The Homework Myth by Alfie Kohn

Daniel Hart


It is a really good read. The book feels like he is not just attacking homework though but just the way learning currently is. Which I do not mind because I think we should step back and look and how students are currently learning. This book puts a lot of things that I always thought it too someones else's words and backs it up with facts and emotions appealing to everyone. We learn all sorts of things including why homework is bad, how it affect children and adults alike, and what sort of changes we could possibly try. The book doesn't focus on why it is bad though it focuses on why it isn't good for you which is needed to be known. It accurately points out flaws in our systems. Maybe more teachers, admins, and school board members should check this book out.

How does this impact me as a student/learner?

It puts things into perspective. As a student it really makes me thing about those long nights of homework that I have suffered over and over on. This book states we lose interest as learners because of all the homework we do. I think this is subconscious so maybe now that I know I can try and force myself to stay interested in it. This also relates back to my comparison chart on being hard for students to stay interested because most homework is busy work. Also homework is stressful for students and parents. I know I have a long list of homework that I have to do each day and I cross it off. My parents get mad at me somedays because I can't do chores because of all the homework I have to try and fit in while I am doing stuco and sports and try to jam in a extra 3-4 hours of school work in there too. On top of that it is hard to spend time with my nephews because of all the stress/time that I am stuck doing homework and that is rough because I want to be the fun uncle that all my nephews love to hang with. Also it makes me realize that honestly we need to do stuff that is on homework in class because some days homework seems more like here is a question you need to solve even though I did not show you how to do this so good luck. Which then ends up on the test and you end up with "well it was a homework question so you should be able to do it."

How can I use this in the classroom? (page)

Since this entire thing is over homework it will be hard for me to use in my EIP classroom because I do not have much control over homework. All I do is grade it. In the future if I do go into teaching I can use this to my advantage. I can make homework fun so kids will stay interested in what I am teaching. I can use less homework since we know it doesn't help kids but harms them and their (already fragile) self esteem/stress levels. I also can make sure that homework is not what the class is all about. The test is what should prove if you are doing well in a class not if you do homework. The biggest problem with this is if we are using it for learning then we are forcing more on the kids outside of school when they should be learning in school. Also homework isn't learning its reinforcement. Which then they get some sort of grade on for positive, if you do your homework, or negative, if you do not do your homework, reinforcement. Which is bad for the children because it is just saying hey do this or you wont do good. So I know that homework should not be all your grade ways on instead you should learn other ways and it could just be reinforcement.

What questions I had reading this

Does homework really increase responsibilities?

Is homework even useful to little kids?

Why should homework be worth such a large amount of our grades?

Can homework even be used to help us?

If homework is so good why don't jobs give us homework?