The Educator's PLN
The personal learning network for educators
Episode 76: The Bedley Bros interview Alfie Kohn about his philosophy that homework is a bad idea. http://www.alfiekohn.org Mr. Kohn is a leading voice in ed...
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It was interesting to hear that there is actually no research that shows any benefit to giving homework to students in elementary/middle school. Why do educators continue with this practice despite the fact that it actually makes students less excited about learning? I like the idea of optional homework, where you allow the student to choose whether they feel like they will benefit from it or not. This is the method I have chosen to use. I allow the students (or parents) to decide whether or not homework is a part of their life. At the beginning of the school year, I explain in a newsletter to parents my reasoning for not giving homework; however, I give them the option to chose if they would like their child to complete daily homework. The homework is minimal; only math and reading.
I don't think giving homework serves and real purpose other than busy work for teachers. Students are smart enough to know what they want to learn or do; the problem is can they find someone to help them to do that. Home work once a week or once ever two weeks or once a month wouldn't hurt them.
I also received homework consistently as a child. What I am considering is encouraging more fun interactions that can be enriching like "bring in a math joke or riddle to share" "find a math problem that you don't know how to do but looks interesting" as class participation points.
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