In reference to a blog on Homework http://blog.mrmeyer.com/?p=133 . The trends on Homework are to make it relevant and filled with rigor. Easier said than done, but the truth is there must be a change. We are destroying students with low level recall type pieces of homework. In a strange way Homework to some teachers is a powerplay and I see power in a classroom as a finite closed resource. Similar to the world’s water cycle, which is defined by all the water we currently have (clean or dirty) is all the water we will ever have. It can change form, but in the end the water we have is it. Power in the classroom works the same way. As the teacher I can hold it all, I can share it with some children through choices, or I can change it’s form and mask it in the form of homwork, activities and projects without creativity or higher level thinking skills.
I am not against assigning homework when it is for exploring new knowledge or practicing what has been learned, but as busy work it is not acceptable . If assigned the teacher must take the time to provide specific feedback or the tasks become almost useless.
When I see what my own children bring home for homework I am mostly disappointed in the quality of things they are asked to do. Looking back at pictures of my own kids and the projects they brought home, like handprints and a poem, they had more purpose than some of the low level worksheets or tasks they are asked to do. I feel true learning is often lost for attempts at controlling behaviors towards learning.