Here you will find some good background on the anti-homework campaign that burst forth into a national crusade and a charming video to share with others that sweetly illustrates the sentiments of the movement.
Questioning the long standing tradition is what's important--perhaps it works, maybe it doesn't but simply accepting it without assessment is an outdated approach. Our culture and families have changed, shouldn't we?
Does assigning fifty math problems accomplish any more than assigning five? Is memorizing word lists the best way to increase vocabulary—especially when it takes away from reading time? And what is the real purpose behind those devilish dioramas?
So why do we continue to administer this modern cod liver oil- or even demand a larger dose? Kohn’s incisive analysis reveals how a set of misconceptions about learning and a misguided focus on competitiveness has left our kids with less free time, and our families with more conflict.
This is an excellent study out of University of CA, Berkeley that illustrates the progressive approach to Homework in detail and shines some real enlightenment on why teachers do the same things throughout the ages without considering their efficacy. It can be read in PDF for free on this link. Lengthy but full of amazing questions and concepts around the issue.
If giving homework that creates struggle at home is one of the concerns, perhaps there is a way to establish work in the classroom that better supports the homework effort in the evening. Connecting the ongoing learning in class to what is expected of the student on their own could be a key to success.
There is no simple answer to the homework question…but for those of you who still feel it can have some inherent value and shouldn't be discarded entirely, here are some ideas on how to handle it with integrity and create the most effective system possible to keeping it real on the homework front.
If we are going to improve the face of homework or even more revolutionary, give it a whole new definition, we will need some clear strategies. What keeps it from being busy work or simply unsupported time of struggle for kids? Establishing a clear objective is critical.