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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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3776 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 10:54:28 PM
I have scrolled through these answers, and notice a very common thing. This is fark, albeit FARKERS, claiming to be uneducated, jaded and often just flat out cynical.

Yet for the most part, the only misspellings are intentional. Some farkers don't capitalize, use proper grammar, or use punctuation.

However, most of us crotchety old farkers can communicate in a way that involves sentences, clear thoughts, and a wealth of sarcasm.

Ask your kid to actually spell a word. Throw Mississippi at them, on of the easiest words of all! If they can't find it on spell check, they are toast. Math is important, but communication- without it- we are hosed.

Homework is practice - practice makes perfect- or at least tolerable.....

No spell check when filling out a job application with a ball point pen....
 
2012-12-02 10:59:41 PM
Homework is valuable if only in its effectiveness in teaching that prayer doesn't actually work. At all.
 
2012-12-02 11:10:50 PM
Homework is a good tool; its not a relacement for quality instruction, but it supplements. Some things simply need reinforcement; grinding it out, repetitious working, memorization. Yes, that can be boring. Boo farking hoo. Deal with it. School is not for entertainment. It is not primarily for enjoyment; its for preparing youself to be useful, and not a lazy worthless oxygen theif.

From the article
"It's much more about, sit down and we'll fill your empty heads with our rather dull and old-fashioned knowledge."

Yes..that is what school is about. Pansies.
 
2012-12-02 11:42:14 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.


This - it's the grading that puts kids at a disadvantage.

The rich kids with worrywart parents far too often get perfect scores because it's their parents doing half the work, or at least spending time fixing it with their kids. Kids whose parents don't have the time can't do that and so the kids are handing in their own work.

Things done for an actual grade need to be done in school.

Anyway homework is supposed to be about the learning and diagnostics, figuring out what you need to study and doing some practice. If all the problems are easy and it really is trivial busywork for you, there's no point in doing it.

University homework is something else entirely, but most of those people don't live at home with Mommy finishing their assignments for them. Yes, people do homework in groups, but if that's done correctly by people who actually want to learn, that can be a good thing. People who just cheat, well, at some point they will fail the test, fail the project, or fail the job interview, so who cares?
 
2012-12-02 11:57:27 PM

BigNumber12: Because the real world doesn't grade the outcome of a person's work, right? Who cares if the rocket detonates on the launchpad, or the patient dies on the operating table, as long as the worker felt good about having tried hard, right?


The real world is certainly nothing like school.

Results are tested, sure, but deadlines are generally negotiable (project timelines slip - that absolutely means you work your ass off, of course, but unlike school if there really IS a good reason for it to slip, you negotiate that). People work in teams. People reuse work (and this is actually encouraged). Assignments change on a moment's notice depending on conditions (patient has complications, etc). "Showing your work" is the most important part of the project half the time. Most projects you never start from scratch, you're starting from someone else's finish point - and when you're finished, you expect to hand it off to someone else again, so you're required to document the shiat out of it.

No one ever says you're not allowed to look at the manual when you get stuck. No one ever says you're not allowed to look at a programming reference, or google around for ideas. You memorize things that you really do use often, naturally.

Most importantly, you don't get to just "settle for the B and just turn in what you have half done because fark it" unless you intend to quit the job. You have to finish what you start.

Star students fresh out of university often have a pretty giant learning curve about just how the collaborative working world operates. Some adjust, some don't.
 
2012-12-03 01:13:19 AM

FizixJunkee: 4seasons85!: 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.

University classes go very fast and you will have to put in many more hours in study than the class time. Some classes will require 4 -5 hrs of study after class a day to be successful at it (I'm looking you Organic Chemistry!)


Yep. I don't miss those 4-problem homework assignments that take 20+ hours to do. Doesn't leave much time for anything else.

\graduate-level physics
\\ Jackson's E&M is a beast


Oh man. I took Organic Chemistry from a professor that was a native of India and spoke poor English. It was terrible.
 
2012-12-03 01:23:28 AM

vpb: "The French are discovering - to their horror - that their performance internationally has been declining over the last 10 years. The French actually are performing [worse] than the Americans in reading and science," he says.


In a few years they can run for public office in the US.
 
2012-12-03 01:27:36 AM

Marcus Aurelius: If the teacher can't finish the job in school, then the school day needs to be extended. Take-home homework is mostly to punish the parents. I can see it for math and reading and possibly writing. All the rest of it is complete horseshiat.


Better practice on your 'Welcome to Walmart.' Take-home homework is to make you think through things, but considering that most kids spend their waking hours staring blankly into their phones homework won't help either. Stupidity is preprogrammed.
 
2012-12-03 01:31:48 AM

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.


you need to recognize that teaching on the university level is designed to incorporate at-home time, whether in the form of homework or studying. the general rule is that for every 1 hour of class time, students are expected to spend 2 hours at home studying or doing assignments.

1X + 2X, where X is 15 = 45 hours per week. This is more than a 9 to 5 job.

I always tell my students that college is a full time job and to, as much as possible, take on loans and find a way to go to school without having to work. Part of the population I teach is adult learners, men and women in their 30's and 40's, with families and full time jobs, who are taking 15 credits to earn a BA also. This _kills_ them.

And, yes, I do assign homework. And, yes, I try to make the assignments as engaging, worthwhile, and educational as possible. My students admitted that the only class they look forward to is mine. That while doing homework for their other classes (English, Music, etc), they'll take a break by doing my homework.
 
2012-12-03 02:05:17 AM
Equality through hammer, ax, and saw?

/Hopefully not obscure
 
2012-12-03 02:07:38 AM

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

Theoretically, that would be the way to go..Unfortunately, the rise or critical thinking would devastate the following special interests because eyes will be opened to obvious bullshiat!..

Politicians and lawmakers - They wouldn't be able to pull the wool over the eyes of 'critical thinkers'.
Clergymen - They'd lose all their customers
Lottery Corporations - 'nuff said.
The advertising industries and the broadcasting / publishing empires they support
Tabloids and other 'biased' news sources
Apple Computers (and any other business that puts trendiness, style and form over functionality and cost!) 

Think of the employment..


It's kind of funny you think that, because highly educated people can still end up believing really stupid things.
 
2012-12-03 03:13:55 AM

ApatheticMonkey: 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.


Just like the swimmers? The question is really whether someone who hasn't learned something in a supervised class with professional help on hand is any more likely to learn it by working on their own with nobody to correct, guide or help them.

Fine for those learning musical instruments, where movements have to be acquired by muscle memory. But how many school subject contain small chunks which need to be learned the same way?
 
2012-12-03 03:26:36 AM

links136: My point is that when you look at a car, thats the physical part of it. The actual word car is an imaginary concept created to represent the physical part of it.


Absolutely. You have to distinguish between your car the machine and your car the corporation. When your car was made, or imported, the government gave it a number. At the same time they created a shadow bank account in the name of its corporation, which is how US currency has been backed since the end of the gold standard. You are only eligible for speeding tickets and other traffic offences if you acknowledge this, so avoid doing so by making sure you always refer to "my Fiesta of the family Ford" or "my ::Tesla::Roadster::".

Nice to meet someone else here who reject sheeple-think and understands freecar on the road concepts.
 
2012-12-03 06:05:20 AM

maggoo: Exactly, just like the concept of hard work paying back those who invest in it, and that those who make an effort are better rewarded than those who slack around.


So, no capitalism? I mean you're saying go by a system of occupy and use and labor income rather than a series of bullshiat excuses like interest and risk to give more wealth to the wealthy and allowing some tart to reap the rewards while sitting on his ass because he "owns" the land and production equipment that only the workers use and brings nothing but management which the workers can do themselves?
 
2012-12-03 06:21:07 AM

orbister: links136: My point is that when you look at a car, thats the physical part of it. The actual word car is an imaginary concept created to represent the physical part of it.

Absolutely. You have to distinguish between your car the machine and your car the corporation. When your car was made, or imported, the government gave it a number. At the same time they created a shadow bank account in the name of its corporation, which is how US currency has been backed since the end of the gold standard. You are only eligible for speeding tickets and other traffic offences if you acknowledge this, so avoid doing so by making sure you always refer to "my Fiesta of the family Ford" or "my ::Tesla::Roadster::".

Nice to meet someone else here who reject sheeple-think and understands freecar on the road concepts.


All joking aside, I think I'm actually getting what he's saying. Some people are visual learners, some people are audio learners, and some are kinesthetic learners (tactile sensation). Similarly, some people are larks do their work best in the early mornings ~8:00AM, and some are night owls do work better at 6:00 PM. Despite these differences, we've organized the public school system to be useful primarily for audio-learning larks, leaving the visual, kinesthetic, and night-owl people mostly behind. When the school instead optimizes on a per-student basis, achievement can go up significantly. There's been actual scientific papers on this very subject.
 
2012-12-03 08:16:31 AM

links136: LiberalEastCoastElitist: links136: So my learning disability is that i'm a visual thinker? Is that what you're saying? I'm simply better at using my hands and thinking in visual terms. It's not that I can't think in other ways, i'm just not nearly as effective at it, so I play to my strengths. Is that really a disorder, or just having different strengths and abilities?

Some would consider failing a test despite knowing the material because you can't recall names of items you've been working with for weeks a disorder, yes. No need to get butthurt, it just means you're weak in one or two areas.
.

I didn't fail them. I would get around 70%, which isn't as good as 98%. I AM weak in that area, I don't understand why thats a learning disorder, or the only example of knowledge and abilities. I'm considered by my teacher with 20 years of managing machine shops a genius in the field, am as good as anyone at doing the work, I just can't show it by remembering the names of tools on a piece of paper because i'm better at remembering the visual and practical aspect, and you know, actually doing the work.

Yet that way is the standard of showing knowledge and ability. That's my point. Alot of people are being overlooked because their strengths are different than what your expected to be good at, even though those strengths are vital to society, they can't even prove those strengths because there's nothing in school that allows you to do that. It was the same in high school for me. My parents knew my intelligence, so did my teachers. But because i only got around 70% in school for the same reason above, it's all my fault.

This is why gang members have grown rapidly. I've met plenty over the years, I notice they think the same way. Same with guys in trades, guys that are former gang members or associates trying to clean up their lives and do what they originally should have done, but didn't because they were cast out of a system that rejected them for having different strengths, at least in my observation. No different than my aboriginal friends and family members, at least the male ones. This is also in my opinion why girls will do better on average than guys in school now. Guy's are more visual.

It's almost a 'suburban' vs 'street-sense' difference. the street-sense people are cast out as stupid, even though they have very useful strengths in different ways. And then we're all shocked as to why we lack trades people.

It's a bloody nightmare. It's destroyed many lives and will continue to do so until it's understood properly.


Dude your problem isn't learning per se, it the worthless dolts in HR and government who are only good for geting offended and creating BS tests and rules to create justification for their jobs and separate people into categories through useless and arbitrary ways. Your teacher, knows you know your shiat, and your boss probably does too. That is all that should matter.
 
2012-12-03 08:17:51 AM

Ed Willy: links136: Ed Willy: Actually, trying to fix the circle of poverty and bad home life is much harder for the government to do. Government and schools alone cannot fix the bad thinking patterns that trap people in a cycle of shiat jobs and poor decisions.

What, you think schools don't have any affect on thinking patterns?

Behavior patterns are much more difficult to work with. It takes models you can actually see, not abstract ideas


You know like a dad who is more than a sperm donating prison biatch.
 
2012-12-03 09:22:13 AM
just need to tax the "wealth" students and spread the wealth around to those "unfortunate" students. Equitable distribution of grades.
 
2012-12-03 09:57:51 AM

chaoticcrash: I have scrolled through these answers, and notice a very common thing. This is fark, albeit FARKERS, claiming to be uneducated, jaded and often just flat out cynical.

Yet for the most part, the only misspellings are intentional. Some farkers don't capitalize, use proper grammar, or use punctuation.

However, most of us crotchety old farkers can communicate in a way that involves sentences, clear thoughts, and a wealth of sarcasm.

Ask your kid to actually spell a word. Throw Mississippi at them, on of the easiest words of all! If they can't find it on spell check, they are toast. Math is important, but communication- without it- we are hosed.

Homework is practice - practice makes perfect- or at least tolerable.....

No spell check when filling out a job application with a ball point pen....


My kid can spell her name at 20 months. She will know how to write and speak well. Her mother is an avid reader of books and I read academic journals for fun still. She will have good reading habits. Of course, I look at parenting as bring my responsibility to make sure my kid is one less little dumbass running around.
 
2012-12-03 10:05:09 AM

aesirx: 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.

you need to recognize that teaching on the university level is designed to incorporate at-home time, whether in the form of homework or studying. the general rule is that for every 1 hour of class time, students are expected to spend 2 hours at home studying or doing assignments.

1X + 2X, where X is 15 = 45 hours per week. This is more than a 9 to 5 job.

I always tell my students that college is a full time job and to, as much as possible, take on loans and find a way to go to school without having to work. Part of the population I teach is adult learners, men and women in their 30's and 40's, with families and full time jobs, who are taking 15 credits to earn a BA also. This _kills_ them.

And, yes, I do assign homework. And, yes, I try to make the assignments as engaging, worthwhile, and educational as possible. My students admitted that the only class they look forward to is mine. That while doing homework for their other classes (English, Music, etc), they'll take a break by doing my homework.


I disagree working 45-50 hours a week then taking 12-15 credits of college a week prepared me well for the rigors of adult life. Oh you need ne to work 16 hour days for a couple weeks because you let the accountants make personnel decisions, no problem. Oh my job is 6am to 5pm and I have to help the kids with their homework and check off on it. Yep got that too.
 
2012-12-03 10:15:17 AM

Sim Tree: orbister: links136: My point is that when you look at a car, thats the physical part of it. The actual word car is an imaginary concept created to represent the physical part of it.

Absolutely. You have to distinguish between your car the machine and your car the corporation. When your car was made, or imported, the government gave it a number. At the same time they created a shadow bank account in the name of its corporation, which is how US currency has been backed since the end of the gold standard. You are only eligible for speeding tickets and other traffic offences if you acknowledge this, so avoid doing so by making sure you always refer to "my Fiesta of the family Ford" or "my ::Tesla::Roadster::".

Nice to meet someone else here who reject sheeple-think and understands freecar on the road concepts.

All joking aside, I think I'm actually getting what he's saying. Some people are visual learners, some people are audio learners, and some are kinesthetic learners (tactile sensation). Similarly, some people are larks do their work best in the early mornings ~8:00AM, and some are night owls do work better at 6:00 PM. Despite these differences, we've organized the public school system to be useful primarily for audio-learning larks, leaving the visual, kinesthetic, and night-owl people mostly behind. When the school instead optimizes on a per-student basis, achievement can go up significantly. There's been actual scientific papers on this very subject.


This! 10am to 6pm is my best time to work. Sad, not many jobs around here have that schedule.
 
2012-12-03 11:16:50 AM

itazurakko: BigNumber12: Because the real world doesn't grade the outcome of a person's work, right? Who cares if the rocket detonates on the launchpad, or the patient dies on the operating table, as long as the worker felt good about having tried hard, right?

The real world is certainly nothing like school.

Results are tested, sure, but deadlines are generally negotiable (project timelines slip - that absolutely means you work your ass off, of course, but unlike school if there really IS a good reason for it to slip, you negotiate that). People work in teams. People reuse work (and this is actually encouraged). Assignments change on a moment's notice depending on conditions (patient has complications, etc). "Showing your work" is the most important part of the project half the time. Most projects you never start from scratch, you're starting from someone else's finish point - and when you're finished, you expect to hand it off to someone else again, so you're required to document the shiat out of it.

No one ever says you're not allowed to look at the manual when you get stuck. No one ever says you're not allowed to look at a programming reference, or google around for ideas. You memorize things that you really do use often, naturally.

Most importantly, you don't get to just "settle for the B and just turn in what you have half done because fark it" unless you intend to quit the job. You have to finish what you start.

Star students fresh out of university often have a pretty giant learning curve about just how the collaborative working world operates. Some adjust, some don't.



Yes, I'm an engineering major, so you've basically described a large part of what I do. Except for the "negotiable deadlines" bit, which is just funny.

I guess I don't see how any of that changes the fact that the real world does, in fact, grade your work, sometimes quite strictly, sometimes career-endingly strictly. Why would you want to spend a student's entire education teaching them that it won't?
 
2012-12-03 11:29:40 AM

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.



I didn't forget about you, but I did start drinking once I got back inside.

Anyway, the point I was going to make is that, when compared to in-class work, homework has three advantages:

1) Working at home challenges students to power through the entire assignment as best they can, and seek out their own resources instead of just immediately raising their hand to get the teacher over to their desk.
2) Individual and class-wide analysis. The students will complete the assignment independently, as best they can, and then the teacher can, quite quickly, analyze the student's comprehension: "So-and-so got numbers 4, 7, and 12 incorrect, which shows that they're struggling with X, Y, and Z concepts." This style of rapid feedback will also give them a sense, very quickly, of class-wide trends, since the assignments are being reviewed one after another, and for the entire class. This is a much more reliable way of doing things, because...
3) Time efficiency. We have to face it, class sizes are growing, and it's simply not practical to spend 5-10 minutes working alongside each student on each lesson assignment, in addition to actually teaching the material. While the rest of the class sits around waiting. Particularly when so many kids are being taught that being disruptive and disrespecting the teacher and classroom environment are either "no big deal" or "funny" by their parents.
 
2012-12-03 11:49:45 AM

BigNumber12: I guess I don't see how any of that changes the fact that the real world does, in fact, grade your work, sometimes quite strictly, sometimes career-endingly strictly. Why would you want to spend a student's entire education teaching them that it won't?


I wouldn't, and can't see where I've said that. But I don't think the current style of homework in K-12 schools is representative of the real world, is all. School is a very artificial place, and the incentives are not like the working world.

It's quite a rude awakening for a lot of people when they do their first project on the job and find out that it's nothing at all like projects in school, it's not like doing MPs, where your work is only yours and everything is neat and clean.

It's even further away from the idea of "do these 50 drills because, well, I want you to do them, even though they're trivial for you." Or to use the sports analogy, the whole point of drills is you drill what you don't know. You should concentrate on the problems that are hard for you, not only on "I need to get points for my GPA so it's good I can do these trivially."

Of course it's hard to do individualized assignments in a big class, and it's hard to get kids to do problems if they don't have that completely arbitrary reward of points, I suppose.

But when it comes to elementary school, which is what the article is about, the problem I personally have with grading homework (problems done at home) for anything other than completion is that rich kids with helicopter parents have their parents doing the work and it's not fair to ordinary kids who do their own work. It's also harmful (IMHO) because those kids learn that getting 100% is the main goal, rather than being able to do the assignment and/or find out what they need to work on.

If it's graded for quality it needs to be done in school so Mom and Dad are nowhere near it.

Done in school, a good teacher will not just give the answer to a question, but work through it with a kid.

Study halls might also be a good thing.
 
2012-12-03 12:26:42 PM

orbister:
Just like the swimmers? The question is really whether someone who hasn't learned something in a supervised class with professional help on hand is any more likely to learn it by working on their own with nobody to correct, guide or help them.

Fine for those learning musical instruments, where movements have to be acquired by muscle memory. But how many school subject contain small chunks which need to be learned the same way?


For small kids, they can be left alone homework wise. Thier minds are developing in a way that they'll need the guidance. However, for the rest, homework shouldn't take the form of merely practicing for rote memory. Higher order thinking skills need to be involved in order for students to have a meaningful learning experience. And I think this is where the disconnect between our opinions is stemming from. Complex, engaging (but appropriate difficulty wise, as throwing them into the lions den straight away is a waste of everyone's time) work vs busywork as homework. Repetitive piecework really only needs to be used in a remedial setting when other approaches have failed.

And if you want to continue the music parallel, having a deeper understanding of a piece vs knowing how it's supposed to be played is the difference between playing with accuracy and playing with feeling as well (but students should be careful to avoid being a guitar wanker).
 
2012-12-04 12:42:29 AM

BigNumber12: I guess I don't see how any of that changes the fact that the real world does, in fact, grade your work, sometimes quite strictly, sometimes career-endingly strictly. Why would you want to spend a student's entire education teaching them that it won't?


An engineering solution is 'graded', tho, on 'does it work well?'. Frequently, my classwork would be graded on a procedure-based rubric, instead of a results-based one, that had little or nothing to do with the actual material or even reality.

For example, in sixth grade, when solving the equation 2x = 1, sometimes the answer was one-half, and sometimes the answer was point-five, my math teacher insisted. If the other one was written down, it was WRONG, just as sure as if I'd put that the answer was Potato.

I never did learn which, and my math grade suffered significantly because of it. There was some unwritten procedure step where sometimes you reduced the division by two, and sometimes you didn't. And the sixth grade math teacher couldn't convey the dividing line with enough precision for the class to understand. Today, I do not see how there was any need for any time and trouble to be spent on that. Both symbols represent the same quantity. We could call the number smiley face if we wanted. Yet this was for some reason critically important to her that we learn when to use one half and when to use point five. Yet she lacked sufficient quality to effectively teach us why or how.

Epilogue: My seventh grade math teacher announced straight off that she didn't care if the answer was one-half or point-five, as long as it was correct. Apparently she had one too many students from Mrs.6thGrade's class try to divine from her the arcane secret.
 
2012-12-04 11:54:10 AM

Sim Tree: For example, in sixth grade, when solving the equation 2x = 1, sometimes the answer was one-half, and sometimes the answer was point-five, my math teacher insisted. If the other one was written down, it was WRONG, just as sure as if I'd put that the answer was Potato.


Assuming that the problem wasn't specifically asking for the answer in fraction or decimal form, then the teacher was simply grading the work incorrectly. I don't think that should act as evidence that the practice of grading in general should be discontinued.
 
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