One of the great things about young students is that they are malleable, open to learning, and quite flexible with ideas. Young people pick up values from their homes, their peers, their school, and even their intrinsic self. When picking up values, what are some of the most important ones for young students to learn?
Well, one of them is the value of integrity.
Integrity means having affirmed adherence or ability to showcase thoughts and behaviours which support one’s morals, principals, and beliefs. Integrity is when someone does the ‘right thing,’ whether or not someone else is watching them.
An example of showcasing integrity might be to refrain from the act of stealing or cheating, even if you know that you will never get caught. Stealing and cheating are two things that are thought of as ‘wrong’ or immoral, no matter which culture one belongs to.
If a student has the opportunity to get away scot-free, but chooses not to, simply because he knows that the mere act of stealing or cheating is wrong, it shows integrity on the student’s part.
What are a few signs of integrity that you should know about and why is it so important for students?
A few signs of integrity which are essential values include-
- Being trustworthy
- Genuine with words and actions
- Respect to everyone at all times
- Having humility and not being jealous of sharing the spotlight with other students
In a classroom, students need to showcase something known as Academic Integrity. This means that a student who can earn their degree by honest means- putting in hours and hard work in their studies, not cheating, being fair, and trustworthy.
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A student who does not use any immoral, unethical, or illegal methods to progress in the classroom and earn their degree is said to have academic integrity.
But Why Is This Integrity Important for Students?
If you have to think of it logically and realistically, then, there is always a chance that your or some other students’ academic miscount will catch up to them at some point in time.
It might be easy for a student to get away with applying illegal means to earn their degree; however, it does not guarantee that the student cannot get caught later on.
If this does happen, as it has already happened several times, then the student’s degree may be revoked, along with them facing other kinds of punishment. However, it may be the humiliation of being caught after so long, which might be the worst part of the entire ordeal.
In some cases, if a student has falsified images or data in specific papers that ended up being published, it is even possible for the student to face criminal charges. However, once again, it is the allegations, the humiliation, and the loss of credibility, which might turn out to be the worst punishment of them all.
Having a sense of integrity in students can help positively shape their thinking and behaviours. Integrity is something that an individual will carry with them for a lifetime, and showing signs of it as well as it is nurtured and valued by teachers and school is a significant step in developing this character trait in students.
How Can the School and Teachers Help Integrate Integrity among Students?
Of course, teachers can play a massive role in encouraging signs of integrity in the classroom, as well as helping students learn more about this critical value.
A few ways in which teachers can do this are:
1. To Respond Appropriately If a Student Is Caught Cheating in the Classroom
The way that a teacher responds to a student cheating can be a lesson not only for that individual student but for all the other students in the school. Spreading fear and panic is not a great tactic, and while it might work for a while to curb cheating, it does not teach the vital value of integrity and honesty to the students.
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The way that teachers can respond is to relay to their students why honesty is essential in the classroom as well as in real life. In case a student is caught cheating, instead of berating them and humiliating them, a teacher should extend a guiding and helping hand.
Maybe they are not able to process the lesson, or they need extra help. The teacher should understand the motive behind the act to fix it.
2. Share Deep and Meaningful Quotes in the Classroom
To integrate the value of integrity in the classroom, students should be encouraged to engage in deep thought and conversation about morals, values, and principles. A teacher can share deep, meaningful quotes with students as conversation starters, and ask them to debate about the topics or write essays on what they think about the quotes.
The quotes can be used in different ways in a classroom to invoke deep thought by students. They can even be asked to read a quote and give anecdotes or examples about what they might have felt when they read the quote.
3. Guide Students and Help Them Develop a Sense of Meaning
An important way in which teachers can help students build integrity is by guiding them along the right path. Students develop integrity when they have a sense of purpose, belonging, and meaning in their thoughts and actions. Teachers can guide students to:
- Help them get over obstacles and gain success (success can be different to different students and individuals)
- Students need to understand that every individual is different. They must learn to respect everyone even with differences of thought, behaviour, and principles
- Instil in young students the importance of giving back to their community and society. They can do this with volunteer work, by teaching other students, taking part in social activities, etc.
Integrity is key amongst students, and instilling this value as well as encouraging it is extremely important. This can be done by the parents, school, and teachers as well.