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How to Discourage Children from Cheating

Published by monica on Monday, March 04, 2013

Photo credit by Old Shoe Woman

At some point in their lives, children may be confronted with the temptation to forego studying and cheat their way into passing an exam. Most adults know this, as they have experienced the same thing when they were younger. Furthermore, studies in the past few years showed that at least 25% of students from middle school to college admit to having cheated on their exams for the past school year.

It is tempting to cheat especially if the student feels lazy towards schoolwork, and this attitude stems from not finding enough stimulating reason to do so. There is also the fact that students are almost always asked to do the same thing, and this makes it easier for them to just copy each other as they see that their scores are dependent on what they know and not how they understand each concept.

Parents and teachers can discourage children from cheating by agreeing to have more comprehension tests and exercise rather than just using mostly objective methods of testing such as true or false or multiple choice exams. By testing how they understand the lessons, students are more challenged as they need to come up with answers on based on their own thinking. They will have to put together all that they have learned and present it in a way that the teacher knows that the student has understood the lesson. This method also helps discourage children from cheating or copying from another classmate as all answers cannot be the same.

It is also a good idea to instill the value of honesty with children at a very young age. Teach children the importance of telling the truth and avoiding lying and cheating by letting them know the pros and cons. Telling lies and cheating do not make anyone a winner or get them ahead of the game, it only cheats the person of knowledge and wisdom. Make sure the child understands this concept, and he or she will eventually avoid cheating. Parents can teach their children by also being good examples themselves. In the classroom, teachers can reward students who show honesty inside their classroom and in their work.

Another idea to discourage children to cheat is to make it more impossible to do so, especially during exams. Some teachers like to make more than one version of the exam--they use the same format for all but the questions vary per version. Seating students far apart from each other also prevents them from copying their classmate’s paper. Do not allow students to bring other things to their desks apart from their pens or other tools needed to take the test. Have a proctor to constantly watch over the students during the test to make sure they don’t do anything questionable. Have some strict rules and punishment for students who are caught cheating to scare them to doing so.

Cheating may not be totally prevented or eradicated from the academic system as there will always be circumstances that will tempt or push children to be dishonest, but the key is to be vigilant and keep discouraging them to cheat.

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