Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Homework Myth - Chapter 4

This chapter is all about how researchers misuse of data whether it be someone else's or their own.

While reading this chapter I began to question everything. When Kohn wrote about how researchers ignore evidence and misrepresent their own made me want to research some of his citations. Unfortunately looking through Google books, the two citations I really wanted to check,
Classroom Instruction That Works Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement and Harris Cooper's The Battle Over Homework: Common ground for administrators, teachers, and parents, are both listed with limited text available.

Not that I am doubting what he is saying, but it would be interesting to see how accurate his research is.

In Chapter 4, Kohn sets up his argument for the rest of the book by pointing to several reasons to give homework (72)

  • A disregard for research findings, sometimes even on the part of researchers
  • A reluctance to ask challenging questions about common practices and institutions
  • Fundamental misconceptions about the nature of learning 
  • An emphasis on competitiveness and "tougher standards" in education
  • The belief that any practices students will encounter later, however unproductive, should be introduced earlier by way of preparation
  • A basic distrust of children and how they choose to spend their time

There was a good quote in this chapter that I didn't write down and now I can't find it. 

All in all, this chapter was a good reminder to not take evidence at face value.

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