Let’s Rework Homework

Let’s Rework Homework !
A Leap of Faith

In twenty years of teaching high school science, I have come to know the following groups of students by their response to homework assignments.

dutiful do-ers These students do every assignment, whether or not it is helpful and they feel good about doing it. These students will rarely miss an assignment. Occasionally they miss it due to extenuating circumstances, this makes them anxious and only making it up brings relief.

don’t do-ers These students do not do homework on principle. The benefit of the assignment is not considered and all assignments are dismissed without regard to their utility.

skeptical do-ers These students have not given up on homework, but tend to choose to neglect homework that they feel doesn’t benefit them and focus on what is useful to them.

resentful do-ers These students usually do assigned homework, even if they think it is of little use to them. Sometimes they choose not to do the homework because it seems absolutely pointless.

just can’t do-ers These students juggle many balls during their after school hours. They are forced to set priorities and homework is not high on the list.

Students deserve the opportunity to serve an active role in deciding what promotes their classroom success. Will they consistently make the most discerning choice? Probably not, but evaluating what will enhance their learning  is critical thinking at its essence. Should homework be optional?

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