11 Feb Who cheats and why: the “everyone does it” student
Meet Tyler. Tyler watches the news almost everyday. On any given day, he sees headlines of banks being sued for insider trading, sports teams accused of illegal practices, politicians being removed from office and sports idols using steroids. Then Tyler goes to school and notices that 50% of his classmates have cheated on a test this year, countless others are sharing papers or copying examples from the Internet. Cheating is all around him. And as the old saying goes, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” Tyler believes he’s not going to get a better grade than his classmates if he studies all day everyday, and he knows his grades are going to suffer when all the cheating brings the class average up. It seems more advantageous to cheat.
For Tyler, cheating is a way for him to stay competitive with his classmates and thus, not fall behind. Cheating seems to be the “norm” with many of his classmates and so when he cheats, he feels he is only doing what everyone else is doing anyway. When he cheats, he believes he is protecting himself (his grades) from everyone else’s cheating.
If no one else cheated, Tyler wouldn’t feel the need to do it.
If no one else cheated, Tyler would feel cheating was really wrong. But the culture all around him seems to say, “Everyone cheats. It’s just not that big of a deal.”
Do you have Tyler’s at your school? Do you feel like a Tyler sometimes?
Let’s explore why cheating really is a big deal.
Do you think most teens cheat? What is the culture in your school?