Cheating, Kinda Cheating, Collaboration, or Creative Ethical Problem Solving? HU245
Cheating, Kinda Cheating, Collaboration, or Creative Ethical Problem Solving? Cheating, kinda cheating, collaboration and creative ethical problem solving are all very different issues. While cheating is considered just that, cheating, collaboration and problem solving lead to a much more rounded type of cheating that is somewhat justified. But is there a difference between the four? I don’t think so. In scenario #1, Maggie May clearly leans over to retrieve the answer from her neighbor’s test. Seeing the question with another formula ultimately gave her the correct answer. Had Maggie not leaned over to see her neighbor’s test, she wouldn’t have been able to correct her mistakes and retry a different formula. Ultimately making it unfair for others taking the same test, falsifying your qualifications in that math class (saying you can accomplish something when you can’t without cheating), and risking making it a habit.
However, it can be argued that her actions were justified by the “dog-eat-dog” theory. Some people see the world as so competitive and ruthless that in order to survive, one may have to break all the moral do’s and don’ts (Thiroux, J, Krasemann, K, 2012). Maggie May might have been a competitor at heart, which led her to set aside her own true morals and take a glance. Unfortunately, cheating in adolescent years is often simply because “everybody does it.” While this is an actual attitude and not justification, this type of thinking brings on complacency and laziness. One problem with this attitude is that it is questionable whether most people do these things. Another problem is that if some or most people do these things, this does not mean people ought to do them (Thiroux, J, Krasemann, K. 2012). In scenario #2, Maggie May is diverted away from looking at her neighbors paper by her friend Stewart sitting behind her. Offering advice, letting her know she needed to use the wrong formula can be justified as collaboration.
Collaboration is defined as the action of working with someone to produce or create something (Collaborate, n.d.). Working with Stewart, even if it was briefly, allowed her to retrieve the answer. But is it an actual collaboration if Stewart just simply told Maggie May to use a different formula? To an extent, I still believe it is. Two people came together to reach one answer. Without Stewarts help, she would not be able to reach the answer herself. Again, she has depended on someone else for the answer. A test is a test of one’s knowledge on a subject. How are you testing her knowledge if somebody else is giving her the answer? This leads me back to my false qualifications explanation. If she doesn’t understand how to work the equation out herself, without anyone’s help, how is she going to succeed in the more advanced math classes? Cheating only hurts yourself; you cannot gain anything from cheating. In my reality, Maggie May should have rose her hand and asked the instructor for help. By looking over someone’s shoulder, or hearing the answer from someone behind you, you are not teaching yourself how to problem solve.
If I have an issue, if I do not understand a question, or if I’m literally stumped, I’ll raise my hand and ask a teacher. Educators are there for just that reason, to educate. Oftentimes my instructor will end up rewording the question or helpfully untangle my mind with a mild hint in the right direction. Sometimes, that’s all it takes. Integrity is the most important thing a person should learn while growing up, and cheating is a form of degradation to your own personal values. Why would I want to degrade myself and the person I am capable of being, just to get an answer right on a test? That’s the difference between a respectable adult and a cheater. When what we want to do and what we ought to do are two different things, character is built in the choices we make (Bennett, B. 2013).
Bennett, B. (2013). Values.com. Integrity. Retrieved from http://www.values.com/inspirational-quotes/value/32-Integrity. Collaborate. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster. Online Dictionary: Collaborate Meaning. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/collaborate Thiroux, J., Krasemann, K. (2012). Ethics: Theory and Practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.