Jul 19, 2011

BOOK: Grading

"As the distinguished educator Martin Haberman put it, homework in the best classrooms 'is not checked--it is shared'... Even worse than checking off whether students have completed the homework is grading it. [E]very study that has ever investigated how grades affect intrinsic motivation--the disposition to learn--has turned up bad news. To grade homework is especially destructive because this tells students that the point of the exercise isn't to help them learn; it's to evaluate them on whether they've already succeeded" (The Homework Myth, p.186).

If an assignment is completed and returned to school, I don't believe that it did anything for understanding. Even if it's graded, I don't believe that it did anything for understanding. If it's discussed, I believe that students may gain understanding. But, it's not for the work they did at home, teachers. Don't sell yourself short. Those students gain understanding because of your words and the discussion in your classroom. Homework is robotic and boring. The interaction in your classroom is alive and educational.

Don't send home that assignment. Make time in the class for your students to work on it, struggle with it, discuss it with their peers, and explain it to the class.

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