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Debunking The Homework Myth: 4 Must Read Books for Teachers and Educators

January 16, 2016
Homework is a topic that is hotly debated within education circles. It is also a divisive issue that divides the education community into two main camps:those who view is as a pedagogical necessity that boosts students cognitive and intellectual development and those who consider it an overload that burdens learners, demotivate them and suffocate their creativity. It’s true there is no definitive academic and scientifically-based answer to favour the argument of one camp over the other but there is, however, a growing need to re-conceptualize the notion of homework especially in the light of the digital divide and achievement gap in schools. To this end, we are sharing with you a collection of some very good titles on the subject. Because we have grown up doing homework and assigning homework to our students, we thought it would be illuminating to learn about the darker side of homework and the perennial myths surrounding it. We invite you to check out these reads and share with us your feedback. Enjoy

homework books

1- The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learning, by Etta Kralovec  (Author), John Buell (Author):
‘Etta Kralovec and John Buell are educators who dared to challenge one of the most widely accepted practices in American schools. Their provocative argument first published in this book, featured in Time and Newsweek, in numerous women's magazines, on national radio and network television broadcasts, was the first openly to challenge the gospel of "the more homework the better."’

2- The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing, by Alfie Kohn  (Author)
“So why do we continue to administer this modern cod liver oil-or even demand a larger dose? Kohn’s incisive analysis reveals how a set of misconceptions about learning and a misguided focus on competitiveness has left our kids with less free time, and our families with more conflict. Pointing to stories of parents who have fought back-and schools that have proved educational excellence is possible without homework-Kohn demonstrates how we can rethink what happens during and after school in order to rescue our families and our children’s love of learning.”

3- The Case Against Homework: How Homework Is Hurting Children and What Parents Can Do About It, by Sara Bennett  (Author), Nancy Kalish  (Author)
“The truth, according to Sara Bennett and Nancy Kalish, is that there is almost no evidence that homework helps elementary school students achieve academic success and little evidence that it helps older students. Yet the nightly burden is taking a serious toll on America’s families. It robs children of the sleep, play, and exercise time they need for proper physical, emotional, and neurological development. And it is a hidden cause of the childhood obesity epidemic, creating a nation of “homework potatoes.”

4- Closing The Book On Homework: Enhancing Public Education, by John Buell  (Author)
“The claim that homework evokes long-term discipline [is] largely unsupported by extensive empirical work, but there is reason to believe that many other extracurricular factors in the life of a child and young adult contribute substantially to this virtue. ”

5- Rethinking Homework: Best Practices That Support Diverse Needs, by Cathy Vatterott  (Author) 
“Rethinking Homework: Best Practices That Support Diverse Needs examines the role homework has played in the culture of schooling over the years; how such factors as family life, the media, and the "balance movement" have affected the homework controversy; and what research--and educators' common sense--tells us about the effects of homework on student learning.”