Saturday, March 23, 2013

An AP Student Comments on Time

Here's a comment by an AP student on how much time homework takes.  A lot of the homework debate appears directed to high performing students. I think we need to consider homework and its affects on average and struggling students. Here is the comment I wrote to what he said.

The issue of time depends greatly on what we mean by time: The time the assignment “should” take or the time the assignments actually takes. The issue this AP student presents is somewhat different from the issue that affects the average student. Homework is a fact of life going back to elementary school and most AP students have had success with it all along. AP classes are intended to be similar to classes taken in college. In college, a full time course load may involve 16 credits. If the student spends two hours doing homework for every credit hour of lecture time, that’s 48 hours per week, a reasonable workload for a college student. So it may be difficult to develop time criteria that make sense for students who take these advanced classes but are going to school more than 6 hours a day.

The issue I focus on is the less advanced student who has been struggling with homework from the beginning. Time, measured by the assignment, does not allow for the fact that kids work at different paces. So that student who is normally bright, and college bound, but not the budding AP student, normally takes more time to get the assignment done. And some students take so long, that they cannot get it all done. The ongoing penalties and teacher-parent pressures they receive actually turns them off to school, rather than foster their education.

I call these kids homework-trapped, and the only solution for them is to create true time-bound limits to the work they do. I discuss this more in my book: The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Students and Teachers and on my website:

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. 


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