“Children cheat when they become stressed,” explain experts, who say that as the pressure to get good grades and high test scores increases, so does the incidence of cheating. Experts say that although children who cheat in school do not fit any defined profile, they’re usually students “who are much more focused on getting good grades and extrinsically motivated rather than intrinsically motivated by a desire to learn.”
That means that the more pressure students feel, the more likely they are to resort to cheating. And although pen-and-paper notes and other familiar methods are still very much in use, cell phones and PDAs have opened up new opportunities for students gunning for top grades. “Obviously with more technology, there are more methods kids use to cheat,” says expert. Browsing the Internet during a test, texting solutions or taking photos of answer sheets and messaging them to friends are all possible in the digital age, and enforcement of no phone policies can be tough for teachers.
Using technology as a cheating aid may be new, but cheating has been around a long time, and it probably won’t go away anytime soon. However, there are things that parents can do to help make sure their children get the most out of their education by getting past the impulse to cheat.
Although pressure to perform is an increasing focus for students, your child shouldn’t feel that cheating is the only way to get ahead. Through hard work, good communication, and a desire to learn, your child will become a better learner and a better citizen for life.