In his blog, “No More Crappy Homework,” David Mulder poses a question to his readers wondering if homework is worthwhile. He concludes:
In some cases, yes. But in other cases…I would say it’s probably crappy homework, the kind I assigned to my middle school students 15 years ago. I am embarrassed of the quality of homework I used to assign, honestly. And rather than trying to improve the homework, I just stopped assigning so much.
This was the first time I became aware of Dr. Mulder, and we’ve become great friends since and have talked quite a bit about our profession. However, this podcast conversation revolves around the ineffectiveness and ‘crappyness’ of a significant majority of homework that I, he, and most teachers have assigned in our careers.
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Over the years, I’ve come to the conviction that homework is a greater test of socio-economic status and the quality of home/family life. Likewise, as David suggests, there are so many other things that are effective in promoting student learning that we waste too much time with an outdated practice. Finally, I would encourage anyone who is bold enough to take the #NoMoreCrappyHomework challenge and begin the process of change.
Dave taught in Christian schools for 14 years before joining the Education department at Dordt University in 2012. He has experience working with learners at every level from Kindergarten through graduate school, but spent much of his career teaching a variety of subjects for grades 5-8. He loves curriculum and instruction, has a mild obsession with educational technology, and is always excited to discuss reflective practice, school culture, and faith formation. Dave blogs at iteach-and-ilearn.blogspot.com