Wednesday, November 29, 2006

So, It's Not Just Us

TJ and I have noticed, with some alarm, that our young'uns have been saddled with much more homework than we ever had... or even than our two older ones ever had. It is, apparently, much more prevelant than we thought.

Here is a good article on the subject... and I plan to research the books they talk about.

[[ The country's top homework scholar, Duke University's Harris Cooper, author of "The Battle over Homework: Common Ground for Administrators, Teachers, and Parents" (Corwin), analyzed nearly 200 studies and concluded that homework does not measurably improve academic achievement for children in grade school. He also found that for high school students in particular, performance diminished after two hours of homework.

"Kids are not vending machines," Mr. Kohn said. "You don't put in more homework and have more learning come out the other end. Your instincts might tell you otherwise, but the research is overwhelmingly conclusive."

It might not be clear what sweeping educational policies will best serve the majority of American children. But it is decidedly clear that children being raised in the privileged world of private, competitive schools are being overworked each night, especially in the early grades, when there is hardly any proof of any academic benefit.

"Parents need to reclaim their family time at night," Mr. Kohn said. "If teachers can make a case that most children in their class can benefit from an assignment, well great. But that's very different from assuming that all homework, regardless of it content, is valuable."

"These selective schools are all about sweat and tears instead of creating a love of learning," he continued. "Saddling children with homework does one thing: It kills the love of learning."

Honestly, I believe that part of it is a mask to hide the incompetence of many teachers nowadays. They think that giving the kids lots of homework will make parents think that much learning is occurring and the teacher is serious about academics. Well, the opposite holds true for me. I think it is a poor teacher who sends the student out with busy work, instead of actually teaching.

Homework Blues



Blogger saj said...

I think one of the reasons that teachers are sending more homework home with our kids is because they are spending too much time on indocrinating them instead of teaching them the basics. For instance, a couple of weeks ago, I picked up the Baltimore Sun and there was this article about a school that had an Indian shaman come and talk to the students about peace!!! Baltimore City has some of the worst, if not the worst, schools in the country and their wasting time teaching students about peace when they can't even pass basic math and reading tests! Of course, the writer of the article was gushing about how great it was. Let the parents teach their kids about peace for pete's sake.

Colleges are complaining that they have to provide remedial reading and math classes to their incoming freshmen because the high schools aren't doing their jobs. But then we have a whole generation of college kids who are indoctrinated with a blame-American-first attitude because they've been taught revisionist history. American history is barely even taught in some colleges.

And don't get me started about how they are cutting down on phys ed in the schools. Boys need to be active and parents and teachers can't understand why junior can't concentrate in class so they medicate him when in most cases HE JUST NEEDS TO GET OUT DURING THE DAY AND GET SOME ACTIVITY. Phys ed should be required EVERY SINGLE DAY and that just doesn't happen anymore. When I was in high school, we had gym every day. My 10th grader has it for one semester. The rest of the year he has to sit in each class for 90 minutes!! My God, no wonder they can't concentrate. I know I couldn't sit through 90 minutes of physics or geometry and pay attention the whole time. When my son was in middle school, he only had gym 3 days a week. Again, I had it every day, all year!

I have a question: can anyone tell me what the hell was wrong with the way things were done 50 years ago in the schools?????? Kids are not learning and the schools just keep on keepin on. It's all about feelings, don't you know. We can't have any competition. We mustn't let junior feel bad about himself. No validictorians or honor rolls posted on the bulletin board in the hall... no, no, that's not fair. It might hurt someones feelings.

But then, I also personally know parents who complain when the teachers don't send enough homework home.

We were considering sending our daughter to a private school up the road, but when I found out that they require 6 written book reports over the summer, we said forget that school. That's ridiculous! We couldn't imagine how much homework they have to do during the school year.

29/11/06 09:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to be everywhere. How can we stop it?

30/11/06 16:18  

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