ethical dilemma

ethical dilemma

Printed with permission of Charis Denison-goodcharacter.com-
After reading this case study on “Cheating” read the rest of this assignment and
then answer the questions posed below that information. Use a separate piece of
paper for this assignment and attach it to the case study/instructions page.
Georgia’s hands were sweating. She was fifteen minutes into her math final when she
began to panic. This exam was worth most of her grade in the class. She understood
math—even liked it—and usually did really well. Her constant problem was that she
wasn’t a strong test-taker. Her grades never reflected her understanding of the material
she studied.
Now, here she was, once again stuck on one problem worth twenty-five points on the test,
and she was drawing a blank. She put her head down on the desk and concentrated as
hard as she could. She remembered doing a similar problem in class and explaining it to
her friend Jessie, but now she was so stressed out by the test, she couldn’t even
remember how to begin the problem.
She lifted her head and stared at her test. She listened to the clock tick on the wall and
imagined her parents’ expression when she receives her report card. Jessie was sitting
right in front of her. He is always a good test taker and had already solved the problem.
The teacher had his backed turned and was on the other side of the room. Georgia could
look over Jessie’s shoulder, get the answer, and no one would know.
Georgia needed to think quickly. She thought about how unfair it was that she regularly
does badly on tests even though she works so hard in class and understands the material,
too. She thought about how often she helped Jessie in class throughout the semester.
What should she do?
She prided herself on doing what was right. But how right is it that she has to work in a
system that doesn’t reward such hard work?
Finally, she took a deep breath. She looked to see if the teacher was still on the other side
of the room, and glanced over Jessie’s shoulder just long enough to get the final answer
to the question. Then, she figured out the rest of the problem on her own. In the moment,
she felt great about her decision. She felt she had sort of created an ethical compromise.
But on the way home on the bus, Georgia’s good feelings started to fade. “What exactly
is an ethical compromise anyway?” she thought to herself. Should she tell her teacher
what she did or move forward and forget about the whole thing?
1. Can you answer Georgia’s question at the end? Is there such a thing as an
ethical compromise?
2. Can you think of a time when you did something you knew could be
considered ethically wrong, but decided it was worth it? What was the
situation?
3. What do you think about Georgia’s point about how it is unfair that she
works so hard but isn’t rewarded for her work? Do you feel she should be
given more leeway for making the choice she did?
4. Have you ever had someone cheat off of you? What did it feel like? How
did you handle it? Would you handle it the same way if you could re-live
the same situation?
5. Given the list of five reasons (above) that U.S. students say they cheat,
which make more sense to you than others? Can you relate to any of them
personally?
6. What should Georgia do? Should she tell her teacher what she did?

ethical dilemma

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