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Originally, I voted "Maybe," because many of our students have enough on their plates both in and out of school. But, I needed to comment.
Young people, socially and perhaps educationally, are judged by circumstances beyond their control on a daily basis. As a former alternative high school principal, I would try so many things to get parents involved...if that would be homework, so be it. The key is to keep trying but not to place unnecessary burdens on those who need the most of (all) our help.
It is with regrets that I view so few responses to the poll. Let's jump in colleagues!
Some teachers (in the elementary) are already doing this. I appreciate it. It is not traditional homework, and they are not asking for a quantitative assessment - no one is going to score it. But, it does better than that. Since, I am not a kid, (Kids do need accountability and feedback to hit their learning curve,) an authentic assessment may not come with red ink this time. The "homework" is completed in about the time it takes to read it. Sometimes the answer is given to me in what I read. My kids think I am so smart - that must be a good thing (how long will that last?) :-)
It comes with an acnowledgement that I now know what my kids are doing, and have an opportunity to show my own children that I find what they are doing in school is cool (plus I look smart). I like that option. As a teacher it will be my challenge to create simple awareness "homeworks" for my parents that can give them opportunities as well.
Can parent "homework" be done poorly? Sure. And all these pieces of paper coming home! Thankfully, my elementary support system is doing a great job with it, and Dad can remain the number one educator in my children's life. Hoo-rah!
Assigning parents homework is a great way to get parents more involved. Unforunately, this involvement will mostly be irate calls to the principal.
No. Parental involvement can be traditional and non-traditional. Parental involvement is required for a child to have a succesful academic/life, however, there are many ways a parent can be involved. I recently read an article about a migrant family and "non-traditional" parent involvment. I bet you would not be succesful in recruiting those parents to do homework and perhaps they aren't able to attend a PTA meeting or back to school but all their children graduated from HS and have sucessful college carrers!
Note the article is from the Harvard Educational Review, Volume 71, number 3, 2001 titled, "The Value of Hark Work: Lessons on Parent Involvment from an (Im) migrant Household." by Gerardo Lopez.
Please read "The Homework Myth" by Alfie Kohn.
Homework shared by parents may work in affluent communities but most parents will have difficulty understanding the the methods and content of school work. After a full day of their work to support the family the last thing they are physically and emotionally equipped to do is confront a strange world and the expectation that they will be able to comprend and administer "homework."
From a business perspective, homework is not assigned nor is it accepted unless compensation is involved. If Administrators and educational professionals continue to insist that teachers create and assign homework, those insisting should first complete the homework assignments each day for a class of their choice - on their own time.
I don't think homework will last very long, unless it is something the student chooses to do. Then it is no longer "home work".
I think we need more parent involvement in school but I don't think that giving them homework is the way to go. One of the things that I think does help is students having folders that they take home on a daily basis and parents are to sign the folder every night. This is a step in the correct direction, but I think we need to go even farther.
We need to try to draw parents in however possible. We can try talking to parents when they drop off and pick up their children and try to touch base on a regular basis and tell the parents how their children are doing and always including something positive about their child. These can be done in addition to what many teachers already do.
We need to remember that parents have as much to do as many of us teachers do. They have families to take care of as well as jobs and many times there is just not enough hours in the day.
Max got it right!
I feel that not assigning homework is a teacher "cop-out." Homework is a learning experience and should be used to reinforce material that has been taught in class. I personally do not assign homework as busy work. A teacher's life is very busy and having to grade "busy work" is crazy; however, I do grade the small amount of homework I give. Each teacher should evaluate what they teach and how to incorporate homework. It should not be required, nor should homework be abolished!!
When a student graduates from high school, that young person will have spent 12,000 hours in school and that does not count homework. By comparison, a 4 year college degree is about 3000 hours.
Until we redesign school to be an interesting and exciting place to be, it is doubtful that homework in any guise will benefit the student. Homework should be optional and if students are actually interested, will be its own reward.
And teachers are already overworked and underpaid. They have plenty to do as it is without tracking on what parents are doing or not doing.