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. #41
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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    With the exception of mathematics and the physical sciences, I think high school homework prevents people from achieving their full potential. Actually, that's my opinion of high school in a nutshell.
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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    With the exception of mathematics and the physical sciences, I think high school homework prevents people from achieving their full potential. Actually, that's my opinion of high school in a nutshell.
    Though we are all entitled to opinions, how does HS prevent people from achieving their true potential in your view?

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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    With the exception of mathematics and the physical sciences, I think high school homework prevents people from achieving their full potential. Actually, that's my opinion of high school in a nutshell.
    I don't think it prevents it, but it definitely slows it down. It clutters students lives to the point that homework is consider "part of their childhood.

    There is a lot of nonsense in HS, but I think as a whole it helps, it just needs to be cleaned up.


  4. #44
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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by SE102 View Post
    Though we are all entitled to opinions, how does HS prevent people from achieving their true potential in your view?
    Where do I start?

    High school (homework) begins from the premise students don't have perspective on any given subject and can't be expected to interpret data well enough to develop arguments about what something means or implies about science, the human condition, etc -- basically all the things we try to teach our children so they will be able to make informed collective and personal decisions as they proceed along life's way, to develop careers, contribute to society, and generally lead a better life.

    To a large extent that's true, but rather than taking responsibility for this lack of perspective or critical thinking skills, high school (homework) assumes it is inherently impossible for high school students to develop such abilities in a high school time frame (due to what I consider to be false assumptions about the current phase of their psychological development) and instead compels them to memorize content; interpretation and critical thinking skills are taught to varying degrees, but in comparison to what I believe high school students are capable of, it is very minimal. Not to mention memorizing content is a waste of time if you are doing it without interpreting it or looking at it critically because developing a viewpoint on a subject that appeals to you personally is your best chance at having the information remain relevant to you past the final exam.

    To optimize learning, high school should basically be run like college (either test-centric or essay-centric) and college should be more like graduate school and graduate school should be a less extreme form of graduate school. A single three-page essay forces somebody to memorize, think, and feel what they are studying much more deeply than a semester's worth of high school's end-of-chapter, content-tracking questions.
    Last edited by Morality Games; 03-02-10 at 06:56 PM.
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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    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.
    That is not true at all. Some people are idiots. Some people can't understand even the most simple of subjects. But even if it were true, it is not necessary for the vast majority of people to take the time to understand subjects not related to their interests or career.
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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    Where do I start?

    High school (homework) begins from the premise students don't have perspective on any given subject and can't be expected to interpret data well enough to develop arguments about what something means or implies about science, the human condition, etc -- basically all the things we try to teach our children so they will be able to make informed collective and personal decisions as they proceed along life's way, to develop careers, contribute to society, and generally lead a better life.

    To a large extent that's true, but rather than taking responsibility for this lack of perspective or critical thinking skills, high school (homework) assumes it is inherently impossible for high school students to develop such abilities in a high school time frame (due to what I consider to be false assumptions about the current phase of their psychological development) and instead compels them to memorize content; interpretation and critical thinking skills are taught to varying degrees, but in comparison to what I believe high school students are capable of, it is very minimal. Not to mention memorizing content is a waste of time if you are doing it without interpreting it or looking at it critically because developing a viewpoint on a subject that appeals to you personally is your best chance at having the information remain relevant to you past the final exam.

    To optimize learning, high school should basically be run like college (either test-centric or essay-centric) and college should be more like graduate school and graduate school should be a less extreme form of graduate school. A single three-page essay forces somebody to memorize, think, and feel what they are studying much more deeply than a semester's worth of high school's end-of-chapter, content-tracking questions.
    Thank you for replying.

    As for your first paragraph the school should not assume that the children already have any perspective on the given subject. For most children school is the first place they encounter a need to think of anything to any greater depth, other than the brighter children who have learned to think intuitively about their universe but nonetheless would still require direction as the theory of knowledge has been disciplined by society. In general I would say a 'good' class would issue homework that would stimulate them into thinking critically. Who knows if they are not made to apply themselves mentally by school where would they develop the skills required for them to become useful members of society. It may not be important to those who care nothing for it and wish to lead a life as trained labor in whatever profession they may choose. In which case they should be allowed vocational training in place of higher material in high school. (we may be arguing that the education is crap in the first place and they may be learning nothing from higher material or maybe there really is none)

    Your second paragraph reflects a view that I share with you that high school may not be engaging enough and should be made (more difficult? more advanced?) But Im not sure society would be able to deal with that. AP and IB classes are available to those who pursue them, which also opens opportunities for better college placement.

    To optimize learning, high school should basically be run like college (either test-centric or essay-centric)
    Unfortunately most high school students in the US do not develop adequate essay writing skills until more likely much later in high school. Also if it were test based, there is no certainty that students at that level could display the responsibility to study for them or pay attention in lecture.

    The education system is a progression of skills and material enforced by standardized testing to an extent and one grade leads into the other. It varies state by state. I think it would be nice if schools in the states widely adopted gcse testing and content which would lead very well into IB and AP content. Though the states is unlikely to adopt foreign standards, they could very well develop their own higher standards.

    Schools definitely have room for improvement and classes based on rote memorization of content (I don't know to what extent we find that the case) are lame :P. There is also the perception that schools run at the lowest common denominator. Which could be a problem too, but is indicative of the nature of our culture. At least our colleges are good in the states.

  7. #47
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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by nonpareil View Post
    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?
    It's called a TA. Furthermore, if a student cannot get a few problems concerning a topic right, they won't be able to get a lot of problems concerning that topic right. But, if they manage to do the problems correctly, they understand the material, and forcing them to waste time on that material beyond that is plain stupid.
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  8. #48
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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsunami View Post
    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.
    But do the people who do the crosswords think of them as hardwork? That is my point.

    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.
    I have to ask, how many people have you had to supervise? The ideal is someone who's smart and hardworking, but if they are both smart and hardworking, often time they become the boss. As a supervisor, I prefer people who do the work I set them even if I have to tell them in details how each should be done before hand, rather than people who see that things need to be done but can't be bothered to lift their hands unless I was there to oversee them. A "lazy genius" (an oxymoron to me) is a useless person. Try naming a few genius who achieve great things without lifting a hand to do works most people would consider hard (I think conducting thousands of experiments just to get a filament is hard).


    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.
    That's not true. Science and advance Maths can be very useful in everyday life if only people are aware enough to employ them. Like understanding the dynamics of forces, how weathers are formed etc Understanding algebra makes decisions much easier, you can use it when you go grocery shopping - comparing prices and planning your budget etc. So it's a "waste of time" because people don't apply them, not because they are useless.

    School teach all these things because they have general practicalities, and it's not certain in the future what each students will do. By narrowing the education early, you take away their choices in the future.

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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by repeter View Post
    It's called a TA. Furthermore, if a student cannot get a few problems concerning a topic right, they won't be able to get a lot of problems concerning that topic right. But, if they manage to do the problems correctly, they understand the material, and forcing them to waste time on that material beyond that is plain stupid.
    The bolded part is what I'm questioning.

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    Re: What Does Homework Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by nonpareil View Post
    The bolded part is what I'm questioning.
    What about that are you wondering about?

    Since the quizzes would ideally be topic specific, a pass or a fail would dictate whether the student sufficiently understood the material. For example, if there are say 5 questions, they would only be able to get 2 of those wrong before failing the quiz. Anything below a 70% is a fail in this case.
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