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Homework… Subject or Method?

October 25, 2012

There was an interesting article in the October issue of  Middle Ground called “Tackling the Homework Dilemma”.  The author is Lee Jenkins, a former superintendent who asks,

“Is homework a subject or a method?  If it is a subject, shouldn’t teachers request that homework grades be included on the report card alongside other subjects? If it is a method, how can teachers justify grading students on instructional methods?”

He offers the solution of giving a short quiz on the assigned homework vs. collecting and grading the work.  One, it assesses the learning based on the student’s ability and not on whether they copied it or had a parent doing it with(for?) them.  Two, it saves the teacher time grading that can be used to develop creative assignments.

The article was brought to life during a recent presentation by Nick Provenzano.  Mr. Provenzano teaches English at Grosse Pointe South High School.  He described how he uses blogging to get his students engaged in writing…… and how he does the assigned homework too!

Mr. Provenzano stated,

I decided I was going to do my own homework this year. I promised my students if I assigned it, I would do it. I do not do busy work, so if I think it is important for them to do, I will do the same assignment.

It does make me wonder, if we needed to do the homework too – would it alter what we assign and how long we give for it to be completed?

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 25, 2012 1:04 pm

    I wonder if it’s worth always doing the homework oneself, but once in a while it grounds us and we see the difficulties of it much clearer. I just did it in order to give a model essay to my students, being aware of the possibility that I may evoke “copies” of it in cases that need different solutions.

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