End of Homework CL
Etta Kralovec, Author, John Buell, Author Beacon Press (MA) $18 (192p) ISBN 978-0-8070-4218-2In this brief but thoroughly researched treatise on the evils of homework, Kralovec, a teacher and teacher educator, and Buell, an author and former editor of the Progressive, argue persuasively for a fresh look at the homework debate. Most parents take for granted that a greater amount of homework leads to higher academic achievement and thus better life chances later on. But the easy correlation between homework and achievement remains an unproven assumption, and the cost of overburdening students may be too high. This book suggests that children's growth and development might be better served by more opportunities for leisure time, social relationships, pursuing extra-curricular interests, sharing household chores or just simply playing. The growing class divide in the U.S., as well as increasing corporate demands on our lives, serve as theoretical backdrop for this book. One of the great American myths is that schools can ""correct for the damage done by a highly iniquitous class structure,"" yet Kralovec and Buell make a compelling case for the idea that there are educational ""mechanisms in place that serve to make the system less workable for poor and working class kids."" Furthermore, assigning homework increases the achievement gap between wealthy students with leisure and those who have children of their own, younger siblings to care for, after-school jobs or crowded, noisy living conditions. The authors even argue that an increase in homework is a major reason for the escalating high school dropout rate in this latter group. The critical analysis of consumerism and corporate values may displease some, but this book will satisfy those who have begun to question the advanced intrusion of school, state and business into personal and community lives. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/03/2000
Release date: 07/01/2000
Paperback - 136 pages - 978-0-8070-4219-9
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The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learning3.56 · Rating details · 71 Ratings · 17 Reviews
Etta Kralovec and John Buell are educators who dared to challenge one of the most widely accepted practices in American schools. Their provocative argument first published in this book, featured in Time and Newsweek, in numerous women's magazines, on national radio and network television broadcasts, was the first openly to challenge the gospel of "the more homework the betEtta Kralovec and John Buell are educators who dared to challenge one of the most widely accepted practices in American schools. Their provocative argument first published in this book, featured in Time and Newsweek, in numerous women's magazines, on national radio and network television broadcasts, was the first openly to challenge the gospel of "the more homework the better."
* In 1901, homework was legally banned in parts of the U.S. There are no studies showing that assigning homework before junior high school improves academic achievement.
* Increasingly, students and their parents are told that homework must take precedence over music lessons, religious education, and family and community activities. As the homework load increases (and studies show it is increasing) these family priorities are neglected.
* Homework is a great discriminator, effectively allowing students whose families "have" to surge ahead of their classmates who may have less.
* Backpacks are literally bone-crushing, sometimes weighing as much as the child. Isn't it obvious we're overburdening our kids?...more
Paperback, 136 pages
Published August 1st 2001 by Beacon Press (first published July 17th 2000)