Thursday, August 25, 2011
Cheating in School...Will our Homeschool Children Resist the Temptation in College?
In 2004 the American College Health Association reported that 40-50% of college students had experienced depression so severe that they were barely able to function.
The association also revealed that sixty percent of the students in college had experienced, "feeling things were hopeless."
Furthermore, the 29th Who's Who Among American High School Students found that 80% of the country's best students cheated, to get where they are.
A few years ago, while working with some youth at our church, I heard some of them mumble something about cheating. I asked what they meant, and this evolved into a discussion where they explained that everyone in high school cheats. A few weeks later at our Wednesday youth meeting, I proposed that as Christians we are called to not be of the world. I knew these teenagers and I could tell that they understood this principal, and that they agreed with it. So, I continued my discussion and explained that cheating because everyone else does it is wrong. Their faces went blank and they sent a clear message - we hear you, but we are part of the system and this is what you have to do to succeed. They had closed the door and I knew I wasn't going to get through to them.
While I believe cheating goes back to a lack of character, I propose the following as another reason why cheating in school has become the norm.
"...a culture of cheating has cropped up in response to an educational system which unintentionally tells young people that where they are going matters more than why they are on the journey."
(from "Your Child's Strengths" by Jennifer Fox)
So, here is my question...
Are we (home educators) teaching that where we are going matters more than why we are on this journey?
Are we instructing our children such that they love learning and creating people who will long to learn their entire lives? Or are we teaching them to master subjects, score well on the ACT/SAT, get their degree, and find a job that offers financial security?
Is it fair to reason that students (home educated or school taught) who are learning because they want to know more about a topic are less likely to cheat? And conversely, children who are mastering a topic in order to get into college and secure a great job, are more likely to cheat because it is all about making the grade and nothing about learning?
What are your thoughts?