Academic Honesty

As and IB World School, Dwight School London has high expectations of our teachers, students and parents to have a shared understanding of Academic Honesty and what constitutes malpractice. This shared understanding is particularly critical in an international school where families come from different backgrounds with different cultural expectations and perspectives. We rely heavily on our parents to support and reinforce this practice, and if parents feel their child is confused on this matter or unclear on academic honesty, the form tutor should be contacted. Students are expected to follow the guidelines outlined by the International Baccalaureate Organisation.

The following text is an extract from the IBO:
International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes encourage students to inquire and to think critically and creatively; students are then asked to give shape to their thinking through oral discussion or presentations, through visual representations and displays, and in multiple forms of writing. However, we live in an age in which we are all flooded by information and opinions.

How can we help students navigate these waters so that they are able to confidently talk or write about what they are learning, making visible and explicit how they have constructed their ideas and what views they have followed or rejected? This is essentially what academic honesty is: making knowledge, understanding and thinking transparent. Such transparency needs to be taught and supported throughout a child’s education. In order to fully master the technical aspects of academic honesty, such as accurately citing and referencing, students need to understand how knowledge is constructed and, consequently, their own role in furthering knowledge construction and building understanding. The technical skills are essential but the understanding of the concepts and values behind them comes first. A safe and encouraging learning environment in which students can explore ideas and make visible the development of their own thinking will support academically honest behaviours and help to instill the values and principles that lie behind such behaviours. The attributes of the learner profile are important in nurturing such an environment.

Students may sometimes be tempted to plagiarize work because they are unable to cope with the task that has been set for them. They may recognize content that is relevant but may not be able to paraphrase or summarize, for example. To promote the development of conceptual understanding in students, teachers must take responsibility to set meaningful tasks that can be completed either independently or with the appropriate amount of scaffolding. Making the process of inquiry visible should be integral to all teaching and learning in IB programmes.

Academic Honesty in the IBMYP
The early- and mid-adolescence years are crucial to self-development, especially in the information age. MYP students need to develop strategies to create and consume information in the context of building more adult-like personal and social identities. In early-and mid-adolescence, many students also experience increasing personal, family and peer pressure to achieve and perform. In this context, academic honesty must be seen as a larger set of values and skills that promote personal honesty and good practice in teaching and learning, including assessment. The relationship between the teacher, student achievement and the learning process is a critical part of the MYP, so it is natural to develop academic honesty in positive ways that stress respecting the honesty of all student work and recognizing the shared benefits of properly conducted academic research. In the MYP, approaches to learning skills are particularly relevant to academic honesty given the clear links to students’ developing competencies in self-management, research and communication. In some MYP subject groups (as well as MYP projects), students are introduced to the importance of the process journal as a tool that promotes academic honesty. MYP teachers are responsible for guiding and supporting students in the development of academic honesty in ways UPEER SCHOOL WELCOME BOOKLET 2015-16 34 that prepare them for further study. As students gain experience in the MYP, they can develop the understanding and behaviours necessary to avoid pitfalls in formal highstakes assessments as well as externally assessed coursework and culminating projects.

Academic Honesty and the IB Diploma Programme
As young adults preparing for university studies or entry into the workforce, Diploma Programme students both enjoy the freedom and bear the responsibility of studying a course that emphasizes independence and self-reliance. DP students are, appropriately, less dependent than their PYP and MYP counterparts on the steady intervention of teachers and parents checking to make sure that lessons are understood and assignments are completed on time. On the other hand, DP students experience a set of emotional pressures—the pressure to perform on summative assessments, the stress of the university admission process and time pressures—exerted by a system that can be seen to reward the individual’s end result over the work (individual or collective) required to get there. For academic honesty, this can mean that the idea of shared responsibility in the PYP and MYP for ensuring a piece of work is the student’s own risks becoming the sole responsibility of the DP student, should a case of academic misconduct arise (Carroll 2012). Thus, teaching and learning in the DP must develop the positive behaviours that students will need to demonstrate clearly that they complete their work carefully, honestly and authentically. In their academic work, DP students develop research skills and study habits that are needed to demonstrate academic honesty in more formal ways than would be appropriate to expect of younger learners. DP students investigate and evaluate the usefulness of a greater variety of resources, and incorporate and reference them within oral and written presentations of increasingly complex formats. This level of rigour can present a challenge to students who certainly know right from wrong, but who may not possess the organizational and self-management skills to demonstrate clearly that their work meets a formal standard of academic honesty. All IB students understand the importance of acknowledging others because it is a central feature of the constructivist, inquiry-based approach promoted in all IB programmes; yet, in the DP, this requires the explicit teaching and learning of specific conventions accepted in a community of learners for being transparent about the use of ideas and work of others—note making, in-text citation and the preparation of a bibliography, to name but a few examples (Carroll 2012: 5–6).

Academic Honesty in the IB Educational Context 2014
In cases where a student does not uphold academic honesty this is considered by the IB as malpractice. An investigation into the wrongdoing will proceed and may result in a candidate’s removal from their IB course, IB programme and the school.

Malpractice is defined as behaviour that results in, or may result in, the candidate or any other candidate gaining an unfair advantage in one or more assessment component.

Malpractice includes:
a. Plagiarism: this is defined as the representation of the ideas or work of another person as the candidate’s own.

b. Collusion: this is defined as supporting malpractice by another candidate, as in allowing one’s work to be copied or submitted for assessment by another

c. Duplication of work: this is defined as the presentation of the same work for different assessment components and/or diploma requirements

d. Any other behaviour that gains an unfair advantage for a candidate or that affects the results of another candidate (for example, taking unauthorised material into an examination room, misconduct during an examination, falsifying a CAS record)

Document: Academic honesty: guidance for schools, September 2003, International Baccalaureate Organisation 2003.

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