Sunday, February 12, 2012

Teacher advises parents not to do second grader's Valentine project.

Here's a post I made in response to an innocuous seeming article by a second grade teacher. Let me know what you think.

Kelley Tenny is right that a second grade project should be done by a second grader, not by the parent. Undoubtedly, there are some driven parents who do the projects for their children. But I think Ms. Tenny is missing the larger issue which is that homework takes place in the home and that parents are in charge of that space. For sure, teachers should have the freedom to teach in their space, the classroom, without undo parental interference. Similarly, parents should run their homes, as they see fit, using their own judgment. There are a number of reasons why parents may choose to do the project for their children. Some may be good. Some may not. But I believe strongly that teachers should view the use of the home as an extension of the class, only with the permission of the parent. Most parents give implicit permission for reasonable amounts of homework. But the point should never be lost that the space is the domain of the parent, and the parent alone. Once we accept that, we'll see that there is a need to reduce penalties for homework not done, or, at least, defer to the parent as the final authory when homework problems arise. Kenneth Goldberg, Ph.D.


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