Classroom Cheating - Why Students Do It
Apr 12, 2011 Classroom Management 2591 Views
Cheating in school is one of those things that really had no place in the earliest learning institutions, because there would have been no point to it. If you go all the way back to the time when tutors would teach individuals or small groups about what was known about the world at the time, the purpose of that process was just that the student would end up knowing whatever was being discussed.
He did not need to prove it to anyone in any official way, because the learning itself was the point. Anyone who was not interested or did not want to learn the material simply would not be tutored; he would go off and do something else. The idea of spending your time pretending to learn something and then trying to fake having learned it would have made absolutely no sense at all.
However, once schools became more formalized and standardized, and more particularly, mandatory, it became necessary to institute thing like quizzes and tests in order to find out whether or not students had actually learned what they were supposed to learn. Students had to be taught and appraised in much greater numbers, and it became necessary, for the sake of quality control, to find out how effective the teaching methods were and how hard the students were working to acquire the knowledge that was supposed to be imparted in the classes they were taking.
As soon as these standards were put in place, employers and higher institutes of learning were eager to use the results of that testing to find out which students were best qualified to be included in their programs and institutions. It was then that there started to be an incentive to be appear to know things that one did not really know. In other words, when test results became something that would determine whether or not someone got into a school or was offered a job, people wanted good test results, no matter the cost.
The fact that teachers have to worry about their students cheating now is something that had no place in the early days of school, teaching, and learning, and it is a shame that something as important as education has to be impeded by measures taken to avoid this problem. However, it is still important that teachers take steps to stop cheating from happening, because otherwise it will be the diligent and hard-working students who will suffer for the actions of their less honorable peers.
There are, of course, more practical ways of stopping cheaters. Teachers can be sure to walk around the room and try to pay attention to every student during a test, and take special care to make sure that no one is doing anything he or she should not be doing. Then, there is a higher level approach, which is to actually try to instill in the students a sense of honor and self-respect that stops them from wanting to cheat in the first place. That is the best way to tackle this age-old problem.