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The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learningby Etta Kralovec
Synopses & Reviews
In 1901, homework was legally banned in California. By the 1990's, assigning homework to our chldren has a priority equal to national security. Today, few question the need for homework in preparing children for their future. And yet research suggests that homework probably has no helpful effect in elementary school and questionable outcomes in middle school. Our kids are overworked, tired, and robbed of their childhoods; parents are robbed of leisure with their families. How did this happen?
In this, the first book to question the value of homework, Etta Karlovec and John Buell tell stories of students, who often come home to overworked parents and dometic responsibilities, with hours of homework they can't handle on their own and that would have been more effectively taught in the classroom. Arguing that in assigning massive amounts of homework to students, teachers and schools are essentially abdicating their responsibility to teach, the authors advocate forcefully for protecting the leisure time of children, who need a balance of work and play that allows them to prepare for their futures in work AND in citizenship. As an educator, Etta Kralovec examines carefully claims that homework is essential to the education of kids, and finds little or no support for the assertion.
Homework is especially burdensome to disadvantaged children who may not have the luxury of free time, of books and computers in their homes, or of a 'quiet, well-lit place to study. Linking homwork for the first time with school reform, THE END OF HOMEWORK advocates for a society we'd all like to see: one that recognizes the necessity of work without forgetting the significance of society, family, andleisure.
Book News Annotation:
In 1901, California legally banned homework in its schools, citing health risks associated with too much homework. The progressive measure found followers all over the country, and the anti-homework movement grew until the 1957 launch of Sputnik sparked fears that US children were falling behind. Now children are doing more homework than ever before. But are we really doing what's best for children? The authors of this text (both former teachers) argue that we're not, pointing to studies showing that not only is too much homework unhealthy but that it interferes with family life, it exacerbates socioeconomic class divisions, and hasn't been conclusively shown to help (especially grade-school) students learn.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In a book that questions the value of homework, the authors conduct a history of the American classroom as they forcefully advocate the protection of the leisure time of children.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 103-111) and index.
Table of Contents
The kitchen table — Does homework work? — Homework in historical perspective — Kids and homework — Homework and the level playing field — Homework in the global economy — What's a mother--and a neighborhood, and a nation--to do?
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