What should schools stop wasting time teaching

Homework: additional learning opportunities or wasted time? Frank Lipowsky. Main topic: homework - a chance to learn or a waste of time?

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1 The following document is an excerpt from the Humane Schule from October 2005 on the subject of homework, a learning opportunity or a waste of time? It can be obtained free of charge from our website. Frank Lipowsky homework: additional learning opportunities or wasted time? Main topic: homework - a chance to learn or a waste of time? Incl. Two copy templates What do you have on? "In thousands of families, the daily struggle with homework begins in this way. Homework is often stressful for parents and children alike and is often the cause of family conflicts. Homework is therefore one thing in many families In view of the problems raised by the topic of homework, there are also repeated calls to do without homework altogether. However, research on homework "shows that homework is not pointless, but that its usefulness depends on certain characteristics. The effectiveness of homework depends on the student.Many parents and teachers concerned are of the opinion that the effectiveness of homework is primarily related to the time invested: The longer a student sits on their homework, it is assumed, the greater their learning success. However, research cannot confirm this. More important than the time commitment is the way in which the student deals with their homework. In other words: the quality is more important than the quantity. The research suggests that students benefit from homework above all when they do their tasks more continuously, more conscientiously and more regularly. The effectiveness of homework depends on the teacher The effectiveness of homework also depends on the behavior of the teacher. It determines the scope of homework, how homework is dealt with in class, whether and how homework is controlled and which tasks are given at all. More recent research indicates that teachers should regularly do homework, but that it should not be too extensive. Often better than much "and less is more", this is how these research results can be overwritten. In addition, content-related feedback from the teacher has a positive effect on the learners. How teachers deal with homework and how soft homework is effective are still relatively little researched areas. Several studies indicate that not only follow-up exercises and repetition tasks, but also preparatory homework such as small experiments, surveys, inquiries or research can have a positive effect on learning. It also shows that teachers can support the effectiveness of homework if they are not only interested in the results, but also in the pupils' solutions and if they address their mistakes. The effectiveness of homework depends on the parents. The research results indicate that direct parental influence on homework tends to have a negative effect on the performance development of students. This means: the more intensely the parents get involved in their homework, the less favorable the performance development. This 1

2 The finding is initially surprising because many parents help their children with homework with a well-intentioned intention. According to the research, this parental help does not automatically make sense. Rather, a distinction can be made between cheaper and less favorable forms of parental support. If parents help their children massively and too quickly, if they use explanations or processing instructions that contradict the instructions of the teachers, or if they undermine the independence of their children through very close controls, through constant supervision or direct intervention and have little confidence in their children, so the likelihood that this parenting behavior will have less favorable effects increases. Direct forms of parental involvement therefore tend to have a negative effect and contribute to confusing and unsettling the children. In contrast, parental behavior, which includes more emotional forms of support and also focuses on stimulating and promoting independence, appears to be more promising and more productive. Parental support with homework should therefore be done sparingly and with caution. This recommendation is not only aimed at the parents themselves, but also applies to the teachers, who often assume a positive effect of parental support or sometimes assume it. How can parents effectively support their children with homework? There are a number of recommendations for this (see also the advice article Homework - How Parents Can Help "by Dr. Walter Kowalczyk and Klaus Ottich on p. 9) A calm and pleasant working atmosphere and a tidy workplace where homework can be done. A regular daily routine, in which homework has a fixed place and is part of the daily ritual, should support the children in effective time management. Organizational and structuring measures: With younger children, parents should make sure that the children have all the materials they need to complete their homework. Parents should work with their children to establish which tasks must be completed and in which order, so that the children can immediately see how they are progressing in time the child learns he to set up his own work plans and to organize her own time. Breaks should also be part of these work plans. Restrained role in completing homework: After planning, the students should complete the homework independently and as independently as possible. If the children have any questions or difficulties, parents should react cautiously and, if possible, not give direct advice on solutions. Instead, in the event of difficulties, it is a good idea to ask questions, let the children explain tasks and solutions or give them little food for thought. In principle, pus should also proceed according to the principle of minimal help, i.e. give the children the opportunity to do their homework on their own, if possible. Emotional and motivational support for children with their homework: Parents support their children if they take homework seriously, if they consider it important and if they themselves have a positive attitude towards it. Parents can make sense of homework e.g. Underline by setting an example for their children "where one needs the learned or practiced skills as an adult. Negative feedback and the exertion of excessive pressure are more damaging. Instead, parents should encourage their children, trust them and ask them for their commitment It is important for teachers to recognize that homework places considerable demands on children and parents. The constructive and effective use of homework is not a matter of course, but must be learned by everyone involved. Dipl.-Päd. Dr. Frank Lipowsky works for German Institute for International Educational Research Contact the author via us / ph_lipowsky.htm You can download a list of homework research compiled by Dr. Lipowsky under (first click on topics "and then homework") or request it from the federal office

3 Hans Meister Diversity of homework There is hardly anything from my school days that I remember as well as certain homework. "What is the greatest prime number called?" - "Everyone decides for himself how many sentences to continue reading!" - "As a reward, you have no homework!" Today I still like the first two tasks. They arouse interest, they encourage independence, they allow different students to work on them. The third memory arouses my suspicion. Homework shouldn't be detention, but should it be used as a reward? And anyway: do the winners of PISA have homework like we do? In the following, I am concerned with differentiated didactics, for which I would like to briefly present the example of homework. The initial idea is simple. Instead of wanting to teach groups with the same performance as possible: see the diversity of students and work with it (instead of against it). And use this diversity for lively teaching: taking into account as many differences as possible among students. Because: There are no homogeneous classes or study groups. The different interests, skills, learning types, etc. are an opportunity for further development, creativity, learning with and from one another. They enrich the classroom. The aim is the best possible support for all students. The way to do this is to support individual, independent and cooperative learning. A didactic of diversity is not limited to individual dimensions of the lesson such as e.g. Goals, methods, places of learning, etc. but includes all elements that are important for teaching. So homework too. Homework is done in such a way that different working conditions, processing times, performance levels, etc. can be taken into account in order to promote as individually as possible and to avoid under- or excessive demands. In my experience, teachers can also maintain their fun at work by constantly looking for, collecting, trying out and adapting new teaching methods in a playful way. The following (for reasons of space not completely complete) ABC of examples for a variation of homework could arise: The task can have different goals: preparation, repetition, exercise, memorization, learning control, expansion of the lesson content. The duration of the processing is determined (and everyone learns different amounts!). Parents (or other experts) may / should be involved in the processing (and are thus also informed about what is happening in the school). Variety in homework control: mutual inquiries, comparisons and discussions; Self-control, etc. The tasks meet the interests of the students, e.g. Illustrations, documentation, interviews, quizzes, research, tables. The Internet can / should be included in the processing. The principle of learning through teaching is also used for homework: preparation of a mini-teaching unit, etc. Forms of learning control can liven up homework: "Write a critical comment on ..."; "Create a glossary for ...". Methods of teaching can also be methods for homework, e.g. Brainstorming, collage, exploration, free work, learning dialogue. Partner or team work, also with homework, is stimulated, supported and challenged; see also class or school-internal homework supervision. Different forms of presentation can be chosen. The need for extra-curricular work arises from a project. Two or more levels of difficulty of the tasks. The content and / or form and / or duration of the (exercise) homework is expected to be the responsibility of the students themselves. Different tasks with options. Additional tasks that are interesting but not compulsory. Prof. Dr. Hans Meister, Professor of Educational Psychology at Saarland University, retired in 2001. Contact via literature: Meister, Hans: Differentiation from A-Z. A practical guide for secondary levels, Stuttgart (Klett) 2000, 220 pp., 18.60. 3

4 Detlef Träbert Aktion HumaneSchule Homework from the perspective of pupils, parents and teachers Homework is more of a trespassing ", wrote a mother to Aktion HumaneSchule, and: ... I have never found homework to be 'pedagogically great'." This criticism leaves nothing to be desired in terms of clarity. However, when we asked children, parents and teachers to report on their own experiences with homework, we received numerous and varied feedback. They were not always as clearly negative as the opening quote. Often they showed very differentiated light and dark sides of the topic. I would love to publish them all in the original - they make an exciting read! Especially the statements made by the students (see also the contribution by Helga Lezius in this booklet) are very informative; they convey how children experience their learning and work within the family framework. When would teachers have a similar chance to take this perspective, which opens up valuable pedagogical insights for them? What students mean On the surface, the statements made by students seem very contradictory. One child says: I think homework is stupid, boring and uninteresting because it is a repetition from school and takes so long. "Another from the same class means exactly the opposite: I think homework is good because: When I'm in school When I am learning, my homework is mostly the same as what I learned at school. 11 So some find repeating nice, others boring. Many children even think both at the same time: homework is good when it is easy and stupid because it is are too difficult for one. The teachers may now conclude: Obviously you can't please everyone, so I'll stick to my habits. " But that would not do justice to the children's ideas that reveal themselves on closer reading. In the summary, the students' criticism focuses on the following points: Homework is often too easy and often too difficult. The reporting children apparently do not experience differentiated, individually adapted tasks. They are often boring and uninteresting. Always doing the same exercises is annoying. Stress with the teacher "and despair" are reported on various occasions. They rob you of your free time; Children prefer to play outside, especially when the weather is nice. They destroy the afternoon, "as one child sums it up. They often take a long time. This criticism relates both to working hours that are perceived as uncomfortable in general and to lack of appointments for other regular leisure activities, e.g. training or music school. Schoolchildren are definitely there Understanding: The teachers often do not know that there is so much, "writes a fifth grader. Unclear tasks lead to additional expenditure of time and lead to self-doubt because it creates the feeling of not being able to do something. They also provoke increased parental help and thus hinder the development of an independent working attitude. Homework can hinder school success: Many of the class do not make it through the school year because they need so much time for homework that they hardly have any time to study "(girls, 6th grade high school). Homework is very irregular. Pensen: sometimes so much that it can hardly be done and students sometimes sit on it until the long evening; sometimes very little or nothing. Especially in secondary schools, some students miss the fact that homework is not discussed or corrected, so that they lack feedback as to whether they have really understood the material. A large number of children complain that they cannot concentrate on homework, especially on warm days. Headaches are also mentioned. All in all, that sounds like massive criticism, and in fact some students would expressly prefer an additional hour of lesson to homework. More precisely, one would have to say: than THIS homework. There are also positive student opinions: Quite a few children emphasize that they learned more through homework: I think homework is good because it makes school better. "Some even make a reference to their professional future: I think homework is good, because you only learn good things from them that you need for your later professional life: 1 That sounds like 4

5 occasionally after quoting parental admonitions. One elementary school pupil was happy about the practical connection to life: I think homework is good because you learn things that our parents don't know and you don't miscalculate your pocket money. "For quite a few children, homework is even welcome as a remedy for boredom However, it is more helpful for teachers to state the circumstances under which homework is often done: There must not be too many. The workload must be manageable. The workload should be evenly distributed over the week. Some people have fun when they can use the PC. Research tasks on the Internet are apparently popular. Diverse forms of work are welcomed: positive = if the homework is fun, you should paint, read, or ... do something, but still learn something! ”Several teachers also confirm that creative tasks are generally happy to be solved who you learn something are good "Children want to learn and want tasks that make it possible, for example about self-control.Overall, with their notes on the topic, the children confirm what educational science has found out about meaningful homework (cf. the opening article by Frank Lipowsky): a moderate workload, regularly distributed over the week, with differentiated performance requirements and methodologically varied - then there would certainly be fewer Conflicts between teachers and students. But what sounds so natural does not seem to be a natural part of everyday school life. In any case, this is the impression given by the letters from parents. A learning therapist, who is also a secondary school teacher (name is known to the editors), was inspired by our appeal, collected reports from students and writes: I took your request as an opportunity to address the topic of homework specifically with the students. What the students told me was sometimes new even to me and sometimes shocked me. Dealing with homework in schools often seems to be completely indiscriminate and undifferentiated. In some cases, homework is given so that students still have something to do in the afternoon, because homework is part of everyday school life. They have no connection to the classroom and are pedagogically pointless, and in my opinion even sometimes harassing. A few students were unwilling to write or dictate a report because they were too ashamed. The reports of the students are almost all embellished, that is, the students often did not dare to write down their experiences as they told me and experienced them, but presented the experiences less badly. I found this to be almost the most important observation of this action . "The parents 'point of view Such experiences are affected, especially since they were formulated with professional distance. In this light, we must also take parents' statements (all names are known to the editors) seriously: Mother, son 1. Schj .: The subject is homework It starts with me reminding my son J. that he should do his homework now. Then there are tears and an outburst, almost every day of school. Outburst / Smack / Don't want /, Mine Mother messes up my life with homework 'etc. every school day; tears, only' an average of 3 times a week when the announcement is made. " Mother and author: Homework was a really great task for the children, especially in the first grade. They were unhappy when the teacher gave up too little. My children started with great enthusiasm before lunch without a break. They liked to show what they had worked out. Unfortunately, this zeal quickly crumbled. Now I was supposed to motivate and control, became an extended arm of the school without knowing exactly what the school actually expected of the children and how they in turn looked through and valued their homework. There was tension between the children and me. School became topic # 1. School dominated the entire family process. Sentences like, 'If you've done your homework, then ...' still resonate today. Resistance to homework was provoked, especially among my son. The expectation of the school for support from the parents increased accordingly. I got caught between the wheels of school and my own educational entitlement. "Mother of two secondary school students, Bavaria: When my 5

6 children went to elementary school, they had homework that they spent around two hours doing. After switching to secondary school (we didn't have the six-level secondary school yet), they had around an hour of homework in the 5th and 6th grades. And after they switched to the 7th grade, the homework was reduced to about 15 minutes if you did it quickly and superficially, and 30 minutes if you did it carefully. "Mother and secondary school teacher: Mirjam sat for 1-2 hours At the HA. I was there for an hour when I was writing the 'm', my husband spent the next hour on the arithmetic worksheet. A terrible psychological terror! We gradually stopped all other appointments (sports, etc.) because the afternoon was too short. After the child had been put under so much pressure by the teacher, the learning environment was so negative, the child kept getting 'darker' (and I knew that from the big sister), after talking to the principal, we took action and sent her After Christmas in a Montessori school. There is no homework there in the first year of school. So now - although she comes home much later - she can play again, do sports, meet up with friends. " Mother of a son, 3rd Schj .: Nice math problems are still okay, with German it gets more difficult. By beautiful math problems he understands varied tasks in different formats, not just the calculation of monotonous addition problems, nicely arranged in a row. It's similar in German. He still likes to do an interesting (thought) task to some extent, what he hates like the plague is the dumb copying of a text from the language book. Conclusion: there is homework that motivates and others. Unfortunately, it is very often up to the teacher how they are designed. Good homework also requires more commitment / work on the part of the teacher ... "If, with the first of these utterances, one could insist that the trespass" may have been homemade, it becomes clear from the second statement how good-willed parents through the expectations and Demands of the school get into an unintended conflict of roles. Many parents "push their children out of home learning out of sheer fear. Other sources of trespassing are educationally and psychologically nonsensical forms of tasks as well as the often individually overwhelming workload. In addition, teachers in individual cases abuse their homework to discipline the parents, As a social worker learned from numerous homework seminars with mothers. Homework practice at German schools simply doesn't seem up-to-date or, as one mother of three put it: Unfortunately, not much has changed since my time. " Some mothers despair of it. Others try every day anew: What do I have left? Day after day, encourage, admonish, praise, don't get tired, don't let up, stay calm, stay persistent, make concessions, find compromises, negotiate, control and don't forget that this is my child, whom I love very much, and that it is on gives the world something else besides school and homework. - I hate it!!!!! "(Mother of two boys, now 10 and 15 years old) The teacher's point of view But teachers are not doing well with their homework either. They complain about the children's neglect and the difficulty of checking with tally lists. A colleague reports that the homework discipline is somewhat has gotten better since missing tasks in physical education have to be reworked - but she feels like the very last teacher ". Some do better with their classes with preparatory and creative assignments than those with traditional practices that have not been carefully adopted. Some have had “good experiences with weekly homework, provided they succeed in convincing the parents that their children have to work independently. We owe a positive example of this kind to a mother of three children: My eldest son Alexander started primary school 16 years ago On the second day of school, the children had their first homework. They had to solve problems 1, 3, 4 and 5 on a piece of paper. The next evening was parents' evening. The teacher, an experienced, amiable woman, stepped in front of the parents with the words: "It's nice that you help your children with their homework. But when I say it has to be solved 1, 3, 4 and 5, then number 2 is not included. And if your children tell you that, then you have to trust your children. Because school is the task and the work of the children, and your children have to learn to take responsibility for it. Not you. ' There were of course questions like: 'If my child forgets something?' etc. The teacher explained to us that 6

7 the children are very well able to manage school independently and also have to learn to take responsibility for it. And if they don't learn that in the first few years, then things will look bad. Then at some point they come home with a bad grade and say: 'Mum, because you didn't study properly with me' Accordingly, my son never had problems with homework. "Communication enables changes This example is not only positive because the teacher advocates pedagogically and psychologically sensible homework practice, but because it shows that intensive, trusting communication is the key to change. If teachers show parents how to help their children to work independently, they are more likely to be ready to let go of their children in this sense. And if, conversely, parents can tell the teachers what the homework situation looks like at home, they are (hopefully!) more willing to accept changes. After all, both sides are not really about it the homework itself. It always works to show every single child promising ways of learning. Every child wants to learn, but no child wants to have to learn! Homework is always trespassing where it is ordered against the child's will. Marc Mergheim ... I myself always avoided homework as a schoolboy and only wrote the text in the last two nights when doing homework. If the school has a proper pedagogical approach, homework doesn't matter. But the school concept was created through the 'educational' efforts of the First German Education Council, the result of which I have unfortunately fought against as nonsense in vain. It was stupid to dissolve the old village school, where all the children in the cultural area between the pub, church and school met and were also supported culturally there. That was demonized, and as a result small children were driven in big buses to large school buildings, where neither the teachers nor the children, nor the teachers nor the children know each other. It's a bad educational environment. In the end, pedagogy is nothing more than a role model and love. This basic principle has been systematically destroyed by the scientification of teaching, with the university serving as a model (and still is). But the needs of a six-year-old are different from those of a ten-year-old and these in turn are different from those of an 18-year-old. During the consultation at that time, I discovered Montessori pedagogy as a pedagogy that does not know any age groups, where children help each other and let themselves be helped and where you yourself experience difficult mathematical processes with all your senses, not least the sense of touch, instead of learning them by heart. Prof. Dr. Dr. H. c. mult. Theodor Hellbrügge 7

8 Dr. Walter Kowalczyk & Klaus Ottich Action to get humane school and games under one roof. Gradually, a routine develops from these rules - and the argument about the same points over and over again stops. Homework - This is how parents can help Parents support their children in their learning in a variety of ways, even in preschool. They enable them to have their own experiences, direct their attention, encourage them to explore their surroundings inquisitively and help them cope with difficult situations. All of this happens with a beautiful naturalness. When the child starts school, parental behavior often changes. This can be seen very clearly in the way in which parents arrange their participation in homework. As in pre-school learning and play situations, they can see their task primarily in creating suggestions, providing aids and keeping disruptions away. In other words: You then create favorable framework conditions for the independent accomplishment of the tasks. Parents can also become more involved in the content by providing help and explanations, providing (partial) solutions or providing the child with additional, self-developed exercises. All of these behaviors represent a kind of additional lesson that harmonizes with - or deviates from - the teacher's approach. Finally, the involvement of the parents can be limited primarily to external supervision and comments on the grades achieved. In a study on the question of the extent to which parents' suggestions, assistance and controls are reflected in the school performance of their children, the suggestion "took the top spot. This includes common activities in the family: excursions and sightseeing, but also reading aloud and telling stories Looking at picture books, learning songs and poems, playing games with father and mother, raising children to be independent and allowing them to make their own decisions. Supervising homework Remaining calm despite shouting Homework becomes difficult when the child shows displeasure and disinterest there is an argument every day. Then it is time to make arrangements with the child about when, how and where the tasks should be done. If they have a say, they are more willing to obey the rules. To set a fixed point in time , for example, you can ask when your friends do their homework it is easier to work Some children also grumble because they know that their parents will then stay with them - this is how they get attention and constant interest in their work. It is better not to go into that. Instead, you can play something with the child after completing the tasks. In any case, there is no point in applying pressure. Firstly, it does not help with learning, and secondly, it poisons the family climate. There is no generally valid formula for the parents to behave, because children are different: At the beginning, some need an adult at the table who examines the work step by step. It helps the others if the mother is in the same room. Very independent children work alone, but want their father or mother to look at and comment on the tasks afterwards. Anyone who initially kept their child company should gradually reduce this, something like this: I'll go into the basement for a moment and hang up the laundry, then I'll come back and see how far you've got. "Frequently asked questions and the answers If you have the impression that your child is sitting too long on homework, first share your experiences with other parents in the class. If several children also take that long (too long), this is a Topic for the next parents' evening at school. Perhaps the teacher assesses the level of performance of the class too high, perhaps the individual subject teachers do not coordinate sufficiently. Where is the right place? The best place to work for doing homework is where the child can sit down relaxed and concentrated, where all work materials are available and where nothing disturbing or distracting (toys) is lying around t for some children the dining table, for others their own desk. The helpful details are important: First clear away everything that is disturbing, then bring everything you need and finally pack your school bag for the next day. 8th

9 What to do if the child just doesn't start? First of all, you need to find out: is your child just not feeling like it? Or is it overwhelmed? Accompany them with their homework, for example, let your child think aloud in maths: If I have to calculate eight plus six, I'll only do the math until ten, that's already two. Then there are four left of the six ... "This is how you notice whether your child has mastered the transition from ten. Repeat questions in their own words or have a text summarized orally first: This shows whether the child has understood the task. And if the pupil just doesn't feel like doing it? Show understanding, but encourage your child to work: I understand that you would rather play outside. Sometimes I would prefer to do something else. But now it's the turn of the tasks. " Routine helps most children: the same time every day, the same length of time, the same place. But if nothing else works, you can encourage your child. For example a trip or a visit to the swimming pool with friends after a week of regular work. It is not about a reward, but rather that the child finds an introduction to an automatic learning behavior: Just as you have to brush your teeth in the morning and in the evening, you have to do something for school in the afternoon. Help or not? And if so, how? Teachers want to be able to correctly assess the level of performance of the student - also through homework. But this is exactly what some parents fear. They want the teacher to get the best possible picture of their child's performance. A classic conflict. On the other hand, the school, for example, "naturally relies on the help of the parents when it comes to practicing dictations. In general, do not help too quickly, because if you take the tasks out of your hands, the child cannot get used to learning independently. Checklist: Supervising the homework.Please tick the points reached! Create a good setting for homework to be done. Make sure that your child's workplace is tidy. Avoid interference from siblings. Let the homework book show you what the homework is. Let your child estimate how long it will take them to complete their homework. Support your child in doing their homework independently. Show confidence that it will handle the task. Let the task be explained to you. Ask how the school did the assignments. Give a solution step if your child is blocked. Help your child review the tasks at the end. Encourage your child to self-control. Offer your child to review the homework. Praise your child for their perseverance and care. Stop doing the homework if you find it is taking too long. Talk to other parents and also to the teacher, if this happens more often. Everything okay? "- Checking homework If a child does not do the homework more often and the teachers in the school speak disparagingly that the pupil is lazy, the parents try Often teachers feel personally offended because they see a lack of interest in their lessons in the lack of homework. Parents and teachers should consider together what reasons might prevent a child from doing homework on a regular basis, because helplessness leads to all sides to the fact that the current problem is not solved and the situation worsens in the long term. Actually, it is less about 9

10 control than a joint conversation in which the causes for the behavior are worked out and solutions are agreed. Homework Problems: Talking to the Teacher If you have regular problems with your homework, parents should talk to the teacher alone or with their children. But first it must be clarified: Is this a special problem for your own child or one of the whole class? How long does the homework take and how do the parents experience the situation, what problems and difficulties do they see? In the conversation itself it does not make sense to insult or attack the teacher. Even accusations or allegations don't help, they just create annoyance - not a good start to a conversation. The search for appropriate formulations takes some effort, but it is worthwhile because it promotes mutual respect and thus also the willingness to solve the problem. If the conversation does not help, those involved should take competent advice, so for example! Contact the counseling teacher or the school psychologist. In order to be able to proceed (help) in a targeted manner, there must first be clarity in the matter. The following list shows the points at which efforts to improve the homework situation should begin. Checklist: Homework as a problem - possible causes On the teacher's side: The teacher puts the homework in an ambiguous or incomprehensible manner. He formulates it under time pressure. He does not give any help or advice. The amount of homework is too high. The teacher does not control or honor the homework. He takes no or questionable consequences if homework is not done. He exposes or insults students with incomplete, incorrectly or neglected homework. The teacher does not attach importance to proper notebook management. He is not a role model for his own panel paintings. On the parents' side: the parents hinder their child's independence because they feel that they are needed. They derive their own self-esteem from the child's success in school. The parents have expectations that are too high. Your notions of order are exaggerated or too weak. You are overwhelmed or under-challenged with their help. You're impatient, rude, hurtful, or offensive. The parents cannot help with the content. They don't care about school. On the student side: The student does not pay attention in class and therefore cannot solve the homework. He is tired by the time he does his homework. The student is emotionally charged (parents divorced, lovesickness, anger in the clique, sibling rivalry). He has little interest in the tasks, the subject, the teacher, the school. He lacks previous knowledge. He does not trust himself to do the homework, behaves failure-oriented, feels neglected, wants to attract attention. The student is dependent, needs instructions, control and personal contact with parents. He thinks the homework is boring (it is not challenged enough). A partial performance disorder (e.g. spelling 10

11 weakness) affects his performance; he's too slow. The student has too many free time. His demands on himself are exaggerated. He got used to the help of his parents. The student does not do homework to attract attention from the teachers, parents or classmates. Pupils - parents - teachers: successful together The checklist makes it clear once again what applies in general to pedagogy: simple assignments of blame are forbidden because the issues involved in problematic situations are complex. Joint action after a careful analysis of the situation is most likely to improve the situation, whether it is about the long-running homework or whether other aspects of the interaction between teachers, students and parents are to be regulated. Helga Lezius Action Humane School Robbery. (Ayse) I don't like homework because it takes a lot of time. (Michael) When I do my homework, I have to think for a long time. (Karen) When I do my homework, I have to do it myself. (Timur) My opinion on homework: Please less homework! (Paul) Homework is fine. (Nalan) Homework is very nice for me. (Jenny) Homework is STRESS, JOY, SUCCESS for me. (Paul) Homework is nice for me, because I understand everything at school. (Claudia) For me, homework is nice because it is like a riddle. (Erwin) And what do the experts say? Homework about homework Thinking about homework in the 4c, Scharrerschule, Nuremberg When I think about homework, then I want to be smart. (Maria) When I think of homework, I think of work and praise. (Annina) When I think about homework, I don't feel good and when I am with it, I like it. (Nadine) When I am doing math homework, I think and think and then it comes to me. (Merve) I like homework because it's as exciting as books. (Annina) I don't like homework because my free time homework is sometimes stressful for me. But they're also beautiful because sometimes you have to draw and so on. (Carmen) Homework is like school to me, only in writing. (Patrik) Homework helps me sometimes. (Vedat) For me homework is not nice because I often don't understand it. (Dino) Homework is not for my parents. (Tommy) When doing homework, it occurs to me that I wouldn't have any problems with it if we got a little less on math. (Annina) I would like to say something important about homework: Homework is really exhausting. (Sarah) I think homework is good because then we'll get to high school (maybe). (Marko) 11

12 I don't like homework because it wastes time. (Tobias) I think homework is important so that I can do it properly. (Maria) When doing homework, I think it's important that I remember her answers during rehearsals. (Michael) Homework should be better explained to me. (Natalie) Homework should be a little less, not so much, but a little bit. (Karen) Homework should not only be in writing, but also with picture puzzles. (Patrik) Homework shouldn't be that hard and there shouldn't be so much given up in the summer. (Dinah) There shouldn't be homework one day and the next. (Stefan) Homework should be done. (Erwin) Marc Mergheim Aktion Humane Schule Why homework? - A critical consideration At first glance, habitual and uncritical, homework does not seem to be problematic as a didactic tool. For many, it looks like homework is an indispensable part of teaching and learning in school. Otherwise, why should one be persuaded to encourage children to do homework? And this even with increasing emphasis and effort when learners do not complete the homework given - for whatever reason - as requested. Behind this is obviously the justified concern for the learning success of children and young people in our schools. But is homework always the right strategy to promote the desired learning success? If we want to judge the usefulness of homework in this way, then we have to ask more fundamentally how learning success can actually be promoted. Klaus Holzkamp pursued this question at the beginning of the 90s with the provocative thesis teaching as a learning disability? "1). And today it is still often the case that teaching is practiced as a learning disability! Unfortunately, most of the teaching staff leave with the wrong answers - When asked about the learning success - about their profession. So is homework actually about the learning success of each individual student? Why are everyone asked the same homework? What do we actually use homework for? What is its didactic usefulness and thus its educational value? Superficially, it seems to be about the learning success of the learner. Homework, viewed in this way, is a didactic strategy to make precisely this learning success more likely. But is this commendable intention really the real intention that defines homework? Certainly not, because next to this original didactic intention to complete homework even more functions. The employment function should be mentioned here. Whenever we don't want to seriously concern ourselves with children, then we employ these children. But the relief function also needs to be named, because what the teacher was unable to convey in class should be made up for by doing housework in order to close the gaps produced in class. On the other hand, the control function, which is supposed to be used to control teaching objectives in independently completed tasks, is dealt with less transparently. But are homework done in a tutoring institute still independently completed tasks? The alleged control of teaching objectives - we can state that here quite calmly - rather serves to maintain a hierarchical power constellation. This brings us to the discipline function, so additional homework is often given up as detention. Homework will only be assigned individually as detention. Who, viewed in this way, does homework serve, the learner and his learning success or the teacher and his comfort? Now I do not want to always assume comfort, as many teaching officers try very hard to guide learning. However, if you want to teach professionally and act as a learning advisor, you cannot avoid the knowledge of defensive and expansive reasons for learning. If you are curious, then I recommend the original text; For reasons of space, it must be enough to point to Klaus Holzkamp. Literature: Holzkamp, ​​K. (1991): Teaching as a learning disability? Forum Critical Psychology, 1991 (27), also on the Internet: 12

13 Gabriele Engels Campaign Humane Schule Katja Schneider How do the children see it? 327 children (175 boys and 152 girls) took part in a questionnaire on the subject of homework "at a primary school in the Rhein-Sieg district. The questionnaire was anonymous and was handed out by the class teacher in the school and filled out by the children. and then collected again. Questionnaire 1. I'm a boy I'm a girl 2. I go to class I like going to school I don't like going to school I really like going to school 4. I like doing homework I don't like doing homework 5 If you don't like doing homework, it is because a) homework is boring b) homework is too difficult c) you have so many other appointments d) there is always trouble at home because of homework e) other things: 6. Is there homework, you especially enjoy doing homework rather than in the fourth year of school). The knowledge gained is intended to give both teachers and parents tips and suggestions We came to the following results: 205 schoolgirls (62.7%) of the children surveyed like going, 106 schoolgirls (32.4%) are moderately happy and only 16 schoolgirls (4.9%) do not like going to school. Of the children surveyed, 205 (62.7%) enjoy doing homework and 122 (37.3%) do not enjoy doing homework. At first glance, it seems that the 205 children who enjoy going to school also enjoy doing homework. But the coincidence of numbers is deceptive, because even children who like to go to school don't always like homework. On the other hand, homework is still liked by children who only moderately like to go to school. What is striking, however, is that of all the children who do not enjoy going to school, not a single one likes doing homework. A closer look at the ratios in the individual grades does not reveal that girls generally prefer to do homework than boys. Nor is it confirmed that the joy of completing homework decreases with the higher the grade. Nevertheless, it can be seen that the girls' motivation to do homework is much higher than their aversion to it in all grades. The boys, on the other hand, showed displeasure with homework in grades 2 and 4. The 122 children who do not enjoy doing homework were asked for their reasons. It is noticeable in all four school years that the rejection is primarily due to the fact that they are perceived as too boring. At least a third of the children at each level gave this information. The questionnaire only relates to a few, selected aspects so that pupils in the first year of school could also fill it out. The survey is a snapshot of the classes now in existence and not a long-term study, as it does not describe the development of the homework behavior of individual children from grades 1 to 4. The aim of this questionnaire is to reduce possible prejudices (e.g. girls prefer to go to school than boys / children in the first year of school still do The reason that there is always trouble because of homework at home was mainly in class 2 and with an increasing tendency in class 3. The fact that this aspect is almost completely omitted in class 4 could possibly be due to the fact that at the time of the survey it was already clear for the fourth grade children which secondary school they would attend and the domestic situation eased as a result Second school year, a third of the children in each grade stated that they did not like doing homework due to increased deadline pressure

14 The number of children who find homework too difficult rose slightly in grades 2 and 3. However, the numbers do not allow a meaningful conclusion. Other reasons given in the past were too much homework that took too long and the desire to prefer to play. When asked which homework they prefer to do, the 327 children very often stated classic tasks such as arithmetic, writing and reading. The 122 children in particular, who do not like doing their homework, wanted unusual offers such as painting and handicrafts, puzzle or puzzle tasks, research tasks, preparing or carrying out experiments, practical tasks (e.g. measuring or doing exercises with the bike), questionnaires or surveys answer and television homework. With regard to her preference for classic homework, her preference was clearly not in the linguistic but in the mathematical area. In conclusion, it can be said that teachers could "benefit from the above-mentioned children's suggestions, be inspired and, if it makes sense, use them as homework. The survey also shows, however, that children are not generally averse to traditional homework. Perhaps Discussions and experiments make it clear to the children that doing homework - often also necessary practice - is meaningful and helps them. Parents could use the survey results to consider the extent to which too many appointments (piano, ballet, sports, etc.) and the domestic anger when doing homework can negatively influence attitudes towards it. Angelika Klaska Aktion Humane Schule A personal conclusion after more than 12 years of homework help After more than 12 years of homework help, I would like to take the opportunity to make a twofold conclusion: 1. What I learned about our school system I have the compulsion to give grades and after 3 1/2 school Years of writing a transition recommendation poisoned the work throughout primary school. Again and again I have met children who really tried hard and learned things that no one had thought them capable of before. And yet they got a four, or worse, a five for it.The fundamental contradiction of the system became more and more clear to me: Up until the learning goal check, Hein was diligently practicing calculating forwards and backwards in the hundreds. His arithmetic skills are only enough for a four in a class comparison. If it is important to move with a certain security and speed in the hundreds, then an error analysis and a training program should follow so that Hein can make progress. But what is happening? New material is added in the classroom that requires skills that Hein does not have, and the gaps become larger. The next four is preprogrammed and finally proof that Hein is likely to be a future secondary school child. The more I have seen children get angry and then discouraged during this treatment, the more certain I have become that our school system is deeply inhumane and urgently needs reform. 2. What I expect from homework If homework has already been given (which I by no means always consider useful), it should at least meet the following conditions: Homework must be tailored to the capabilities of the individual child in terms of scope and difficulty. Homework should meet your educational goal. Tasks that slow down the 14

15 should look different than tasks that are supposed to consolidate a work technique. Worksheets need to be self-explanatory so that children don't have to ask adults what to do. Worksheets must be copied so well that an unsure reader can recognize the letters straight away. If an h is not really easy to distinguish from an n on a copy, a novice reader who cannot yet distinguish the letters with certainty has a serious problem. For some teachers among the readers this list may seem ridiculous because it goes without saying. But my experience with four different types of school and from discussions with parents make me sure that there is still a lot of catching up to do in the country. A few examples: Klara comes dreamily trudging into the homework help. She has tons of math to do. She has basically understood how she has to rise above the tens when adding. But she still has to think carefully about every task and therefore took longer than everyone else to do the exercises at school. So she has the rest of her schoolwork to do and homework as well. The mountain is so huge that Klara actually doesn't even want to go to work. It is difficult to convince them to start. She doesn't want to stop after halfway (which the teacher would accept with our signature) because she wants everything to be perfect, like everyone else. In the course of time (every day again) she gets tired and sullen, but she never gets faster. Klaus, on the other hand, has seen through the systematics of the computing towers and writes down the results without calculating. That there is one task in the third tower that is not in This system fits, is wrong, didn't find it really bad. Homework deepening what second grader Paul learned in school comes to the homework help with a worksheet on which in the first line is neatly prescribed: I shouldn't disturb in class. "He should Now copy 10 times. Question: Well, Paul, will you stick to it in the future? "- Hm, don't know." Why, don't know? You're writing that because you should learn something! "Big eyes, long pause and then: You, tell me. what does disturb actually mean ?? "In the conversation that followed it turned out that Paul knew exactly why he had caught the note. But that his behavior was called disturbing was new to him. House Assignments encourage pupils to deal independently with topics from class Geography 5th grade, a text about the service center Frankfurt am Main "should be read. Quote: On the international Frankfurt stock exchange with shares {share certificates} of all major global companies are traded, and daily exchange rates for foreign currencies are set here. "To show that he has understood the content of such a sentence falls to a native speaker in secondary school already difficult enough. Depending on their temperament, a migrant child closes the book or learns the sentence by heart. Homework trains work processes and increases work speed Angelika Klaska Humane School Bonsche pedagogy campaign In the Pinneberg district, the Diakonieverein-Migrati-on has been offering basic education for many years. and Hauptschulen offer voluntary homework help free of charge for the pupils, which takes place immediately after the lessons in the school. Children come with very different levels of ability and with very different social behavior. Some come because they still need explanations, others because they would otherwise just no homework n that no one at home can help them or because no one is waiting for them there. Monday 12:15 p.m .: We - five women, whose children have largely outgrown school - finally open the door to our rooms. Between 20 and 30 boys and girls storm in with a big hello. May I sit next to Anna today? "- May I go into the yellow room today?" - Franz just said goat to me! "- I got two on my math work!" Some also sneak quietly around the corner and look for a place. After a while it becomes clear that everyone goes into the room they are assigned to, because certain children are better off not sitting in the same room, and certainly not at the same table. Work is slowly returning. The obligatory homework books are checked. The annoyance about the children's apologies that went so quickly that we didn't have time to write down "is swallowed gently because the sentence is often the truth 15

16 corresponds. Suddenly there is restlessness. I've had my traffic light on red for so long and no one comes to me !! "You are puzzled to discover that you have bitten yourself into supporting a child and have neglected to regularly wander from table to table to see if a Child signals need for help with his red light. So you jump back and forth between the dyke building and the 10th crossing and suddenly realize that there is no child for one of the satchels. Aha, someone has quietly left the dust again and is sitting now with relish on the Schakel. Sometimes our persuasion skills are not enough and he goes home without homework. What is the second woman in the room doing? Oh yes, she's standing with Sascha and holds her hand on his shoulder because he is snowing all over the place ! has done his job and can go home. If this assistance is not possible, he mixes up the whole store in no time and is thrown out with no work done. Why is Özlem really today? h so quiet? She got a five in math work, even though she practiced diligently with us. Now she is disappointed and does not dare to go home because she is afraid of trouble. We offer an interview with her mother, in case she doesn't think she was really hardworking. Finally the tears are dry, but there are already many red lights waiting. And as soon as some of the children are finished, it is time for the secondary school students. Some always come very consciously when they have not understood something in school or when they want to clarify something before going to work. Others are sent by the teachers and have to be countersigned that they were there and what they did. The tone is sometimes very hard to get used to, but thanks to all-round experience with our own pubescent children, we can manage most of it. If it gets too bad, there is a written confirmation that the student was allowed to go home "before all the tasks were done. Above the explanation of how an iron works and the calculation of the annual interest for a bank loan, it is suddenly 2:30 pm It's turned and we have actually long since closed. Last question of the day: Do I get a bonsche? " Of course, everyone who has done his or her job and has not had a fight gets a Bonsche (high German: bonbon) from us for the way home. It is always astonishing how good little bullies become when the withdrawal of the ßonsche threatens. Some experts even come in from time to time to earn a bonus. And now we need some rest and a coffee first! Why do we actually do this stress to ourselves every day? The work is exhausting, but it is a lot of fun because you can immediately see that the help is urgently needed and helps the children over cliffs that they would otherwise not be able to overcome. It is nice to see how children, who were initially very reluctant to come, gradually understand that we are not a punitive measure, but an aid. For individual children, apart from the teacher, we are the only adults who really deal with their work in school. Some children even come over from the adjoining secondary school occasionally when they have a particularly difficult task to cope with. So, one might think, an all-round successful event. Nevertheless, at the end of the school year we are often dissatisfied. It is all too obvious that we are putting a lot of effort into tinkering with a system that actually deserved reform. For some children, missed homework is the smallest problem of their life. In the case of others, it becomes clear what pressure of expectation their parents are under when they are already in first grade. With unheard of effort, they strive for the long-awaited secondary school or high school recommendation. In the vague hope that afterwards everything will be achieved and life will be easier. Homework = learning is stupid? (The editor knows the author of this letter, the names of the children have been changed.) Hello, our family, these are: Thea, 1st grade GS, Christa, 3rd grade GS, Karl, 7th grade RS and Marthel, 8th grade HS in Bavaria. My wife works "unpaid as a housewife and I am still" vice principal at a still "partial secondary school and currently teach a second grade. My experience as a father shows that dealing with homework is largely dependent on the individual teachers. My daughter Thea has currently a teacher who plans the homework sensibly and who also tries to give individual homework. Thea particularly enjoys homework, which is action-oriented or helps to prepare the next lesson. Her HA is always time-limited and completed in a maximum of 45 minutes. At With a class size of 29 students this is ideal. Christa is not doing so well in a third class with 28 children. She is busy! Up to two hours of tasks that could no longer be mastered in school. Your teacher prefers to postpone practice work, which actually belongs in school, to the afternoon, without my wife's hooves d of her mothers, Christa and many of her classmates could never do their homework. As a justification, the teacher gives the constraints of the curriculum that must be met. 16