Saturday, September 02, 2006

Some additional info on the homework question

Dear WTMs,

The homework issue really touched a nerve and I wanted to follow up on TP's rant with some research.

Studies of homework levels have suggested that excessive homework may actually be detrimental to overall academic performance.

Less homework given by teachers would give students the opportunity to have more time to do things on their own such as visiting friends or playing sports, which are essential elements in the development of the child, as well as give students the opportunity to study what they want to learn and not just what that school district or teacher wants them to.

Homework's defenders say it increases students' mental capabilities and organization skills, which are necessary to the success of the person in question later in her or his life. This may not happen if inability to cope with the homework results in the student's coping with life breaking down under the stress, in mental health episodes, or in a need to avoid education altogether after being over-pressured to develop skills irrelevant to the student's interests.

In one recent study, a correlation was shown between students' performance and time spent on homework. Some students notice a direct correlation between the amount of homework they do and the number of questions missed on a test.

In Australia, some teacher's groups have complained that the support for homework in the first three quarters of schooling comes mainly from parents rather than from the academic institutions

8 Comments:

Anonymous katyli said...

to the "anonymous from England" on the previous thread:

so you are saying that the English are smarter and "more eloquent" than Americans because they are now required to do 18 hours of homework on the weekends, and almost as much during the week?

But in the same thread, you responded to the woman whose husband went to school in England (and is 31 now) by saying that "requirements in England have changed"?

So what I am getting from your post is that only the English students who have gone through the English school system WITHIN THE PAST FEW YEARS are smarter and more eloquent than Americans. So what's the cut off? Is that woman's husband a moron because he was educated in England 20 years ago? (or is he just no smarter than one of us dummy Americans?)

sorry - the logic just confused me for a moment. But then again - I'm a stupid american with only an engineering degree from a less prestigous U.S. public college.
:)

9/02/2006 7:45 PM  
Anonymous katyli said...

okay - I was obviously not clear on how many years ago that woman's husband was in the English school system - but I think my point is still clear?

9/02/2006 7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've not posted before, but this hits a chord with me. My son (age 5) started school this year, and by day 3 of the school year (February for us in Australia) had brought home his first lot of homework. In Kindergarten! He has to do some reading, writing practice and now that the school year is 3/4 over, basic addition and subtraction. All up, it probably only takes 10 or 15 minutes, but by the time I've nagged him to do it, we've probably lost 30 or 45 mins. That's a large chunk of time for a 5 year old! None of the other kindergarten parents I've spoken to think it is right, nor parents of older kids I've talked to.

I don't know who the Australian teachers were talking to, but it certainly wasn't this batch of parents!

9/03/2006 7:15 PM  
Blogger AprilMay said...

In Australia, some teacher's groups have complained that the support for homework in the first three quarters of schooling comes mainly from parents rather than from the academic institutions

Again, please don't blame it on the teachers. Not all of us, and I would dare to even say a majority of us, like giving a lot of homework! Our hands are tied by administrators, school policy, parents who WANT homework and control the school board, NCLB, ...you name it! I have two boys, and I dread the hours homework as much as all of you other mothers out there. :(

9/03/2006 9:20 PM  
Anonymous Izzy said...

IMO, those parents who want homework are probably those uninvovled parents needing busy time for their children.

Once again, PLEASE email your school board, county commissioners, school principals, etc. Let your "white trash" voice be heard!!!!


And as for anonymous from England, you obviously don't understand American the meaning of "White Trash Mom". That's what we are and are most certainly proud of it. So go back to your hours and hours of homework and leave us the heck alone. I know this is hard for you, but even after over 200 years, we're STILL doing okay without you!

I love you, WTM's.

9/04/2006 7:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to katyli - I did NOT imply that Americans were morons. The intention of the post was to point out that recently English students are often better prepared for college than their American counterparts, and thus find the transition easier and get more out of the experience academically since they don't have to play catch up. Part of that is the result of intensive training and follow-up homework during school years. I'm not advocating that primary school children should be loaded down, simply that the benefits of homework, especially in later years, should not be overlooked in the midst of this ire.

As for Izzy's anger at a point of view counter to her own - surely, given that your children's schooling is clearly an important issue, some debate and comparisons may be useful in providing perspective? I certainly did not expect to rudely told to keep my opinions to myself on a public site due to my nationality. Would a similarly personal response have been acceptable if I offered the same comments with the information that I'm from an ethnic minority? The insult is the same. Considering that a large number of people in the rest of the world view America with an almost pathalogical hatred and wish to see your nation burn, it's not wise to then turn on your remaining allies.

9/05/2006 8:01 AM  
Blogger Doodle Bug said...

To the "anonymous from England" on the previous post:

"I regularly did four to five hours of homework a night and twelve to eighteen hours on the weekend, from the age of eleven to eighteen. It's the reason students here are not only better educated and more eloquent than their American counterparts, but have more time to develop and explore themselves and their interests in a far more meaningful way at university."

I'm fairly certain you are over-exaggerating quite a bit. This was found on the BBC news site:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/211159.stm

The table shows all the recommendations:

Primary schools
Ages 5 to 7
Years 1 and 2 10 minutes reading reading, spelling, other literacy work and number work

Ages 7 to 9
Years 3 and 4 20 minutes literacy and numeracy as above, with occasional assignments in other areas

Ages 9 to 11
Years 5 and 6 30 minutes regular weekly schedule with continued emphasis on literacy and numeracy, but also ranging widely over the curriculum

Secondary schools
Ages 11 to 13
Years 7 and 8 45 to 90 minutes

Ages 13 to 14
Year 9 1 to 2 hours

Ages 14 to 16
Years 10 and 11 1.5 to 2.5 hours

You have also stated to izzy: "I certainly did not expect to rudely told to keep my opinions to myself on a public site due to my nationality. Would a similarly personal response have been acceptable if I offered the same comments with the information that I'm from an ethnic minority? The insult is the same."

Are you not insulting every American in your first comment by stating definitively that all English children are better educated and more eloquent than every American? Are you also not insulting every American when you state that all English graduates are more delveloped and have far more meaningful interests than all American graduates? Get off of your high horse and try to remember that your opinions are just that...not fact.

9/05/2006 2:42 PM  
Blogger tacky princess said...

Ouch! Wow, we really struck a chord with this one. I come home from a weekend away, and you WTM's are havin' it out! You rock, ladies. Though I don't necessarily agree with everything said, I'm thrilled to get such a response. Keep it up!

TP

9/05/2006 9:46 PM  

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