You think there's wackloon/Conservaturd fury NOW about the state of the schools, wait til the local Family Research Council or such like gets wind of the NEXT academic sacred cow to gets rendered.
Homework. Yes homework. Homework, that baleful bane of youthful innocence and idle distraction, may be on the academic chopping block.
The attack, of course, comes from the forces of evil, discord and social upheaval on the left.
It's funny: You'd think that by giving kids more of something to do, they'd learn to do it better, wouldn't you?
But the research (there's that word again, drat it!) shows otherwise. Not only does it NOT improve "learning," but it actually IMPEDES other important growing and learning experiences.
One of the folks who've spend the most time DOING the research on the matter is education gadfly, author and critic Alfie Kohn. Kohn and a colleague, replying to a recent piece in in the NYTimes which outlined some information and asked personal opinions about the value of homework, had the following to say:
True, the trouble with homework isn't limited to quantity: it can be counterproductive even in limited amounts. But a lot of it can be damaging even if we approve of the assignments themselves.Homework serves one very important function, though one NEVER expressly explained by its advocates. It inures children--gets them used to, in their very bones--being called upon--required--to take "work" home with them without complaint, and without additional reward/remuneration.
We also dispute the suggestion that the only important issue is whether homework advances "learning."
First, the research cited concerns how many facts students can memorize, a matter less consequential to anyone with more ambitious intellectual goals, like helping students think deeply and enjoy doing so. (Homework seems to be the single most effective way to destroy children's curiosity.)
Second, this research doesn't support homework, per se. The critical question is whether children must be made to work a second shift after spending a full day at school. The available data say no, particularly with younger students. So do the many anecdotal reports we've collected of teachers and entire schools that have eliminated homework, with very encouraging results.
Finally, tweaking assignments to maximize the number of facts retained ignores homework's effect on children’s social, physical, artistic and psychological development. We worry about not only the other activities that homework displaces but also the exhaustion and family conflict that it often causes...
Why do ya think they do that, hippies?
We can talk about it when I see you at the beach.