SCHOOLS WITH OUT HOME WORK



Referring to the pre school education, yashpal Committee said, Education has become torture. Lot is taught, but, little is learnt. Leisure has become a scarce commodity in modern child’s life.

The destiny of India is being shaped in the class room, said Kothari. Therefore quality of education determines quality of a generation, thereby, quality of the nation.

Kids are naturally curious and learn best when they want to, not when forced. if we let them pursue their passions and desires, they’ll be able to get into it deeper. The message for students of such a school without homework: “You are responsible for your education.”

Education is interaction with the environment. But, our education is disconnecting the child from his or her immediate environment. Natural surroundings are the real class room. The child should be allowed to creatively engage with these natural surroundings. . Rigid classroom environment, overload of homework stifle Childs creativity. In such an environment, child becomes a receiving individual rather than thinking individual.

Parents and children are tired of the required tests, homework and rigid schedules. The problem with our schools is that   lot of it is being still, being quiet, not talking to your neighbor, not moving around too much. As a result, child fails to learn social skills and much needed life skills.  As Swami Vivekananda pointed out , education is often becoming  a process of transferring information from a teacher’s notes to the child’s notes quite often not entering the  minds of the either.

Vigorous scrutiny of studies “failed to demonstrate tangible benefits” of homework, particularly for elementary pupils. Homework is a failed approach and kids will actually learn more without it. Homework robs children of childhood, play havoc with family life and asphyxiate their natural curiosity. Learning is said to have become a mind-numbing grind rather than engaging venture. Home work takes away time from creative play and natural learning. Homework makes kids hate learning.

Children are never meant to:

* Sit still

* Focus on only one subject at a time

* Spend most of the day not playing

* Be quiet , follow a learning plan.

There fore too much of home work forced on them goes against with this very psychology of children.

The strongest argument against homework is that it places stress on children and consumes the time when they should be playing with friends, siblings or parents.

Homework interrupts a child’s sleep, adds to oversized bags young children are forced to carry to and from school and is often completed – or at least corrected by – a parent.

Given these ill effects of present method of schooling, there is a growing urge to reform our schooling. Abolishing home work is central to such reforms.  However, there are certain genuine apprehensions over creating a school without homework.

But the problem with such a school (without homework) is that it might not prepare students for the real world. The flexibility at school could hurt younger kids. “They’re definitely going to have a hard time with college, where one has to study a lot. In an era of rigorous academic standards, schools seem to be assigning more homework.

Therefore there are arguments justifying homework. These arguments can not be totally dismissed. Homework instills responsibility. Learning would proceed at a sluggish pace with out home work as class time is consumed by teaching only and a student trying to understand what is being taught. Homework allows practicing and consolidating the work done in class. It can also serve to challenge gifted students and help close the gap for struggling students. Homework can also establish self-discipline, time-management and study habits which students will require later on.

The merit and need for some homework is generally accepted in secondary schools, but the practice has crept all the way down to kindergarten, where its benefits are highly contentious.

The international experience also suggests that there is no co relation between too much study, home work and high education standards. Australian seven- to eight-year-olds spend an average of 954 hours in the classroom annually, according to the OECD Education at a Glance 2009 – among the highest of the OECD countries. This excludes time spent on homework. Compare this with the same age group in Finland, who spend on average 608 hours. A Finnish child usually starts schooling closer to age seven, when it is deemed developmentally appropriate – two years later than Australian children. Yet Finland is regarded as having the most successful education system in the world, based on OECD and World Economic Forum indicators.

Given these arguments for and against homework, we need to strike a balance. The teachers, parents, and the children have to negotiate a balanced understanding of homework and its role in teaching – learning environment.

Homework should be relevant, short, sharp and to the point and “not homework for homework’s sake”. Homework must be purposeful, reasonable and thoughtful. The child should enjoy working on the homework. Homework should be so designed to make it a creative engagement rather than reciting what was taught in the class room earlier in the day. It is preferable that homework should not confine to the syllabus and examinations. The homework should enhance the creative, interpretative, analytical, imaginative and application skills of the child.

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