Great Article on Homework in the NYTimes

I almost missed this great article about homework in the NYTimes Sunday Review, but thanks to a parent who forwarded me this story, I had a chance to read it yesterday. I’ve always struggled on finding that balance in working within my school’s homework policy and making homework as meaningful as possible. My teaching partner and I are also looking at ways to have homework be more flexible (for those whose kids are suddenly inundated with extra-curricular activities depending on the season), and we want homework to encourage time together with families rather than a battle with some to get it done.

The article in the times stresses three main findings in looking at neuroscience, psychology, and education.

1. Spaced repetition

2. Retrieval practice

3. Interleaving (the article describes this really well)

Along with recent studies on motivation, we are going to try and incorporate these practices into our students’ home learning assignments. I’ll keep you posted on how things go.

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2 thoughts on “Great Article on Homework in the NYTimes

  1. Balancing AP class demands, sports, homework and a job drives many teens to the edge. They need 48 hour days yet each teacher convinces herself she is the only one giving the homework that night. It reminds me of Herman Hesse’s BENEATH THE WHEEL. 80% of my students, except for honors and AP, never did homework. Learning stops at 2:30 you know. Most of the rest that turned in a paper that was copied from one or two papers of others and naturally was all wrong. I strategized by telling the students that by working real hard in class each day I could get away with not giving much homework and that I could tell the principal that we did so much we did not need homework. But there were still mandates so I gave them something that would take 10 minutes at most. The act of being responsible to turn something in was more important than learning something from the book. But that training was learning something as well. Accountability in getting a check in that box by your name instead of being vacant.

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