Homework is one of unique evils that all of us can relate to.
As a teacher my relationship with homework has taken on a new dynamic.
Working in Italy, I am obliged to set (and of course grade) increasingly large amounts of homework: most of which is completed by my female students, little of which is even attempted by my male students.
Before doing that, however, it’s worth suggesting that one of the most insidious ways in which homework damages children may be psychological.
Not only does it put children off learning through the boring nature of the work, but it also has the potential to create negative cognitive associations between learning and conflict in general – especially where there are family arguments over the amount of time and effort spent doing it.
On a particularly bad morning, I’d have to do both.
Looking back, constantly leaving my homework until the last minute was no more than a matter of course.
Here are a few such examples of pointless homework.
In a recent tutorial, a 16 year-old Italian student of mine had to write a two-page critique in English of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s – a poem so archaic that even I as a mother-tongue English speaker struggle in parts.