Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Abolish Education: Abolish Homework

I'm starting to worry that this whole Abolish Education thing is beginning to become something of a rant. Mind you, it's hard not to sound like you're whinging when you're actually having a bit of a whinge. Reading back my last post I think I'll have to develop my writing style a little and start writing in a more engaging way - a less whingy way. Still, the sentiment was honest enough.

I think this time I'll have a mini-whinge about homework.

In one of my earlier posts I mentioned about how school overbearingly dominates a child's life. Well homework just takes this to the extreme. Expecting a child to do school work outside school as well as in school is just too much. Far too depressing. A long school day followed by what little time you have being taken up by yet more work is just totally unfair. And we wonder why children don't enjoy learning.

A personal gripe I always had as a child about homework was the way teachers would waste an entire school lesson talking (and basically showing off) only to then, at the end of it, dump a vast pile of homework on top of you. I remember at times sitting there thinking "you've just wasted an entire hour of my life, sir, grandstanding in front of a captive audience and now you're wasting an hour more of my free time giving me homework to do after school." Talk about children messing around and time wasting.

And don't get me wrong, it's nothing personal, I actually liked all my teachers, but the fact is they did waste a lot of my time. In fact, every lesson tended to follow this general pattern. The lesson would start - an English lesson say - then after a ten minute spell where the teacher would try to quieten the audience, they'd say something along the lines of  "...right, today we're going to start reading Romeo & Juliet."

The teacher would then start eulogising about how important Romeo & Juliet was, which would then in turn morph into some story about how when they were younger they played the lead role in an amateur production of the play. That in turn would then wander off into various other anecdotes about university/school/personal experience, etc, etc. All, of course, relayed with a rehearsed self-aggrandising vigour. And all no doubt told to countless other groups of children in various classrooms over the years.

Finally, after about forty-five minutes of basically hearing someone talk about themselves for what seemed like a very long time you were then told "Right, now here's your homework...I want you to read through Scene 1 to Scene Whatever and then write a short essay about what you think is going on." Brilliant.

And that's what education is - more or less.

No comments:

Post a Comment