“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.” By Lily Tomlin
For a long time I ignored the homework debate. I would hear parents complain how there wasn’t enough time after school for homework due to their kids schedules. I listened but secretly thought, ‘I did homework when I was a kid and I played sports, was in girl scouts and I managed or at least my parents managed my schedule.’
Before parents didn’t question homework the teacher assigned it, the student did it, end of story. I was reading articles on my favorite app, Zite and I noticed many of the articles were related to the homework debate. I decided to not ignore it anymore as it had also been a “hot topic” at our school meetings as well because our state added 45 mins on to our day. (Which I agree with as now we are the same as other states but wish the added time was reflected in our pay.)
After reading many articles on both sides I came to the decision that we need to change our mind sets as educators if there should or shouldn’t be homework but look at the quality of homework. We need to really ask our selves, ‘Is the homework making a difference in the student’s education?’
Giving homework teaches self-discipline and time management, two very important skills. We, as educators, need to be giving students, authentic homework. We need to pose a question for the students to ponder (which is why I love the quote I started
with) and let them answer it via blogging, Edmodo or another site where the students can be critical thinkers, creative, collaborate and communicate as all these skills make up a 21st century learner. This is why I like the flipped classroom so much. (See my previous blog on Flipped Classroom below) We need to turn homework into a catalyst for learning!
I am curious to know what other teachers, educators and schools philosophies are about homework. Are you, as an educator, shifting your homework policy to fit the needs of our 21st century learners?