View Poll Results: What does homework do?

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  • It reinforces the lesson

    51 63.75%
  • It teaches responsibility

    35 43.75%
  • It prepares us for real life

    21 26.25%
  • It does even more ...

    16 20.00%
  • It does NONE of these things

    21 26.25%
  • Other (explain)

    10 12.50%
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Thread: What Does Homework Do?

  1. #21
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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by nonpareil View Post
    I disagree. Grunt work is part of life. Being able to do grunt work (work you dislike) is part of learning responsibility. As Einstein said: Success is 5% inspiration, 95% perspiration. It's grunt work + innovation that makes for success. Very few people succeed because they are smart alone. Most successful people will tell you they work very hard to get what they have.
    But you don't dispute that innovation is necessary to succeed in life? Maybe that's why our economy is going down the drain. Our education system, along with our jobs, work only to dull our minds, and break our souls.

    I seem to recall that all of the biggies in our economic history, such as Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller, thought ouside the box.
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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Not "necessary" eaxactly. There are people who never take risk or have a new idea in their life and still do well in life, enough to be qualified as "successful". But most successful people are innovative people who take risks. And America's education system is not that bad a place for innovation. In my experience it's much less rigid than other systems that concentrate too much on exams and as a result produce students that score well on international science or maths tests. There are pros and cons to both. Students need to both be well educated in the formal disciplines of Science and Maths, and have enough space to be creative and take risks.

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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by nonpareil View Post
    Not "necessary" eaxactly. There are people who never take risk or have a new idea in their life and still do well in life, enough to be qualified as "successful". But most successful people are innovative people who take risks. And America's education system is not that bad a place for innovation. In my experience it's much less rigid than other systems that concentrate too much on exams and as a result produce students that score well on international science or maths tests. There are pros and cons to both. Students need to both be well educated in the formal disciplines of Science and Maths, and have enough space to be creative and take risks.
    I dunno, I personally favor the idea of teaching and taking tests. I just hate homework because it cuts down on my time for extra stuff, and I already understand it all, so I loathe having to take time I could be spending on Mock Trial or SAT prep and using it on finding the molecular formula using the amount of moles of hydrogen and carbon in a substance. It's redundant, and a waste of time.

    I'm sure the smarter students would prefer just taking tests, and the stupid ones would prefer lots of homework to boost their grade.
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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Homework is just another form of learning. Classwork is typically a lecture (i.e., aural learning) and homework is writing (i.e., learning by doing).
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cilogy View Post
    Brought up by Gargantuan in this thread.



    I'm a recent high school grad, and I gotta say that only in the last 3 three years of my public school life did my homework actually make me a more knowledgeable and productive human being. Other than that, its mostly just busy work.

    What do you think?

    [Sorry if this is already a poll, feel free to delete or move this thread.]
    It all depends on how much you put into it. You can make homework nothing more than a chore to have to do, in which case you'll probably not take much away from it. Or you can treat it seriously, try to understand the problems you're solving and why you're solving them in particular manners. Then it can teach a bit about the subject, reinforce things already taught in class, and prepare a student to engage with questions which cover similar ideas but are worded differently. It really comes down to how much effort a person wants to put in. I used to have to tutor (glad that's over), and you'd wonder how some of the students I tutored made it into college. One girl would have me go through the questions at the end of the chapter, pretty much one right after another. But they'd be the same thing. Maybe one has constant acceleration where another problem has constant deceleration. And she couldn't understand how to solve one after I solved the other for her (they're the same questions essentially). She put no effort into understanding the subject, and as a result couldn't even perform the most trivial of tasks.

    Homework can be a very good way for a student to sit down, think about what they learned, and to apply it on their own to see if they can figure out the challenge. But you have to be willing to put in that effort. Otherwise, you can just copy. You won't learn anything, you'll probably do bad on tests, but you won't have to put in effort on the homework and can continue going around thinking how it's useless and how you know everything already. Up to you.
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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Homework can be a very good way for a student to sit down, think about what they learned, and to apply it on their own to see if they can figure out the challenge. But you have to be willing to put in that effort. Otherwise, you can just copy. You won't learn anything, you'll probably do bad on tests, but you won't have to put in effort on the homework and can continue going around thinking how it's useless and how you know everything already. Up to you.
    You can't say that about everyone. People learn in different ways. Some people learn from repetition, some people are visual or auditory learners, and some people learn faster than others. Assigning homework to a person who picks things up instantly is a waste of time and turns them off to education. Homework for the smart kids is counter-productive.

    Quote Originally Posted by nonpareil View Post
    I disagree. Grunt work is part of life. Being able to do grunt work (work you dislike) is part of learning responsibility. As Einstein said: Success is 5% inspiration, 95% perspiration. It's grunt work + innovation that makes for success. Very few people succeed because they are smart alone. Most successful people will tell you they work very hard to get what they have.
    I believe that was said by Thomas Edison. And only a genius would say something like that. Being a janitor is also 99% perspiration, but any idiot can clean up vomit. Not everyone is capable of doing the 1% intuitive thinking it takes to invent a light bulb. Making those people clean up vomit would be a waste of genius.

    Grunt work is a bad thing and doesn't have to be a part of everyone's life in modern times. Edison wasn't inventing because he had to, he had a passion for it. In fact, in early life he got fired from his telegraph operator job because of this experimentation. Imagine how different things would be in the world if Edison's boss had taught him the importance of grunt work instead of firing him?
    Last edited by Tsunami; 03-01-10 at 12:31 PM.
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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsunami View Post
    You can't say that about everyone. People learn in different ways. Some people learn from repetition, some people are visual or auditory learners, and some people learn faster than others. Assigning homework to a person who picks things up instantly is a waste of time and turns them off of education. Homework for the smart kids is counter-productive.
    As a Dr. I'd have to disagree with you. The smart kids understand the purpose of homework. I liked it, it was challenging and useful to do. Not only did I practice what I learned, I made sure I was able to do it, I reinforced what I learned, and I figured out ways to apply what I learned to a large array of questions and problems. Can they do the homework quickly? Well at lower stages, sure. Can it be useless? It's possible if the homework isn't designed well. Is it useful? Yes, overall it is useful. I mean, there is a wide parameter space out there, and thus the overall effectiveness is dependent upon many quantities. But well designed homework will help everyone, even the very smart people. Actually...it won't help the really dumb people; they're just sorta stuck where they're at (it's usually due to some work ethic problems, not intellect).

    Not everything is like highschool, where everything could be considered a joke. Hell in high school I had 2 years of each science, and the homework...well it was pretty damned easy. Still worthwhile even then because I still have things committed to memory because of it. But as you get to University, homework changes (less you're a business or psychology major) and becomes more intense, more gauged for the middle to upper portions of the class, and more useful.
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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cilogy View Post
    I'm a recent high school grad, and I gotta say that only in the last 3 three years of my public school life did my homework actually make me a more knowledgeable and productive human being. Other than that, its mostly just busy work.

    What do you think?

    [Sorry if this is already a poll, feel free to delete or move this thread.]
    Ideally, it would allow students to demonstrate independent competency in a recently-learned skill. A teacher should evaluate the homework to determine which students have mastered the concept, and which haven't. If the majority are struggling, the teacher needs to revisit the information.

    It's designed to give teachers (and students) a measure of their own progress.

  9. #29
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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    It's designed to give teachers (and students) a measure of their own progress.
    That's pretty much exactly what I think.


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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    As a Dr. I'd have to disagree with you. The smart kids understand the purpose of homework. I liked it, it was challenging and useful to do.
    If you found homework to be challenging then you weren't one of the smart kids. The purpose of homework is to make sure the dumb kids are learning too. But what is the purpose of basing the grading system mostly on homework rather than mostly on learning? Homework itself isn't a bad thing, as long as you make it optional. Holding someone back who passes the test without needing to do the homework is ridiculous. They should move on to learning something else instead of having to repeat themselves over and over again. Homework slows down learning for those kids.

    Not everything is like highschool, where everything could be considered a joke. Hell in high school I had 2 years of each science, and the homework...well it was pretty damned easy. Still worthwhile even then because I still have things committed to memory because of it. But as you get to University, homework changes (less you're a business or psychology major) and becomes more intense, more gauged for the middle to upper portions of the class, and more useful.
    Well as I didn't go to college I was mostly talking about homework that is given to children. How important was homework to your grade in that University? It seems like as the importance goes up the impact on your grade goes down. Which is the opposite of the way it should work.
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