Simply because other students are plagiarizing is not a valid excuse for engaging in the practice.
The posting identified that students have expressed they did not understand the act was wrong, however virtually ever college and university clearly states their plagiarism policy, and the consequences of this action, in their policy handbooks at the freshman year. If students are not understanding that plagiarism is considered to be a universally-accepted concept of morality, then there is a disconnect between teacher reinforcement of these values or the university’s promotion of its plagiarism policy. “The role of the teacher is to translate moral ideology into a working social atmosphere in which students understand the meaning of the “hidden curriculum” based on the universal principle of justice” (Ercegovac and Richardson, 2004, p.309). What this means is that teachers should be at the postconventional stage of morality, in the role of instructor, and should be expressing these moral values in relation to plagiarism. It would seem that the role of promoting moral judgment starts at the administrative level at colleges to move students from Level 2 to Level 3 in moral development.
Ercegovac, Z. and Richardson, J. 2004. “Academic Dishonesty, Plagiarism Included, in the Digital Age: A Literature Review”. Retrieved November 19, 2009 from http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/facultyhandbook/documents/PlagiarismLiteratureReview.pdf
This posting utilized the argument that divinity, and attempting to meet the expectations of God, should be the moral center which guides moral lifestyles. However, these are not necessarily the “broad, universal moral principles” described by Kohlberg’s moral model (Feldman, 2008, p.340). Not all members of society agree with these values. For example, an individual who has barely made it