“If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.”

"If you're not cheating, you're not trying."
Is this student’s quote cynical 
and flippant, or obvious and true?

An article at Bloomberg Businessweek asked some experts about academic cheating at business schools:

David Callahan: I’m not surprised at the high level of cheating among business students; research tells us that business students cheat at among the highest rates of students. I think that a lot of professors often get a lot of pushback for exposing cheating. A professor at the University of Central Florida reported a lot of cheating and he was subjected to a lot of attacks to him as a teacher, that it was somehow his fault. I think there’s a lot of rationalization of students about cheating: They don’t find it surprising and people are cynical. They assume there’s a lot of cheating and it’s not a big deal.

Why do students plagiarize?

David Callahan:
I think you have to look at the real, underlying causes. Students are extremely anxious today, they’re incurring record levels of debt to go to college, and they’re relying on scholarships and grants dependent upon maintaining a certain GPA. College is no longer the last stop; now it’s a stepping-stone to a professional school and graduate school. College transcripts and GPA really matter. On the one hand, there’s more pressure than ever before to cheat, and on the other hand there’s a tremendous amount of cynicism. When a professor complains about cheating and points it out, students push back in a cynical way and say, "This is commonplace. What’s the big deal?" Or they push back in a defensive way and say, "The pressure’s on me to get good grades and cheating is one way to do it."

Read more: Cheating: The Experts Weigh In, Bloomberg BusinessWeek>>

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