Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Good Homework is So Hard to Find

"The nation's best-known researcher on homework has taken a new look at the subject, and here is what Duke University professor Harris Cooper has to say:

Elementary school students get no academic benefit from homework -- except reading and some basic skills practice -- and yet schools require more than ever.

High school students studying until dawn probably are wasting their time because there is no academic benefit after two hours a night; for middle-schoolers, 1 1/2 hours.

And what's perhaps more important, he said, is that most teachers get little or no training on how to create homework assignments that advance learning."
Valerie Strauss reported yesterday in the Washington Post.

This is big news, because Cooper was the one who invented the ten-minutes-per-grade rule, i.e. first graders get ten minutes of homework every night, second graders get 20 minutes, and so on up to 120 minutes for high school seniors. Practically speaking, high school homework amounts to much more than that. I remember several all-nighters my senior year. Granted I was taking three AP classes and using my study halls to "be a teacher's aide" (aka goof off), so I suppose that's to be expected. ;-)

Click the link above to read the rest of this article. It's pretty good.

No comments: