Increasing academic honesty using school policy change and teaching strategies

From 1997-2000 the researcher studied the academic dishonesty problem at his previous school site. It was discovered that a large amount of cheating cases went unreported to the administration during this time. Furthermore, the researcher uncovered that teachers chose not to report cheating incidences due to the negative view of the academic dishonesty consequence policy that existed at the time as well as the belief that teachers could handle cheating cases more effectively between themselves and the student. In the year 2000 the researcher concluded that bypassing school policy in addressing a cheating incident served only to perpetuate the cheating problem at the school site and decided to create a new academic dishonesty policy. Based on teacher, administrator, and student input the researcher drafted a new academic dishonesty consequence policy which was viewed favorably by teachers at the school site and was implemented as district policy in 2003. The new academic dishonesty consequence policy is the first component of this action research. The second component, four general teaching strategies designed to support academic honesty in teachers' classrooms, compliments the new policy. Ten participants in this study were asked to implement each general teaching strategy and report on the effectiveness of the general teaching strategies, coupled with the newly adopted policy, towards increasing academic honesty in the research participants' classrooms. The results of the participants' data is discussed under four themes, from which, the researcher recommends modifications for the next action research cycle occurring in the 2004-2005 school year.