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?

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