"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

. . .a pupil attitude factor, which appears to have a stronger relationship to achievement than do all the “school” factors together, is the extent to which an individual feels that he has some control over his own destiny. James Coleman, 1966

Sunday, July 03, 2011

LA Times has not done its homework

Sent to the Los Angeles Times, July 3, 2011

The irony of the Times' article on homework ("Homework overload," July 2) is that the Times has not done its homework. Missing is any mention of the extensive research that has been done on whether homework is useful. In fact, readers of "Homework overload" come away with the impression that the topic has never been investigated.

A good place to start: Alfie Kohn's book, published in 2006, The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing, which includes an extensive review of academic and non-academic effect of homework.

His conclusion: "Research generally doesn't substantiate the belief that children need to do homework." (p. 71).

Stephen Krashen

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