Thank you all for your comments on homework. Clear directives from schools and districts about homework varied for our group. There were formal and informal school policies, some detailed and some rather loose. Karen would not mind a district policy because of homework frustrations a relative has had. She mentioned lack of consistency in assignments and the time some work takes as stressors, as did others. Mary considers her college syllabus a binding policy. Tiffany and Sharon individualized according to student learning needs and style. This includes giving some students chances to do “homework” at school. Some policies include the percentage of homework that goes toward a grade and a few include a late assignment policy. Only one person mentioned a time when an individual teacher decided to give an option for opting out.
Most of the group felt homework was okay if it were meaningful, grounded in information taught at school, and stressed quality over quantity. Some of the group gave details about the kind of feedback given to students and why feedback and positive affirmations helped students although it was time-consuming. Preparation for college, learning time management, gaining life-long reading habits, establishing positive work ethics and reflection time were given as positives for homework. Daren reminded us of the politics behind homework and gave compelling reasons as to why homework helps and hurts. He spoke of homework as another way students can be divided and disadvantaged through no fault of their own. He cited the lack of resources, lack of parental assistance, and lack of clear “collective educational goals” as detrimental to homework success.
Yup! Homework continues to be a hot topic! I know we will continue to talk about it at my school. Will you?