Cheating in Advantaged High Schools: Prevalence, Justifications, and Possibilities for Change

Ethics and Behavior 22 (5):378 - 399 (2012)
The current study explored high school student cheating in communities of advantage, gathering survey data from 4,316 high school students in upper middle class communities and qualitative data from a smaller group of students, school leaders, teachers, and parents. Results indicated pervasive cheating among students (93% reported cheating at least once and 26% of upperclassmen indicated cheating in 7 or more of 13 ways listed on the survey). Students described schools as lacking clarity or consequences regarding cheating and expressed feeling forced to cheat in a school culture that promotes getting ahead over learning. The discussion focuses on why advantaged contexts are ripe for student cheating and proposes strategies for change
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