In North America is homework. And for years now many people have been questioning the utility of homework in the first place. Here is another interesting piece on the value (or lack thereof!) of homework and some potential solutions in our schools.
Like any other thorny problem, we find it critical to first identify the concerns that lead us to a solution if we are going to open up possibilities of alternative solutions that might work better. This is why when it comes to homework problems we encourage teachers to ask themselves why they are assigning homework and to be very specific about their concerns – ie, what are they hoping it will accomplish. Behind even bad solutions are almost always good concerns! When we consider teachers’ concerns alongside the concerns that many kids and families have about the burden of homework we might find some better solutions. The question then should not be whether to have homework or not or how much to have but rather why do we have it? The article above actually places homework in an interesting historical context that may help us understand why it was originally conceived and whether it has outlived it’s current incarnation and needs to be re-tooled. As we find all the time when collaborating to solve problems, most good solutions do require re-working over time as the sands shift.