Yes…I am writing about homework again.
As parents we want our kids to be part of clubs and exhibit their talents in theater and sports. We want them to part of these things because we know the benefits.
Homework doesn’t have the same benefits. Homework is done in isolation. It is rarely a creative outlet. It doesn’t always encourage engagement. Or a love of reading. It doesn’t help our students see patterns in math or history. Critical thinking. Not really.
At least not in the way I usually see it done.
If I consider what’s more important: answering comprehension questions about a piece of reading or learning to love reading, I choose the love of reading. I haven’t heard of comprehension questions inspiring a love of reading. If I am wrong, please share.
If I consider what’s more important: completing 20 problems in math or recognizing the beauty of math and mathematical relationships, I chose the beauty in math. Every time.
If I consider what’s more important: reading a section in a textbook or making connections through a collaborative discussion or building empathy by putting oneself in the shoe’s of someone from the past through analysis of primary sources, I will choose the collaborative discussion and the empathy building every time.
If I consider what’s more important: regurgitating information about the flow of energy in a food chain or building a model of this movement, I chose the model.
So, if we say we want to help our students prepare to be 21st century citizens, how is our homework reflecting that? And are we talking out of both sides of our mouth when it comes to homework?