Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The effects of teacher advocacy efforts to reduce cheating in the secondary classroom
by Hawkins, Roberta Rosenthal, Ph.D., University of California, Riverside, 2007, 155; 3298278
Abstract (Summary)

A review of literature indicates that pandemic academic cheating might be alleviated through teacher-efforts, including class discussion about integrity, honor pledges, and frequent reminders about the importance of honesty. The present experimental, quantitative study (N = 428 high school students) springs from Kohlberg's theory of Responsibility Judgment and gauges the effects of these teacher-efforts on students' cheating attitude and behavior.

For 9 weeks, 4 randomly selected teachers administered an Integrity treatment to 2 randomly selected classes, while 3 randomly selected teachers administered a Logic placebo to 2 randomly selected classes. Gardner and Melvin's (1988) Attitude Toward Cheating (ATC) pre/posttests measured change in students' attitude. Cheating behavior was measured by counting changed answers on nine weekly self-graded quizzes.

Prevalence of cheating. Although prevalence findings did not support the hypothesis that Treatment students would cheat significantly less than would Placebo students, Placebo students significantly ( p = .000089; g = .29) increased their cheating over the nine-week duration of the study, while there was a nonsignificant ( p = .61; g = .03) change in cheating among Treatment students. The difference between the 2 groups was significant: p = .005, r = .14.

Attitude toward cheating. The Placebo group significantly increased its tolerance of dishonesty (p < .001; r = .30), while the Treatment group's scores declined to a nonsignificant degree (p = .349; r = .07). Group differences were significant at p = .021; r = .13). The ATC pretest scores were significantly correlated with the cheating behavior of the Treatment group, but not with the cheating behavior of the Placebo group.

Among the significant findings for other independent variables. (1) Female students (N = 202) abstained from cheating significantly more in classes taught by male, rather than female, teachers (χ 2(1) = 17.154; p = .000034; r = .29). (2) Female teachers obtained significantly greater deceases in cheating than did male teachers (t (416) = -2.476; p = .014; r = .12). (3) Grade level and cheating abstinence were linearly associated (χ2(1) = 6.696; p = .010; r = .12). (4) Students' decisions to sign or not to sign the honor pledge were very good predictors of cheating behavior, especially among boys.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mitchell, Douglas
Commitee:
School: University of California, Riverside
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 69/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational sociology, School administration, Secondary education
Keywords: Academic honesty, Adolescents, Cheating, Kohlberg's responsibility judgment, Kohlberg, Lawrence, Moral education, Secondary school
Publication Number: 3298278
ISBN: 9780549422495
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