Thursday, October 1, 2009

IHEC Blog reviews "Cheating in School: What We Know and What We Can Do"

Cheating in School: What We Know and What We Can Do
Today on IHEC Blog I will be reviewing/highlighting a new book entitled Cheating in School: What We Know and What We Can Do by Stephen F. Davis, Patrick F. Drinan, and Tricia Bertram Gallant. Cheating in School is writtern by a distinguished group of authors and is published by Wiley-Blackwell. The table of contents are as follows:

· Chapter One: Cheating in Our Schools, Colleges, and Universities: A Critical Problem for the Twenty-First Century. Outlines how cheating is manifested and justified in the modern, competitive academic environment, and its long-term effects on personal and institutional character.

· Chapter Two: The Nature and Prevalence of Student Cheating. Pinpoints the history of the phenomenon, case studies and statistics, with an international cross-comparison.

· Chapter Three: Reasons for Academic Dishonesty—Situation, Disposition, and Changing Times. Explores the evolution of cheating behavior and the more deep-seated psychological issues which keep the behavior in play.

· Chapter Four: From Cheat Sheet to Text Messaging—The Evolution of Techniques. Considers different venues for cheating opportunities: classroom tests, lab reports, internet plagiarism and online classes in the context of cheating prevention.

· Chapter Five: Short-Term Deterrents—Strategies for Class, Labs, and Online Testing. Discusses detection methods, penalties, and deterrents for each of the venues outlined in the previous chapter.

· Chapter Six: Long-Term Deterrents—Development of Individual and Institutional Integrity. A focus on moral development and ethical solutions on both an individual and institutional level.

· Chapter Seven: The Call for Action and Wisdom—Conversations That Make a Difference. An emphasis on accountability and communication within institutions and at home, as well as the power of mentor-based models.

· Chapter Eight: Refining Our Tactics and Strategies. Proposal of different types of practical reform strategies (“crusading,” “challenging,” “modest, or “gestural”) that parents, teachers, and institutional leaders can practically implement.

· Chapter Nine: An Optimistic (and Provocative) Conclusion—Finding the Good in Student Cheating. Observations from experts including Newsweek’s Dr. Fareed Zakaria on the broad and powerful societal influences facing kids today, and how they can be used as a basis for creative and meaning-based learning.

Cheating in School does discuss the internationalizaiton of the academic integrity movement which is of particular interest to me of course. Davis, Drinan and Gallant emphasize that "internationalization of the academic integrity movement is virtually inevitable but its forms and variety of impacts are only now being anticipated...internationalization of the academic interity movement is the one whose direction is most uncertain yet may need to be upgraded to a strategy. Much reseach needs to be conducted on cross-cultural attributes before internationalization can migrate to the status of a strategy, however." I couldn't agree more that more research needs to be done in this area! Any doctoral students out there need a dissertation topic?

In sum, I found Cheating in School to be a good read and while I wish there was a bit more focus on the internationalization of the academic integrity movement and intercultural issues associated with academic dishonesty I recommend this book to both faculty and administrators who must deal with this issue in their work. You can order Cheating in School: What We Know and What We Can Do here.

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