What if a teacher assigned meditation or volunteer work for homework?
Apple Distinguished Educator and blogger Peter Cameron does precisely this. Cameron caught my eye with this blog post:
WHAT IF… Home ‘work’ Looked Like This?
In this intriguing piece Cameron, who has dramatically changed his methods during his career as a classroom teacher, says this about homework:
Today, homework has evolved to home ‘share’. My students are now tasked a couple times a week to share a piece of writing with a parent, solve or explain their solution to a single “real math” problem or create one of their own. Parents are encouraged to write comments on their child’s work and initial it after their child has shared it with them. –Peter Cameron
So, Cameron got me thinking about alternatives to traditional homework, and Hack Learning Podcast Episode 45 was born; it’s embedded above. In the post I discuss the possible impact of swapping traditional homework for assignments like those Cameron uses:
- talking to parents
What alternative homework assignments are you using?
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Featured image courtesy of Peter Cameron, via Mr. C’s SharesEase Blog. Follow Peter on Twitter here.
The New Yorker, May 7, 1984 P. 46
An 18-year-old high school senior misses a week of school because his dog, Keds, got killed outside of the A& P. He watches his sister wash her hair with beer, mayonnaise & eggs. Then he tries to solve complicated algerbraic problems he has set for himself. Since he started cutting school the only thing he misses is the math homework. He walks there one day but doesn't go inside. "Have you changed your mind about school... We're going to get another dog" his father says, trying to make him feel better. "It's not that," the boy says, wishing everyone would stop talking about dogs. The boy's mother says "About Keds... I'm unhappy too. But it doesn't stop me from going to school." "You don't go to school," he tells her, remembering algerbra word problems. The next Monday he goes back to school, writing a note to his homeroom teacher saying he was unhappy & unable to attend. The guidance counsellor isn't pleased with his note. "I understand your dog died... Is that what you're so unhappy about?"she says, "You'll get over this." His sister works until midnight at the Photo-Matica outside the A&P. He visits her. "That's where we found Keds" she says, pointing. He remembers that when he used to buy cigarettes Keds would follow. He was unhappy before the dog died, which is what no one understands He named the dog Keds because he was white with huge black feet & looked like he was wearing sneakers. "It's a good thing that you weren't here when we found him,"his sister says. "You would have gone crazy." He's not listening to her nonsense. He's working on an algerbra problem, how to make himself feel all right.