Thursday, June 16, 2011

Schools: Conflict over the nature of homework


After Donna Cushlanis’s son kept bursting into tears midway through his second-grade math problems, which one night took over an hour, she told him not to do all of his homework.

“How many times do you have to add seven plus two?” Ms. Cushlanis, 46, said. “I have no problem with doing homework, but that put us both over the edge. I got to the point that this is enough.”

Ms. Cushlanis, a secretary for the Galloway school district, complained to her boss, Annette C. Giaquinto, the superintendent. It turned out that the district, which serves 3,500 kindergarten through eighth-grade students, was already re-evaluating its homework practices. The school board will vote this summer on a proposal to limit weeknight homework to 10 minutes for each year of school — 20 minutes for second graders, and so forth — and ban assignments on weekends, holidays and school vacations. [...]

1 comment :

  1. The same discussion, at a higher level:

    “Incidentally, calculus, like algebra, is just a form of low cunning. You have to be smart enough to get the idea of infinitesimals and limits, but that's not really all that hard. After that it's a matter of doing the exercises. And doing the exercises. And doing the exercises, until it becomes natural to use calculus, just as you had to spend a time learning the multiplication and addition tables, by rote, learn by heart, before you could really use arithmetic. But once you do that, arithmetic comes naturally.” —Jerry Pournelle

    TL;DR: Stupitity is optional—usually.


please use either your real name or a pseudonym.