[Maths-Education] Homework: where is the limit?

Vilma Mesa vmesa@umich.edu
Tue, 13 Feb 2001 09:28:37 -0500

All this interesting discussion links very nicely with an episode 
that is described in Chazan's book (Beyond formulas in  mathematics 
and teaching, teachers college,2000). On pages 53-55 Dan and Sandy 
(his colleague) are interviewing students from their lower-track 
algebra class about their reluctance to turn in homework.

one student says that because during the class the work is usually 
made in groups, many students might prefer just to do the 'home'-work 
in class, in groups, instead of working by themselves.
Pressing a little bit, another student explains that everything that 
deals with school  should be done during school time. Thus, as 
home-work is actually something that is for the school, that "work" 
should be completed during school time and not during the time in 
which the students prefer to do their own things.

thus for this group of kids, school was seen as a 8-3 job; and you 
are not supposed to bring work (from your job) to home.

this makes me wonder about the reasons why I, my daughter, my 
students, or anybody else, would have for "sacrificing" my (their) 
time doing things that are work-related. Interest and motivation 
could be driven by very different reasons. what are those reasons and 
which are the ones that would be the most preferable?
Are there studies that ask students about their views of HW?

Vilma Mesa
Vilma M. Mesa
2614 School of Education
University of Michigan
610 East University
Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-1259
Tel: 	(734) 647 9392
Fax: 	(734) 936 1606
Email:	vmesa@umich.edu