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  1. #11
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    That's a good point, although I was thinking more about grade 6+ where you are expected to read, do problems or write essays. It was a painful lesson for me (and I expect most Ps - the pain part, anyway ) to accept that the actual school part was for tests and social conditioning, nothing else... and that if I wanted to learn something, I'd have to put in the work after school.

    Course, that just made me not do any of my homework and read whatever I wanted. But it sounds good!
    I had a pretty untraditional education. I went from a good public school up to grade 5 to an unusual private school from grades 6 to 9, and then I was homeschooled (unschooled) until I was old enough to get my GED. The private school was so untraditional that I don't remember ever having homework outside of a few long-term projects that HAD to be done outside of school hours (required a trip to the public library, outside reading, etc). The school didn't actually have a 9th grade, but they allowed me to stay on for an extra year because I was an independent learner. One of the teachers took me aside for a couple of hours a week and oversaw some independent projects that I chose.

    I think the onus is on the schools to find a way to do most of the work during the day. High school, I do think some homework is necessary because they're transitioning to the lecture model (although they're still kids and IMO still need some hands-on too).
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  2. #12
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    I just think that simple note taking would suffice -- especially in college. The fact that there is more to do at home is what demotivates me -- because home is my time -- and causes me to get bad grades.

    I don't understand why teachers don't do all their teaching in the classroom.

    In college, I'm the one paying them, so I don't think I should have to give them homework and whatnot if I'm also giving money.

    At school, I just want the facts, I come up with the theories on my own.

  3. #13
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    I've got no problem with the idea of homework per se. It's obviously beneficial for kids to learn how to do independent research and learning, and a lot of the most well-paid jobs have 'homework' too.

    But I think the way it's done in Continental Europe is much better than in the UK, and I'm not sure about the US so y'all can fill me in and tell me where it relates/fits in.

    In Germany, for example, school starts at about 8am, but finishes at 1pm - but you also have to go to school on a Saturday, from 8am to about 11 or 12.

    It's not as bad as it seems - it means that after school finishes you have plenty of time to do your homework, then have plenty of time to yourself and go out in the evenings etc, the only 'catch' being that you have to go in on a Saturday - but what else would a teenager be doing on a Saturday morning after all?

    Personally I would always rather give up a Saturday morning, to have every afternoon and evening free, than have Saturday free but work straight through from 9am to 3.30 or 4pm, then barely have time once I've done homework and eaten dinner, to do anything else before it's time for bed, as is the system in the UK.
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  4. #14
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    they want to drive you crazy so that you eye the third floor window of your classroom with a bit too much interest!

    that's why schools assign homework!

  5. #15
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    I did homework while being at school.

  6. #16
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uberfuhrer View Post
    I just think that simple note taking would suffice -- especially in college. The fact that there is more to do at home is what demotivates me -- because home is my time -- and causes me to get bad grades.

    I don't understand why teachers don't do all their teaching in the classroom.

    In college, I'm the one paying them, so I don't think I should have to give them homework and whatnot if I'm also giving money.

    At school, I just want the facts, I come up with the theories on my own.

    That's the problem. Note taking isn't learning. Neither is test taking. These are academic hoops that offer no value after you have your paper.

    The process should always be "Information" -> "Discussion" -> "Application" -> "Discussion" | -> "Application". Teaching is only the very first step - one that is required to different degrees, but only the first step. And sometimes you don't need the Discussion unless there is a problem (math and other pure courses often don't need to discuss things as much, but it does help if you have someone who can tell you about their own experiences/applications)...

    This is how you learn to apply it in life. Those that do this already tend to get way ahead of those that do not. Unless you want to become an academic, anyway, or get a doctorate in a purely abstract (math, etc) discipline.

    There's a reason why experience is more notable than education... Education is simply a barrier of entry. I'm going through that right now - and the amazing thing is that if you look at what is being taught... not the lectures, the notes or the tests... the problems stop being "homework" and actually become learning. The value behind them is many times larger than sitting in class in an inefficient learning setting.

    I tried the whole class, teaching, note taking thing. I can't do it. It's useless. However, I can take what I'm doing seriously now because I realise that formally going through the steps will help me, everyday, at work. Yah, writing yet another business letter... yet another proposal... not fun. But this way I get feedback. I do the work (improve), I get the feedback (improve) and then I do it for real. Hell, doing the "basic" math courses have taught me more than I thought... not about math, but about how I can rebuild the spreadsheets I do at work to be more efficient.

    In a strange twist of irony, just because I do know the course material - have done the course material already - it has become incredibly useful for me. I take it more seriously despite it being boring as hell.

    Course, that doesn't help me get motivated, but when I do sit down to do it, I really do care - and that's really new.

    Seriously, skip class and work out problems at home (disclaimer: not all classes work this way ) before you start going to school and skipping out working out problems at home.

  7. #17
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    Homework isn't really learning either, unless you're interested. You don't really learn anything unless you're interested in the subject. In that case, if you're interested, note and test taking can be learning, too.

  8. #18
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uberfuhrer View Post
    Homework isn't really learning either, unless you're interested. You don't really learn anything unless you're interested in the subject. In that case, if you're interested, note and test taking can be learning, too.
    One learns by doing, not by listening... simply put, in the real world, you will be measured by what you do... and if you have done it before, then you can do it now. If you haven't done it before - if all you did was sit in class and listen, you are pretty much screwed.

    Reading a textbook and doing no problems is worth very little when your boss (or bank, or investors, or co workers, or customer) comes up and says "I need this done". You don't have time to pull out the textbook and go "Well, I can derive a from...". You need to have done it before, with how to apply it, etc.

    Understanding is fun, I get that. But it's the baby step. Learning what the knowledge means, how to apply it - that's walking.

  9. #19
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    I guess if I never did any of the homework in school, I wouldn't have retained a thing, and I would have done poorly on the tests. I'm thinking specifically of math homework -- I learned by doing. Yes, you could 'learn' a fair amount by just reading the book, but a lot of it came down to practice and actually DOING it.

    And if I hadn't had a 'mean' english teacher in high school who forced us to write college-level papers and use multiple references and quote from them to support our thesis, then I would have been grossly under-prepared in college. And if I didn't HAVE to do all of the homework/papers/etc in college, and it was strictly reading and exams, well, then I would have been grossly unprepared for a real-world job.

    It's not so much the actual things/topics you learn by doing the homework, but the organization/focus/discipline it takes to DO it, and juggle many things at once, that is what you bring forward into a 'real' job. And the real jobs are what can help you to get everything else in your life as you want it.

    I think that about sums up my feelings on the matter.

  10. #20
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Most of the useful skills that you might get from K-12 come from homework. Math, reading, writing, etc.... These are things best learned from practice.
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