Friday Follies: Sure — NOW They Tell Us!

By June 3, 2005Friday Follies

Thanks to blog reader Jeff Isaacs for doing his homework and calling our attention to an article about a study just in from Penn State, and a bit too late for most of you faithful blog readers, no doubt. In a chapter entitled, “Schoolwork at Home? Low-Quality Schooling and Homework” for a book on “The Future of Schooling”, authors Gerald LeTendre and David Baker say that too much homework can be counterproductive. Damn! Wish we knew this a long time ago, could’ve saved a lot of time and heartache.

According to the authors, “increases in homework may actually undercut teaching effectiveness and worsen disparities in student learning.” Examining results of tests from scores of countries, they found a “lack of positive correlation between the average amount of homework assigned in a nation and corresponding level of academic achievement.” Interestingly, the US is one of the most homework-intensive countries while Japan is actually ratcheting down on its homework load, say the authors.

So anyway, hide this from the kids, because they’ll likely beat us over the head with it, little darlings that they are. We say if it was good enough for us to be miserable and to suffer then dammit, it oughta be good enough for them.