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Rethinking Homework

Rethinking Homework
January/February 2007 Rethinking Homework By Alfie Kohn After spending most of the day in school, children are typically given additional assignments to be completed at home. This is a rather curious fact when you stop to think about it, but not as curious as the fact that few people ever stop to think about it. It becomes even more curious, for that matter, in light of three other facts: 1. 2. 3. It’s not as though most teachers decide now and then that a certain lesson really ought to continue after school is over because meaningful learning is so likely to result from such an assignment that it warrants the intrusion on family time. I’ve heard from countless people across the country about the frustration they feel over homework. What parents and teachers need is support from administrators who are willing to challenge the conventional wisdom. So what’s a thoughtful principal to do? 1. 2. 3. Quantity, however, is not the only issue that needs to be addressed. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/rethinkinghomework.htm

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The Case Against Homework More than ever, it seems as though being a modern parent means wrestling with thorny social, tech and school issues. For instance, should kids be saddled with hours of after-school assignments? That depends on your point of view, and we want to know yours. iStockphoto When kids are younger, homework is rarely an issue—a worksheet or two, spelling lists, 20 minutes of reading. In other words, nothing too taxing. Mind-reading program translates brain activity into words Scientists have picked up fragments of people's thoughts by decoding the brain activity caused by words that they hear. The remarkable feat has given researchers fresh insight into how the brain processes language, and raises the tantalising prospect of devices that can return speech to the speechless. Though in its infancy, the work paves the way for brain implants that could monitor a person's thoughts and speak words and sentences as they imagine them. Such devices could transform the lives of thousands of people who lose the ability to speak as a result of a stroke or other medical conditions. Experiments on 15 patients in the US showed that a computer could decipher their brain activity and play back words they heard, though at times the words were difficult to recognise. "Potentially, the technique could be used to develop an implantable prosthetic device to aid speaking, and for some patients that would be wonderful.

15 Steps to Cultivate Lifelong Learning “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.” – Marcel Proust“I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.” – Abraham Lincoln“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” – Mark Twain Assuming the public school system hasn’t crushed your soul, learning is a great activity. It expands your viewpoint. Study Finds Too Much Homework Bad for Students November 16, 2012 When it comes to kids and homework, more isn't necessarily better, according to a new study out of the University of Virginia. 'When Is Homework Worth the Time' looks at student achievements in comparison to time spent on homework. Researchers said the findings were surprising.

Monday Morning Inspiration – My Post for Brad Patterson’s (@brad5patterson) Blog Challenge Some books from my collection A few weeks ago, Brad Patterson, a fantastic person and educator located in France, and a person I am honoured to call a friend, posted a blog challenge on his blog A Journée in Language – Brad asked us to say which quote defines our teaching style. In the comments section, there is a huge number of amazing and inspiring quotes! I mentioned one that I (still) cannot remember who said it or if it was exactly said that way: A good teacher is always a learner. I was going to write about that one. This morning though, as I was getting ready for class, drinking my coffee and checking out Twitter, I found this by Chris McCullough in Red Deer, Alberta:

10 Great Classroom Icebreakers 1. Self-Portrait. Have your students draw themselves. After they have done this, collect the papers and hang them up for the whole class to see. Now have students try to guess who the artists was for each picture. 2. Ten Reasons to Get Rid of Homework (and Five Alternatives) 1. Young Children Are Busy: If a child cannot learn what needs to be learned in a six hour day, we are expecting too much of a child. We are creating a jam-packed hurried day without a chance to play, reflect and interact. Adding hours to an already busy day is absurd.

iPad Apps for Autistic Students Apps on portable devices such as the Apple iPad can help non-verbal children to communicate basic needs. Intuitive apps that employ colorful images and sounds can also hold a child's attention long enough to learn and offer effective tools to build vocabulary and reinforce word knowledge. The following iPad apps are designed to augment self-expression among children with autism spectrum disorders and other cognitive impairments. Becoming more comfortable with language may also encourage more safe social interaction among family members and classmates. 1. Autism Xpress

WATCH: 6 Insanely Popular TED Talks to Make 2014 the Best Year of Your Life Posted: Updated: To kick off the new year, TEDWeekends is proud to present a compilation of six insanely popular TED talks from the past year. These talks inspired a tremendous amount of engagement from our community, and each one provides valuable insight that will help you get the most out of life in 2014. We thought this would be the perfect way to say "Thank You" to our thoughtful, curious and inspired readers and bloggers who have helped make this program such a success.

The Truth About Homework September 6, 2006 The Truth About Homework Needless Assignments Persist Because of Widespread Misconceptions About Learning By Alfie Kohn How Do You Know When You’re Expert Enough? This is a guest post by Dan Johnson of Right Brain Rockstar. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. ~ Unknown But ‘well’ is such a subjective term. How do we know how well we need to do things? We may strive for expertise, but how do we know when we have achieved it? Do we need someone to give us a certificate or a medal before we can consider ourselves an expert?

Should I Stop Assigning Homework? - Jessica Lahey What if my students think my class is too easy? And how will we ever get through A Tale of Two Cities? I have written in the past about my hatred of homework from the perspective of both a teacher and a parent, so when I heard about a teacher who had ditched the practice of assigning homework altogether, I was intrigued and skeptical. Former teacher Mark Barnes wrote in a post called “Homework: It fails our students and undermines American education”: Students often ask me why I don’t assign homework. "Lehr und Kunst" or "Theory and Practice." - what we strive for in education "Lehr und Kunst" or "Theory and Practice." (Learning and Skilled Arts) is the motto for my alma mater, WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute). I really like this as a motto for all education.

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