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Homework is officially a waste of time

Discussion in 'Staffroom' started by bahn_farang, 27 Oct 2016.

  1. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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  2. Wangsuda

    Wangsuda Nonentity Staff Member

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    It will never happen here. I think Thai schools will only be happy after they succeed in completely crushing childhood and young adulthood.
     
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  3. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Well-Known Member

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    ^^It is an interesting article.

    Are they basing all of this success of their model on the results of the Pisa test only? I see that South Korea is in second place and they get homework, have long schools hours and have private academies that they attend quite often. They also mostly learn through rote learning as does Taiwan. Korean students also go to school quite late in the summer and sometimes only get two to three weeks holiday. The Asian system is certainly quite different from England and Finland. So, I don't know if the test tells the whole story.

    I do agree with less homework, and less pressure on students. Although, being out of school for so long could cause a lag in student learning imo.
     
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  4. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    Not sure how it works in your school, but where I work 10% do the work and the rest copy it follows a complete waste of time for 90% of the students and what's more me who has to mark the copied drivel
     
  5. Gor Blimey Guvnur!

    Gor Blimey Guvnur! What the duck ! Staff Member

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    Yup, I've seen a lot of that at my school too.

    Personally I give homework rarely and if I do it is in the form of fact finding to strengthen a project in the classroom ...kids respond well to this and enjoy surfing the net at home to find some answers, e.g. last project was on capital cities ...the kids came back with an amazing amount of stuff plus lots of questions and made the project that much more engaging for the kids and the teacher. So I would argue that not all homework is a waste of time, but I would argue the 'writing out lines' type that many 'other' teachers hand out is a waste.

    I think in the article it has been pointed out using Finland versus Singapore and Korea that little or more homework in these models both work. IMO good homework can be benficial ...the opposite a waste of time.
     
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  6. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    True, give a student a fact finding mission and most will prove that google is working and also concur that the search, if paired with something useful beyond the ability to type can add to an education. Would also add that novel sentence creation, whilst might be seen as rote, can be used to measure understanding in certain circumstances.
     
  7. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    Homework, especially for students in an EP does make sense to me. But the sad truth is that most homework is done at school by copying from a brighter student, or the homework is sometimes written by parents.

    Now having two EP classes I'm not able to give both classes homework, a day would have to have 48 hours then...

    My Saturday afternoon student always tells me how much homework she's got to do every day. And daily 2.5 hours homework for a 10-year-old girl is purely insane after being at school all day long.
     
  8. evl

    evl Active Member

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    Unfortunately, read to the bottom of the article and the overwhelming opinion is that homework is associated with better performance:

    "The OECD's education director, Andreas Schleicher, says extra hours are linked to better results."

    "Even if the Finns don't need it, research suggests it makes a positive difference."

    "Prof Susan Hallam from the Institute of Education says there is "hard evidence" that homework really does improve how well pupils achieve."

    "A study for the Department for Education found students who did two to three hours of homework per night were almost 10 times more likely to achieve five good GCSEs than those who did no homework."


    Finland's success is largely down to having great teachers and supportive parents; there's simply not much need to set extra homework.
     
  9. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry but in my own humble opinion, a country with a population of only 5.4 million people is hardly an example for much bigger countries.

    Especially not with an Asian country that has a no fail policy where teachers can lose face and students from P.1 up to M.6 who are not allowed to ask questions.

    So smaller a country is so easier is it to find the best possible educational system, which would only work out well for such a tiny country.

    Nobody really knows the population of Thailand. Between 64 and 70 million people seems to be a completely different ballgame.

    The population of Thailand's capital city Bangkok seems to be similar to Finland's population.

    A friend of mine, a German English teacher who taught English at a high school in Finland for quite a few years before he moved to Thailand to stay with his family, told me that comparing Finland to any Asian country just doesn't make any sense.

    But I might be wrong as so often and people will soon jump on my back just to let me know how wrong I am.

    Let's take science as an example:


    Highlights



    Finland does very well in PISA, but has very few Nobel Prize winners.


    Finns have the highest IQ in Europe but the smallest SD.


    Finns have high Conscientiousness and Agreeableness.


    This explains why they do well in education, but not in measures of significant creative achievement.


    My 5 baht to the Finnish lie.


    Solving the puzzle of why Finns have the highest IQ, but one of the lowest number of Nobel prizes in Europe
     
    Last edited: 28 Oct 2016
  10. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    Homework is a broad umbrella which covers a wide spectrum of activities, some useful, others less so. If homework is 'fill in this work sheet' or simply an internet search then, it may be possible to say, the benefits may be limited. However if the homework is more of a 'flipped classroom approach', 'Jigsawed' expert approach, or Webquest then the benefits may be greater (I certainly don't want to get into a debate on the values of flipping the classroom, perhaps a different thread). It would not be too controversial to suggest that some homework is better than others.

    Way back when I was at school there were those who copied homework, did it by themselves on the bus to school, those who spent hours on it at home with scant resources, and those who had libraries of books to consult. Perhaps homework involves the interest of the 'home', perhaps the issues are more based on parents interest/involvement or lack of it? I for one have heard grumbles in the classroom of uninvolved parents who shift total responsibility to teachers.

    As a bit of a secret Marxist, I believe, we open up a can of socioeconomic worms, when we talk of homework. A parent's time and education may be variables which have an impact on the benefits of homework. Does Homework serve to reinforce the status quo of the privileged elite? The poor lacking time, educational background, and resources may be disadvantaged against the both time and money abundant middle and upper classes.

    Dipping back into my own context, I find that homework is broadly copied, and teaching 750 students each week makes giving student specific homework a bit of a challenge. Perhaps other members have some solutions on this.
     
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  11. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't sure what kind of homework I should give my EP kids for the one month break and finally decided to forget all copyrights, burned 100 Rosetta Stone DVD's and gave each student one.

    The kids know how the program works because I'm using it in lessons from time to time.

    Nobody from my school was even asking me to reimburse me for the DVD's. Burning 100 of them takes a while and buying covers and creating a cover for it wasn't really fun to do.

    I hope that most of them were/are really using this program.
     
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  12. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Well-Known Member

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    The kids in my school get quite a bit of homework. Spelling homework for example where they have to take the words they are given and either write them i a sentence, make a story with them or other choices given to them. It is good to give students a choice because some of the lower English level students will pick the easier option of making a sentence as opposed to making a story with five of their words for example.

    ^^ BF, you make an interesting point about the socio-economic background of the families when it comes to homework. I teach mostly rich kids who are raised mostly by Aiyi's (maids), and often the parents don't take much time to help them with their homework. You can definitely tell the difference in students who have supportive parents and spend time helping them with their homework as opposed to students who don't do their homework and may not have much support at home.
     
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  13. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    A great way to develop their writing skills is to let them write a diary. ( Of course only when you're not overloaded with two classes as I am) You can either let them write a daily assignment what they did the day before, or a weekly assignment after a weekend using as many words as possible.

    It's a great tool to see how bad they were in the beginning and their comprehensive quality after a full school year. Or only giving such assignments to those who struggle with writing. It always depends on the circumstances.

    Once the usual mistakes are corrected and the kids understand where they are wrong, it's definitely very helpful to build up their vocabulary, how to use the right sentence structure, the proper use of commas, full stops, question marks, etc..pp.

    Homework to a certain extent does make a lot of sense, but the kids still need enough time to play. Teachers shouldn't try to make little kids to learning robots. We are not machines.....

    Why should kids "study" when they are three yrs old with the obligatory nap right after lunch at 11 am?
    Then short before mom comes to pick her kiddies up they're all busy doing something, so it looks like a great school. All kids participate because they slept all day long. It's everywhere the same bs.

    When I was four, I decided to stop going to my "Roman Catholic Kindergarten", threw my leather bag where I usually had my brunch in that I carried around my neck on the kitchen floor and my parents accepted it.

    I still remember that I felt like a little king who won a war.

    Not ten buffaloes would have been able to bring me back to the "holy shi..aeeh sisters" and I could happily continue enjoying my childhood. Lol

    The "stress in life"obviously starts when you have to go to school.
     
    Last edited: 31 Oct 2016

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