Developing ethical intelligence contributes to a positive
culture but is far from easy in a time of ethical ambivalence, mp3 file
sharing and rampant software piracy.
Students need to understand why it is not in their own long-term best
interests to steal the work of others. Ultimately they cheat themselves.
We need to cultivate what Patricia Werhane
(1999) calls ‘moral imagination’, that is, a sense of perspective
and understanding of potential long-term consequences.
Achievement is an important source of deep personal pride, confidence
and positive self-concept. Baffled students can doubt their own ability
and certainly can’t take pride in work they do not know how to do.
The pedagogic implications include ensuring students understand tasks
and how to be successful (above). Midolo
and Scott argue that when school communities value student created
work perspectives change as students understand they are owners of intellectual
property and have exercisable rights.
Discuss the issue of plagiarism so expectations are clear. They should
understand the strong probability that they will be detected and need
to know that you know about ‘homework-help’ sites, etc. Expectations
and consequences should be clear and public, eg published in the student
handbook or planner. Parents and the wider community need to know that
the issue is taken seriously.