The dream of millions of schoolchildren to attend no homework schools became a reality in the Czech Republic. There, several educational institutions canceled homework. It is said that children have enough burden during the lessons. However, a kind of “holiday of disobedience” puzzled not only the teachers, but also children.
Now, not everyone can afford games during breaks. No one asks a schoolmate to write off his or her homework. The teacher will not put a low grade. And at home there will not be a serious conversation about the unfulfilled homework. “I was really looking forward to it, now I will have more time for myself, for my parents and for the computer,” says Philip Nováček.
The experiment began in the school in early November, 2012, but the first-graders did not have to get used to a new life. Mila Kubova, teacher of primary classes, has not been assigning homework for several years. She considers that there are enough lessons for the children in the school.
“I, for example, do this: I give to parents a plan for the week, where it says what the children at school will be taught. And if someone has time and desire, they can work with children on this. But it is necessary to do it in the form of play,” Kubova said.
Time and the desire of the parents make up the main argument in favor of giving up homework. A modern person spends too much time at work. And psychologists advise schools not to aggravate nervous situations in families. “Parents complain that they come home late. And after work they would like to just relax with their children: play, talk about something pleasant. And homework is nerves, screams. Moreover, adults are not always strong in the school curriculum. It will be better for everyone,” said Patr Klima, school psychologist.
The refusal of several schools in Prague from studying at home is still voluntary. The experiment will last at least until the end of the school year. “If half of the students decide to continue the classical studying, they will do it. But those who decided to study without homework will not be able to abandon the experiment. We must compare the results,” said Bretzislava Mardesicova, the director of the school.
The teacher of the exact sciences, Hannah Bauerova, always had good relations with the school director, but in this matter they are irreconcilable. Hannah was set a condition: she should think of how to teach children without homework. “I teach math, physics and chemistry, and I think that in these three subjects it is necessary to do homework. I also can not imagine how you can learn foreign languages without memorizing words at home. And I think that with the help of homework, we teach the children that they have responsibilities. And this is very useful for them in life,” Hannah Bauerova said.
Why Students Do Not Agree With The Innovation
Studies on homework show that schoolchildren themselves do not all agree with the innovation. Competitions in universities are serious, and high school students are thinking about this right now. “Well, we will not strengthen the material at home, we will learn less. I do not agree with this; I think that I will ask teachers to give me an assignment to be ready for classes,” Vendula Vavrova said.
The Ministry of Education does not intervene. They leave it to the discretion of schools, trusting teachers. “If someone wants to implement a no homework schools policy, of course, they have the right to do so. But most of the teachers are happy when their students are additionally involved, and homework is ideal for this,” said Education Ministry spokesman Marak Zeman.
Those who are against traditional education give one more argument: professionals should do exercises and solve problems with children, since they are school teachers themselves and get money for it. The abolition of homework is increasingly spoken about in Europe. British and French parents do not want to see their children with textbooks in the evenings as well. Sooner or later teachers will ask for extra wage increases. And at the moment, Europe is hardly ready for this.
New American Schools Without Homework
In America, schools have been introduced in which children are not assigned any homework. For example, one of these schools is located in the town of Fruithurst, Alabama. Its peculiarity is that children here are not given homework. The same innovation was introduced by the directors in many schools in America.
Studies on homework show that children now come to the class less tired and experience much less stress. But not all American schools are ready to completely free children from homework. Professor Harrison Cooper is convinced that schoolchildren should perform tasks at home. In the American school, teachers have more freedom of action. They prepare their own lessons, because there are no textbooks in junior schools. At the same time, they are guided by the basic rule: the school should be interesting and safe for both physical and mental health.
How Dutch Children Became the Happiest Without Homework
According to the UNICEF study, one of the reasons for children’s happiness was named as “schools without stress”: in the Netherlands there are no homework assignments or strict examinations. They believe that children should enjoy learning, and not suffer from depression. The ASK approach helps in this.
In our own reality, for some reason, a teacher should teach you to be intelligent, polite, erudite, well-read, but not happy. Children dream of cancellation of lessons, illness of the teacher, days off, and the absence of homework. We are used to the fact that schoolchildren get bored – this is normal.
We, consciously or not, educate with such an attitude, and students do not want to return to school, listen to the teacher, or do the exercises. The result is a situation similar to the one where the child is disgusted with the porridge, and then parents forcibly try to shove the spoon into the child’s closed mouth. Even if the porridge is delicious, the child will not eat it. Of course, you can start threatening, try to get the mouth open, shout, and the like. But it would be much more logical to change the association with porridge with disgust into happiness. The same thing is worth doing with education.
Some foreign schools are closely engaged in building the right attitude. They use the ASK approach in their program. “A” is attitude, “S” is skills, and “K” is knowledge. The three components of this system are inextricably linked. But in the first place the attitude is: how do we want to see a pupil of our school? Based on the answer to this question, school activities are planned: holidays, class hours, projects, and much more.
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