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Written -vs- online homework

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by pwc9000, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. pwc9000

    pwc9000 New commenter

    Has anyone successfully argued against a whole school policy of WRITTEN homework to use a resource like MyMaths instead?
  2. MisterW

    MisterW New commenter

    Nope. We used to use MyMaths and then were told we had to change to written. Part of the rationale appeared to be that certain applications could be used to cheat at online homework, and as we all know it is completely impossible to cheat at written homework by copying it off your best mate during form time/ break time/ on the bus etc.
  3. Tandy

    Tandy New commenter

    Given there is no compelling evidence that homework raises attainment (studies that try to show this often confuse correlation with causation or there is a counter study showing the opposite), I'd suggest you do whatever is least painful for teachers.

    Using your energies to set and mark pointless homework only results in removing time to think and reflect on effective teaching.

    Schools are obsessed with one size fits all homework policies - we know if nonsense, yet seem to still play the game.

    [by the way, if you want to do something effective with 'homework' time, scrap homework and replace it with prep - this will give you more time when face-to-face with students to actually use your skills as a maths teacher. In other words, you can address misconceptions, oversee deliberate practice, work with students one-to-one etc, rather than using the most valuable and precious time - the time you are with them - on going over lip-service homework activities]
  4. pwc9000

    pwc9000 New commenter

    Agree with every word of that Tandy

    Realistically though I may win the argument to do it online rather than written but will not win the argument to scrap it completely
  5. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Perhaps you could point out that doing homework on MyMaths prepares them well for the public exams they will do when they get assessed purely on the answer, and there is no credit given for valid working.

    My personal view is that some use of online is fine, but it is not a substitute for learning to set things out properly. I usually insist on seeing the working in their books - it also gets round the "I did it, but it hasn't saved my mark" excuse.
  6. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    ... to attempt to strike a contrary stance on this. There's nothing wrong with online homework but the mymaths set up has far too many flaws to be worthwhile.

    If homework hasn't been shown to raise attainment, perhaps the homework set hasn't been the right type of work.

    In any case, homework serves a number of other equally useful purposes, such as attempting to promote independent study skills in students. Setting work which is mere regurgitation of the day's lesson may not be worthwhile, but going back through topics from a week ago, a month previously, is well worth it.

    Homework doesn't necessarily need marking by a teacher - students can do that at the beginning of the next lesson.

    If none of that chimes, homework at least keeps them off the streets for a while...
  7. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

  8. Tandy

    Tandy New commenter

    Is that our role? What's wrong with letting kids have a childhood?

    Things are different when we are talking about 14-18 years olds, where they should be learning to knuckle down and take control of their own success. But idiotic policies that have 7 year olds worrying about a meaningless homework rather than just enjoying being young serve no good at all.

    The independent learning argument doesn't really stand up to evidence either.

    Deliberate practice exercises are certainly useful and prep is massively beneficial, but schools should avoid brainless policies that dictate a certain number of homeworks per week etc just to placate certain types of parents (who presumably don't wish to spend time playing with their kids). Teachers are professional and smart enough to know when to set homework / prep tasks. It should be totally at their discretion.
  9. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    The quoted sentence was a little tongue in cheek, Mark.

    Now, I agree with you totally on the 7-year old thing. In fact the whole formalised curriculum should be thrown out until they are 7 - kids doing projects and discovering.... Learning to love to learn.

    I was talking about 11-18 year olds - they should do weekly homework. I'm a teacher, and a parent (although, thankfully, my lot are now through this education game) and I think homework should be set weekly in every subject.

    When you talk about the 'independent learning thing not standing up to evidence' - what evidence? Why do we have to insist on seeing before believing?

    if deliberate practice is good, a weekly homework of deliberate practice is also good.

    Parents find it incredibly frustrating on the receiving end of kids saying 'no homework'. If you take away the weekly routine of it, where will they stand then...?
  10. Tandy

    Tandy New commenter

    I know :)

    But why?

    I'm a pretty big fan of evidence. Helps to avoid the disgrace of things such as Learning Styles, Brain Gym, Bubble and Block, etc, from invading our classrooms.

    Homework is not in the same realm as these things, but much of how homework is implemented and the policies around it most certainly are.

    This doesn't necessarily follow. It is when it is appropriate. The only person who will know that is the classroom teacher - let them decide when it is needed.

    I don't see it as our role to placate parents. We should do what is right from an educational view point. It is not the role of schools to makes parents evenings more quiet or easy because their kids are out of the way. Parenting should be left to parents, surely?

    Personally, 'no homework' to me is not frustrating, it is an opportunity to do something with the kids while they are still kids. Go for a walk, play tennis, whatever... I'd rather kids were spending time with their family and friends than doing a piece of work, which will add nothing to their knowledge, set by a teacher in a rush because a policy says so.
  11. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    On the whole, I would argue for less homework rather than more, but I think that it has its place in Maths teaching, if only to ensure that they get some practice when there has not been enough time to do it all in class. This is why I prefer written homework, rhather than online. We go through the answers in class, and I can pick up problem areas and misconceptions at the time, so it does not create mcuh extra marking. My classes know that the more they do when set work in class, the less they will have to do at home. (I probably shouldn't mention this, but I tell them to write down all the work set in their planners, so the fussy parents can see that they have been given plenty of work to do, without realsing that all but two questions were finished in the lesson.)

    I do feel annoyed when my form tell me how much work they sometimes get told to do with very little notice.

    Tandy, I was getting ready to disagree with you until I got to the part about the teacfher knowing what it best. It is about time that we were trusted to make up our own minds.

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