*****Disclaimer: The Wizard of 'OZ' makes no money at all from 'OZ' - The 'Other' Side of the Rainbow. 'OZ' is 100 % ad-free*****

Sunday, August 14, 2016

You’re Only Cheating Yourself

It’s in the news all the time: Kids are cheating in school in new ways and in unprecedented rates.

One of the reasons is the way schools and parents deal with or ignore the underlying issues of integrity and character. For instance, one of the most popular things adults say to discourage kids from cheating is: “You’re only cheating yourself.”

Of course, cheating damages credibility and character, but it’s also flat-out wrong because it’s dishonest and unfair. Cheaters don’t just cheat themselves. They cheat everyone affected by it, including honest students who are put at a competitive disadvantage and college admission officers and employers who think students’ grades accurately reflect competence. What’s more, cheaters dishonor their families, teachers, and schools.

When we try to tell kids that when they cheat, they’re cheating themselves because they don’t learn the material, we have to remember that most kids who cheat think what they’re asked to learn is unimportant. They’re quite comfortable not knowing the value of X or the capital of Zimbabwe. As to mastering skills, cynical and worldly-wise students believe learning cheating methods is more useful than learning the material.

Finally, it’s dangerous to promote self-centered, cost-benefit calculations regarding cheating in a way that ignores or minimizes the crucial moral issues of honesty and honor. Nearly two-thirds of all high school students cheat because they’re not afraid of getting caught and because they get better grades by doing so.

To address the problem, we must promote virtues like integrity, not self-interest, and tell kids that whether they get away with it or not, cheating is wrong. Of course, it helps if we really believe that.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

*Character Counts

No comments: