If there’s one thing that students can agree on, it’s that homework sucks. Throughout many elementary, middle, and high school curriculums, homework is a mandatory part of the curriculum. Homework often carries significant weight when it comes to a student’s grade. Many students don’t enjoy homework because it can negatively affect their grade if they don’t do it.
This is something that is a worldwide issue.
On Oct 17, 2012, French President François Hollande had proposed a widespread ban on homework. He put forward this ban because he believes that homework entails unequal opportunities amongst students.
He believes that children with ample help from parents at home are at a greater advantage than those who don’t, resulting in great disparity between students of different socioeconomic backgrounds.
At that time Hollande proposed this, it was met with positive reactions from, unsurprisingly, the children themselves.
Of course, the education system in France is different from America’s. For instance, children in France spend 36 weeks in school as opposed to the 26 weeks American children spend in schools.
Since French students are in school longer, they are bombarded with more homework than American students.
At SLA, homework is administered differently from other schools. SLA’s teachers have their own opinions on how they distribute homework.
The kind of homework and how it’s graded depends on the class and the teacher. Many teachers at SLA have their homework as optional assignments, meaning that its sole purpose is for practice.
Two particular teachers that utilize this method are Math Teacher Brad Latimer and Science Teacher Rosalind Echols.
Both teachers are very keen on using homework as practice tools for their Calculus and Physics classes.
“I want students to be doing the work that will help them learn. Sometimes, this means a lot of practice with certain things, and sometimes students don’t need as much practice.” responded Echols.
Physics is a mandatory course for the junior class, however, Latimer’s homework methods can potentially apply to all grades in his class.
Latimer has required homework for his students in Algebra 2, while for the students in his Calculus class, homework is completely optional.
“I feel that upperclassman in a high level math class, should be able to recognize whether or not they need that practice.”
The teachers have had very different experiences regarding homework when they were in high school themselves.
“I found homework to be very valuable time for me to struggle with ideas independently, and keep working until I figured them out.” said Echols. “It was only as valuable as the amount of effort I was willing to invest in it, however.”
Latimer, had the misfortune of being placed into the lower-level math class in high school.
“Honestly, I was really bored in math class. We were always doing things that I understood.”
As a result of this, Latimer did not do his math homework.
“I would approach my teachers and say ‘as along as I get A’s on my tests and quizzes can I not do the homework?’ and they said OK.”
Through these experiences helped shaped how they view homework. Along other SLA teachers, they realized that homework is much better as a practice tool than mandatory work.