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Academic Integrity
Cheating has become rampant in America’s schools.  Research compiled by the School for Ethical Education and surveys from The Josephson Institute of Ethics have made two facts very clear:
  • A majority of high school students cheats at some point every school year.
  • Teachers can play an important role to reduce cheating. 

Students themselves want schools to do more to prevent cheating and promote academic integrity.

“I just think that if teachers made sure students understood the topic they wouldn’t feel the need to cheat, because everyone gets excited when they do well by themselves. And if that happens and if teachers really don’t want you to cheat, they should watch you more carefully.” - Student

“Cheating needs to definitely be taken more seriously in my school, I only have one teacher that checks desks before tests for notes that may be written there and that needs to change.” - Student

Here are several key recommendations that can be implemented in schools to promote academic integrity:

  • Clarify the teachers’ and schools’ commitment to core values that include integrity;
  • Teach for mastery learning and not just grades;
  • Pay greater attention when administering tests;
  • Have classroom-wide and school-wide discussions on the social impact of the presence or lack of integrity.
  • Develop honor codes and include students in this process.

These recommendations and more are described nicely in this two-page handout created by Jason M. Stephens and David B. Wangaard at the School for Ethical Education: Teaching for Integrity: Steps to Prevent Cheating in Your Classroom

David Wangaard, director of the School for Ethical Education, says that some simple steps can lead to increased academic integrity.

CEP Partners with the School for Ethical Education’s Academic Integrity Network to advance policies and activities that promote academic integrity as a character-education strategy in public, private or parochial secondary schools. Join this important Network for free to help develop academic integrity in our nation’s youth. Visit the SEE Website for more information and resources.

New Student Integrity Survey: SEE offers an academic integrity survey for students in grades 7-12 that schools can implement via Survey Monkey. The Academic Motivation & Integrity Survey (AMIS) is designed to provide school leaders information and analysis of student perceptions, beliefs and behaviors related to academic integrity in their school. Analysis of a completed AMIS creates a baseline of data for future comparison and meaningful information to guide the school community in strategies to advance academic integrity. Click here for more information on the AMIS.

Additional Resources:

Resources & Articles—The School for Ethical Education has compiled a variety of resources and articles which are of interest to the topic of Academic Integrity in schools. Integrity Works! Resources & Articles

Creating a Culture of Academic Integrity: A Toolkit for Secondary Schools—This toolkit includes a CD and reproducible handouts. It is available for purchase.

Strategies to Resist Plagiarism is an e-lesson in two parts that can be completed in a school computer lab or as an online homework assignment. It is recommended for high school students.