Academic Expectations of a High School and the Frequency of AcademicDishonesty as Reported by High School Principals in Virginia
Nichols, Richard Duane
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ABSTRACT A review of research indicates that academic dishonesty is a common occurrence at all levels of education with high school being a significant determinant in whether one will engage in cheating at the college level. Current research is heavily concentrated on cheating at the college level. This study investigated the academic expectations of a high school and the frequency of academic dishonesty as reported by high school principals. Specifically, four research questions were addressed: 1. To what extent are the academic expectations of a high school related to the frequency of academic dishonesty as reported by high school administrators? 2. To what extent is the implementation of an honor code at a high school related to the frequency of academic dishonesty as reported by high school administrators? 3. What do high school administrators perceive as the most important causes of academic dishonesty? 4. To what degree do high school administrators perceive academic dishonesty as an important problem in high schools? This quantitative research study used a sample drawn from public high school administrators (principals or assistant principals) in the Commonwealth of Virginia. A total of 129 participants from a possible 267 public high schools were surveyed. There was no relationship found between the implementation of an honor code and the frequency of academic dishonesty. School administrators perceived the academic expectations of the school and teacher, the lack of an honor code, and the enforcement of an honor code as less likely to be contributing factors to academic dishonesty in comparison to other factors. The main causes for student cheating perceived by the principals were a fear of failure, laziness or procrastination and ease of cheating. Overall, the principals placed less importance upon academic dishonesty in comparison to other disciplinary problems they face at the high school level.
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