The relationship between teacher classroom practices and 21st century students' academic dishonesty at the secondary level

Marguerite Beth Bellipanni


With the rise in the number of high schools students admitting to academic dishonesty on national surveys, educators must examine what is happening in the classroom to determine a cause for this increase. Past research has shown that students cheat for a variety of reasons. Much of it has shown that students are able to neutralize their cheating to external reasons such blaming the teacher, competition for good grades, or not understanding the task at hand. The literature has also revealed that students cheat because they feel that there is no enforcement of consequences for academic dishonesty. The purpose of this study was to determine what factors contribute to academic dishonesty among 21st century students. Specifically, the researcher examined teachers' use of engaging classroom practices and engagement with technology to find out if there was a relationship to academic dishonesty in their classes. In addition, the researcher examined teachers' explanations of academic dishonesty to determine if these were related to the number of incidences of cheating that occurred in their classrooms. Lastly, the researcher looked at teachers' enforcement of consequences for academic dishonesty to see if it related to the amount of reported cheating. This quantitative study included 193 high school teachers from four school districts along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. These respondents completed a survey that asked about their classroom practices, including the use of technology, and cheating that occurs in their classes. Additionally, it asked about their explanations of academic dishonesty and enforcement of consequences for cheating. A Pearson's correlation revealed a statistically significant relationship between teachers' classroom practices and academic dishonesty and between the use of technology and academic dishonesty. An independent sample t-test showed that teachers who enforce their schools' academic dishonesty policies have less incidences of cheating than those who do not. A Pearson's correlation indicated that the explanation of academic dishonesty was not related to the number of incidences.