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  • Pedagogy, Not Policing: Positive Approaches to Academic Integrity at the University
  • Megan Moore Gardner
Pedagogy, Not Policing: Positive Approaches to Academic Integrity at the University. Tyra Tworney, Holly White, and Ken Sagendorf (Editors). Syracuse, NY: The Graduate School Press of Syracuse University, 2009, 160 pages, $19.95 (softcover)

Discussions of academic dishonesty and plagiarism have consumed faculty, administrators, and other members of the academy for centuries. A focus on eliminating dishonest student behavior often results in punitive actions designed to squelch the behavior with limited to no attention to or emphasis on educating those involved about the ills of their ways. The authors of this book call on higher education professionals to rethink their approaches to academic dishonesty in an effort to create an academic environment more consistent with the values and goals of higher education.

In an effort to refocus both the discussion about and attempts at addressing issues of academic dishonesty in higher education to one that is based on education and trust, the authors of this book present a myriad of ideas, suggestions, and ways of reframing the dialogue. They offer both a practical and philosophical look at issues of academic dishonesty on college campuses. Each chapter provides a unique perspective on the topic, offering a wide span of insight including practical pedagogical strategies for promoting academic integrity, perspectives from a variety of institutional stakeholders, and an overview of electronic plagiarism detections services to name just a few.

The book is organized into four sections. The first introduces and defines academic integrity and provides insight into the impact of the phenomenon on instructors and students alike. The second focuses specifically on graduate students and the ethical issues unique to the graduate learning experience. The third section provides a number of interesting perspectives on academic dishonesty in the words of various stakeholders in the process (e.g., first-year instructor, administrator, international students). Finally, the fourth section provides tangible strategies for addressing plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty in higher education. Although the primary focus of the discussion is geared toward the classroom instructor, this book provides insights that may be useful to those administrators and student affairs professionals charged with addressing incidents of academic dishonesty (e.g., judicial officers) on college and university campuses.

The first section of this book is organized into six chapters that use theory to break down a number of expectations the academy puts on faculty and students. The first chapter focuses on academic integrity from a philosophical perspective, examining the nature of knowledge-making and highlighting ways instructors can encourage students to work to “get it right in their work” (p. 16), thereby internalizing the values of academic integrity, as opposed to simply adhering to the rules and regulations necessary to acquire particular grades. The next chapter then dissects the academic quagmire often created on the part of instructors for students who [End Page 370] may be driven to cheat by conditions of fear and stress that are further exacerbated by the desire to “make the grade” rather than to truly learn a concept or skill. In the third chapter, the author highlights ways instructors can create classroom environments that promote academic integrity through transparency, flexibility, honesty and inspiration. Chapter 4 goes on to examine dishonesty as a product of disengagement and widespread consumerism in higher education, encouraging authentic, “intellectually intimate relationships with students” (p. 36) that demand a level of involvement with individual students that makes academic dishonesty difficult if not impossible. In the fifth chapter, the author provides a psychological perspective which echoes many of the sentiments presented in the preceding chapter regarding the need for increased student engagement in and perceived value of the learning process. Finally, the sixth chapter concludes the first section of the book with a spirited discussion of plagiarism and originality.

In Part 2, the authors delve into the world of academic integrity in graduate education and the dilemmas faced by graduate students who find themselves situated as the “middle children” of academia, sandwiched between the work of a student and the responsibility of being a pseudo-faculty member. The section begins by highlighting a need for the creation of ethical relationships...


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pp. 370-372
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