As I have participated in and observed education over the past 25 years, my opinion on student cheating has evolved.
Originally, I believed that cheating in school was a sign of dishonesty and weak character. And with college and post-secondary students, I still lean that direction. But with K-12 students I don’t think that is generally the case. I think with children and adolescents it’s more a function of trying to please adults and/or meet expectations without adequate resources.
In other words, at least the student cares enough to cheat. Which means on a campus with rampant student cheating, the cheating is more of a symptom of a problem, instead of the problem. As such, don’t over-punish the symptom (a mild consequence is still warranted). Instead identify and cure the underlying cause, which invariably is adult and/or system driven.
Think. Work. Achieve.
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