Tuesday, September 12, 2006

As Homework Grows, So Do Arguments Against It - washingtonpost.com

As Homework Grows, So Do Arguments Against It - washingtonpost.com

The nation's best-known researcher on homework has taken a new look at the subject, and here is what Duke University professor Harris Cooper has to say:

Elementary school students get no academic benefit from homework -- except reading and some basic skills practice -- and yet schools require more than ever.

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Georgia Leigh, 16, a junior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, says it was not until 10th grade that homework was more than busywork.
Georgia Leigh, 16, a junior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, says it was not until 10th grade that homework was more than busywork. (By Lois Raimondo -- The Washington Post)
Teachers' Words
Here's a favorite assignment one teacher has given:
Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2006 3 p.m. ET
Book World Live
Alexandra Robbins fields questions and comments about her book, "The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids" and and the three semesters she spent with eight students at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Md.
Graphic
The Back-and-Forth Of Taking Work HomeThe Back-and-Forth Of Taking Work Home
Homework was not always inevitable for U.S. students, as shown in this timeline of how schools have handled the ever-controversial issue:
From Book World

* The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids: Rachel Hartigan Shea reviews Alexandra Robbins's book on kids' pressurized school environments.
* The Price of Admission: Jerome Karabel writes on Daniel Golden's book of how the privileged get more than a hand up to top colleges.
* Hothouse Kids: Alissa Quart's book details how transforming children into superbrains is a growth industry, according to Jennifer Howard.
* The Homework Myth and The Case Against Homework: Two books accuse educators of burying children -- and their childhoods -- in homework.

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A host of education experts will prepare you for a successful school year.

Tai Shan The Education Review
From elite schools to pre-K frenzy, we review the state of American education.

Best High Schools
Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews and Newsweek identify the nation's top high schools.

Waterlogged Region Grad Guide
Don't feel ready for the real world? We've got help.
Columnists

Washington Post education reporter Jay Mathews writes a weekly column for washingtonpost.com, Class Struggle, which runs on Tuesdays.

Marguerite Kelly offers parents advice in her weekly column, Family Almanac, which runs on Fridays.
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High school students studying until dawn probably are wasting their time because there is no academic benefit after two hours a night; for middle-schoolers, 1 1/2 hours.

And what's perhaps more important, he said, is that most teachers get little or no training on how to create homework assignments that advance learning.

The controversy over homework that has raged for more than a century in U.S. education is reheating with new research by educators and authors about homework's purpose and design.

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