Academic Dishonesty at PRHS increases; students unconcerned

By Sam Babb

T he rustle of paper as the exam is turned. Scratching of pencil as the scantron is filled, a peek here and glance there. Students stealthily copy the answers from a classmate. Cheating on the campus of PRHS is everywhere. Everyday students represent other’s work as their own.Babb_Cheating infographic bad

According to a study done by Stanford, a study was conducted in the 1940’s of college students about cheating in high school, only about 20% admitted to it. Now the game has changed, between up to 98 percent ofcollege students admit to some kind of cheating in their high school days.

From a survey of close to a hundred PRHS students found about 13% of  students admit to plagiarizing, about 55 percent say they’ve cheated on tests, and 87% confirm copying homework.

PRHS students, when responding to the survey given, answered the question, on a scale of 1-5 how wrong is it to copy homework? A 1 being “it’s no big deal” and 5 being “there is never a time to do so” A massive 82 percent ranked it 1-3 while the remaining 18% marked a 4 or 5. One survey taker expressed this thinking, 

“Cheating isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes you do the work all year but then there’s that one unit where you’re drowning in homework from other classes and you just didn’t have the time to study. It’s especially hard when you’re involved in sports or extracurricular activities. Time management is hard and it’s something that some of us haven’t figured out yet.”

Janice H2017_05_spring-story-hoy-close_babboy, a 12th grade English and AVID 11 teacher, who has been teaching for 11 years 3 of which have been at PRHS, said copying homework is “Detrimental to a student’s learning, and anyone who stoops to that level is denying themselves a learning opportunity.”

Hoy admitted there are times when copying homework can result in the learning of the subject, “It is possible, but it is very rare.  Th

ere are methods that involve copying down one’s own work in order to commit it to memory; however when a student hastily copies another student’s work, the learning opportunities are severely limited and practically non-existent.”

When asked about cheating on classroom tests, 56% of students said they had, while 44% said they had not. When asked to rank cheating on the 1-5 scale, 43% ranked it 1-3 while the majority of 57% reported it as a 4 or 5. In the survey students were asked to choose their top reasons for why they had cheated on tests. The most picked answer was I wanted/needed a good grade with a close second being I didn’t know the answer. A survey participant defended cheating on tests: “Cheating isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes you do the work all year but then there’s that one unit where you’re drowning in homework from other classes and you just didn’t have the time to study. It’s especially hard when you’re involved in sports or extracurricular activities. Time management is hard and it’s something that some of us haven’t figured out yet.”

Despite the claim of students, cheating remains to be a deconstructive aspect in the long a run according to Hoy.

“It cheats the cheater more than anyone else. They are cheating themselves out of learning, knowledge and opportunities to further their understanding of a subject’s implications in their lives.  Each time a student chooses to cheat, it is a decision not to learn a skill, concept, or idea, which leaves them with gaps in knowledge as they move on to college and/or the workforce.” 

The last aspect of academic dishonesty is plagiarism. According to the pole, 14% said they had plagiarized, while 86% said they had not. On the 1-5 scale plagiarizing was ranked as 1-3 by 27 percent while 73 percent said it was a 4 or 5.

When asked reasons for plagiarizing the most picked option was I didn’t know the subject. The next two were I didn’t want to do the work. And I didn’t think it was a big deal/it didn’t matter.

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