The Homework Trap

by Kenneth Goldberg, Ph.D.
(Haddon Heights, NJ)

I agree with everything said here, but would add a few major additional comments.

1. Homework is an activity that traverses the boundaries between home and school. It gives teachers authority over the home. I think all homework should be given with the tacit approval of parents, meaning, that in the end, parents have the final say about what happens in their homes. Teachers should assign homework understanding that they don't have the full right to co-opt the decisions the parents.

2. School is time bound. Homework is not. I think homework should be given with strict time limits just as the school day stops with a bell. Children should not be forced to work beyond those limits and should not be penalized severely for work that has not been done.

3. Schools of education need to start teaching the theory, research, and practice of homework to teachers in training. If it unfair for teachers to be expected to give homework without having had a course called "Homework" when they went to school.

I discuss these and other ideas in my book, The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Students and Teachers.

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