Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What is the Point of Homework?

Why have it?

I have seen many teachers throw homework away after they have glanced at it.
Then why have it?

It's to assess the student. But I'm not sure if the student actually did it on their own, or if they had help from someone else so I can't actually grade it.
Then why have it?

It's to teach the student responsibility. But sometimes a student has family responsibilities that are more important (i.e. making dinner, putting his/her siblings to bed). Does this mean that your student is not responsible b/c they don't have time to do a worksheet that they know you don't always look at?
Then why have it?

As practice. But when they know you don't look at it, or they can get someone else to do it and you'll never know, is that the practice you want them to get?
So why have it?

This is difficult for me b/c I grew up in a world where homework was a must. School isn't school without homework. But now as a teacher, I can't justify homework. It just doesn't make sense to me right now.


Jenny said...

Amen, sister! Keep pushing your boundaries and questioning things held sacred by others. I've rethought homework numerous times in the last 10 years and I'm still not totally happy with what I require. But, it's getting better.

Snippety Gibbet said...

I remember back when I taught fifth grade in private school. I rarely checked the math homework myself. One day I did check and discovered that one fellow copied all the problems beautifully and then wrote down random numbers for answers. It was a pretty clever solution, I thought. You don't get in trouble for not passing something in,yet you also do not have the fuss and muss of actually doing the thinking.