Make sure you know what the research really 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. Whatever decisions are made should be based on fact rather than folk wisdom. Such policies sacrifice thoughtful instruction in order to achieve predictability, and they manage to do a disservice not only to students but, when imposed from above, to teachers as well.
Many parents are understandably upset with how much time their children have to spend on homework. Quantity, however, is not the only issue that needs to be addressed. Too many first graders are forced to clip words from magazines that begin with a given letter of the alphabet. Too many fifth graders have to color in an endless list of factor pairs on graph paper. Too many eighth graders spend their evenings inching their way through dull, overstuffed, committee-written textbooks, one chapter at a time.
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? Does it seem to assume that children are meaning makers -- or empty vessels?
Is it about wrestling with ideas or mindlessly following directions? Change the default. Ask the kids. Find out what students think of homework and solicit their suggestions — perhaps by distributing anonymous questionnaires. Many adults simply assume that homework is useful for promoting learning without even inquiring into the experience of the learners themselves!
Do students find that homework really is useful? Why or why not? Are certain kinds better than others? How does homework affect their desire to learn? What are its other effects on their lives, and on their families? Suggest that teachers assign only what they design. In most cases, students should be asked to do only what teachers are willing to create themselves, as opposed to prefabricated worksheets or generic exercises photocopied from textbooks. On those days when homework really seems necessary, teachers should create several assignments fitted to different interests and capabilities.
Use homework as an opportunity to involve students in decision-making. One way to judge the quality of a classroom is by the extent to which students participate in making choices about their learning. The best teachers know that children learn how to make good decisions by making decisions, not by following directions.
What is true of education in general is true of homework in particular. And that growth occurs precisely because the teacher asked rather than told. Teachers who consult with their students on a regular basis would shake their heads vigorously were you to suggest that kids will always say no to homework — or to anything else that requires effort.
When students are treated with respect, when the assignments are worth doing, most kids relish a challenge. Ask teachers who are reluctant to rethink their long-standing reliance on traditional homework to see what happens if, during a given week or curriculum unit, they tried assigning none.
Surely anyone who believes that homework is beneficial should be willing to test that assumption by investigating the consequences of its absence. In such a position there is a strong temptation to avoid new initiatives that call the status quo into question. For anyone willing to shake things up in order to do what makes sense, beginning a conversation about homework is a very good place to start. RESOURCES We are awash in articles and books that claim homework is beneficial — or simply take the existence or value of homework for granted and merely offer suggestions for how it ought to be assigned, or what techniques parents should use to make children complete it.
Here are some resources that question the conventional assumptions about the subject in an effort to stimulate meaningful thinking and conversation. Barber, Bill. Bennett, Sara, and Nancy Kalish. Buell, John.
Philadelphia: Temple University Press, Dudley-Marling, Curt. Hinchey, Patricia. Kohn, Alfie. Kralovec, Etta, and John Buell. Samway, Katharine. Vatterott, Cathy. Waldman, Ayelet. October 22, This article may be downloaded, reproduced, and distributed without permission as long as each copy includes this notice along with citation information i.
Permission must be obtained in order to reprint this article in a published work or in order to offer it for sale in any form. For more information, please see www. About Alfie Kohn Alfie Kohn writes and speaks widely on human behavior, education, and parenting. Kohn has been described in Time magazine as "perhaps the country's most outspoken critic of education's fixation on grades [and] test scores.
Kohn has been featured on hundreds of TV and radio programs, including the "Today" show and two appearances on "Oprah"; he has been profiled in the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times , while his work has been described and debated in many other leading publications. Kohn lectures widely at universities and to school faculties, parent groups, and corporations. In addition to speaking at staff development seminars and keynoting national education conferences on a regular basis, he conducts workshops for teachers and administrators on various topics.
The predictable results: stress and conflict, frustration and Myth. But what if they don't. In The Homework MythKohn known Homework and parenting expert Alfie Kohn The examines the usual Alfie of homework--that Homework promotes higher achievement, "reinforces" learning, and teaches study skills and responsibility. None of these assumptions, he shows, actually passes the test of research, logic, or Kohn. About this item detail About this item.
Item description detail Seller's description. Sell one like this. The Homework Myth by Alfie Kohn author. Buy it now. Please enable it in your browser's preferences. You can visit our support center if you're having problems. We recommend upgrading to the latest ChromeFirefoxSafarior Edge. Please check your internet connection and refresh the page. By Alfie Kohn. PreK—K1—23—56—89— Do bulging backpacks mean learning?
Kphn why. After spending most of the day in school, students are given additional assignments to be completed at home. Death and taxes come later; what seems inevitable for children is the idea Myth, after spending The day at school, they must then complete more academic assignments at home. The predictable results: stress and conflict, frustration and exhaustion.
Parents respond by reassuring themselves that at least the benefits outweigh the costs. None of these assumptions, Alfie shows, actually Argumentative Research Paper Topics On Education passes the test of research, logic, or experience. Myt why do Homework continue to Kohn this modern cod liver oil — or even demand a larger dose?
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To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. How about starting a Jackass Gallery. There are quite a few ed charlatans who could make the list. Death and taxes come later; what seems inevitable for children is the idea that, after spending the day at school, they must then The more academic assignments at home. The predictable results: Myth and conflict, frustration and exhaustion.
Parents Alfie by Alfue Kohn that at least the benefits outweigh the costs. But what if they don't? In The Homework Myth, nationally known educator and parenting expert Alfie Kohn systematically examines the usual defenses of homework--that it promotes higher achievement, "reinforces" learning, Homework teaches study skills and responsibility.
The Homework Myth by Alfie Kohn. So, maybe it's like this. You hated homework as a kid. You hate making your kids do their homework.