Editorial | Don’t let homework get in the way of kids’ learning

Hard times for bakery boss (Photo: Facebook)
February 9th, 2012 9:21 am| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Proposals to drop homework would be easy to dismiss as just some throwback to the educational policies of the 1970s that emphasised independent thought at the expense of discipline and structure, if it werenÂ’t for one thing: proof.  The no-homework programmes currently gaining popularity among educators are backed by studies apparently showing improved retention and learning – two things that should be music to the ears of any adult.

If those findings hold – and if they increase students’ chances of success after finishing school – then this is an idea that should become as much a part of the school day as the lunch break and PE.

 

It is a worry that the brightest students report not being challenged enough. This should be taken seriously, but itÂ’s not a new complaint in the Danish system, which prizes classroom cohesion and equality of outcome over academic results.

 

We know that this wonÂ’t sit well with DenmarkÂ’s equality-minded educators, but the answer for these bored students is obviously to set up two-track teaching. That goes against the consensus mentality, but allowing everyone to excel at their own level is not the same as leaving some students behind. 

 

As a country reputed – or derided by those subscribing to the disciplinarian school of educational theories – for its progressive approach to teaching, it would seem obvious that Danish educators have latched on to the no-homework  movement. 

 

WhatÂ’s most interesting about its growing popularity here is that it comes on the heels of a debate last year about the state of the educational system that saw high school administrators all but surrender to the teaching philosophies of Asian school systems.

 

What few noticed amid the apocalyptic predictions was that Asian educators were at the same time looking towards the Danish educational system, with its emphasis on understanding, critical thinking and not least socialisation, as a remedy for their rigid systems that rely heavily on memorisation and individual discipline.

 

It would seem that after the soul searching caused by those discussions, Danish educators have concluded that thereÂ’s more ways to teach a child than by being a Tiger mom.

 

There are lots of things to bemoan about Danish schools (students and teachers being on a first name basis for one) but when it comes to eliminating homework, there appear to be no excuses for not doing so.

Parents are concerned that the old man in a wheelchair figurine is sending out the wrong message (photo: Lego)
New Lego set upsetting parents of disabled children
Lego recently released its Duplo Community People Set, a collection design...
Do not fear the large glowing orb in the sky! (photo: Michael Ely)
Here comes the sun … no really!
With daytime highs forecast to be above 20 C and DMI promising mostly clear...
Female students are predominant at five out of the six Copenhagen University faculties (photo: iStock)
Gender gap at University of Copenhagen
More women than men will attend the University of Copenhagen this academic ...
(photo: Cphartweek.dk)
Spiralling into expression at Copenhagen Art Week
Following on from an art weekend in Aarhus at the end of May, it is the cap...
CPH Pride will light up the streets of Copenhagen in mid-August (Photo: istock)
Mid-August events: Proud, loud, no clouds allowed
CPH Pride Aug 11-15, Parade: Aug 15, 13:00; Smallegade, Frederiksberg City...
(photo: Henrik Stenberg)
August Performance: Pirouetting at the police station
Summer Dance Aug 11-17, 20:30, Aug 16-17, 14:30; Politigården, Cph V; f...