In Tuesday's Washington Post education blog, Mark Harris talks about the differences in attitudes toward vocational education in Norway and in the United States. He highlights how vocational training is valued there as a comparably good option to an academic education, where it is viewed here as an alternative for students who are thought to be less bright. He notes that Norwegian students are supported in the paths they pursue once they finish their basic education.
I believe he is right in what he says. I also believe that there is room or us to consider what happens at the elementary school level and how modern homework policy interferes with the vocational education of many children during those earlier years. By forcing children to continue their schoolwork outside of the classroom and into the home, we are actually forcing those children who are more hands-on by nature to spend excessive amounts of time doing what they don't do well to earn mediocre grades, when, in fact, their spontaneous play would help them develop the skills they actually have.
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