiarize. Research carried out over decades has shown that a major factor in unethical behavior is simply how easy or difficult it is. The Internet has created new attitudes because it has opened up a world of instant downloading, searching, cutting and pasting which has done away with any concepts of ownership and authorship. Besides an increased insistence on having students work in teams may also be responsible. Several research studies have proved that frequently stressing standards to both students and teachers can reduce cheating but which most schools fail to do so.

During the last few decades the sense of ethics has seriously declined, mainly because of a culture that wants success, however it is attained. Students simply have no ideas about what constitutes plagiarism or cheating and it has been found that the more online tools college students were allowed to use to complete an assignment, the more likely they were to copy the work of others. Institutions have miserably failed in making limits clear and consistent, of educating students about them, of enforcing them, and of giving teachers a clear process to follow through on them, In the programs that colleges run to help new students make the transition from high school, students are counseled on everything from food to friendships, but little or no time is spent on cheating.

Studies of student behavior and attitudes show that most students breach principles of academic honesty to some degree, and that high achievers are just as likely to do it as students who are average in their studies.   Very few schools stress upon honesty academic or otherwise, and colleges are even more unconcerned than high schools. Studies carried out all over the country, have found that most college students view cooperating with other students even when it is not allowed as a minor offense or no offense at all.. And most high school teachers and college professors surveyed fail to pursue some of the violations they find.

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