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(NPR)   France's president says homework "penalizes students with difficult home lives." So clearly, the solution is to help improve the home life. Wait, no, it's getting rid of homework entirely   (npr.org) divider line 227
    More: Fail, social democracies, Bryant Gumbel  
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3778 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Dec 2012 at 12:18 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-02 02:27:30 PM
My high school economics teacher was part of the group who believed in the daily homework assignment to help the kids who didn't test well. It didn't work out so well for me because I tested well, but spent a total of 4the hours on the bus to and from home. That daily assignment nonsense is why I ended up with a 2.91 GPA instead of a 3.4 and a 75% college tuition scholarship.

/End not so csb
// 7 years later and the most money I've made since is in my current job bussing tables
/// :(
 
2012-12-02 02:31:48 PM

dave2198: jst3p: I thought there were recent studies showing that homework is bullshiat and not very effective? Something about giving the same homework to all the students regardless of how well they understood the lesson was fail.

So tailor the homework to the student... problem solved...


With all that free time teachers have....

dave2198: jst3p: I thought there were recent studies showing that homework is bullshiat and not very effective? Something about giving the same homework to all the students regardless of how well they understood the lesson was fail.

So tailor the homework to the student... problem solved...

Doing away with homework altogether won't help anybody.


Seems like it could help just about everyone (with the exception of some high school students).

Link
 
2012-12-02 02:32:34 PM

epoc_tnac: Erom: Wow, amazed that the attitude is anti-homework here. If I didn't have homework in school, I would have been absolutely worthless in college. Homework is a great character builder and teaches kids that life can suck sometimes.

Don't they spend all day learning that in school?



They spend all day nodding along as a teacher explains a concept. How is the teacher supposed to get any feedback whatsoever on individual comprehension and retention of subject matter without putting the student in a position that requires independent duplication of what was taught? Kids are conformity-minded - they aren't particularly likely to stand out in class and tell everyone that they're not getting it - they're much more likely to stay quiet and go along with the crowd, assuming that everyone else gets it and not wanting to be ridiculed for being "different." A student-by-student feedback method is absolutely needed. If a teacher can say "the homework is showing that a large part of the class isn't understanding such-and-such, I need to focus on that," they can actually respond to the real needs present. It's a semi-anonymous feedback mechanism, as far as the students go.
 
2012-12-02 02:33:36 PM
He's been dreaming of this ever since he ran for class president in 5th grade.
 
2012-12-02 02:34:26 PM

LiberalEastCoastElitist: This might be news to you, but not everyone is as bright as you. For ever person like you who doesn't have to work their buns off doing math problems to get math, there are ten people breaking pencils in frustration and pouring over hours and hours of homework to etch out a B because they just don't get it (easily). Look at highschool graduation rates (about 75%). Look at the average reading level (about 6th grade). What portion of matriculated college freshman would be prepared to start calculus? My guess would be less whan a quarter. I seem to recall my undergrad class schedule has over a dozen dummy algebra classes and maybe three calc 1s. These people at one point knew algebra and geometry, but they didn't do enough problem sets to retain it. Also, most of them are worthless without a calculator because they didn't do enough pencil and paper work starting with grade school. Studies show most math errors are small computational errors, which is a direct result of lack of practice. Each grade level a student passes without mastery of the lower levels makes math harder and more soul crushing for them. It's easier to invest the time.


And those students would be much, much better served by doing the problem sets in class where a teacher can stop by the desk and help them when they first run into problems, rather than running into the problem at home and not being able to get competent help working through it. That causes the problem to compound, the student gets frustrated, and the only feedback they ever get is that the problem is marked wrong. They struggle, they often never get help, and they fall behind, leaving it to the next teacher to clean up the mess and cover old material. It's the old ounce of prevention strategy- catch problems early, and you don't have to deal with worse problems later. If the problem sets are where the learning takes place and everyone's eyes just gloss over in class, how about having them do the part where they actually learn while they're focused and in an environment where they can easily get support, so they can learn the material more quickly and thoroughly? That's not THAT radical a concept, is it?

LiberalEastCoastElitist: Because that would be fantastically expensive and our society, for better or for worse, hasn't decided that should be a priority.


Not really. You could easily do it with the educational infrastructure we have now- but it would take time to change culture and priorities. Better teachers certainly wouldn't hurt, but there's enough talent in the ranks now to do a much, much better job than we are doing. You just need to challenge and change how we think about school and education. Of course that isn't easy, but there aren't huge monetary costs attached to it. You have to change the legal and regulatory environment, and you need some way of moving management and teachers to new ways of thinking. But you don't need to suddenly double teacher salaries or anything like that, even though that's not such a horrible idea.
 
2012-12-02 02:35:54 PM
Professor: Homework is 10% of your grade

Me: Cool, so I'll just take a B in your class.

/MSEE, graduated with honors
 
2012-12-02 02:36:31 PM
It's cute that most of you think school is about education... and not about training young minds how to jump through societal hoops and be good, obedient citizens.
 
2012-12-02 02:37:50 PM
BigNumber12:
What do you think homework is? Any moron can nod along as a teacher guides them through a lesson plan. Homework teaches you the importance of understanding a concept well enough to be able to perform it on your own. Unless you're going to work in a sweatshop, the classroom environment is not going to teach you how to accomplish tasks independently or seek out and utilize tools and resources, like an actual job requires.

This is assuming you understand the concepts to begin with.



What's an imaginary concept? Last time I checked, nearly all of the difficult ideas behind the tools and technologies that enable modern life aren't exactly tangible. Godforbid we teach kids to deal with ideas that can't be seen with the naked eye.

Words are an imaginary concept. Ownership of land is an imaginary concept. Value is an imaginary concept. X and Y are imaginary concepts.

Just look at when europeans came over and started owning all the land, native americans were baffled as it was a concept that just flew over their heads as native americans are a practical people that base things on what's around them. The idea of ownership was foreign and they were taken advantage of because of it. They didn't have writing, just oral tradition. A physical car is a practical concept, the word car is imaginary. Trades are based on practical concepts, x and y arn't practical concepts. Some people learn better that way, others learn better based on practical applications with physical examples to put relatively in their brains and work better with their hands. Those people usually end up joining gangs or committing crime because they're basically left to die in the school system. It's hard to explain because people can really only think in one or the other.

As an example, when I was in machinist school, I knew what all the tools looked like and how to use them and what they did, got 98% on the practical part. I couldn't remember the names or terms of them to save my life. Of course the written tests involved remembering the names, guess how well I did on that part, despite knowing how to actually do the work perfectly? I always see the physical concept in my head, and always struggle to put the word to it.

I also struggle heavily to do tasks when told how to do it, but when i'm PHYSICALLY shown how to do it, I usually don't even need them to finish before I completely understand it. Why yes, my family including my dad were hunters and trappers all their lives, the same as anyone else living on reserves. Another one is the difference in communication between cultures. Not understood in the slightest, and you see it everyday in racial tension.

No argument here. I'm in General Contracting, and we're seeing a real crisis both in recruitment of tradespeople and in leaders emerging from the ranks of the trades. Lots of people with no work ethic, no investment in the bigger picture. Just want to show up at 7:30, clock out right when break starts, and disappear at 3:30. We're facing the imminent retirement of large numbers of senior superintendents, and it's looking like large swaths of their knowledge won't be passed down to anyone.

Just like how they were taught in school.

It's all very very confusing, and I don't think it's understood very well in our society.
 
2012-12-02 02:39:51 PM

Pray 4 Mojo: It's cute that most of you think school is about education... and not about training young minds how to jump through societal hoops and be good, obedient citizens.


For most people that is the best they can hope for anyway.
 
2012-12-02 02:42:12 PM
RandomExcess
The problem is not assigning homework, it is grading it. If you cannot determine the appropriate grade based on in class performance (outside projects/term papers) then you are doing it wrong. So assign all the homework you want, and the student should do as much as they want, but grading it is for losers.


I don't think grading homework is the problem at all; I don't think ours really was graded.
If you were picked to read out your answers/essays, most teachers probably made some general mark (great/neutral/sucked) somewhere so they could get back to it when deciding between two grades at the end of the year.
But the more important thing about homework wasn't how well it was done, but that it was done, i.e. that you're forced to think about or exercise what you did in class to let it sink in.

And given how kids are, that "do what you want" approach will only work if you don't care whether the kids learn something or not.
My guess is that the ones most likely in need of doing it are the ones most likely not to do it because doing it sucks a lot more if you have difficulties with it.
 
2012-12-02 02:43:55 PM

dave2198: links136: dave2198: links136: dave2198: Let me get this straight... countries are falling behind in math..
math requires repetition to learn...
decrease the amount of repetition...
better math scores?

If it were that simple, don't you think with all the homework and repetition there wouldn't be any problems with math. Or is there more to understanding math then simply "do as many of these questions that you don't understand as you possibly can".

If you don't understand something to begin with, doing more of it won't help any.

Did I say that everyone could get good at math simply through repetition? No... I said that math requires repetition to learn... which it does, especially at the grade school level. Multiplication tables, division, etc.is best learned through practicing a variety of problems multiple times, so you can learn to apply the rules in various situations.

Also, did I say that repetition was the ONLY factor?

Good lord, I can see who failed reading comprehension tests in school.

The other issue. Not everyone has the same comprehension of concepts. What, you think trades people understand concepts the way scholars do? There's a reason trades are disappearing fast regardless of outsourcing.

So your solution is do get rid of scholars to tradespeople don't feel bad?


I never said the concept of homework couldn't be improved. Tailor it to the student, put people in different classes, whatever...But doing away with homework altogether would only hurt our society.


Yes that's exactly what I said......
 
2012-12-02 02:44:37 PM

Pray 4 Mojo: It's cute that most of you think school is about education... and not about training young minds how to jump through societal hoops and be good, obedient citizens.


It's cute that you think that school is a huge Hollywood-esque conspiracy, rather than a mechanism for continuing and furthering the progress of our civilization at a general level. And apparently that a society full of good citizens who don't defiantly flout the law at every turn is a bad thing. You must be saving up for a one-way ticket to Somalia - you'd love the rugged, independent individuals there.
 
2012-12-02 02:45:10 PM

jst3p: Pray 4 Mojo: It's cute that most of you think school is about education... and not about training young minds how to jump through societal hoops and be good, obedient citizens.

For most people that is the best they can hope for anyway.


True.

Not making a judgement... just saying that's the way it is.
 
2012-12-02 02:46:23 PM

cptjeff: APE992: Then there is the whole writing paper thing that never made sense to me. Most people don't spend their lives writing proposals, dissertations, so I've never understood why high school kids have to write essays comparing/contrasting two books with their teacher offering vague feedback that doesn't really direct how to improve your thought processes to write a better paper later.

A hell of a lot of people spend a lot of time and effort writing stuff like grant proposals. Scientists do, anybody in the nonprofit world begging for money does, people in any sort of business looking to get a project started need to be able to argue their case. And even if you don't write often, being able to coherently express yourself in the English language is an incredibly valuable, and, among certain technical classes, vanishingly rare skill.

And writing papers forces you to build an argument, and learn how to use evidence to support that argument. The feedback isn't the point so much as the practice is. The subject matter is really quite irrelevant, it's the process of writing and argumentation that's important. We use literature to teach those skills because literature offers interesting insights into our culture and society, which are damn good things to understand. It's also supposed to be interesting to read. We also teach those skills in history and civics class, and a good science teacher should assign some writing on occasion as well.


Point taken, but how many what percentage of the US are scientists? A percentage of the population gets a good wage doing underwater welding but I don't see that as a good argument to teach everyone underwater welding either. And you're right, just like algebra teachs you to think abstractly I think it is pretty clear that an unfortunate chunk of the population still cannot think abstractly. Either we have a lot of vocal minorities (birthers, vaccine types, 9/11 truthers) or we have a lot of people that the school systems either passed unreasonably so (granted different times/states/countries have different standards) or these people didn't actually learn anything but how to get by long enough to get a diploma and survive somehow.

Or we could be a nation of mental disorders that affect critical thinking and reasoning skills.
 
2012-12-02 02:46:54 PM

BigNumber12: They spend all day nodding along as a teacher explains a concept.


If you change this part, you might have a little more success. If you involve the students (even having them do independent work in the classroom), you can get that feedback instantly- and help students out early, before they fall behind. Standing up and talking at kids constantly is not a given here- it's an element of the classroom experience that can, and probably should be, changed.

BigNumber12: they aren't particularly likely to stand out in class and tell everyone that they're not getting it


That's where the teacher comes in. It's pretty easy to tell when a kid is having trouble, they don't have the greatest poker faces. Teacher walks over to kid, checks in on them. Teacher walks over to kid doing well, checks in with the same thing. All of a sudden, asking for help no longer becomes something to be feared, but just a normal part of classroom interaction. I certainly remember people asking questions in class at those ages. You raise your hand, and, "Mr. Whatever, why did this happen?" It wasn't unusual, nor was it shunned.

BigNumber12: If a teacher can say "the homework is showing that a large part of the class isn't understanding such-and-such, I need to focus on that," they can actually respond to the real needs present. It's a semi-anonymous feedback mechanism, as far as the students go.


Or they can get that feedback instantly, directly tailored to what the students are having trouble with at any given moment.

I agree that some of this work is needed- I violently disagree with the contention that it has to be done at home. You've got three times the amount of class time as college professors do. If you have to keep repeating the same stuff without many in the class getting it, it's being utterly wasted, or at least it could be used much, much more efficiently.
 
2012-12-02 02:48:35 PM

ApatheticMonkey: For all of you farkers who think that homework is unnecessary and useless, I'd like you to go do something. Go find yourself a teacher that operates outside of a school environment - a sports coach, or a piano teacher or something. Now make your same argument to them, but replace "homework" with "practice".


Can you explain why I never, ever see the keen competitive school-age swimmers in my local swimming club practising outside the coached sessions they have from 6 - 8am and 4 - 6pm every day?
 
2012-12-02 02:49:39 PM

maggoo: France is going down the crapper with their bullshiat socialist government. They are even threatening Arcelor-Mittal with stealing their french assets from them if they fire french workers from their foundries in france. What a bunch of idiots.


That may or may not be true, but they sure are good at killing Somali pirates.
 
2012-12-02 02:53:43 PM
<b><a href="http://www.fark.com/comments/7463617/81039690#c81039690" target="_blank">MrGMan</a>:</b> <i>Homework (that is actually graded) reinforces in-class learning...is it really that hard to understand? You know, EXPERIENCE. Those griping that homework is a sign of failed teaching obviously sucked at school (or their kid sucks at school).

The teacher will not be standing by as these kids take the standardized tests required to graduate from high school nor when they take the standardized tests required by college admissions (both undergraduate and graduate). You can argue all you want about the role standardized tests should play, but the teachers have little say in whether little snowflake gets into Harvard, Georgetown or the University of the Pacific. 

Again, homework is necessary to confirm that Johnny or Jenny Snowflake understood what was taught. It is a method of feedback used to improve learning. It is not a punishment or a tool to keep the poor impoverished. The fact that so many want to scrap it, and then piss and moan about how schools let our kids down, is pathetic.</i>

Is this opinion supported by any actual, you know, legitimate research, or are you somehow just certain of this because of your omniscient intellect.

Did your own education make clear to you the value of unsupported assertions?
 
2012-12-02 02:54:24 PM

jst3p: dave2198: jst3p: I thought there were recent studies showing that homework is bullshiat and not very effective? Something about giving the same homework to all the students regardless of how well they understood the lesson was fail.

So tailor the homework to the student... problem solved...

With all that free time teachers have....dave2198: jst3p: I thought there were recent studies showing that homework is bullshiat and not very effective? Something about giving the same homework to all the students regardless of how well they understood the lesson was fail.

So tailor the homework to the student... problem solved...

Doing away with homework altogether won't help anybody.

Seems like it could help just about everyone (with the exception of some high school students).

Link


Wow, one study conducted on students in Australia. I'm convinced.

There are many scholars researching the effectiveness of homework, and very few (if any) have come to the conclusion that it does no good at all.
 
2012-12-02 02:55:08 PM

Sim Tree: While everything you said is true, there's a difference between practice and busywork, and not all teachers have the skill to distinguish between the two. Multiplication tables? Fine. Persuasive essay? Fine. Look up these 20 words in the dictionary and write down their definitions longhand? What? If you're trying to teach vocabulary,use the words in a sentence, and teach language roots and their word structure. (What does 'rectangle' 'rectify' and 'direction' have in common? If you're reeling especially lokisome, add 'erection' in there and leave them to titter.) This actually accomplishes its stated purpose, besides taking far less time, and is also more likely to lead to later success. This is what the French leaders were complaining about in TFA, when we rely on filling people's heads with rote memorization instead of teaching overall knowledge. After all, which option is more likely to allow you to use 'rectify' later in life? Learning the use of phonemes, allowing for outright wordsmithing, or strange buffoonery, such as memorizing a list of words for 24 hours which are forgotten in 72?


Yeah, there is that assumption of competency. I'm not familiar with the certification process in France or the United States, but where I live, teachers are expected to have at least one other 4 year degree than their education degree. Whether or not they bother using what intelligence they have is another issue, but I digress.

There's also the assumption that parents don't demand spelling lists, I suppose.
 
2012-12-02 03:00:43 PM

MORB: The only thing homework ever taught me is procrastinating.

Like they'd give us three months to do a book report and I would forget all about it until the week-end right before the monday it was due, read the thing sunday morning and shiat out the report in the afternoon.

Also the horror of remembering some big homework assignment you'd totally forgot about on a sunday evening (which was already depressing in the first place). I even had nightmares about that. Good times.


THIS THIS THIS.

As a result, I do my best work up against a deadline, and can think on my feet. I can get shiat done in a pinch. If you've got a last minute thing and you need it done yesterday, I'm your man.

I am not so good time management, or at breaking a big task down into smaller parts and working at it a chunk at a time.

I am pretty sure I am undiagnosed adult ADHD.

Still, twentymumble years after graduating college, I have the nightmare that it's second semester senior year, the day of the final, I haven't been to the class in months, I don't know where the room is, and I don't have a #2 pencil. It's always math that I've never been to and I have no math credits. I can't possibly graduate. I have to pack up all of the stuff in my room and leave, and somehow figure out how to get four years worth of math credits over the summer.

/shudder
//hold me
/// also can sightread music better than just about anybody because I never ever practiced
 
2012-12-02 03:01:10 PM

dave2198: There are many scholars researching the effectiveness of homework, and very few (if any) have come to the conclusion that it does no good at all.


How many show that it is beneficial? I admit I am not a scholar in this area but the first hit I got on google produced this:

It may surprise you, as it did me, to learn that no study has ever demonstrated any academic benefit to assigning homework before children are in high school. In fact, even in high school, the association between homework and achievement is weak -- and the data don't show that homework is responsible for higher achievement.

Link

It seems like the issue isn't as crystal clear as you think. 

If I were a betting man I would say you probably fall under this camp, again from the link:

All of these explanations are plausible, but I think there's also something else responsible for our continuing to feed children this latter-day cod-liver oil. We don't ask challenging questions about homework because we don't ask challenging questions about most things.
 
2012-12-02 03:02:46 PM

marchnrun4: * first one to post this. Where the hell did Weeners come from?


Well you see little marchnrun4, God wanted to make little boys different from little girls...
 
2012-12-02 03:05:16 PM

APE992: Point taken, but how many what percentage of the US are scientists? A percentage of the population gets a good wage doing underwater welding but I don't see that as a good argument to teach everyone underwater welding either.


Underwater welding is not a transferable skill- forming a good argument is. Expressing your arguments and ideas coherently is, and used in a huge range of professions, and useful for an engaged civic life. It's used in science, it's used in any business, it's used if you're a social worker, it's used if you're working on policy at the highest levels of the US Government. I'm sure you could find a use for a guy who can think for himself on the shop floor, too. Writing and critical thinking aren't limited to one or two jobs- they're essential for full membership in our society. Teaching critical thinking is tremendously important, but we constantly fail at it. But guess what? That's what those papers are. Forming an argument, evaluating the credibility of sources and arguments? What is critical thinking, if not that?

If the guy working in a shop doesn't have those skills, he'll never have the option to move out of the shop if he decides to go back to school. I don't think everybody is entirely equal in intelligence or potential, but there are a tremendous amount of people who could do a lot more with their lives if they chose to. A broad and broadly available liberal (as in liberal arts) education that gives those people the general skills they need in any role is utterly critical if we want to have any sort of economic and social mobility in this country. We need to have better education in the trades, but I'm an old school liberal on this one- we need to ensure that every person in this country has the tools engage in a well rounded intellectual and cultural life. I don't care if you work in construction- you can enjoy Schubert just as much as I do, and I can enjoy watching football. Our society would be better for it, our democracy would be better for it.
 
2012-12-02 03:10:06 PM

orbister: ApatheticMonkey: For all of you farkers who think that homework is unnecessary and useless, I'd like you to go do something. Go find yourself a teacher that operates outside of a school environment - a sports coach, or a piano teacher or something. Now make your same argument to them, but replace "homework" with "practice".

Can you explain why I never, ever see the keen competitive school-age swimmers in my local swimming club practising outside the coached sessions they have from 6 - 8am and 4 - 6pm every day?


I would assume it is because they are focusing on doing that one task for four hours a day. Whereas in a classroom setting, they probably aren't completely focused on the task at hand. At the same time, they likely aren't given more than say, a solid hour of time at best to get comfortable with a new task or new information. Moreover, a good swimming facility may not be available to a given swimmer at all times. A suitable public pool may exist, but during the times a competitive school-age swimmer may need it, it is often booked out for other uses or is closed.
 
2012-12-02 03:10:35 PM

jst3p: All of these explanations are plausible, but I think there's also something else responsible for our continuing to feed children this latter-day cod-liver oil. We don't ask challenging questions about homework because we don't ask challenging questions about most things.


Is this where I write another paragraph or two on the importance of teaching critical thinking?
 
2012-12-02 03:11:05 PM

links136: This is assuming you understand the concepts to begin with.


Homework is the means of discovering which aspects of a concept the student isn't getting, so that follow-up effort can be directed in a meaningful fashion.


links136: Words are an imaginary concept. Ownership of land is an imaginary concept. Value is an imaginary concept. X and Y are imaginary concepts.

Just look at when europeans came over and started owning all the land, native americans were baffled as it was a concept that just flew over their heads as native americans are a practical people that base things on what's around them. The idea of ownership was foreign and they were taken advantage of because of it. They didn't have writing, just oral tradition. A physical car is a practical concept, the word car is imaginary. Trades are based on practical concepts, x and y arn't practical concepts. Some people learn better that way, others learn better based on practical applications with physical examples to put relatively in their brains and work better with their hands. Those people usually end up joining gangs or committing crime because they're basically left to die in the school system. It's hard to explain because people can really only think in one or the other.


Seriously, what are you advocating for? Are you holding pre-Columbian American society as an ideal? You say that they're a "practical" people who based things on what's around them - maybe that's a big part of why they were centuries, sometimes millennia behind Europeans in the development of technology and medicine. Our society today depends on identifying and developing people who can think beyond just the things they they can pick up with their hands - if we stop doing that, to be fair to the "practical" people, we'd better get comfortable sliding backwards towards primitive living.

And you cite a car as a "practical" concept, but that's not true at all. A car only "does" anything because of hundreds and hundreds of "abstract" concepts that your "impractical" people coined "abstract" words to describe, and eventually harnessed to create a "practical" result. Its curves and style only exist in the real world because people used abstract tools like computers to model that geometry, break it down into discrete, machine-able components, and solve for the dimensions that you see on the plan in front of you. X and Y aren't "imaginary" concepts, they're a human-created method of finding real unknowns in the real, practical world.

Maybe you're advocating for more distinct educational paths for your "practical" and "conceptual" people - again, homework is the best way of discovering who's who.
 
2012-12-02 03:11:33 PM

ApatheticMonkey: Whereas in a classroom setting, they probably aren't completely focused on the task at hand.


So what if you didn't assume this as a given?
 
2012-12-02 03:13:17 PM

cptjeff: jst3p: All of these explanations are plausible, but I think there's also something else responsible for our continuing to feed children this latter-day cod-liver oil. We don't ask challenging questions about homework because we don't ask challenging questions about most things.

Is this where I write another paragraph or two on the importance of teaching critical thinking?


Indeed.
 
2012-12-02 03:13:58 PM

cptjeff: And those students would be much, much better served by doing the problem sets in class where a teacher can stop by the desk and help them when they first run into problems, rather than running into the problem at home and not being able to get competent help working through it.


Right now that teacher is using her 40 minutes a day with the class of 30 students teaching new concepts and going over the homework. What you're talking about would be a math lab, which would require additional teacher hours. I am not opposed, and I do think it sucks that if you're born to a single mom who's math skills end at 4th grade you're basically screwed in the math department, I am merely pointing out that what you're proposing would be expensive. We might have to do something radical, like stop spending $8 on seniors for every $1 we spend on a child.

BTW, we have a serious competent math/science teacher shortage. Don't know if you're aware.

/maybe armchair education specialists like us should go volunteer
 
2012-12-02 03:16:26 PM

Pray 4 Mojo: It's cute that most of you think school is about education... and not about training young minds how to jump through societal hoops and be good, obedient citizens.


To some extent, that's necessary in any civilized society. It just becomes counterproductive when a school discourages individual thought and education becomes robotic, or when you have kids reciting a socialist pledge before class starts. No schooling system would ever do that, right?
 
2012-12-02 03:19:36 PM

links136: As an example, when I was in machinist school, I knew what all the tools looked like and how to use them and what they did, got 98% on the practical part. I couldn't remember the names or terms of them to save my life. Of course the written tests involved remembering the names, guess how well I did on that part, despite knowing how to actually do the work perfectly? I always see the physical concept in my head, and always struggle to put the word to it.

I also struggle heavily to do tasks when told how to do it, but when i'm PHYSICALLY shown how to do it, I usually don't even need them to finish before I completely understand it. Why yes, my family including my dad were hunters and trappers all their lives, the same as anyone else living on reserves. Another one is the difference in communication between cultures. Not understood in the slightest, and you see it everyday in racial tension.


Sounds like a learning disorder to me.
 
2012-12-02 03:27:20 PM

Fark_Guy_Rob: More and more it seem school is just day-care and the homework is meant to be the learning?

I've known medical students, veterinary students, and engineers who spend significantly less time in class than a 2nd grader. I'm not really sure what kids are doing in school all day, but I'm pretty sure it's not really learning in the traditional sense.

At most universities a 'full-time' student is one who will have '15-credit hours' and that should translate, roughly, into 15 hours in class, each week. That's roughly *three hours* per day. And this is for serious university types.


Don't forget the coursework at home or whoever it is you live during college. No way in hell you're finishing everything in 15 hours of class time. That will take another 15 if not 30 hours for some.
 
2012-12-02 03:29:38 PM

cptjeff: Or they can get that feedback instantly, directly tailored to what the students are having trouble with at any given moment.

I agree that some of this work is needed- I violently disagree with the contention that it has to be done at home. You've got three times the amount of class time as college professors do. If you have to keep repeating the same stuff without many in the class getting it, it's being utterly wasted, or at least it could be used much, much more efficiently.



being pestered by a 2-year-old, and need to put up Christmas lights. I'll need to respond to this later today.
 
2012-12-02 03:30:30 PM

LiberalEastCoastElitist: Right now that teacher is using her 40 minutes a day with the class of 30 students teaching new concepts and going over the homework.


Not really- the teacher is spending that 40 minutes a day repeating the same stuff she's taught for the previous three or four days in an effort to catch kids up. And going over the homework. So why not spend less time repeating the same crap and more time working with students to ensure that they actually get it so you don't have to spend a whole week going back over the exact same material?

And I really don't think it would require the massive increase in teaching power you think it would. When you're putting out the brushfires, you don't have to spend time and energy fighting a massive blaze.
 
2012-12-02 03:32:32 PM

fanbladesaresharp: Don't forget the coursework at home or whoever it is you live during college. No way in hell you're finishing everything in 15 hours of class time. That will take another 15 if not 30 hours for some.


Which brings the total commitment of time about up to what a second grader spends just in the classroom. Which tells me that that classroom time could be used a hell of a lot more effectively.
 
2012-12-02 03:39:46 PM

BigNumber12: Pray 4 Mojo: It's cute that most of you think school is about education... and not about training young minds how to jump through societal hoops and be good, obedient citizens.

It's cute that you think that school is a huge Hollywood-esque conspiracy, rather than a mechanism for continuing and furthering the progress of our civilization at a general level. And apparently that a society full of good citizens who don't defiantly flout the law at every turn is a bad thing. You must be saving up for a one-way ticket to Somalia - you'd love the rugged, independent individuals there.


Now don't be too hard on him for this. He has a point. Forced public education is to teach approved information and included in this is the desire by the school system to make 'good citizens' of us all. A certain level of 'socialization' is of course a part of the masterplan.
As for myself, I hated homework. Simple as that. But then, I'm a HS dropout. What do I kknow.

/Yet I own my own business now. Funny how life works.
 
2012-12-02 03:42:08 PM

cptjeff: ApatheticMonkey: Whereas in a classroom setting, they probably aren't completely focused on the task at hand.

So what if you didn't assume this as a given?


Some kids'll get it, some kids won't. It'll just be a different distribution of numbers. They'll still need practice, unless you're dealing with an outlier on the smart side of the curve.
 
2012-12-02 03:42:49 PM

ApatheticMonkey: I would assume it is because they are focusing on doing that one task for four hours a day. Whereas in a classroom setting, they probably aren't completely focused on the task at hand. At the same time, they likely aren't given more than say, a solid hour of time at best to get comfortable with a new task or new information. Moreover, a good swimming facility may not be available to a given swimmer at all times. A suitable public pool may exist, but during the times a competitive school-age swimmer may need it, it is often booked out for other uses or is closed.


You would concede, then, that coaches in at least one highly competitive sport do not expect students to practice in their own time? Nothing stopping the kids from using the lanes I use, which are in all the time the pool's open.

Ballet and dance students aren't expected to practice in their own time either. In fact it's discouraged, strongly, because of the possibility of injury.
 
2012-12-02 03:44:12 PM
Note cards never understood note cards. If I cite my references in the paper I am writing and provide a bibliography at the end why the hell do you need three hundred three by five note cards.

/think i failed every term paper but one because of note cards.
//never was asked for note cards by any employer
///miscellaneous slashies
 
2012-12-02 03:46:13 PM

nmemkha: We need to return to actually teaching critical thinking and imparting knowledge rather than rote memorization to pass standardized tests.


cdn.uproxx.com
 
2012-12-02 03:47:10 PM
Meanwhile, Finland wonders what took everybody so long.
 
2012-12-02 03:50:43 PM

Gulper Eel: Meanwhile, Finland wonders what took everybody so long.


The Finns are smug bastards, what with their cheerful and humble approach to wildly superior public institutions.
 
2012-12-02 03:53:19 PM

FishyFred: This is not necessarily a FAIL. This is not a new concept. It just hasn't been tried much (if at all) since the beginning of the Cold War.


Kids need to learn how to self-start outside of an academic setting. An entire generation of schoolkids who have nothing but free time after school will get a massive system shock the first time a job or university gives them a take-home assignment.
 
2012-12-02 03:54:15 PM
Most homework is just busywork. It give the teacher something on which to easily base a grade is all.
 
2012-12-02 03:58:01 PM
Sounds like a solution liberals would come up with. "If it's hard, dont do it."
 
2012-12-02 03:58:48 PM

namegoeshere: MORB: The only thing homework ever taught me is procrastinating.

Like they'd give us three months to do a book report and I would forget all about it until the week-end right before the monday it was due, read the thing sunday morning and shiat out the report in the afternoon.

Also the horror of remembering some big homework assignment you'd totally forgot about on a sunday evening (which was already depressing in the first place). I even had nightmares about that. Good times.

THIS THIS THIS.

As a result, I do my best work up against a deadline, and can think on my feet. I can get shiat done in a pinch. If you've got a last minute thing and you need it done yesterday, I'm your man.

I am not so good time management, or at breaking a big task down into smaller parts and working at it a chunk at a time.

I am pretty sure I am undiagnosed adult ADHD.

Still, twentymumble years after graduating college, I have the nightmare that it's second semester senior year, the day of the final, I haven't been to the class in months, I don't know where the room is, and I don't have a #2 pencil. It's always math that I've never been to and I have no math credits. I can't possibly graduate. I have to pack up all of the stuff in my room and leave, and somehow figure out how to get four years worth of math credits over the summer.

/shudder
//hold me
/// also can sightread music better than just about anybody because I never ever practiced


I farking hate math, and it sounds like Freddy's been paying us both a visit with that "haven't been to match class in months" thing.

/Fuking terrible dream

//Months
 
2012-12-02 03:59:28 PM

orbister: ApatheticMonkey: I would assume it is because they are focusing on doing that one task for four hours a day. Whereas in a classroom setting, they probably aren't completely focused on the task at hand. At the same time, they likely aren't given more than say, a solid hour of time at best to get comfortable with a new task or new information. Moreover, a good swimming facility may not be available to a given swimmer at all times. A suitable public pool may exist, but during the times a competitive school-age swimmer may need it, it is often booked out for other uses or is closed.

You would concede, then, that coaches in at least one highly competitive sport do not expect students to practice in their own time? Nothing stopping the kids from using the lanes I use, which are in all the time the pool's open.

Ballet and dance students aren't expected to practice in their own time either. In fact it's discouraged, strongly, because of the possibility of injury.


Sure. I'm not going to assume to be an expert in all fields. I'm not an athelete either, so I'm not going to front about it.

More on point however - I'm not sure about dance, but in the case of swimming, you've given an example of an environment in which at least twenty hours of time per week have been devoted to the learning and practice of the sport. That's roughly 4 times as much time per week spent practicing as being in class learning math, literacy or any other subject taught at the public school level. It's not like these kids aren't practicing just because the coach or whoever is there.

What I'm getting at here is that you need to spend time practicing a task, be it supervised time or not, in order to gain mastery of it. What's being proposed here, is that somehow these kids will miraculously learn what they need to in class alone.
 
2012-12-02 04:05:22 PM

cptjeff: LiberalEastCoastElitist: Right now that teacher is using her 40 minutes a day with the class of 30 students teaching new concepts and going over the homework.

Not really- the teacher is spending that 40 minutes a day repeating the same stuff she's taught for the previous three or four days in an effort to catch kids up. And going over the homework. So why not spend less time repeating the same crap and more time working with students to ensure that they actually get it so you don't have to spend a whole week going back over the exact same material?


Ok, let's say she decreases the redundancies so now she has 20 minutes a day to help individual students. 20min * 60 seconds / 30 students = 40 seconds/student/day. Sorry, that's just not going to make a huge impact.

When I was a relatively motivated college student taking calculus with a somewhat shaky foundation I probably got two hours a week help from my math major housemate and two hours a week from the math lab. I still pulled down a B. I don't see the time requirement for a weak student struggling in algebra to be any less. Four hours a week of a unionized certified math teacher's time is fairly pricey. Add to that the kids struggling in reading who could use help and multiply that by the number of students struggling across the country and you basically have a new entitlement program. Perhaps you can see know why society's solution to this problem is to expect parental input in the form of help with homework.
 
2012-12-02 04:05:41 PM

ApatheticMonkey: orbister: ApatheticMonkey: I would assume it is because they are focusing on doing that one task for four hours a day. Whereas in a classroom setting, they probably aren't completely focused on the task at hand. At the same time, they likely aren't given more than say, a solid hour of time at best to get comfortable with a new task or new information. Moreover, a good swimming facility may not be available to a given swimmer at all times. A suitable public pool may exist, but during the times a competitive school-age swimmer may need it, it is often booked out for other uses or is closed.

You would concede, then, that coaches in at least one highly competitive sport do not expect students to practice in their own time? Nothing stopping the kids from using the lanes I use, which are in all the time the pool's open.

Ballet and dance students aren't expected to practice in their own time either. In fact it's discouraged, strongly, because of the possibility of injury.

Sure. I'm not going to assume to be an expert in all fields. I'm not an athelete either, so I'm not going to front about it.

More on point however - I'm not sure about dance, but in the case of swimming, you've given an example of an environment in which at least twenty hours of time per week have been devoted to the learning and practice of the sport. That's roughly 4 times as much time per week spent practicing as being in class learning math, literacy or any other subject taught at the public school level. It's not like these kids aren't practicing just because the coach or whoever is there.

What I'm getting at here is that you need to spend time practicing a task, be it supervised time or not, in order to gain mastery of it. What's being proposed here, is that somehow these kids will miraculously learn what they need to in class alone.


Reality seems to disagree with you, as it relates to education. Someone above mentioned Finland, here is some detail:

The school day starts between 8 and 9am in the morning and finishes between 1 and 2pm in the afternoon. The class has 25 lessons a week. Each lesson is 45 minutes long. There are 3 hours and 45 minutes of instruction each day on average. In the Aurora school this class (5th grade) has one four-lesson day, one six-lesson day and the other days are five lessons long.

...

The role of homework in Finnish schools has continuously become less important. Pupils do their learning assignments mostly during the school day so that they can spend time with their own activities at home. According to our surveys, Finnish pupils in basic education spend less than one hour per day doing homework. 

Link
 
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