Technological growth is slowly coming at par with the expectations of teachers for students’ academic achievements. The main purpose of schools nowadays is to impart soft skills, life skills or even inter-personal skills.
Considering that, isn’t it time for schools to reconsider the idea of “homework”?
Wouldn’t it be better if every day is a new day and all students are required to do is maintain punctuality, regularity and cleanliness?
What would classrooms be like if a single objective was picked for each day and by the end of that day (that is school hours) that objective was achieved?
Wouldn’t students become keener about learning then?
Wouldn’t the elimination of homework decrease absenteeism and students’ lack of interest in school?
In practise, classrooms will have to become much more flexible in order to achieve these aims. For example, one single objective might be targeted for throughout the year, such as “kindness” in Year 1. Teachers will provide all the stationary and even books. Students will be expected to bring nothing from home. Every day, the teachers will plan the whole day around the same theme.
The challenge for teachers will be to present completely new activities for the same theme. They will never spell out the objectives nor impose their perceptions on students. Yet, they will constantly work towards the accomplishment of their objectives while keeping the students engaged and motivated.
Teachers will not need any lesson plans because they will be solely evaluated on their classroom practises observed through the live videos of their classrooms. This way those who struggle with lesson planning won’t have any further worries. In fact, teachers will be permitted greater flexibility and spontaneity in their classrooms which is at the heart of intrinsic learning.
On the other hand, teachers will spend an hour or two after school to prepare classroom resources for the following day. Students will be allowed to express themselves in any medium of their interest be it drawing, writing, speaking or their various forms. Again, the live videos will be the evidence.
Since the focus of teaching will be on skill development rather than exam preparation, therefore no record keeping will be not required by the students. This, as a result, will eliminate the need for notebooks. Even the students’ portfolios will be kept in class at all times and there will be no need for them to be taken home. At the end of the year, there won’t be any need for formal examinations because students’ portfolios themselves will serve the purpose of assessments and evaluations. With no more homework and no more formal examinations, students shall stop taking tuition.
However, the level of competencies for all students will vary. For example, at the end of Year 1, some students will be able to write a paragraph for a given topic, others may achieve this with the help of useful words, some may just write one sentence or illustration and some may just identify concepts by drawing lines to point at the accurate words.
As I had mentioned at the beginning, the information and communication technologies are evolving fast and will soon be able to provide for all the academic needs of the students anyway. So Information and communication technology labs and facilitators shall be provided to students to enhance their skills.
When the students apply to the job market, employers will set up assessment criteria to suit their needs. They may be compelled to set-up assessment cells and plan training programmes. But that is a visible trend in the present day and I see no harm in it.
For example, if a person wants to become an engineer then the engineering firm will set up a training and assessment programme to develop the man power that it needs. But if a person wants to make pottery then this person can go to a firm that will set up a training programme for the training and assessment of its man power.
If tuition manage to carve out a market at this level, then it wouldn’t be so terrible either because after all it’s the job market. Here we are not concerned with the level of literacy or education that is the basic human right. Beyond that, economic discrepancy will continue to be a challenge that people will have to keep fighting. But if the employers want the best of the lot then they will devise methods of assessment that will ensure that they get the best of the lot … and not just people who have survived simply with a little extra help!
More specifically, one might say that may be its time for teachers to become moral and spiritual leaders just like Socrates and Confucius used to be. May be, it’s time to return to the basics – maybe it’s time to simply focus on helping our students become good human beings.
Excellent thought @Mariam Haleem.. If this idea is incorporated in reality then it will bring a new dimension in the education system. Hope to see more innovative and informative posts from you. Keep posting!!
Thank you, Regina :)
I am looking at the further refinement of the same. Will post it when I am have something worth sharing.
This is an excellent post. The trend toward project based learning and learning through technology will be in great demand for the foreseeable future.
Thank you, Joseph :)
Thank you, Phillip :)
It is an excellent thought that would influence teachers as well as learners. Hope this method will make students to become more responsible towards their work
Thank you, Jan :)
I would not agree with abolishing of homework. School without homework is not an image I can fathom. There are many reasons homework should not be abolished as it is beneficial towards the student, allows the teacher to acknowledge the student's weaknesses; in turn giving them an opportunity to improve and acquire new skills. Also, taking time each night to do homework is a chance for students to catch up on missed class and further reinforces the day's lessons so it is permanently etched in the student's mind where the information is stored and used when called upon. Yes There are several libraries available that has made it easy for students to do their academic tasks. Technology has provided this ease for every student. There are several good sources including: