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Deliberate Practice

What is the Purpose of Homework?

A few days ago the Record newspaper of Bergen County, N.J., printed an essay from a student on the amount of homework today’s students receive.

I know virtually nothing about modern homework: how much there is, what it consists of, etc. All I know is that the backpacks the kids use today seem bigger and heavier than the bookbags we lugged around quite a few years ago.

But above and beyond the particulars of homework, the coach in me wonders about the “why.” What is the purpose of homework?

Is it a way to keep kids occupied after school?
Is it a way to deepen learning?
Is it a way to assert a teacher’s authority?

I just don’t know, but would love to hear more, because homework is a big part of the world for the student/athletes I’m coaching. If you’re an educator, or know one, please help me with this question: What is the purpose of homework?


2 comments for “What is the Purpose of Homework?”

  1. hi mike
    it should be to deepen learning.
    However as a parent and teacher I have seen it used to asssert authority and to keep kids busy.
    Example :when a student is given 20 similar math problems when mastery can be achieved after doing 5 successfully.

    Posted by kevin Reilly | February 11, 2010, 6:17 pm
  2. Hi mike. At the college level, we associate homework with an activity you do away from the practice/competition that keeps you engaged or can prepare you for the next practice or competition.

    I would surmise that homework should focus on an element of the past to promote mastery, while challenging the student’s or athlete’s curiosity to achieve or set a new goal.

    “No mind learns faster than a curious one”

    all the best

    Posted by Ken Masuhr | February 24, 2010, 12:19 pm

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