At Discovery School, we strive to create a safe and encouraging environment for students to learn and explore ideas that can support them in making their thinking visible. Whether it is working in a group on a collaborative project, independently researching a paper, or recounting understanding, students are equipped with the values and principles that promote academic honesty. This is primarily done through direct instruction and an exploration of the IB learner profile. This framework provides students with the values necessary to make principled choices, by being reflective thinkers, knowledgeable communicators, and honest inquirers.
In practice this means that in the younger grades, students are encouraged to share their own ideas while participating in discussions around honesty and truth. In the middle grades, students learn about the concept of plagairism and what it means to summarize texts in their own words. They also learn about the importance of independent work by not copying or cheating. In the upper elementary the students learn about the importance of academic honesty when working in groups, through creating agreed expectations. The students also develop their responsibility in referencing and citing sources and why this is a necessary part of learning. The aim of these examples is to show that academic honesty and integrity is a continuing discussion that takes place throughout the school and is a natural part of the learning process.
“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.”
(2014). IBO – Academic honesty in the IB educational context
Learning about and extending an understanding of academic honesty is a natural part of being a lifelong learner and it ensures that students develop a responsibility and the skills necessary to succeed in a world where information is literally at their fingertips.