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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Is Homework a Waste of Time? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Is Homework a Waste of Time?
Jeff C.
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OSC recently posted a blog on Hatrack about his thoughts on Education (he's done this a few times on the subject, typically referencing his daughter, who is in high school) where he discusses the ways in which the system has begun to take away from "family time".

Honestly, he has a very convincing argument, as I can see it. He says that the idea of homework is ludicrous, because it takes up so much unnecessary time that children could use to be children, or that they could use to spend with their families. He even goes as far as to mention that a few studies have been done to promote the idea that homework is meaningless, at least as far as a child's grades go.

On the other hand, homework may also keep some children out of trouble, or at least it could be argued as such. However, I'm not sure if it's a strong enough justification to validate having it.

So my question is this: what are the pros and cons to having homework, as you guys (and gals) see it? And do you think OSC has a valid point?

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Sala
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I'm a fifth grade teacher at a school that is only three years old. When we started the school the principal had many of the same thoughts about homework that OSC mentions. So we became a "no-homework school." That lasted one year. Parents complained. Children complained! We want homework they (mostly) all said! So we got composition books (those sewn black and white marble books) and gave one to every student as a homework journal. Everyday students write/reflect/draw/etc. something about what they learned at school. Parents sign it. It's a communication tool between home and school. That wasn't enough. "Where's the homework?" the parents said. So this year I give a worksheet packet (two or three sheets of paper) to the kids every Monday and it's due every Thursday. This is in addition to the homework journal. Finally the parents and kids seem to be satisfied. It was quite eye opening to me because I never expected the response to go this way.

The school I'm at is 90% economically disadvantaged, 78% Hispanic. I wonder if it is the community that reacts this way. When I was a newby teacher many years ago I was in a much more affluent neighborhood with about 98% white kids and the parents complained about too much homework, and it was about the same amount as what I'm giving now. Those kids had scouts/dance/sports/church/etc. after school. The kids I'm working with now go to empty houses because parents are working two shifts at low-paying jobs and our area is still the highest unemployment area for the state. Is it that parents want something to occupy their kids time? Or is it that the Hispanic parents (many of whom speak Spanish at home as the primary language) think that homework will help their children become better assimilated to the United States? These are questions I ponder from time to time.

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Samprimary
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I could make a gut-feeling-stab at it, but my mother's an international baccalaureate teacher and an educational sciences pro. I'll just go prod her and see what voluminous set of studies she hauls out of her shelves in response.
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MEC
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I hate the concept of graded homework. While I think giving homework is fine, as it can help those with no real study plan learn the subject.

While I was in school I found I rarely needed homework in all but a few subjects to be able to learn, unfortunately because it was graded I had to waste my time going through unnecessary tedium or receive a penalty to my grade. While I was in college I was delighted to find that most classes did not grade homework, and as a result I could dedicate more time to studying for classes that were more demanding. Needless to say, my grades improved greatly, and I was much happier setting my own study habits.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
I could make a gut-feeling-stab at it, but my mother's an international baccalaureate teacher and an educational sciences pro. I'll just go prod her and see what voluminous set of studies she hauls out of her shelves in response.

Keep us posted.
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Liz B
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1. Compliance should not be part of the grade.

2. Homework should only be practice/ preparation that students can do completely independently.

3. Homework should be something that ALL students need to do to improve performance/ learning. If a student has mastered the material, he needs a different assignment. (Be clear: different, not more.)

4. Homework is not associated (generally) with improved learning in the primary grades; there is some association in the middle school, & the association is stronger for high school. That fact (or other more recent research) should drive policy.

5. When designing homework, teachers need to be respectful of families and their time. Is the assignment really something that is better done at home, and/ or is it necessary practice/ preparation for which there is truly no school time available?

6. Teachers need to consider--who is this homework for? Can the kid do it alone, or did I just assign an arts & crafts project to a 45-year-old?

I assign plenty of homework & keep the kids hopping. But it is all time based & not quantity based (e.g. "make 60 minutes of progress on your writing outside of class this week"). I am very comfortable with what I assign.

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Shanna
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My personal experience has been that homework can help develop study skills and the ability to work independently. The classroom seems to be largely instructional time and following along with a math problem with a teacher is very much different than working it out on their own.

I breezed through homework assignments in my lower grades and looking back, I wish my teachers had assigned me more. I used to do my work on the bus ride home and it wasn't until high school that I realized how important it was for me to sit down at a desk and really concentrate on my work.

On the other hand, my brother had problems with his hearinggrowing up and so he was speech delayed through most of elementary school. He went to speech therapy and often had to spend more time at home reviewing his spelling and other language arts. He was much more successful than me in college because he'd really developed those skills for working independently.

So personally, I think homework should be a must. But that most schools need to rethink how they assign it. Based on what I've heard from my teacher friends, most complain that they have too much on their plate to really develop more individualized homework plans. And they certainly don't have time to collaborate with other teachers in their grade levels (my biggest complaint in school was that some weeks the teachers would barely assign homework and then on one particular Friday, 6 out of 7 teachers would dump a big weekend project on everyone.)

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Samprimary
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In true family tradition, I have to answer questions before I have questions answered.

Can someone summarize OSC's argument against homework? What claims are being made?

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Lyrhawn
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There's a school in Michigan not far from where I grew up that was near the bottom in performance numbers nationally that switched their Homework and Classroom instruction around.

Teacher basically taped lectures that students watched at home, and then they did all their actual work in class where a teacher was there to help them with it if they had problems.

Their numbers, in just a couple years under the new system, have improved astronomically. Sure the lectures still count as homework, but it's hardly busy work, which I think is often the complaint.

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rivka
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Liz, I think those are EXCELLENT guidelines. As both a parent and an educator (although no longer a teacher *sob*), I think that some homework is necessary. However, the amount and type of homework many teachers give is not educationally sound.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Teacher basically taped lectures that students watched at home, and then they did all their actual work in class where a teacher was there to help them with it if they had problems.

That's, um, whathisname, the very successful online instruction guy's theory.
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rivka
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Found it! Salman Khan.

It's a very interesting idea.

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advice for robots
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I found math homework, at least once I got into trig and calculus, to be a mix of a waste of time and a good opportunity to learn how to figure things out that I had little natural talent for. It would have been nice to have had a tutor, but the hours I spent puzzling through those problems had to have taught me something about something.

I was assigned a lot of papers to write in jr. high and high school, which was very good preparation for college (although I still suck at the classic research paper). I knew how to use the library and I knew how to bull through the sleepies and yank that final page out of wherever final pages come from.

My least favorite homework was reading, of all things. I love to read but being assigned to read something took all the fun out of it.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Found it! Salman Khan.

It's a very interesting idea.

Here's the article from the school in Michigan.

The numbers are pretty impressive. Their failure rate in various subjects plummeted. Looks like it has some pretty useful applications.

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mr_porteiro_head
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A large portion of the homework that I've been assigned felt like busy work. And there's nothing that kills the desire to learn like busy work.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Found it! Salman Khan.

It's a very interesting idea.

Yeah, I think it's awesome.

I think that people like Salman Khan represent the biggest step towards real progress seen in public education in along time.

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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
In true family tradition, I have to answer questions before I have questions answered.

Can someone summarize OSC's argument against homework? What claims are being made?

He's mostly just ticked off that the homework takes away from his daughter's personal and family time. He feels like it's just a time-sink. He also said brought up a project she had to do that sucked up 20 hours of her time that their family will never get back. As he has had a stroke and is 60 years old, he longs to spend time with his soon-to-be-in-college daughter, who graduates at the end of the year. However, because of the homework, he barely sees her anymore. He says it isn't right and that schools have been given far too much of the kids' time, and that the parents should be the ones telling the schools how they want their children taught, not the other way around.
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Dogbreath
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I think homework exists as a means to teach kids how to study, and that's not a bad thing, but it becomes a frustration when it's made part of the grade. Grading exists as a means of plotting a students mastery of a subject, not his ability to do busy work.

I graduated high school with only slightly above average grades, because I would ace tests but frequently not complete my homework. On the other hand, I excelled at college (I maintained a 4.0 GPA) and, working in a job field that requires me to take classes pretty frequently (i.e, Comptia certs), I'm very good at learning new things proficiently and quickly.

I think homework should be assigned, but not graded. I would always use my homework - I'd do it or study it until I understood the subject, and then stop. Many textbooks (especially math related) have review questions and assignments already built into them, and I think teachers should teach kids how to use these tools.

The attitude among high school teachers regarding homework is also horribly skewed - I resented being called lazy or unmotivated because I didn't do busy work for the classes. I played baseball, worked as a cashier at a local store, for a semester I spent about 30 hours a week working on a film project with other students, and maintained a pretty full and complex social life online. All of these things did a far better job of preparing me for college and life in general than sitting at a desk doing homework ever did, and I've never been a lazy person.

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Samprimary
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Hmm.

Well, I guess I better read through it.

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ambyr
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I was confused by the OSC essay because it seemed to be complaining about a community service project, not homework, taking time away from the family. It's possible the standards for community service projects have changed extensively, but when I was in high school in NC a decade ago, family involvement in student's mandatory service hours was very much encouraged. OSC says he and his family do volunteer work together; that would absolutely have counted toward the community service requirement back then. If it's changed, and there's now a requirement that the volunteer work be done solo, I can see why that's a problem--but I'd take issue with that, not with the concept of mandatory community service.
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Hank
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quote:
Originally posted by ambyr:
I was confused by the OSC essay because it seemed to be complaining about a community service project, not homework, taking time away from the family. It's possible the standards for community service projects have changed extensively, but when I was in high school in NC a decade ago, family involvement in student's mandatory service hours was very much encouraged. OSC says he and his family do volunteer work together; that would absolutely have counted toward the community service requirement back then. If it's changed, and there's now a requirement that the volunteer work be done solo, I can see why that's a problem--but I'd take issue with that, not with the concept of mandatory community service.

I think that the requirement for a community service project is objectionable even if family involvement is required.

1) "Community Service" has nothing to do with academics, so it's still an example of a school attempting to instill values into students, which should be the realm of parents.

2) Allowing parents to participate arguably penalizes those children whose families will not or cannot participate.

3) Even if a family would already have been participating together in some form of community service, what right does the school have to stipulate the how, when and where?

4) Many people consider mandatory service requirements of any kind to be absurd, since the spirit of giving is destroyed by the mandatory nature of the act.

Basically, it boils down to the role of the schools. Are schools meant to build students as whole people, including a sense of citizenship and basic values, or are schools merely intended to offer students the means to educate themselves, with their value system left to the parents. There are decent arguments on both sides, and some of it boils down to whether parents look at the school as a partner in raising their child or as an educational resource.

I would argue that it's easy for OSC to say, "My kids will get plenty of love, support and values from us. You stick to education," given that he's wealthy enough and has a flexible enough career that he actually CAN choose to be with his kid instilling values during all non-school hours. For parents who rely on the school (and for younger kids, school before- and after-care) as much for childcare as for education, it makes sense that they want their child's care providers to focus on the whole person, rather than just academics.

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Samprimary
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quote:
"Community Service" has nothing to do with academics, so it's still an example of a school attempting to instill values into students, which should be the realm of parents.
I do tend to support very exacting walls that schools cannot cross in terms of 'instilling values' but the realm of installing values will always include schools.
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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Found it! Salman Khan.

It's a very interesting idea.

Hey Rivka, guess who just got hired by Khan Academy!
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Corwin
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Nice. [Smile]
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rivka
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Raymond, I know! Isn't that cool?
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Samprimary
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Ok. I trimmed some to take out some of the on-high judgment, and sent this as the position to be reviewed.

From this:

quote:
I don't really blame the teachers. They are provided with bad research and idiotic policies concerning homework -- it takes effort and an ability to judge between scientific and statistical studies in order to be sure that homework really is a complete, utter waste of a child's (and a teacher's) time.
I made "The policies that teachers use concerning homework are the result of bad research; when you take the effort and have the ability to judge between scientific and statistical studies on the matter, homework shows itself to be a complete, utter waste of a child's (and a teacher's) time."

then I added this, verbatim.

quote:
The serious research shows conclusively that in every grade, the performance of children who are assigned homework is functionally identical with the performance of children who are given none.
and, we're off.
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Jeff C.
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Wow that girl is really smart. Her videos are very impressive.
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Samprimary
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she outright demolished the filthy lies propping up that scientific farce known as Sponge Bob Square Pants
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
she outright demolished the filthy lies propping up that scientific farce known as Sponge Bob Square Pants

She does? Do you have links? I'd very much like to see them.
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scholarette
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My problem with getting rid of homework is that things like essays are difficult to do in a standard one hour classroom setting. I love the recorded lessons with practice done at school with help though.
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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
she outright demolished the filthy lies propping up that scientific farce known as Sponge Bob Square Pants

She does? Do you have links? I'd very much like to see them.
I'll forgive you for asking a wrong question if you don't know any better, but the right question was "where can I find ALL of her videos because they are among the best things ever" and the answer is right here.

Incidentally, the "Spongebob Squarepants" video is near the top, but the one you should really be watching first is "Doodling in Math: Spirals, Fibonacci, and Being a Plant [1 of 3]" (which is also on the front page but a little ways down)

Edit: Actually, I suppose there are fun-theoretic reasons to watch the Spongebob video first, because if you watch the Spiral series first, you'll understand everything she's talking about (in Spongebob) within the first five seconds and then probably be a little bored because you're not learning anything new.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
My problem with getting rid of homework is that things like essays are difficult to do in a standard one hour classroom setting. I love the recorded lessons with practice done at school with help though.

Surely you make an exception for longterm assignments that are due like that. It's not like they have nightly essay assignments. And a flipped class isn't a suicide pact.

I'm going through my first batch of college essays to grade at this very moment, as it happens, and I'll tell you whatever it takes to get high schools to teach better writing skills to high schoolers, I'm on board with it.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
My problem with getting rid of homework is that things like essays are difficult to do in a standard one hour classroom setting. I love the recorded lessons with practice done at school with help though.

Surely you make an exception for longterm assignments that are due like that. It's not like they have nightly essay assignments. And a flipped class isn't a suicide pact.

I'm going through my first batch of college essays to grade at this very moment, as it happens, and I'll tell you whatever it takes to get high schools to teach better writing skills to high schoolers, I'm on board with it.

Find ways to persuade high schoolers to give a crap about their writing skills, maybe.
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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
My problem with getting rid of homework is that things like essays are difficult to do in a standard one hour classroom setting. I love the recorded lessons with practice done at school with help though.

Surely you make an exception for longterm assignments that are due like that. It's not like they have nightly essay assignments. And a flipped class isn't a suicide pact.

I'm going through my first batch of college essays to grade at this very moment, as it happens, and I'll tell you whatever it takes to get high schools to teach better writing skills to high schoolers, I'm on board with it.

Find ways to persuade high schoolers to give a crap about their writing skills, maybe.
This reminds me of a friend of mine. We went to the same high school, but somehow he managed to make it through all four years without learning where a period went. When we got to college, he asked me to read over his papers and I was appalled to find he didn't understand the basics of grammar. It didn't make sense to me, but then when I really thought about it, I realized that while I had taken some college classes (English, for example), he'd skated by with the basics. As a result of this, he never actually learned anything. I ended up having to help him with all of his papers, slowly tutoring him until he was finally able to write something that any kind of actual sense.

It made me fear for our education system. I mean, he had his share of homework. He passed his classes. He didn't get held back. How does that happen?

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Find ways to persuade high schoolers to give a crap about their writing skills, maybe.

WE HAVE A WINNER!
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Dan_Frank
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Sounds like he received more value from your tutoring than he did from countless hours of compulsory education. He's not alone, in that.
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rivka
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Because if someone is invested, they're likely to learn. And if you're asking a friend to help you, or paying a stranger to do so, you are pretty likely to be invested.
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Dan_Frank
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Precisely! [Smile]

(This also ties into why I think Khan Academy is so amazing and successful)

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
This also ties into why I think Khan Academy is so amazing and successful

Interesting. Would you mind elaborating on that?
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Dan_Frank
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Nobody (or, almost nobody, it's popular enough that there are probably exceptions now) is forced to watch Khan Academy videos. It's a form of education that is initiated by people interested in learning. Because of that, they're fundamentally more invested in the process.

The user has much more control over the content he learns than he would in a classroom. He can learn the things he wants, skip the ones that don't interest him, pause and rewind without issue when he is confused, etc.

Broadly, I think that Khan Academy-style learning is a much better way to learn than compulsory schooling.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Nobody (or, almost nobody, it's popular enough that there are probably exceptions now) is forced to watch Khan Academy videos.

Except the idea is that schools SHOULD make these videos a required part of their curriculum, and there are a growing number doing so.
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Dan_Frank
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Maybe they'll be successful... I wish them luck. There will still likely be some benefit (lots of students are ashamed/embarrassed to ask a teacher to repeat a concept two or three or six times, but rewinding a video in your home doesn't embarrass you in front of your class)... but I have a feeling that the results of compelling students to watch Khan Academy videos will be a lot less impressive than the results Khan Academy has produced thus far, with people who were interested in learning the material and sought it out.
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rivka
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I guess time will tell.
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Dan_Frank
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Sure. But if you disagree, I'd be interested to hear about it. [Smile]

I generally don't like compulsory learning, and not just because I bitch about compulsory anything. I think compulsory education is pretty much antithetical to helping someone to be invested in their own learning. Self-directed learning, in my experience, is wildly more effective.

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Liz B
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Thanks, rivka. [Big Grin] My views have changed since the last time I participated in a hatrack homework thread. Fortunately I hold the correct views now.

Of course, as we see from scholarette's comment, the essential difficulty is that we don't have a clear definition of "homework." If it's "all schoolwork completed outside of the classroom," then I kind of stick my fingers in my ears and go "lalalalala" when people complain.

Because there is no way that the kids can make the kind of improvement as readers and writers that they can, will, and must make in 8th grade with the limited amount of time they have scheduled with me. I know that my husband, who teaches BC and multivariable calculus (3rd semester calc) at the high school level, would say the same for his subject area.

As for the flipped classroom--if, as I understand it, the videos are only 5-7 minutes, 2 or 3 times a week…then why aren’t advocates teaching for 5-7 minutes, then conducting the rest of the class as work-time-with-assistance?

Or–what Elbow, Graves, Calkins, Atwell, and about a jillion other writing and reading teachers have been advocating since the 70s. For goodness’ sake.

Of course, it’s not complicated or expensive, thus not interesting to school administrators.

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Samprimary
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I don't think that there should be a wide gulf between compulsory learning and self-directed learning. The best educational systems incorporate both. The relentless buck-the-trend 100% self-directed learning institutions pale in comparison.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
she outright demolished the filthy lies propping up that scientific farce known as Sponge Bob Square Pants

She does? Do you have links? I'd very much like to see them.
I'll forgive you for asking a wrong question if you don't know any better, but the right question was "where can I find ALL of her videos because they are among the best things ever" and the answer is right here.

Incidentally, the "Spongebob Squarepants" video is near the top, but the one you should really be watching first is "Doodling in Math: Spirals, Fibonacci, and Being a Plant [1 of 3]" (which is also on the front page but a little ways down)

Edit: Actually, I suppose there are fun-theoretic reasons to watch the Spongebob video first, because if you watch the Spiral series first, you'll understand everything she's talking about (in Spongebob) within the first five seconds and then probably be a little bored because you're not learning anything new.

I've actually seen Vi Hart's videos before, I just didn't realize it! She does some fantastic work.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Sure. But if you disagree, I'd be interested to hear about it. [Smile]

I think it's a useful tool. Like any educational tool, it has places where it is not useful or is impractical. And it's not a panacea for education's ills.

One potential problem: If the right video doesn't already exist, the technique requires teachers to invest even more time and energy into their classes than they already do. Most teachers don't have any of either to spare.

Every teacher I know at least occasionally uses videos to supplement other types of in-class education. This is more regular and done independently, which only works if the students WATCH the video. As the article I linked said, there must be things in place to check that that is happening. Which means you must have administration and parental buy-in. Easy enough in some schools (or classes); impossible in others.

But the Khan Academy videos are very well done. And for classes that ARE able to use this tool effectively, I think it is likely to be effective for some students, and unlikely to be detrimental to any succeeding with current methods. So I expect that there would be a net beneficial result, with the caveats I mentioned before.

quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
I think compulsory education is pretty much antithetical to helping someone to be invested in their own learning. Self-directed learning, in my experience, is wildly more effective.

Are you basing that on having ever been a teacher and/or parent/guardian of a child between the ages of 6 and 16? Because based on my experience with both of those, I think it's a nice theory. But theory and reality don't always coincide. Much like your statement about getting them to care about writing well, it's TRUE, but not really useful under most real-life situations.
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Lyrhawn
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The non-profit I work for has as one of its major missions the goal of teaching writing skills to college-bound high school seniors. I'm actually somewhat surprised that we've been able to get the funding we're gotten in an era where popular media has pushed STEM fields over being able to make sure very simply that students actually know how to read and write, which isn't nearly the given you'd think it is.

Between working with high school students, and now grading college freshman and sophomores, I really don't understand where the magic moment is supposed to happen that means all of a sudden kids know what they're doing. If no one stops to actually teach them, most of them simply aren't going to pick it up themselves unless they have a natural gift or read an awful lot. Even college comp classes are only showing marginal improvements that lead to a functional though somewhat mechanical style of writing that I'm finding terribly boring to read. Yet, there seems to be a perception out there that we don't need to FOCUS on these basic reading comprehension and writing skills, and that once they hit college, we immediately need to make them all engineers.

Most of my friends from high school went on to do engineering in college (they all apparently made much smarter career choices than I did), and I've been asked by enough of them to edit papers that I know there simply isn't a moment where it clicks on its own, they need to be taught.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Sure. But if you disagree, I'd be interested to hear about it. [Smile]

I think it's a useful tool. Like any educational tool, it has places where it is not useful or is impractical. And it's not a panacea for education's ills.

One potential problem: If the right video doesn't already exist, the technique requires teachers to invest even more time and energy into their classes than they already do. Most teachers don't have any of either to spare.

That's a fair point.

quote:
Originally posted by rivka:

But the Khan Academy videos are very well done. And for classes that ARE able to use this tool effectively, I think it is likely to be effective for some students, and unlikely to be detrimental to any succeeding with current methods. So I expect that there would be a net beneficial result, with the caveats I mentioned before.

Agreed!
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
I think compulsory education is pretty much antithetical to helping someone to be invested in their own learning. Self-directed learning, in my experience, is wildly more effective.

Are you basing that on having ever been a teacher and/or parent/guardian of a child between the ages of 6 and 16? Because based on my experience with both of those, I think it's a nice theory. But theory and reality don't always coincide. Much like your statement about getting them to care about writing well, it's TRUE, but not really useful under most real-life situations.
Well, to answer your question, I come from a family of teachers, but my only personal experience as a teacher was a year as an aide to my mom who was physically disabled. Technically I don't think I was even considered a teacher's assistant, but in reality I did a lot, as it was a class of young kids and my mom was in a wheelchair. That may not qualify me to discuss the matter in your opinion, I'm not sure.

That said, I and quite a few people I know have fared much better learning things we wanted to, rather than things we were compelled to. A good friend of mine was essentially illiterate at the age of 11, decided she wanted to learn to read and write, and was able to read and write at a fully functional adult level (reading classics, making her first forays into fiction writing, etc.) within a year. But that (and any other similar story I told) is just a random anecdote, which doesn't really mean anything one way or the other.

I guess, like so many of my opinions, there's some ideology at play here, too. Sam mentioned that the most "effective" teaching methods utilize compulsory and self-directed learning in tandem, and I don't doubt him. But I'm of the opinion that kids are people who deserve the same rights as people, which means that on purely moral grounds I object to compulsory schooling for children the same way I (and most people, I think) object to compulsory schooling for adults.

I know this attitude puts me at odds with 99% of the population of planet Earth, so I'm not really looking to start a debate on it or anything. I just mention it in the interest of full disclosure. [Smile]

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