Most ‘cheating’ (I truly believe) is undertaken as an act of desperation, a means of coping with failure as measured by receipt of lower-than-average academic grades. ‘Cheating’ is a means of striving to succeed within a system which provides extrinsic rewards for optimal performance rather than intrinsic rewards for authentic mastery and authorship. I cannot but believe that the vast majority of students would welcome an academic system in which the goal is not to earn high marks but rather to learn, and that students accustomed to this system would see no need to game the system by ‘cheating.’ I’m not so naive as to suppose that every student will respond well: there will always be those so acculturated by thirteen-plus years of a largely competitive educational system that it’s in their blood to fight tooth and nail for every last percentage point that might tip them from a B+ to an A-…but I believe that even those who are very comfortable with this traditional system will abandon it if given the chance to do so.
Change of Basis: Shift, paradigm, shift!. Very good points, but why the scare quotes around “cheating”?