Wednesday, October 21, 2015

More stuff on homework

By Randen Pederson from Superior (Study of Study) [CC BY 2.0]
Maybe it is because I now have three children of my own in elementary school who suffer a daily barrage of homework assignments, but after 26 years as a teacher I have finally developed a deep, visceral hatred of homework.

I've long suspected that it wasn't doing the things I thought it was doing when I assigned it. I thought homework was an opportunity to practice skills, develop organizational skills and responsibility. But now, I am pretty darned sure that for the most part homework - at least the kind that is most often assigned - does nothing other than create family strife and a profound disdain for school and learning.

Yes...students need to practice skills. Yes...students need to develop strong organizational skills. Yes...students need to learn responsibility.

But, let's figure out a way to do these things at school rather than outsourcing this to the parents at home. By outsourcing the development of practice, organization, and responsibility to the home front, the educational establishment unwittingly contributes to the widening of the achievement/opportunity gap.

Additionally, there is question as to whether math homework is even beneficial regardless of the home and parent situation.

I'm wondering if we can begin a conversation centered around what (if any) math homework should be assigned. Can we rethink 100 years of tradition? Just thinking.

Here are  just a few articles that have come through my inbox recently. I thought I'd share them with you!