Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Homework Discussion Continues With Thoughts From B.C.

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It has been great reading the feedback on the post I wrote a few days back titled "How Necessary is Homework?" If you haven't had a chance to read the post and the comments, I hope you'll take a moment to read it and then add your opinion on the issue. It is imperative that we have open discussions about topics like this that have such a great impact on our students and that we review our practices to ensure that they are accomplishing the outcomes we desired.

Another positive of having this discussion in a web-based setting has been the fact that we have gotten feedback from people in other parts of the world who have had these same discussions. We are truly fortunate to live in a day and age where this type of sharing can take place so easily.

David Truss
One of the links shared came courtesy of David Truss, a school administrator from British Columbia.   David shared a post he wrote back in April of 2011 titled "Homework." I love how he handled the topic of homework when he was a classroom teacher:
 "As a math teacher, my first lessons were not about Math they were about life. I wrote this formula on the board:
"Equal is not equal to fair"Equal is not equal to fair.
Sometimes certain students didn’t get homework, or they got alternate homework. Some didn’t write the pre-tests, some only did every other question, some only had to do 5 questions, some had to do them all. It’s not fair to give 3 students the same number of questions when one student is bored to death by them, one can do them in 20 minutes and still another student will struggle with them unsuccessfully for an hour… it would be equal, but not fair."
The differentiation of homework amounts as described by David is definitely something that needs to be looked at closely. I encourage you to read the entire post here and I look forward to reviewing some of the other links on the topic of homework that David cited, including one from Alfie Kohn, one of the most well known advocates for less/no homework.  

I hope people will continue to share their thoughts and links to relevant material on this topic. 
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