Exploring the students' perceptions regarding unethical practices in the Romanian educational system
This paper examines the students' perceptions regarding unethical practices in the Romanian educational system. This research topic is highly sensitive, because it is about teachers' deviations from norms and malpractices. The aims of our research are: to investigate the perceptions of Romanian students on the weight of unethical practices by comparison with appropriate pedagogical practices; to analyse the perception of students on the hierarchy of unethical practices; to draw comparisons between the respective perceptions regarding unethical practices by taking into account three variables (level of instruction, gender and residential status). The data was collected from a sample of 452 Romanian university and high-school students. The instrument we have used was a questionnaire, designed specifically for this purpose. The concept of unethical practices was operationalized into several categories of indicators: indicators of teaching practices, assessment practices indicators, indicators of relationship management and of teacher public behaviour. The results reveal several findings: (1) Romanian students are quite critical regarding the evaluation of their teachers' morality. (2) Favouritism and discrimination in assessment are perceived as the most frequent unethical practice. (3) High-school students are more critical than university students, boys are more critical than girls and those from the urban residence are more critical than those from the rural residence in terms of appreciating the morality of their teachers.