The LA Times reports that cheating is going high tech. On You Tube there is a whole section of how to cheat on an exam videos. If the the paper is right that more than 60% of high school students have cheated, then we need to discuss what this all means.
The most recent survey conducted by the Josephson Institute, in 2006, found virtually no geographical or gender differences in the numbers of students who admit to cheating. Students attending parochial and private schools cheated at a slightly higher rate, as did varsity athletes. And there is anecdotal evidence that top-achieving students also cheat at higher rates, said Josephson.
Some students have come to believe that “everyone cheats”, citing Elliot Spitzer, Barry Bonds and Bill Clinton as examples.
“It’s a mistake to talk about school cheating without referring to society at large,” said Michael Josephson, founder and president of the Los Angeles-based Josephson Institute of Ethics, a nonprofit consulting and training firm. “We need to connect these dots and ask what is our attitude toward cheating, because kids are going to absorb that attitude. . . . And cheating learned in school is habit-forming.”
When I went to Princeton in the 60’s, the professor would leave the room during an exam because it was believed that the honor code that you signed on the bottom of your exam (“I pledge on my honor as a gentleman that I have not cheated on this exam”) was taken seriously. Today at USC, we use software like Turnitin to check most papers and exams for plagiarism.
To me, the very fact that I have to resort to this is depressing. What is going on?