10 SES 07 A, Teacher Education: Integrity, Rhetoric and Democracy
The explosion of the Internet has changed teaching and learning ways, patterns, methods and attitudes a lot. With the availability of a massive amount on information, the limitations of individual intellectual work vs. collaborative and shared knowledge, textual and intellectual ownership and authorship seem to become strikingly fuzzy. Some argue that due to this open access, uncontrolled, often unmonitored flow of knowledge, cheating among students has become extremely pervasive during the last couple of decades (Cole – McCabe 1996). However, others say that what we perceive is not a problem but a symptom and indication of changed learning and working styles, with the emphasis on knowledge as a shared product, end results instead of processes, diffused values, views and structures (Gallant 2008).
Independent of the position one might take in such arguments, it is essential that we prepare and teach our student teachers to handle information and act in an ethical way, according to the highest values of academic integrity. Guiding our students by following the basic values and principles of academic integrity (McCabe – Pavela 2004) is the only option so that they reach the state of intellectual maturity (Horacek 2009). Reaching the status of “doing it right” instead of “just doing it” is obligatory in teacher training, especially when it comes to the academic integrity of the teacher in the school classroom. As teacher education students serve society, for them, internalizing academic integrity, which structures communities, includes all the norms and values that are non-arbitrary in societies, is as equally important as gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to practice the profession.
An increasing amount of attention has been paid to corruption, cheating, dishonesty and misconduct scandals all around the world, though the shift from academic misconduct towards academic integrity is slow. Despite the global nature of such issues, the culture-specific elements and features of the phenomenon are quite underrepresented (Greenblatt 2009, Smithee 2009) in the literature. Given these facts, it is apparent that researchers need to study approaches to academic integrity in different cultures.
Our research offers a new contribution that has received insufficient focus in the recent past. Since Ferrell and Daniel’s examinations of teacher education students in the US on academic integrity in 1991, there has been no comprehensive investigation on this topic among this special target group. In their studies, the researchers focused on the concept of academic dishonesty instead of applying the positive, constructive, proactive and community-building concept of academic integrity. Most studies cover US institutions only with rare exceptions of Asian or European countries (scattered studies on Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, the Ukraine, Poland, Russia). By offering an analysis of a UK and a Hungarian university, we combine the unique features of following the seldom-applied comparative approach in this regard, and also, to include the international dimension of two European countries, the UK and a Central-Eastern-European country, neither of which served as target for cross-cultural comparisons before to our knowledge.
The implications and application of our analysis emphasize the need for moral and ethical learning in higher education with a special emphasis on training teacher education students in profesional ethics. In our globalised world, preparing future teachers for such issues in intercultural and multicultural education is important to raise their awareness and sensitivity. Our findings might also serve as elements to be added to the European teacher training curriculum. Finally, our in-depth analysis might also reveal some culture-specific hidden curriculum elements of UK and Hungarian teacher education students with respect to academic integrity, which could be added to institutional and higher education pedagogical processes of the two universities respectively.
Bowers, W. J. (1964): Student dishonesty and its control in college. New York: Bureau of Applied Social Research, Columbia University. Cole, S. - McCabe, D. L. (1996): Issues in academic integrity. New Directions for Student Services. 73. 67-77. Daniel, L. G. – Blount, K. D. – Ferrell, C. M. (1991): Academic misconduct among teacher education students: a descriptive-correlational study. Research in Higher Education. 32. 6. 703-724. Ferrell, C. M. – Daniel, L. G. (1995): A frame of reference for understanding behaviors related to the academic misconduct of undergraduate teacher education students. Research in Higher Education. 36. 3. 345-375. Ferrell, C. M. (1992): Assessing teacher education students' propensity towards academic misconduct. http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED353324.pdf Gallant, T. B. (2008): Academic integrity in the 21st century. ASHE Higher Education Report. 33. 5. 1-143. Genereux, R. L., McLeod, B. A. (1995): Circumstances surrounding cheating: A questionnaire study of college students. Research in Higher Education. 36. 6. 687-704. Greenblatt, S. L. (2009): Culture and academic norms. An exploration of the import of cultural difference on Asian students’ understanding of American approaches to plagiarism. In Twomey, T. – White, H. – Sagendorf, K. (eds.): Pedagogy, not policing. Positive approaches to academic integrity at the university. Syracuse, New York: The Graduate School Press, Syracuse University. 97-106. Horacek, D. (2009): Academic integrity and intellectual autonomy. In Twomey, T. – White, H. – Sagendorf, K. (eds.): Pedagogy, not policing. Positive approaches to academic integrity at the university. Syracuse, New York: The Graduate School Press, Syracuse University. 7-17. McCabe, D. L. - Pavela, G. (2004): Ten (updated) principles of academic integrity. Change. 36. 3. 10-15. Smithee (2009): Applying intercultural concepts to academic integrity. In Twomey, T. – White, H. – Sagendorf, K. (eds.): Pedagogy, not policing. Positive approaches to academic integrity at the university. Syracuse, New York: The Graduate School Press, Syracuse University. 125-134.
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