|image via ristinaskybox.blogspot.com|
An educational reform movement across the Atlantic has the potential to make us rethink teaching and children in ways Common Core Standard enthusiasts and Annual Professional Performance Review advocates can only dream! In France, President Francois Hollande is hoping to eliminate homework as a means of raising educational expectations for all students! He was quoted in the Daily News: "An education program is, by definition, a societal program. Work should be done at school, rather than at home." While this reform movement may appear to run counter to the common perception that "more is always better," there might be some research to support rethinking homework and ways to make sure all students get the "most" from school. Alfie Kohn, for one, has been asking schools to rethink homework for many years. Kohn's research found no correlation between homework and a meaning full measure of achievement on an elementary or middle school level and a weak correlation at the high school level. Cathy Vatterott, at ASCD, proposes if we do have homework, it should always be beautiful, have a clear, student chosen purpose, be personally relevant and customized! While Kohn, Vatterott and even Hollande may have a personal vendettas against homework, theyare asking us to rethink our practices in light of the bigger picture of what we do in schools and what we do for all students after they leave school for the day. Perhaps longer school days with planned times for "reading and study" might be a better option? Perhaps longer school years with more time spent for "reading and study" might be a better option? While there are many children (and probably quite a few teachers) who would love to rethink "homework," it is a big conversation with the potential to change how we encourage students to be lifelong learners before and after the bell rings.