Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Epidemic Of Student Cheating Can Be Cured With Changes In Classroom Goals

Date:
August 12, 2009
Source:
Ohio State University
Summary:
Schools have the ability to drastically reduce cheating among their students -- all they need to do is follow the relatively simple and inexpensive solutions suggested by research, an expert says.

Schools have the ability to drastically reduce cheating among their students – all they need to do is follow the relatively simple and inexpensive solutions suggested by research.

"We know when kids cheat, why kids cheat and how kids cheat," said Eric Anderman, a recognized expert on student cheating and professor of educational policy and leadership at Ohio State University.

"We know how to motivate kids so that they are much less likely to cheat. The only problem is that what we know about reducing cheating often isn't put into practice in schools," Anderman said.

Anderman discussed the latest research on cheating in schools and how to eliminate it during his presidential address August 8 at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in Toronto.

Anderman is ending his term as president of APA's Division of Educational Psychology.

There's no doubt that cheating among students is widespread and has been growing. In some studies, up to 80 percent of high-achieving high school students and 75 percent of college students admit to cheating, a percentage that has been rising the past 50 years.

In one study, Anderman and his colleagues found that 21 percent of students who say that cheating is "unacceptable" still engage in cheating behaviors.

"What we know for sure is that students cheat a lot," Anderman said. "Parents don't think their kids will do it, but many do. I've seen that in my research, and also in the time I spent as a teacher."

Studies have shown that boys cheat more than girls. Students with high-driving "Type-A" personalities are more likely to cheat. And there is little relationship between cheating and moral development, research shows.

New research by Anderman and his colleagues finds that students with impulsive tendencies are more likely cheat.

In two studies from 2004, Anderman and his colleagues found that cheating also tends to increase when students make the transition from elementary school to middle school, and then again from middle school to high school.

That's not surprising, he said.

"During those transitions, teachers start changing how they talk to students. While earlier in school, teachers emphasize how learning is fun, as students get older teachers begin saying things like 'Now it's serious. Your grades matter.' That's directly related to cheating," Anderman said.

Anderman said how teachers present the goals of learning in class is the key to reducing cheating. But this is the knowledge that is rarely put into practice in classrooms.

Research has consistently shown that cheating is more likely to occur in classrooms that focus on performance – getting the best possible grades, doing the best on tests.

Cheating is less likely to occur when the goal for students is "personal mastery" of the material – in other words, learning and understanding what is being taught.

Federal mandates under "No Child Left Behind," with its emphasis on test scores, send exactly the wrong message to students and teachers and actually encourage cheating, Anderman said.

"These standardized tests aren't going to go away, but we don't have to talk about them in the classroom as the ultimate outcome and goal," he said.

"This produces anxiety and stress in both teachers and students, and that's what leads to cheating."

Ironically, students may actually do better if the focus in classrooms was on personal mastery and not on the tests. Students will learn better, remember the material longer, cheat less, and still do just as well, if not better, when they do standardized testing, according to Anderman.

Schools should work to help teachers change the goals in classrooms from test-taking to mastering the materials, and help them communicate effectively to their students.

"It doesn't help when teachers always talk about 'the test' and reminding students that something 'will be on the test.' The goal should be learning, and not test-taking," Anderman said.

"You can change the goal structure in classrooms. If you change that, you will likely reduce cheating."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University. "Epidemic Of Student Cheating Can Be Cured With Changes In Classroom Goals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810025249.htm>.
Ohio State University. (2009, August 12). Epidemic Of Student Cheating Can Be Cured With Changes In Classroom Goals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810025249.htm
Ohio State University. "Epidemic Of Student Cheating Can Be Cured With Changes In Classroom Goals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810025249.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A 19-year-old computer science student has been arrested in relation to a data breach of 900 social insurance numbers from Canada's revenue agency. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins