Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Homework Conundrum

After being back this week from Spring Break, something has really got me thinking about the structure of school.  Homework is a tool used by teachers for many types of reasons, but what is the best use of it?  There is the issue of too much homework, and understanding what students can handle within a night or two, and you have to think about what other classes the students have homework in and what other extracurricular activities they are involved in.  If students get too much work then they might not have the motivation to do it.

The other question is what is the real purpose of homework?  Should it be used to get ahead and for students prepare for the next class or should it be used for extra practice after class?  Could homework be a waste of time since so many students don't even complete it?  And if so do you give them easy problems to practice or do you give them something challenging to make it interesting?

There are even extreme cases where teachers are completely flipping their classroom structure to do homework at school and instruction at home with videos online.  This is seen with an article from The Washington Post.

As of now, my opinion of homework stands as both practice and a challenge, but shouldn't be too much work.  Homework from a single class shouldn't take up more than 20 minutes of the student's time.  I also think it is a time where students should work through the homework and use the tools they learned in class to figure out things on their own that might not have happened in a group setting.  I am still contemplating this and I am sure I will continue to do so within the next few years.  

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