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Looking back, constantly leaving my homework until the last minute was no more than a matter of course.
Homework is one of unique evils that all of us can relate to.
Whether it plagued our evenings or weekends – or, for those unfortunate enough to be homeschooled, every waking hour, – for each of us homework evokes an individualized and vivid set of memories.
Unfortunately, when it comes to content, instead of encouraging reflection on the topic covered in class, or curiosity-led research into further facets of the subject, homework tasks often constitute new material that could not be covered in class.
Not only does this mean that we’re unable to tailor homework to the student’s specific academic needs, but it also means that the homework material has often not been pre-taught – something that makes the more conscientious in our profession feel incredibly guilty as we feel we’re letting our students down.
It favors the children of the wealthy and educated not by educating their children, but by ensuring they tick boxes, achieve grades and are taught competition.
There will always be parents who’ll ask for more homework to be assigned and who’ll rally against attempts to curtail the already almost impossible workload, confident in the belief that stunts to their children’s development, their short-term suffering, will be compensated by their future prosperity. Without wanting to be completely utilitarian, it’s our duty as educators, parents and general enforcers of homework to question the merit of what we’re asking our children to do.
Indeed, I look back with fondness on friends whose constant failure to even attempt the set homework was matched only by the constantly poor excuses they offered to the teacher: ‘some homeless guy on the bus’ (who presumably had a profound interest in long-shore drift) ‘stole it’ remains my personal favorite.
As a teacher my relationship with homework has taken on a new dynamic.
This part of Hollande’s address was entirely in line with his liberal principals.
As president of France’s (Socialist Party), Hollande recognizes homework as an anti-egalitarian instrument that benefits children who come from wealthy backgrounds, who have healthy working environments that are conducive to learning, and who have parents willing to lend time and energy to helping them.