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. #31
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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. 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.
    At a college level, I agree with you, you need every piece of homework you can get because the material gets a lot harder. But at a high school level, its just busy work, wasting time that could be well spent on other school related activities.

    For example, yesterday I had a Mock Trial team meeting. My coach had asked us to come up with any and all key pieces of evidence the Defense and Prosecution needed to bring out. Why didn't I have my list? I was too busy doing freaking AP Environmental Science homework, and Chemistry worksheets.

    Another example: I have science olympiad this Saturday at my local college, who always hosts it. I've had a few hours over the past week to prepare for it. Why? Because I have so much homework, I never have enough time to practice my extracurricular activies.
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  2. #32
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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 to education. Homework for the smart kids is counter-productive.
    If they have picked it up, it should be easy peasy for them to finish the homework. People tend to excel at things they enjoy (or maybe enjoy the things they excel at), either way, since they enjoy it, they usually don't mind spending more time on it. I enjoyed Maths in schools. In class, I usually get what's taught right away. The homework was easy and enjoyable because I like Maths, so it wasn't "work" per se.


    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?
    It would be exactly the same. Edison had to conduct thousands of experiments - that to me is grunt work. I'm sure in his life he had to do what he didn't like as well to feed himself before he succeeded. When people want something enough, they go through hard work to get it. There are plenty of people who has the 1% creativity and never make anything of themselves because they don't want to do anything that is not "their dream" or which they don't enjoy. Those people are even more useless than the janitor.

  3. #33
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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by nonpareil View Post
    If they have picked it up, it should be easy peasy for them to finish the homework. People tend to excel at things they enjoy (or maybe enjoy the things they excel at), either way, since they enjoy it, they usually don't mind spending more time on it. I enjoyed Maths in schools. In class, I usually get what's taught right away. The homework was easy and enjoyable because I like Maths, so it wasn't "work" per se.
    I understand your point, but even then, it takes time to do the homework. My argument is that you should only have to do homework if you don't understand the material. This would be dictated by short 5 question quizzes every day. On Monday of the following week, go over all material learned the previous week. You fail a quiz, you review the work associted with it.
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  4. #34
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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by repeter View Post
    At a college level, I agree with you, you need every piece of homework you can get because the material gets a lot harder. But at a high school level, its just busy work, wasting time that could be well spent on other school related activities.
    That's only because our high schools are pathetic. Students don't learn what they should, we let them take study hall and other waste of time activities. High school should be well more academically challenging and demanding. For example, how does one get a H.S. diploma without having taken at the very least pre-calculus? It's astounding the lack of education which goes on in our education system. And then we wonder why we have a society of dumbasses.
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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by repeter View Post
    I understand your point, but even then, it takes time to do the homework. My argument is that you should only have to do homework if you don't understand the material. This would be dictated by short 5 question quizzes every day. On Monday of the following week, go over all material learned the previous week. You fail a quiz, you review the work associted with it.
    And who mark the test? Your teacher. Will he or she have the time to look at that for 20-30 students every week? Will a 5 questions quizz be able to gauge if the students have learned what they are supposed to?

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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Depends on the student. I never did any homework, aced every test, yet failed many of my classes in highschool for not doing the homework.

    For me, the only purpose of my teachers assigning homework was to try and get me to conform to the norms in order to receive certain specified rewards (passing grades).

    Essentially, homework was a power struggle between me and many of my teachers.

    The teachers felt they had the power because they could give me failing marks, I understood that I retained the power by not giving a **** about their arbitrarily determined failing marks.

    I refused to play the game by their rules. I made sure I had the highest command of the information in the class and I also made sure to never do a single homework assignment.

    Perhaps if I had played along and performed the useless tasks they assigned, I would have gone to college straight out of highschool instead of returning to school in my 20's, or would have gone to a different school when I did return, but that was never my interest, nor is it preventing me from going to an excellent grad school now (although I decided on the solid, inexpensive school instead of the very prestigious yet also very expensive ones).

    Basically, I see homework as useful for a certain portion of the population and a waste of time for other populations.

    It depends on the student more than anything else.
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  7. #37
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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by nonpareil View Post
    If they have picked it up, it should be easy peasy for them to finish the homework. People tend to excel at things they enjoy (or maybe enjoy the things they excel at), either way, since they enjoy it, they usually don't mind spending more time on it. I enjoyed Maths in schools. In class, I usually get what's taught right away. The homework was easy and enjoyable because I like Maths, so it wasn't "work" per se.
    I don't find it true that people's interests match their talents. Certainly not in my case. If that is true for you then consider yourself lucky.

    And just because homework is easy doesn't mean it is worth doing or takes less time. Do people seek out the easy crossword puzzles or the hard ones? Challenging material is more interesting than easy material. Easy homework is the worst kind of homework.

    It would be exactly the same. Edison had to conduct thousands of experiments - that to me is grunt work. I'm sure in his life he had to do what he didn't like as well to feed himself before he succeeded. When people want something enough, they go through hard work to get it. There are plenty of people who has the 1% creativity and never make anything of themselves because they don't want to do anything that is not "their dream" or which they don't enjoy. Those people are even more useless than the janitor.
    Edison didn't have to conduct thousands of experiments. That is what he enjoyed doing. He was driven to do that by his interests. Inventing isn't an occupation, certainly not before Edison's day. He developed over a thousand patents, many long after he was well-off financially. It wasn't grunt work that got him there, it was his curiosity, something often stifled by the appreciation of hard work. As for being worth less than a janitor, I would hire a lazy genius over a hard-working idiot any day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    That's only because our high schools are pathetic. Students don't learn what they should, we let them take study hall and other waste of time activities. High school should be well more academically challenging and demanding. For example, how does one get a H.S. diploma without having taken at the very least pre-calculus? It's astounding the lack of education which goes on in our education system. And then we wonder why we have a society of dumbasses.
    How many people need to know pre-calculus in their adult life? There is no reason to teach these things to anyone not interested in a related field. Now, reading, writing, and basic math are skills that everyone uses at some point. But how many people are left behind by not knowing the state capitals, the names of clouds, or not understanding Moby Dick or pre-calculus? Schools should teach what people want to learn or are good at, not force-feed useless information that is quickly forgotten.

    Not knowing these things doesn't make you a dumbass. People are born dumbasses. Learning ability is genetic. Someone who chooses to learn to play the guitar or work on cars instead of higher mathematics isn't a dumbass, they are just following their interests. No one can know everything. Struggling to learn things you are neither interested in nor good at is a waste of time in the vast majority of cases.
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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by repeter View Post
    At a college level, I agree with you, you need every piece of homework you can get because the material gets a lot harder. But at a high school level, its just busy work, wasting time that could be well spent on other school related activities.
    I totally disagree. Aside from papers, the vast majority of the homework in my gen-ed classes was worthless busy work and I never did it unless I found it necessary, which was very rare.

    The bonus of college is that you can usually get an A without worrying about the homework if you can still master the material.
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  9. #39
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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by repeter View Post
    At a college level, I agree with you, you need every piece of homework you can get because the material gets a lot harder. But at a high school level, its just busy work, wasting time that could be well spent on other school related activities.
    That is absolutely completely true.

    The college classes that have required homework will usually have easier work, because there are more grades. But for the classes where the only grades are like three exams, hell homework is a f*cking boon.


  10. #40
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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsunami View Post
    How many people need to know pre-calculus in their adult life? There is no reason to teach these things to anyone not interested in a related field. Now, reading, writing, and basic math are skills that everyone uses at some point. But how many people are left behind by not knowing the state capitals, the names of clouds, or not understanding Moby Dick or pre-calculus? Schools should teach what people want to learn or are good at, not force-feed useless information that is quickly forgotten.
    It's more than just knowing pre-calculus (which is pretty damned easy), it's an entire thought process that goes along with it. Plus it makes things like compounding interest rates incredibly easy. Something you may want to do when sitting down and getting maybe a home mortgage or something like that. The learning of problem solving skills, critical thinking, etc. These can and are enforced in part through math along with a slew of other subjects (including literature). Pre-calculus in my example is a basic math skill, and people should know a bit about it. It's not just reading Moby Dick and regurgitating words. It's taking in information, processing it properly, and drawing one's own conclusions from it. Without basic skills of such, one isn't going to engage on the higher level. They will, in essence, be a dumbass.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsunami View Post
    Not knowing these things doesn't make you a dumbass. People are born dumbasses. Learning ability is genetic. Someone who chooses to learn to play the guitar or work on cars instead of higher mathematics isn't a dumbass, they are just following their interests. No one can know everything. Struggling to learn things you are neither interested in nor good at is a waste of time in the vast majority of cases.
    Learning ability isn't 100% genetic. There may be some predisposition in desire to learn or ability to uptake information. But in the end, human is human; everyone can understand even the most complex of subjects. There may be an efficiency thing in which no one can know everything; but there's also a core base which makes up our ability to critically think. Those who cannot critically think are for all intensive purposes dumbasses. That doesn't mean the mechanic is a dumbass, he may very well be in full control of his intellect and is able to critically think about a wide variety of things.

    And learning to play guitar or work on cars doesn't forbid learning other things. I can take apart my motorcycle in my sleep. I know exactly how it works and have played with it myself. In the end, a lot of people who come out of high school are in fact dumbasses. Many can learn what they are missing in college, but it doesn't change the fact that many people coming out of high school don't have the proper background or thinking skills for University.
    Last edited by Ikari; 03-02-10 at 05:03 PM.
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