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Sign up for Harvard Ed News and get the latest from the Harvard Graduate School of Education Artboard 1 By Lory Hough The debate over how much schoolwork students should be doing at home has flared again, with one side saying it's too much, the other side saying in our competitive world, it's just not enough.Illustration by Jessica Esch It was a move that doesn't happen very often in American public schools: The principal got rid of homework.
This past September, Stephanie Brant, principal of Gaithersburg Elementary School in Gaithersburg, Md All children should be doing homework, says Duke University. that doesn't happen very often in American public schools: The principal got rid of homework..This past September, Stephanie Brant, principal of Gaithersburg Elementary School in Gaithersburg, Md.
, decided that instead of teachers sending kids home with math worksheets and spelling flash cards, students would instead go home and read.Every day for 30 minutes, more if they had time or the inclination, with parents or on their own .Every day for 30 minutes, more if they had time or the inclination, with parents or on their own."I knew this would be a big shift for my community," she says ."I knew this would be a big shift for my community," she says.But she also strongly believed it was a necessary one.
Twenty-first-century learners, especially those in elementary school, need to think critically and understand their own learning — not spend night after night doing rote homework drills.Brant's move may not be common, but she isn't alone in her questioning.The value of doing schoolwork at home has gone in and out of fashion in the United States among educators, policymakers, the media, and, more recently, parents.As far back as the late 1800s, with the rise of the Progressive Era, doctors such as Joseph Mayer Rice began pushing for a limit on what he called "mechanical homework," saying it caused childhood nervous conditions and eyestrain.
Around that time, the then-influential Ladies Home Journal began publishing a series of anti-homework articles, stating that five hours of brain work a day was "the most we should ask of our children," and that homework was an intrusion on family life.
In response, states like California passed laws abolishing homework for students under a certain age.But, as is often the case with education, the tide eventually turned.After the Russians launched the Sputnik satellite in 1957, a space race emerged, and, writes Brian Gill in the journal Theory Into Practice, "The homework problem was reconceived as part of a national crisis; the U.was losing the Cold War because Russian children were smarter.
" Many earlier laws limiting homework were abolished, and the longterm trend toward less homework came to an end.The debate re-emerged a decade later when parents of the late '60s and '70s argued that children should be free to play and explore — similar anti-homework wellness arguments echoed nearly a century earlier.
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By the early-1980s, however, the pendulum swung again with the publication of A Nation at Risk, which blamed poor education for a "rising tide of mediocrity." Students needed to work harder, the report said, and one way to do this was more homework.For the most part, this pro-homework sentiment is still going strong today, in part because of mandatory testing and continued economic concerns about the nation's competitiveness Hot classrooms harm children s academic performance study finds.
For the most part, this pro-homework sentiment is still going strong today, in part because of mandatory testing and continued economic concerns about the nation's competitiveness.
Many believe that today's students are falling behind their peers in places like Korea and Finland and are paying more attention to Angry Birds than to ancient Babylonia.But there are also a growing number of Stephanie Brants out there, educators and parents who believe that students are stressed and missing out on valuable family time 7 Feb 2017 - Many of us will have struggled to remember someone's name when we meet them The link between homework and educational achievement is “The worst thing you can do with homework is give kids projects; the best Get parents involved, without the homework being a point of conflict with students..But there are also a growing number of Stephanie Brants out there, educators and parents who believe that students are stressed and missing out on valuable family time.Students, they say, particularly younger students who have seen a rise in the amount of take-home work and already put in a six- to nine-hour "work" day, need less, not more homework 7 Feb 2017 - Many of us will have struggled to remember someone's name when we meet them The link between homework and educational achievement is “The worst thing you can do with homework is give kids projects; the best Get parents involved, without the homework being a point of conflict with students..Students, they say, particularly younger students who have seen a rise in the amount of take-home work and already put in a six- to nine-hour "work" day, need less, not more homework.Who is right? Are students not working hard enough or is homework not working for them? Here's where the story gets a little tricky: It depends on whom you ask and what research you're looking at.As Cathy Vatterott, the author of Rethinking Homework, points out, "Homework has generated enough research so that a study can be found to support almost any position, as long as conflicting studies are ignored.
" Alfie Kohn, author of The Homework Myth and a strong believer in eliminating all homework, writes that, "The fact that there isn't anything close to unanimity among experts belies the widespread assumption that homework helps." At best, he says, homework shows only an association, not a causal relationship, with academic achievement.In other words, it's hard to tease out how homework is really affecting test scores and grades.Did one teacher give better homework than another? Was one teacher more effective in the classroom? Do certain students test better or just try harder? "It is difficult to separate where the effect of classroom teaching ends," Vatterott writes, "and the effect of homework begins." Putting research aside, however, much of the current debate over homework is focused less on how homework affects academic achievement and more on time.
Parents in particular have been saying that the amount of time children spend in school, especially with afterschool programs, combined with the amount of homework given — as early as kindergarten — is leaving students with little time to run around, eat dinner with their families, or even get enough sleep.Certainly, for some parents, homework is a way to stay connected to their children's learning.But for others, homework creates a tug-of-war between parents and children, says Liz Goodenough, M.'71, creator of a documentary called Where Do the Children Play? "Ideally homework should be about taking something home, spending a few curious and interesting moments in which children might engage with parents, and then getting that project back to school — an organizational triumph," she says."A nag-free activity could engage family time: Ask a parent about his or her own childhood.
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" Illustration by Jessica Esch Instead, as the authors of The Case Against Homework write, "Homework overload is turning many of us into the types of parents we never wanted to be: nags, bribers, and taskmasters." Leslie Butchko saw it happen a few years ago when her son started sixth grade in the Santa Monica-Malibu (Calif.
She remembers him getting two to four hours of homework a night, plus weekend and vacation projects Formatting Premium PhD A4 (British/European).She remembers him getting two to four hours of homework a night, plus weekend and vacation projects.
He was overwhelmed and struggled to finish assignments, especially on nights when he also had an extracurricular activity."Ultimately, we felt compelled to have Bobby quit karate — he's a black belt — to allow more time for homework," she says.And then, with all of their attention focused on Bobby's homework, she and her husband started sending their youngest to his room so that Bobby could focus.
"One day, my younger son gave us 15-minute coupons as a present for us to use to send him to play in the back room.… It was then that we realized there had to be something wrong with the amount of homework we were facing." Butchko joined forces with another mother who was having similar struggles and ultimately helped get the homework policy in her district changed, limiting homework on weekends and holidays, setting time guidelines for daily homework, and broadening the definition of homework to include projects and studying for tests.As she told the school board at one meeting when the policy was first being discussed, "In closing, I just want to say that I had more free time at Harvard Law School than my son has in middle school, and that is not in the best interests of our children." One barrier that Butchko had to overcome initially was convincing many teachers and parents that more homework doesn't necessarily equal rigor.
"Most of the parents that were against the homework policy felt that students need a large quantity of homework to prepare them for the rigorous AP classes in high school and to get them into Harvard," she says.'06, sees this at Another Course to College, the Boston pilot school where she teaches math."When a student is not completing his or her homework, parents usually are frustrated by this and agree with me that homework is an important part of their child's learning," she says.
'10, a ninth-grade English teacher at Eugene Ashley High School in Wilmington, N., says, "Parents think it is strange when their children are not assigned a substantial amount of homework.
" That's because, writes Vatterott, in her chapter, "The Cult(ure) of Homework," the concept of homework "has become so engrained in U.culture that the word homework is part of the common vernacular.
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" These days, nightly homework is a given in American schools, writes Kohn."Homework isn't limited to those occasions when it seems appropriate and important.
Most teachers and administrators aren't saying, 'It may be useful to do this particular project at home,'" he writes 1 Jan 1985 - The obvious corollary is that more homework will lead to higher achievement. Graduate School of Education and published by the Harvard University Press. with the budget cuts in schools reducing instruction music and the arts, Albert Shanker, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and .Most teachers and administrators aren't saying, 'It may be useful to do this particular project at home,'" he writes.
"Rather, the point of departure seems to be, 'We've decided ahead of time that children will have to do something every night (or several times a week).… This commitment to the idea of homework in the abstract is accepted by the overwhelming majority of schools — public and private, elementary and secondary 30 May 2018 - The analysis of 10 million US children's test scores taken across 13 years suggests air conditioning should be used to keep classrooms cool, the researchers said. to study in lessons in school and to concentrate on homework out of school. Joshua Goodman, associate professor at the Harvard Kennedy .… This commitment to the idea of homework in the abstract is accepted by the overwhelming majority of schools — public and private, elementary and secondary." Brant had to confront this when she cut homework at Gaithersburg Elementary."A lot of my parents have this idea that homework is part of life.
This is what I had to do when I was young," she says, and so, too, will our kids bestshot.us/thesis-proposal/write-me-an-marine-engineering-thesis-proposal-55-pages-15125-words-a4-british-european-british-without-plagiarism.This is what I had to do when I was young," she says, and so, too, will our kids." She did this slowly, first by asking her teachers last year to really think about what they were sending home.And this year, in addition to forming a parent advisory group around the issue, she also holds events to answer questions.Still, not everyone is convinced that homework as a given is a bad thing.
"Any pursuit of excellence, be it in sports, the arts, or academics, requires hard work.That our culture finds it okay for kids to spend hours a day in a sport but not equal time on academics is part of the problem," wrote one pro-homework parent on the blog for the documentary Race to Nowhere, which looks at the stress American students are under."Homework has always been an issue for parents and children.I think when people decide to have children that it is their responsibility to educate them," wrote another.
And part of educating them, some believe, is helping them develop skills they will eventually need in adulthood."Homework can help students develop study skills that will be of value even after they leave school," reads a publication on the U.Department of Education website called Homework Tips for Parents.
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"It can teach them that learning takes place anywhere, not just in the classroom.
… It can foster positive character traits such as independence and responsibility.Homework can teach children how to manage time 3 Jun 2016 - Admissions tutors at top universities in the US and the UK share insights or other highly selective US or English universities or liberal arts colleges, Selector (admissions tutor) at the US “Big Three” (Harvard, Yale and Princeton universities) Do give it a go; if you don't apply, you certainly won't get in..Homework can teach children how to manage time.
'01, feels this is particularly critical at less affluent schools like the ones she has worked at in Boston, Cambridge, Mass.
"It feels important that my students do homework because they will ultimately be competing for college placement and jobs with students who have done homework and have developed a work ethic," she says."Also it will get them ready for independently taking responsibility for their learning, which will need to happen for them to go to college EDUCATION VIEWS ON HOMEWORK CHALLENGED BY HARVARD nbsp."Also it will get them ready for independently taking responsibility for their learning, which will need to happen for them to go to college." The problem with this thinking, writes Vatterott, is that homework becomes a way to practice being a worker bestshot.us/coursework/help-me-with-my-asian-studies-coursework-academic-university-oxford." The problem with this thinking, writes Vatterott, is that homework becomes a way to practice being a worker."Is our job as educators to produce learners or workers?" Slate magazine editor Emily Bazelon, in a piece about homework, says this makes no sense for younger kids."Why should we think that practicing homework in first grade will make you better at doing it in middle school?" she writes."Doesn't the opposite seem equally plausible: that it's counterproductive to ask children to sit down and work at night before they're developmentally ready because you'll just make them tired and cross?" Kohn writes in the American School Board Journal that this "premature exposure" to practices like homework (and sit-and-listen lessons and tests) "are clearly a bad match for younger children and of questionable value at any age." He calls it BGUTI: Better Get Used to It."The logic here is that we have to prepare you for the bad things that are going to be done to you later … by doing them to you now.
" According to a recent University of Michigan study, daily homework for six- to eight-year-olds increased on average from about 8 minutes in 1981 to 22 minutes in 2003.A review of research by Duke University Professor Harris Cooper found that for elementary school students, "the average correlation between time spent on homework and achievement … hovered around zero." So should homework be eliminated? Of course not, say many Ed School graduates who are teaching.Not only would students not have time for essays and long projects, but also teachers would not be able to get all students to grade level or to cover critical material, says Brett Pangburn, Ed.'06, a sixth-grade English teacher at Excel Academy Charter School in Boston.Still, he says, homework has to be relevant.
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"Kids need to practice the skills being taught in class, especially where, like the kids I teach at Excel, they are behind and need to catch up," he says."Our results at Excel have demonstrated that kids can catch up and view themselves as in control of their academic futures, but this requires hard work, and homework is a part of it.
" Ed School Professor Howard Gardner basically agrees 11 Nov 2013 - Harvard University's Widener Library ( Wikimedia Commons ) Students are required to take a certain number of credits per semester, and in total in order to graduate. “However, it can be annoying when your non-major classes cause Perhaps the biggest difference between a US liberal arts university .
" Ed School Professor Howard Gardner basically agrees.
"America and Americans lurch between too little homework in many of our schools to an excess of homework in our most competitive environments — Li'l Abner vs.Homework should build on what happens in class, consolidating skills and helping students to answer new questions." So how can schools come to a happy medium, a way that allows teachers to cover everything they need while not overwhelming students? Conklin says she often gives online math assignments that act as labs and students have two or three days to complete them, including some in-class time The debate over how much schoolwork students should be doing at home has very often in American public schools: The principal got rid of homework. them for the rigorous AP classes in high school and to get them into Harvard, Any pursuit of excellence, be it in sports, the arts, or academics, requires hard work..
" So how can schools come to a happy medium, a way that allows teachers to cover everything they need while not overwhelming students? Conklin says she often gives online math assignments that act as labs and students have two or three days to complete them, including some in-class time.
Students at Pangburn's school have a 50-minute silent period during regular school hours where homework can be started, and where teachers pull individual or small groups of students aside for tutoring, often on that night's homework.Some schools and districts have adapted time limits rather than nix homework completely, with the 10-minute per grade rule being the standard — 10 minutes a night for first-graders, 30 minutes for third-graders, and so on.(This remedy, however, is often met with mixed results since not all students work at the same pace.) Other schools offer an extended day that allows teachers to cover more material in school, in turn requiring fewer take-home assignments.
And for others, like Stephanie Brant's elementary school in Maryland, more reading with a few targeted project assignments has been the answer."The routine of reading is so much more important than the routine of homework," she says.You can still have the routine and you can still have your workspace, but now it's for reading.I often say to parents, if we can put a man on the moon, we can put a man or woman on Mars and that person is now a second-grader.
We don't know what skills that person will need.At the end of the day, we have to feel confident that we're giving them something they can use on Mars." Etta Kralovec (left) and Janine Bempechat squared off in the Askwith Education Forum on “The Homework Wars,” sponsored by the Graduate School of Education.Staff photo by Rose Lincoln The gauntlet hit the floor with a bang during last week’s Askwith Education Forum on “The Homework Wars” sponsored by the Graduate School of Education (GSE) and moderated by Emily Rooney, host of “Greater Boston” on WGBH Television.
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Calling it the great “black hole of learning,” educational researcher Etta Kralovec presented her case for reducing, if not abolishing homework in the nation’s public schools.
“Homework simply doesn’t make sense in this brave new constructivist world of teaching and learning,” Kralovec stated.“When work goes home, teachers have little control over who does the work,” she continued 9 Sep 2013 - Theatre & Dance Anonymous survey reveals surprising patterns of academic dishonesty 42 per cent admit to doing homework dishonestly, according to the results established to address the 'national problem in American education'. “While the vast majority of Harvard and other students do their work .“When work goes home, teachers have little control over who does the work,” she continued.
“Teachers are unable to scaffold new knowledge for students, and are unaware of each student’s true educational progress.“American kids are crying out to us for some kind of intervention, and I think you only need to look at the tragedy at Columbine in which 14 students and one teacher were killed at a Colorado high school last year to say American kids are not very happy right now.” The controversial theory outlined by Kralovec and political economist John Buell, who co-authored the book “The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learning” (Beacon Press, 2000), raised more than a few eyebrows among fellow panelists and about 100 audience members at Longfellow Hall.
Assistant Professor of Education Janine Bempechat, author of “Getting Our Kids Back on Track: Educating Kids for the Future” (Jossey-Bass, 2000), cogently presented the opposing perspective, arguing that the benefits of homework far outweigh the drawbacks anthropology.Assistant Professor of Education Janine Bempechat, author of “Getting Our Kids Back on Track: Educating Kids for the Future” (Jossey-Bass, 2000), cogently presented the opposing perspective, arguing that the benefits of homework far outweigh the drawbacks.“We have no one to blame but ourselves when we find that the national discourse on homework has embraced extreme positions,” Bempechat said bestshot.us/research-paper/anthropology.php.“We have no one to blame but ourselves when we find that the national discourse on homework has embraced extreme positions,” Bempechat said.“We come to this in part because we have adopted a very narrow and shortsighted view of the benefits of homework.“The assignment of homework, over time, serves to foster the kinds of qualities that are critical to learning — persistence, diligence, and the ability to delay gratification,” she continued.“These skills become increasingly necessary as students graduate to higher levels of scholarship in middle school, high school, and beyond.
” Kim Marshall, AB ’69, EdM ’81, the principal of Mather School in Boston, added a practical “real life” perspective to the discussion, telling panelists that although it makes “little difference academically” for elementary school children, “homework is a reality” for almost all students and can be an asset if assigned properly.“Homework should be useful, aligned with the curriculum, and kids should be able to do it alone,” he said.Marshall told the audience he believes homework teaches students responsibility and “sends a powerful message to parents that the school means business.” Those arguments drew a passionate response from Kralovec, who began researching the topic when she conducted a two-year study of high school dropouts for the Maine Department of Education in the early 1990s, concluding that homework was a major reason why many students left school.“The most troubling aspect of our work has been confronting the scanty, inconclusive evidence that homework claims are based on,” she said.
“Homework research is plagued by what I like to call the ‘fishing expedition problem’ — if researchers go looking for links between homework and academic achievement, they are likely to find something.” Kralovec questioned the existence of credible empirical evidence proving that homework improves academic performance.
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She also quoted statistics indicating that only 15 percent of American school children are happy in the classroom and “everyone else suffers a little bit.” Bempechat accused Kralovec of pandering to those contemporary theorists who advocate shielding younger children from stress and failure.“There is a growing view that if students have a high self-esteem they will do well in school, when in fact the opposite is true,” she claimed Academic Harvard single spaced Formatting.
“There is a growing view that if students have a high self-esteem they will do well in school, when in fact the opposite is true,” she claimed.
“ New studies indicate that students need to struggle in order to develop qualities that all teachers like to see in the classroom.“The reality is we are living through a period of massive underachievement in our nation’s schools,” Bempechat stated.“We cannot simultaneously bewail the dismal performance of American students on every successive international comparison of academic achievement and then complain that we give our children too much homework!” Kravolec’s co-author Buell suggested that homework increases the “achievement gap” between children of different socioeconomic backgrounds.“Schools can expand the quality of economic opportunities, but they can also entrench privilege,” he explained.Buell expressed doubts that students perform better simply because schools are demanding more from them.
“Both students and parents are more likely to engage in fulfilling work and enjoy a high quality of life when each also knows that schools and workplaces do not and cannot demand work without end,” he said.Last week’s lively discussion was the first in a series of Askwith Education Forums scheduled this fall.More information is available on the Web at /gsedata/calendar .The discussions are free and open to the public.