Article On Homework

[For a more detailed look at the issues discussed here — including a comprehensive list of citations to relevant research and a discussion of successful efforts to effect change– please see the book The Homework Myth.] After spending most of the day in school, children are typically given additional assignments to be completed at home.This is a rather curious fact when you stop to think about it, but not as curious as the fact that few people ever stop to think about it.What parents teachers need is support from administrators who are willing to challenge the conventional wisdom.

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It becomes even more curious, for that matter, in light of three other facts: 1. They include children’s frustration and exhaustion, lack of time for other activities, and possible loss of interest in learning.

Many parents lament the impact of homework on their relationship with their children; they may also resent having to play the role of enforcer and worry that they will be criticized either for not being involved enough with the homework or for becoming too involved. The positive effects of homework are largely mythical.

Teachers should be invited to reflect on whether any given example of homework will help students think deeply about questions that matter.

What philosophy of teaching, what theory of learning, lies behind each assignment?

Later on we’ll figure out what to make them do.” I’ve heard from countless people across the country about the frustration they feel over homework.

Parents who watch a torrent of busywork spill out of their children’s backpacks wish they could help teachers understand how the cons overwhelmingly outweigh the pros.

Does it seem to assume that children are meaning makers — or empty vessels?

Is learning regarded as a process that’s mostly active or passive? Ultimately, it’s not enough just to have less homework or even better homework.

Let’s face it: Most children dread homework, or at best see it as something to be gotten through. Educate yourself and share what you’ve learned with teachers, parents, and central office administrators.

Thus, even if it did provide other benefits, they would have to be weighed against its likely effect on kids’ love of learning. Make sure you know what the research says – that there is no reason to believe that children would be at any disadvantage in terms of their academic learning or life skills if they had much less homework, or even none at all.

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