Why do our students cheat? Because they “need” to.
In today’s society, we expect a lot from students. You might disagree with me, but I believe this is true. We expect them to be good in most things that we require them to do. We expect them to be fluent in English and Filipino, and still stay true to their native tongue. We also expect them to be principled and moral, knowledgeable in their own religion, as well as the Constitution. We expect them to be patriotic and nationalistic, well-versed of their country’s history, and socio-political issues. We expect them to learn the different Sciences and different Maths, and be able to apply them in their daily lives. We expect them to be understanding and faithful. We expect them to be respectful and compassionate. And why do I consider this too much of an expectation? Because we expect them to do the things that most of us don’t or even forget. We expect them to do the things that they do not have a clear example or representation of. We expect them to just simply know these things, and expect them to implement these flawlessly.
Saying is one thing. Doing is another. or Actions speak louder than words.
Unfortunately, they don’t know everything, as do we. How can we expect them to do these things if we can’t even do it ourselves? How can we expect them to understand 1 + 1 = 2, if we do not know why 1 + 1 is even equal to 2?
They cheat because 1) they don’t know what else to do, and 2) they are afraid to fail. So, what can we do to help them? We need to know and recognize them as individuals with varied personalities and not as our students in whatever subject we’re teaching. We need to set the example, by sticking to what we believe in. We need to do the things we do because we know that it is right, and not just because it is required from us. We need to focus on individual and class successes rather than failures. We need to let them understand that mistakes are what make us human, and that it is part of learning. What is important is that we learn from the mistakes that we make, and that we’ll go through the whole process together.