FORT WORTH, Texas, May 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — If “winners never cheat, and cheaters never win,” then why is cheating among high school and college students skyrocketing?
Ask educators about underprepared students and they will tell of daily struggles, learning deficiencies, unsupported mental health issues, and structural failures in the broader education system. But ask about cheating students and the story shifts entirely—to dishonesty, lack of motivation, and disrespect for the honor system.
But are those two tales truly disconnected?
Inflection, the opinion, editorial, and news analysis journal of AcademicInfluence.com delves deeper into this dichotomy and the very real student desperation underlying the epidemic of academic cheating:
“Yes, cheating in school is morally wrong and ultimately works against a student,” says Dave Tomar, author of the article, and the managing editor of Inflection. “But what causes students to cheat is the more fascinating—and tragic—story. It’s one I know well because I spent a decade helping students cheat.”
Author of The Shadow Scholar: How I Made a Living Helping College Kids Cheat (Bloomsbury, 2012), Tomar worked as an academic ghostwriter before bringing widespread attention to the thriving cheating industry that undermines higher education. Writing under the pseudonym “Ed Dante,” Tomar dropped a bombshell on the world of education when The Chronicle of Higher Education published his article “The Shadow Scholar,” which formed the basis for a full-length book on the student cheating crisis. A decade later, the exposé remains among the journal’s most read articles.
“Why Students Cheat” explores the unprecedented pressures on students today and discusses the way that these pressures have transformed cheating from an academic taboo into a calculated risk that far too many students are willing to take. The article also covers current research aimed at reducing incidences of student cheating, including a look at peer support options and ways that educators can shift the educational focus away from competition and evaluation, and toward more meaningful learning experiences.
Inflection continues to confront difficult subjects in education today. Additional articles on scholastic cheating and attempts to game the higher education system include the following:
“Punishing the act of cheating without addressing its roots guarantees failure—not only for the student, but also for an education system so bent on personal success, it makes cheating an acceptable risk in the minds of some students,” says Tomar. “I hope this article will convince educators that more lies beneath the surface of a student’s cheating than simply a ‘bad kid’ or one who needs more discipline. The reasons for cheating are complex, because every student’s life situation is too. Discovering the personal reasons for cheating is the first step to a more holistic view of education and to healthier student outcomes.”
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