Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 08:42:12 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

The homework debate

photo by

By
16th-Apr-2017       Readers ( 94 )   0 Comments
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all (0) »

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.

0 Comments. Share your thoughts also.
Write a comment
Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Big steps needed to end city water logging


AFTER torrential rain, most parts of metropolis Dhaka, Chittagong and other major cities are suffering from knee-deep water from early this week. Accompanied by story wind and smog city life has become unbearable at places in muddy streets along the dirty footpaths. Under-construction flyovers are blocking movement of traffic in ...

Cricket »

Kohli pain after Bangalore set new low in IPL


AFP, New Delhi :Skipper Virat Kohli said "it really hurts" after Royal Challengers Bangalore slumped to a record low score of 49 against Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.Chasing a modest 132, the Bangalore batsmen -- including Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers -- crashed in just ...

City »

Member of the Executive Council of Dhaka Club Limited Abdus Selim handing over a cheque of Tk 24 lakh to BGMEA President Siddiqur Rahman for the assistance of Rana Plaza victims at a ceremony held in the city on Sunday.


.

Entertainment »

Purnima in three new plays


Entertainment Report :It is little bit late to come Eid but the directors have already started to make Eid telefilms and plays. Three directors are going to make three plays to cast National Film Award winner actress Purnima. These three directors are: Chayanika Chowdhury, Sraboni Ferdous and Rajibul Islam Rajib. ...

International »

Trump`s approval rating hits record low


AP, Washington Post :Six days before marking his first 100 days in office, President Trump has the lowest approval rating of any president in more than 70 years, a pair of polls published Sunday found.According to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, just 42 percent of Americans approve of Trump's ...

Cricket »

Mustafizur returns home tomorrow


Sports Reporter :'Wonder Boy' Mustafizur Rahman will return home tomorrow from tomorrow. Mustafizur Rahman had a sorrow start in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. The 'Cutter Master' played for Sunrisers Hyderabad against Mumbai Indians in Mumbai in his first match on April 13. Mustafiz bowled 2.4 overs conceding 34 runs ...

Football »

Neymar ban dispute rages ahead of Clasico


Neymar looks set to travel with the Barcelona squad for Sunday's El Clasico against Real Madrid as the Catalans continue to fight his suspension for the potentially title-deciding clash.The Brazilian is in the midst of a three-game suspension for his red card and subsequent sarcastic applause of the officials in ...

Editorial »

Specter of war threatening world peace


North Korea has warned of preemptive strike against the South as the specter of war threatens the Korea peninsula.. Meanwhile, Talibans killed at least 140 Afghan soldiers on Friday in an ambush on the regime's forces in northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. It is so far the deadliest attack on Afghan ...

Entertainment »

Will never do erotic genre like Hate Story 3 again: Daisy Shah


Actress Daisy Shah played a bold role in the 2015 erotic thriller "Hate Story 3". But she will never get into that genre again as she finds kissing a stranger very awkward.Asked what kind of characters she will never play on screen, she told IANS in an email interaction: "I ...

Entertainment »

I'm still an outsider in Hollywood: Chris Pratt


Chris Pratt is the main lead in two of the biggest Hollywood franchises - Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy - and is one of its highest-earning stars, but the American actor still considers himself an outsider in Hollywood. The actor believes "Hollywood has a tendency to homogenise its ...

City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Nazrul Islam Khan, among others, at a rally organised by former students` leaders of Sirajganj district at DRU auditorium demanding release of BNP Vice-Chairman Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku.


International »

Russia tried to use Trump advisers to influence election: Report


AFP, Washington :Rus­sian operatives tried to infiltrate Donald Trump's presidential campaign through his advisers, including foreign policy aide Carter Page, CNN reported on Saturday.CNN said this emerged through FBI intelligence gathering, which triggered an investigation into any possible coordination between Trump campaign operatives and Russian officials.US officials told the news ...

Cricket »

Pacer Taskin becomes Atom Gum brand ambassador


Bangladesh pacer Taskin Ahmed has been appointed as the brand ambassador of Atom Gum, a product of PRAN Confectionery Limited, said a press release.It was announced by Shakhawat Ahamed, head of marketing of PRAN Confectionery Limited at a program held in the city's hotel on Saturday. The Tiger pacer will ...

Cricket »

Shakib new T20 I Captain of Bangladesh Cricket team


Sports Reporter :Shakib Al Hasan has been appointed Captain of Bangladesh National Cricket (T20 I) team.Earlier, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, the Captain of Bangladesh National Cricket (ODI & T20 I) team declared his retirement from T20 I format. Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced on Saturday that best all-rounder of world cricket ...

Editorial »

Dengue : Now an annual visitor


THE capital is yet again experiencing an early outbreak of dengue and untimely rains may be to blame. Like last year, Aedes mosquitoes, transmitter of the dengue virus, have bred early this year alarming authorities and city dwellers and health officials say there are chances their number would be larger, ...

 
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