What Should We Be Doing?

Each semester that I teach I give my students an assignment entitled “An Assignment on Academic and Scientific Integrity”.  As I wrote, it came about because I had an incident where two of my students cheated on a previous assignment.

Now, we have the incident at the University of Central Florida (see “Cheating and the Generational Divide”). 

I sort of chuckled when I first read it because it reminded me of an incident when I was a junior in high school and some of the seniors in one of the physics classes got hold of the upcoming physics exam and passed around the answer sheet to both sections.  I was offered a copy but refused it, in part because I probably understood that it was wrong but mostly because I hate memorizing.  The assumption then was that instructor would not know what happened; I don’t know what happened but the instructor did know or found out and switched the exam on them.  I presume that the incident in “Animal House” where something similar was done (with the exception of the dumpster diving) and the resulting fall-out were similar to what happened at my high school with those who used the faulty information.

But right now, I am not laughing.  The responses of some of the students at Central Florida, along with certain societal attitudes in general, beg the question, “Where should our children receive their ethics training?”  And it also asks the question, “What is the role of the church in all of this, especially if the young do not go to church?”

Your thoughts on the matter?

1 thought on “What Should We Be Doing?

  1. Your questions are good ones. As a college teacher, I see more and more lax attitudes about cheating. It is like doping in sports. The attitude has become that everyone does it. As long as you do not get caught, who cares? This has lead to something of an arms race as teachers try to devise better ways to catch or prevent cheating and students develop more elaborate ways to do it.

    The Chronicle of Higher Education has an essay this month by a writer who worked as a ghost writer for students. He said that among his least conflicted customers were seminary students. How does that happen?

    The article mentioned by John can be found at “The Shadow Scholar” — added by Dr. Tony on 11/19/2010

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