October 19, 2006

I'm Homework

Looks like my post on Alfie Kohn has been assigned as part of a homework assignment at a Montreal school. Students are supposed to read one of Kohn's screeds and then my post and blog about it.

Oddly enough, half the class appears not to have done their homework.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kohn seems to disprove his assertions a few times in the book. He says that certain students are more likely to be doing the homework than others, thus widening the acheivement gap. So he seems to suggest the most fair thing to do would be not to assign any homework? He covers these topics on pages 126-128,and 187.

parentalcation said...

While I have come out against homework in the past, I do think the biggest problems are the quality of homework and the amount of homework. My 3rd grader has more homework than my 6th and 10th graders put together, and despite this amount of homework her reading skills are still suffering.

By the way, on your use of profanity in the original post... I so know how you feel. I had to literally restraing myself from using the F word because I was so pissed off. I think I still managed to convey my frustration... bad language and emotional arguments are one of the benefits to being amateur bloggers.

rightwingprof said...

Have a trackback.

Instructivist said...

The issue of homework shouldn't be discussed in a vacuum. Much depends on the quality of homework. If homework if more trivial busywork then it is a waste of time.

A side benefit of homework is that it gives parents a glimpse of what's going on in school. Many parents are probably clueless about the fuzzy math plague that covers the land.

Anonymous said...

We have the Investigations math curriculum at our school. Not only is there very little homework, much of it is baffling, and involves cutting, coloring or writing about math instead of doing math.
My child is in third grade. We have done a lot of drills at home. At this point I am thinking about ordering the Singapore curriculum to do at home.

rightwingprof said...

"Much depends on the quality of homework."

I agree.

"If homework if more trivial busywork then it is a waste of time."

Again, I agree. If you want to make business students really hate your guts, assign them busy work. They hate it. They'll kill themselves doing assignments that have actual purpose, but busy work? They'll kill you on those evaluations for it.

What students won't do is read. Ask them to read just ten pages, most of it tables and figures, in a week, and they will complain, and not do it. Students are ill prepared for the workload in college; they don't need to be even less well prepared by having teachers jump on the no homework bandwagon.

Anonymous said...

What students won't do is read. Ask them to read just ten pages, most of it tables and figures, in a week, and they will complain, and not do it.

RWP, while students read less than they used to, your complaint seems discipline specific. History majors at my university (they're the ones I'm familiar with) will balk at 100 pages a week; history grad students begin to complain at 500. That's per class.

Michael

rightwingprof said...

"RWP, while students read less than they used to, your complaint seems discipline specific."

I'm sure it is. After all, wouldn't history majors expect to be asked to read?

However, my point was that it hasn't always been like this. Every year, the reading students will do decreases. And when we do stats on test results, there is a correlation between questions taken solely from the assigned readings and questions students miss.