Thursday, July 10, 2008

Too Much Homework?

Souly Catholic, a very interesting education blog, has a great article on homework. It raises some of the very same issues I've been struggling with as a parent and educator -- do kids have too much homework? I started out my career as an educator giving piles of homework. When I taught AP European History, the amount increased even more. But in the past few years I've begun to rethink my philosophy and have cut back considerably. Anecdotally, I'm not sure my students are any less capable or skilled than they used to be, but they are a good deal more engaged in what we're learning. I've also noticed that kids often go home and follow up on what we've done in class. In the past year, I've had kids read Sun-tzu, Buddhist scriptures, and the like. That didn't happen nearly as much in the past when I piled work on the kids.

The article does a good job showing both sides of the homework debate but the author is clearly on the side of "less is more". Critics will no doubt point to the loss of "rigor" when homework is reduced, but I often wonder exactly what that means anyway.

The article also has an interesting video on a recent Wall Street Journal article that discussed the same topic:

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