This incident took place in Arizona, but appears in a Kansas City article. I think of this as a tip-of-the-iceberg issue. I don't really fault the teacher who appears to have been trying to be playful with the students and things came out the wrong way. But there is a larger issue which is that children, everyday, are being faulted and humiliated over failing to get their homework done on the misguided assumption that they could do well, if they just tried. It is my experience that homework problems start as educational issues, get misperceived as behavioral problems with that misperception reinforcing the behavioral problems. The school gets mobilized because of the behavioral problems, and the child moves into a behavioral classroom where homework is no longer required. It is a destructive and roundabout way of giving children the homework relief they needed in the first place. These children get turned off to education when they could have thrived had the situation been better understood at the start. Here is my commentary on his particular news item:
Dr. Kenneth Goldberg is a clinical psychologist with 35 years of professional experience in dealing with many different psychological issues. He is the author of The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Students and Teachers and currently works in his own private practice.
Visit the The Homework Trap website