Thursday, March 7, 2013

Teacher Evolves in Outlook on Homework

Here is a blog post by a teacher who has evolved in his thinking about homework. He should be applauded for thinking things through and reviewing past beliefs. But let's consider the impact that he and all teachers have as they develop their thoughts along the way. Anyway, here is the link to what he says.  And here is what I posted as a response to his blog:

I agree with much of what you say, but I'd like to step back and address the meta-question of the power to give homework, not just the homework itself. Society is set up at the current time so that 30 or more people, the teachers a student will encounter of the course of his or her school career, have the relatively unchecked power to make decisions about what will take place in the student's home. Teachers will vary in what they believe, and teachers will evolve in developing their personal points of view, just as the author of this article has. Yet, in the process, those teachers have the authority to override the decisions the individual parents may make, because they can give extreme penalties for work that is not done. This is true despite the fact that, to the best of my knowledge, no teacher has a course called "homework" when trained to be a teacher, and there are a dearth of resources through which teachers can learn about homework. Further, hardly any teachers, when surveyed about their continuing education needs, cite homework as an area where they want to learn more. So even though a teacher like the one who wrote this post may develop insights into homework over the course of a career, teachers as a whole are vested with too much power to make binding decisions about behavioral expectations for children in their homes. This is a core problem, and one I address 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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