A letter to my students …

Dr. Bill Taylor, a Professor of Political Science at Oakton Community College, wrote a letter to his students regarding academic integrity.  I think this is awesome.  It spells out exceptionally well what he expects of his students and what elements of integrity they should expect out of him.  It makes his procedures for assessment and professionalism transparent to the student.  I think in teacher education, we would also liken this to dispositions.  But Dr. Taylor does a masterful job of explaining why academic integrity is important to him as an individual and why it should be respected by a profession.

What are your thoughts?  Does your school have a code of conduct for academic honesty?  Is it taken seriously?  Should teachers write letters like this home to students — either for middle school, high school or college?  What about elementary schools?  We’ve all sat through the fourth grade reports on dinosaurs, where each student said the exact same thing.  Or for me, worse yet, is where you can tell the parents did the school project.  Where’s the learning?  What might this letter look like to elementary school students?

I’m considering doing this with my students.  What do you think?  Should I?