Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Homework Going Extinct

Here's an article by a teacher who appears to bemoan the cultural changes that are leading to more homework noncompliance. I think he misperceives why this is happening. Here's his article, and here are my thoughts:

One reason why homework noncompliance is increasing is because homework assignments are increasing. It is not reasonable to expect minors to be working endlessly. School stops and starts by the clock. Many jobs start and stop by a clock. Some people choose professions where they work long hours, until the work is done. But for many people, they work until time is up and then pick up the next day if the job isn't done. In fact, I daresay that many adults would be wise if they bound their work by time, rather than content, and learned to use time well.
Regardless of how much homework is given, there will always be a group of students who do not get their work done because they work more slowly than other students do. These students get misperceived as unmotivated when, in fact, they would do well if there were time boundaries on what they did. As our mad pressure to improve education has translated into increased homework demands, this has increased the numbers of students who cannot get it done. Then, as the peer milieu begins to accept more homework noncompliance, other students follow suit.
The solution for teachers is to recognize that, regardless of the value of homework, it is always being done on someone else's turf -- the parents' home. Once we recognize and respect the authority of the parents, and assign homework with the tacit consent of parents, we will find that teachers will be careful to give meaningful assignments, parents will be more agreeable and supportive of the teachers, and students will be willing to do what they are told.
To give a child an assignment, threaten him with failure if he does not get it done, and then terrorize his parents with fear that their child will fail unless he gets all the work done, breeds behavioral problems, parental irrationality, and, in the end, is abusive to the child.

For more information on Dr. Goldberg's model, read other postings on this blog, visit his website, The Homework Trap, or read his book, The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Students and Teachers. 


1 comment:

eigerleadership said...

Love this post, and also love Moomin!
Leadership Development