Just ran into a review of a book out there - The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing by Alfie Kohn.

It's that time of year again, folks, and while many of my readers may not be parents, this is nonetheless an issue for all of us. What passes for education so often, just like what passes for parenting, amounts to a great extent to crushing a child's spirit. Forcing a child to control the flow of energy through their body by sitting still and standing in lines all day, and forcing a child's mind to think by using rote methods instead of by using their minds imaginatively is truly cruel and unusual punishment. Whether you have children or not, please do a meditation this Labor Day weekend that we may wake up and stand on the side of the souls of our kids.

Here's an excerpt from the review:

Education watchdog and author Kohn (No Contest: The Case Against Competition) questions why teachers and parents continue to insist on overloading kids with homework when there are no definitive studies proving its overall learning benefits. Indeed, argues Kohn persuasively, homework can be detrimental to children 's development by robbing families of quality evening time together and not allowing a kid time simply to be a kid. Americans in general advocate a tough-going approach to education and push teachers to give more drudgery nightly as a way of "building character." Yet Kohn shows that doing forced busywork only turns kids off to school and kills intellectual and creative curiosity. The American insistence on producing good worker bees "by sheer force or cleverness," notes Kohn, "reflects a stunning ignorance about how human beings function in the real world." Kohn pursues six reasons why homework is still so widely accepted despite the evidence against it, including the emphasis on competitiveness and "tougher standards" and a basic distrust of children and how they would fill their time otherwise if not doing busywork.

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