Cheating Themselves Out of an Education: Assignments that Promote Higher-Order Thinking and Honesty in the Middle Grades

Students generally report little cheating during their elementary school years (Cizek, 1999); yet, by high school, students consider cheating to be a widespread and serious concern (Evans & Craig, 1990; Finn & Frone, 2004; Schab, 1991). Of 30,000 high school students surveyed in a recent study, 64% admitted to cheating on a test during the past year, with 38% doing so two or more times, and 36% admitting to using the Internet to plagiarize an assignment (Josephson Institute of Ethics, 2008). Given that students cheat so infrequently in elementary school and yet by high school cheat so routinely, the question arises, "What happens to students during the middle school years?"

Nicole Zito & Patrick J. McQuillan

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