Developing Academic Integrity

As an IB World School, Lakewood addresses Academic Honesty with intent.  Students often feel that academic dishonesty has no victims and therefore cheating, plagiarism or collusion offer an attractive shortcut to desired benefits. It is a pathway selected far too often as a way to get ahead in today’s world. Did you know it’s even possible and not that expensive to hire someone via the Internet to take a college course for you? It is almost understandable when students copy one another’s homework or cheat on a test. “Everyone does it.” So where is the harm? That question is not addressed often enough with students. Instead, schools dole out consequences (zeroes, detention, parent contact) to those few who are caught red-handed.

At Lakewood, we acknowledge that ethical behavior is not always easy to achieve and sustain. To do so students need to understand the meaning and impact of unethical behavior on others and on themselves. They also need support in developing the skills required to avoid academic dishonesty in all its forms, whether caused by ignorance, pressure, or a lack of will.

Academic Honesty is closely aligned to the IB Learner attributes Principled, Reflective and Caring. A principled individual acts with integrity and honesty. They possess a strong sense of fairness and justice, respecting the rights of others. A reflective learner is thoughtful and takes the time to consider their actions keeping in mind others as well as themselves. Such thoughtful consideration can support learners in making decisions and in examining actions already taken. Finally, the attribute caring helps students to recognize how their actions and decisions may impact others. With empathy, compassion and respect their choices can make a positive difference in the lives of others as well as in their own lives.

Promoting academic honesty and personal integrity requires the efforts of the entire Lakewood community. The expectations for students, parents, teachers and administrators are outlined below. Additional information regarding Lakewood’s philosophy and practices on this topic is available in Lakewood’s Academic Honesty Policy.

Teachers will strive to promote academic honesty by:

  • Designing inquiry-based assessment tasks that are not easily plagiarized while clearly assessing each learner’s academic progress.
  • Assigning work that encourages an original student response, thus discouraging plagiarism.
  • Developing tasks which are appropriately challenging requiring more than a factual answer.
  • Modeling effective and appropriate ways to paraphrase the ideas of others, not only for the purpose of avoiding plagiarism, but also to build students’ abilities to analyze and evaluate those ideas. Opportunities for this support exist within close reading, substantive writing, and process journal experiences within each subject group.
  • Teaching students how to properly cite all sources and discussing when such citations are required in different types of assignments. (see appendix)
  • Showing students how to best support the learning of their peers without providing answers.
  • Teaching students Acceptable Use guidelines.
  • Clearly explaining expectations for collaborative work and how it varies from collusion.
  • Supervising students during assessments and keeping assessment materials secure.

Students who promote academic honesty will:

  • Produce work based on their original ideas, recognizing the work and ideas of others when used.
  • Recognize the work of others by citing the sources used when conducting research. When uncertain how to cite sources accurately, students will seek guidance from a teacher, the school librarian, or an online resource (see appendix).
  • Strive to accurately paraphrase the ideas of others, referencing the original creator. When the use of paraphrasing occurs in a timed setting, reference to the creator by name only is acceptable.
  • Collaborate with peers to meet common assessment goals.
  • Give and receive meaningful feedback when working with peers.
  • Participate in discussions by asking questions and brainstorming ideas to challenge group thinking.
  • Use ethical practices when completing all work, including assessments.

Administrators will promote academic honesty by:

  • Communicating clear expectations aligned to this policy when speaking with students, parents, and staff.
  • Focusing on teaching the skills required for academic honesty and personal integrity rather than the consequences of dishonesty when conducting disciplinary consequences for students.
  • Using an established progression of consequences when dishonesty occurs that involves the student, parent, teacher, and MYP Coordinator.
  • Establishing and supporting a school culture that encourages academic honesty and personal integrity.
  • Publishing the school’s Academic Honesty Policy in the school handbook and on the school website.
  • Informing staff, students, and parents through various media what constitutes academic dishonesty and how it can be prevented.
  • Maintaining a centralized record of infractions to recognize patterns needing further attention.

Parents/Guardians who promote academic honesty will:

  • Be aware of and understand the purpose of Lakewood’s Academic Honesty Policy.
  • Focus on their student’s progress in learning rather than on their child’s current grades.
  • Help their student balance and manage their school work so they are ready when tasks are due and tests are scheduled, therefore helping students resist temptations to be academically dishonest.
  • Support the efforts made by school staff to develop students’ abilities to make wise choices related to academic honesty and personal integrity.

As we implement activities related to Academic Honesty we will keep you informed on this blog page.  We encourage families to discuss related issues at home.  Leading a principled, reflective and caring life is a goal we can all work towards.  Utilize the many examples, both positive and negative, you see in your daily lives to help deepen your child’s understanding of these attributes.  Remember also that this topic is strongly related to grading and assessment.  Posts in MYP Assessment and Instructional Focus will, at times, relate to the development of Academic Honesty as well.


International Baccalaureate Organization (2014). MYP: From principles into practice

International Baccalaureate Organization (2016). Learner Profile Booklet