Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Monday, November 20, 2017 03:29:06 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

The homework debate

photo by

By
16th-Apr-2017       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Johanna Sorrentino :
Every school day brings something new, but there is one status quo most parents expect: homework. The old adage that practice makes perfect seems to make sense when it comes to schoolwork. But, while hunkering down after dinner among books and worksheets might seem like a natural part of childhood, there's more research now than ever suggesting that it shouldn't be so.
Many in the education field today are looking for evidence to support the case for homework, but are coming up empty-handed. "Homework is all pain and no gain," says author Alfie Kohn. In his book The Homework Myth, Kohn points out that no study has ever found a correlation between homework and academic achievement in elementary school, and there is little reason to believe that homework is necessary in high school. In fact, it may even diminish interest in learning, says Kohn.
If you've ever had a late night argument with your child about completing homework, you probably know first-hand that homework can be a strain on families. In an effort to reduce that stress, a growing number of schools are banning homework.
Mary Jane Cera is the academic administrator for the Kino School, a private, nonprofit K-12 school in Tucson, Arizona, which maintains a no-homework policy across all grades. The purpose of the policy is to make sure learning remains a joy for students, not a second shift of work that impedes social time and creative activity. Cera says that when new students are told there will be no homework assignments, they breathe a sigh of relief.
Many proponents of homework argue that life is filled with things we don't like to do, and that homework teaches self-discipline, time management and other nonacademic life skills. Kohn challenges this popular notion: If kids have no choice in the matter of homework, they're not really exercising judgment, and are instead losing their sense of autonomy.
At the Kino school, Cera says children often choose to take their favorite parts of school home. "A lot of what we see kids doing is continuing to write in journals, practicing music with their friends, and taking experiments home to show their parents," she says. Anecdotal information from Kino graduates suggests that the early control over their education continues to serve them well into college; they feel better equipped to manage their time and approach professors with questions.
Standardized Testing
One of the reasons that we continue to dole out mountains of homework, Kohn says, is our obsession with standardized tests. This concern is especially relevant with the latest Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) results placing American students 25th in math and 21st in science. "The standards and accountability craze that has our students in its grip argues for getting tougher with children, making them do more mindless worksheets at earlier ages so that we can score higher in international assessments," Kohn says. "It's not about learning; it's about winning."
Even if we can agree on the importance of kids doing better on tests like PISA, Kohn says, there is no research to suggest that homework is our ticket to success. Our "competitors" in the global marketplace are coming up with the same conclusions about homework. A recent comparative study of kids in China, Japan and two U.S. cities shows there is no correlation between time spent on studying and academic achievement.
How Much Is Too Much?
So, what's the solution? The National Parent Teacher Association suggests children in kindergarten through second grade should do homework for no more than 10 to 20 minutes a day, and for third through sixth graders the limit is 30-60 minutes a day. Kohn says the question isn't just, "How much homework is too much?" Many parents would be delighted if teachers reduced the amount their children are getting, but he says the quality of those assignments needs to be addressed as well. "Some of this stuff isn't worth two minutes of their children's time," he says.
Kohn believes that the "default" setting for schools should be no homework, but that if evening work was assigned on occasion, it better be for a good reason. That means repetitive practice problems from 500-page textbooks get tossed out the window. Instead, Kohn says parents should be asking two fundamental questions:
Does this assignment make kids more excited about the topic and learning in general?
Does this assignment help kids to think more deeply about questions that matter?
What you can do
For parents who want to probe deeper into the quality of homework their child is getting, Kohn says the first step is to check the school's policy. In the case where poorly designed homework is being given, it's time to talk to the teacher, sit down with the principal, write a letter to the editor, and/or speak up at the next school board meeting. "It makes sense to do this with other parents," he says. "Ten parents saying that homework does more harm than good are hard to ignore."
Wherever the homework debate goes next, be it the front pages or on the back burner, it's worth taking a moment to examine if we're asking the right questions about our children's education. The good news is, it's never too late to start.

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

National »

GAFFARGAON: Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee of Muktijodha Sanghati Parishad Major (Retd.) Md Rezaul Karim, a veteran freedom fighter and an Awami League leader addressing a meeting on his participation in the coming National Election as a candidate from Awami League in the election area Mymensingh-10 (Gaffargaon & Pagla PS) Primary School field, Gaffargaon on Friday. Among others, freedom fighter Mofazzal Hossain, Auditor (retd.) Alhaj Abdul Karim and Ex Ward Member Saiful Islam also spoke in the meeting at Charalgi (Nidiar Char) .


Editorial »

Higher production capacity for power plants


THE state-owned power plants can't generate electricity to a minimum of their stated capacity as they lack improved technology, besides management failure to achieve the highest output as per a report in The New Nation on Sunday. The report quoting Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) said its power plants can ...

International »

Hariri announces return to Lebanon as crisis simmers


AP, Paris :Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri said he will return home in the coming days from where he will declare a political stance for the first time since making a strange resignation announcement from Saudi Arabia that unleashed fears of a crisis in Lebanon.Hariri and his family met Saturday ...

International »

Trump blasts Hillary for questioning legitimacy of election result


Xinhua, Washington :US President Donald Trump on Saturday denounced allegations of Hillary Clinton who questioned the legitimacy of his victory in last year's presidential election.Calling his Democratic presidential rival the "worst of biggest loser of all time," Trump tweeted that "She just can't stop, which is so good for the ...

Business & Economy »

Md. Abdul Hamid Miah, Managing Director of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited, receiving the 'Islamic Retail Banking Awards (IRBA) 2017' from Professor Humayon Dar, Chairman and Founder of IRBA on Tuesday at JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai. The bank achieved the award for strongest Islamic retail bank in South Asian Region conferred by UK-based financial intelligence house Cambridge IF Analytica.


Sports »

Opening ceremony of the Bengal Plastic Asian U-14 Series Tennis competition at Ramna National Tennis Complex in the city on Sunday.


Entertainment »

Documentary on Dilara Zaman


Entertainment Report :Ekushey Award winner noted actress Dilara Zaman got the house where she lived with her parents 65 years ago. After finding the house this noted actress broken down into tears because she tried to find out it for several times. This time after getting this she became excited ...

Editorial »

Engage the dignitaries for a prompt multilateral approach


FIVE foreign ministers from top Asian and European countries including a few high-ups of the European Union have started arriving in Dhaka since yesterday for discussing the Rohingya crisis with government officials. It has apparently become clear that our foreign office has finally woken up to realise that - not ...

Sports »

Asian U-14 Series Tennis competition begins tomorrow


The Bengal Plastic Asian U-14 Series Tennis competition will begin tomorrow (Monday) at Ramna National Tennis court complex in the city, said a Bangladesh Tennis Federation press release.A total of 22 boys and 15 girls' from host Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Philippines, America, and Sri Lanka will take part ...

Sports »

Vanderbilt guard Chelsie Hall (left) drives against Middle Tennessee guard Zeynep Canbaz (right) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Friday.


Entertainment »

Bubly , Shakib Khan pair once again


Entertainment Desk :Shakib Khan is bringing a new film under his own banner SK films. Titled Priotoma and directed by Himel Ashraf, popular Dhallywood actress Bubly will be seen against King Khan in this film, informed the actor."Himel Ashraf came to me with the story plot six months ago. I ...

Entertainment »

Kajol confirms film with Parineeta director


It was being speculated that Main Hoon Na writer Rajesh Saathi was to direct Kajol in her next film with Ajay Devgn Films. The project is said to be based on Anand Gandhi's Gujarati play Beta Kaagdo.But Kajol put the rumors aside. "Pradeep Sarkar will be directing the film, and ...

City »

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir speaking at a discussion marking 41st death anniversary of Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani organised by Bhasani Smrity Sangsad in DRU auditorium on Saturday.


International »

German parties head into long weekend of coalition talks


Reuters, Berlin :Germany's would-be coalition partners continued talks on Friday after all-night negotiations failed to produce a breakthrough, with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives saying they would compromise further on climate change policies to secure a deal.The conservatives, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens remained divided on climate policy ...

Editorial »

Questions over holding tax


THE government moves to increase holding tax in Dhaka and Chittagong cities by up to nine times at a time seems to be highly arbitrary that lacks reasonable justification anyway to be acceptable to the both city dwellers. People are voicing angry reaction to such move and we must say ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news