Education watchdog and author Kohn (No Contest: The Case Against Competition) questions why teachers and parents continue to insist on overloading kids with homework when there are no definitive studies proving its overall learning benefits. Indeed, argues Kohn persuasively, homework can be detrimental to children 's development by robbing families of quality evening time together and not allowing a kid time simply to be a kid. Americans in general advocate a tough-going approach to education and push teachers to give more drudgery nightly as a way of "building character." Yet Kohn shows that doing forced busywork only turns kids off to school and kills intellectual and creative curiosity. The American insistence on producing good worker bees "by sheer force or cleverness," notes Kohn, "reflects a stunning ignorance about how human beings function in the real world." Kohn pursues six reasons why homework is still so widely accepted despite the evidence against it, including the emphasis on competitiveness and "tougher standards" and a basic distrust of children and how they would fill their time otherwise if not doing busywork. There aren't enough case studies in Kohn's work, but Kohn sounds an important note: parents need to ask more challenging questions of teachers and institutions. (Sept.)
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Kohn has mapped for himself an uphill struggle against widely held beliefs that American children need homework to stay on track for academic success and to compete with better-prepared children in other nations. Kohn outlines the costs of homework: overburdened parents, stressed children, family conflicts, little free time, declining interest in learning. He highlights the debate between parents and teachers as they argue about the relative benefits or detriments of homework, and explores research--from as far back as the 1800s--indicating that homework does not improve learning. Exploring the variety of assignments, from fill-in-the-blank sheets to more creative efforts, Kohn maintains that homework does not improve learning for children, whether in grade school or high school, and laments the trend of giving homework to younger and younger students. He also takes to task the alleged nonacademic benefits of homework, including teaching children time-management and study skills. Whatever their opinions about homework, parents and teachers will find this book an interesting part of the debate. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Great insight into changes that I need to make in my classroom.Published 3 months ago by Lisa Shrum
This book, like other books by Mr. Kohn, needs to be read and understood and then acted upon.Published 4 months ago by Sahndra
An important book that every teacher should read. Especially if you believe in old-school, traditional, rote memory homework. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Mark Barnes
This book takes into account the important question that not many put into consideration: why exactly do schools promote homework so strongly, even though there are constant... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Rachelle
This guy has his finger on the pulse... what will you do with the information?Published 13 months ago by gravyfury
My child was complaining about too much homework, and what he was learning doesn't matter for real life. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Steffani
Every parent, teacher and administrator NEEDS to read this book! It had convinced me that there is NO evidence that homework is helpful, and the resulting stress to the child and... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Amazon Customer