Cheating or Teaching in School?

Cheating or Teaching in School?

Often, many students don’t know the difference between teaching each other and cheating.

Unknowingly, they commit academic dishonesty, but claim they were showing a classmate how to do it.

Academic dishonesty and cheating are not showing and teaching.
Many students are cheating without knowing it, but they think that they’re showing each other what to do.
Without a doubt, as parents, you should be on the lookout for students, “working together,” which is on the rise with on-line schooling.
  • First, ask if the teacher designed the assignment as individual or group work.
  • Second, if it’s individual work, be sure that your child completes it alone.
  • Third, if it’s group work, ask about how each person in the group is graded.
  • Next, if the grading is individual, then each student has specific responsibilities to the group.
  • If it’s purely a group grade, then showing each other what to do is O.K.
  • Lastly, feel free to email the teacher, if you have doubts, and/or if your child isn’t forthcoming with information.
Cheating is an easy trap to fall into.

Obviously, there are the most blatent forms of cheating, like copying answers during a classroom test.

However, a lot of students down know that if they let another student copy, that they are just as guilty of academic dishonesty.

Also, for writing assignments and research papers, many students don’t know what plagiarism is.

In winter of 2020, Stanford University published useful statistics about cheating in high school and college.

Academic dishonesty is easy to commit, if students don't know the difference between copying answers and showing each other what to do.
As early as elementary school, parents should be showing their children the difference between cheating, and teaching other students how to do something.
Often, parents don’t know how to teach, so they end up giving their children the answers, which is cheating.
For example, if your child asks you for help in math, here is what to do:
  • First, before you answer any questions, get clear on the expectations and the goals of the assignment.
  • In other words, Ask yourself, “What does my child need to know, and how does s/he demonstrate this knowledge?”
  • Also, imagine yourself as the student in the class, and see if you can understand what to do.
  • Once you understand the type of problem, create an example that’s not in the homework, and have your child do it.
Here is what NOT to do. . .
  • Don’t misinterpret your child’s confusion or upset around the assignment.
  • Commonly, students create a big fuss, and their parents react by doing the work for them.
  • Next, don’t tell them that they should be able to figure it out themselves.
  • If you don’t understand the work, don’t be embarrassed to admit it.
  • Also, don’t let them plug the question into a Google search, and copy the answer.
  • Regardless, don’t let your child off the hook for getting the work done, just because s/he doesn’t get it.
Showing their classmates how to do something is not cheating, but giving them answers is.
Students who know the difference between cheating and teaching can avoid academic dishonesty.
Once you understand the assignment, you can ask your child questions; for example. . .
  • What don’t you understand?
  • Where are you getting stuck?
  • What information do you need to complete the assignment?
  • Also, ask a leading question, and if it doesn’t work, ask another one in a different way.
  • How did the teacher explain this in class?
  • What do you think about emailing the teacher?
  • Lastly, remind your child that you’re not going to give them answers, but support them in figuring it out.
As a parent, here’s what you can do to be sure that your child knows the difference between cheating and teaching.
  • First, switch roles. You be the student, and your child, the teacher.
  • Next, pick a simple math problem that you know your child knows how to do.
  • Then, ask them to teach you how to do the problem.
  • Also, remind them not to give you answers, but to teach the skill to you.
  • Lastly, repeat this process with a household chore.
Also, warn your children about the students in school who ask, “to see their homework.”
  • Most definitely, this is a sure sign that a classmate wants to copy your child’s work.
  • In this case, recommend that your child refuse, or say, “I’ll show you how to do it, but I’m not letting you copy my answers.”
  • Also, be extra careful about your child “working together” with his/her best friend.
  • Likely, your child will be nice, instead of honest, letting his/her best friend off the hook for doing the work.
  • Clearly, both of these scenarios could place your child in a case of academic dishonesty.
Overall, if you suspect your child or his/her friends of any form of academic dishonesty, confront them yourself, and if this doesn’t work, contact their teachers.

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