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Examining Academic Integrity in 'The Cheating Class' Documentary

Explore the complex issue of academic integrity in "The Cheating Class," a revealing documentary that delves into why students cheat and how they are caught.

Keywords: Academic Integrity, Cheating, Education System, Student Life, Ethical Dilemmas, School Policies.
Three words: Informative, Thought-provoking, Revealing.


"The Cheating Class," is a riveting documentary directed by Sharon Bartlett and Maria LeRose in 2012. It delves into the complex world of ‘Academic Integrity’, offering a peek into the reasons why students cheat and how schools deal with it.


In "The Cheating Class," students, administrators, parents, and teachers candidly share their experiences with academic integrity. The film provides a comprehensive understanding of what constitutes a cheating offense – it’s not as black and white as it may seem – and how perpetrators are caught.

More Film Analysis


The documentary takes an investigative approach to the topic, exploring the various factors that contribute to cheating in academic settings. It examines the pressures placed on students to succeed acadically, the ethical dilemmas they face, and the school policies that seek to address this issue.

Historical and Factual Context

The documentary provides a historical context for academic integrity, tracing its evolution and how it has been shaped by societal changes. It also presents factual data on the prevalence of cheating in schools.

Key themes in the film

  • The ethical implications of cheating
  • The pressures faced by students in academic settings
  • The enforcement of academic integrity policies in schools

Film Comparisons

"The Cheating Class" can be compared to documentaries like "Ivory Tower" and "The Race to Nowhere," which also delve into the issues plaguing the education system. However, "The Cheating Class" uniquely focuses on the issue of academic integrity.

Noteworthy Moments

A significant revelation in the documentary is the gray area that exists in the definition of cheating. Not all actions are clearly classified as cheating, leading to debates and controversies in academic settings.


This documentary received critical acclaim for its in-depth exploration of a complex issue. Critics appreciated the balanced perspective provided, as it showcased the views of all stakeholders involved in the education system.


"The Cheating Class" is a must-watch for anyone interested in understanding the complexities of academic integrity. It offers valuable insights for educators, students, and parents alike.

More film information:


  • Genre: Documentary



  • Sharon Bartlett: Director
  • Maria LeRose: Director



  • Filmed in various schools across the United States.

Key Questions Raised by the Film:

  • What constitutes cheating in academic environments?
  • Why do students resort to cheating?
  • How can schools effectively enforce academic integrity?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. If this film was a famous book, it would be "Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty" by James M. Lang because of its focus on academic integrity.
  2. If this film was a famous song, it would be "Take the Money and Run" by Steve Miller Band, given its theme of manipulation and deceit.
  3. If this film was a famous piece of art, it would be "The Cheat with the Ace of Clubs" by Georges de la Tour, reflecting the crafty nature of cheating.
  4. If this film was a famous celebrity, it would be Emma Watson, who is known for her advocacy in education.
  5. If this film was a color, it would be gray, symbolizing the moral ambiguity in cheating.
  6. If this film was a music style, it would be blues, which encapsulates the struggle and emotional turmoil faced by students.