Course CODE MMC001

Course title: Mastering methodology and curriculum

Good evening dear colleagues, Thank you for been invited here. I am allways happy to work with Africa. Let me introduce my self in order to clarify who I am. I am the Academic Leader for ILETS GROUP Sweden Branch, professor. Research group is located in Stockholm, Sweden. I am practicing professor, it means that I am working at school as everybody here – as a teacher. I teach Science and Math Only 3 Days in week.

Homework: The Beast😎

Homework is such a pain! When I asked around teachers, students and parents they all in different way have been made this statement.
Considering how much a part of schooling homework is, it is fascinating how much everybody hates it. Teachers continuously complain about the amount of time they spend checking and grading homework. And as the parent supervising homework, I alternate between fury and tears.

If students cant stand it , teachers do not like the bookkeeping it requires, and parents do not like standing over their children , why we are still fighting this beast?
In the beggining av my teaching carier I tried everything to get my kids to realize how important homework is. I organized trips as a reward for doing homework. It worked for a while but very quickly faded, rewards cant be effective because they just would not be able to finish their homework. Same was with my own kids. I turned to punishment: no TV, no friends visiting and etc. They still didnt do their homework and they complained a lot.

One day I asked my kids teacher why she grade the homework? And she answered – ”That is only way to get them to do it!
Nowadays a lot of teachers and educators still thinking same way and have same attutude as it was in 80-s.
Just think: At school teachers also punish children in order to get work done – low grades, after-school sessions, no recess. The student gets a dubble whammy – the gradebook threat at school and no-privileges threat at home!
Some teachers like the myth about homework – more work means getting closer to mastery.

We should understand that :

  1. pupils learn at different rates, so those who take a little longer to master new ideas are penalized when home work is graded.
  2. Most work is repetition and practice: 25 math problems to practice a procedure, or multiple questions at the end of the textbook section to go over the content again.
    If student already knows material, the practice has some reinforcement value, but boredom is the most frequent result.
    -for the student who still does not conquer the material, the practice and repetition reinforces his or her misunderstandings and causes further frustration.
    What is problem with homework in my describtion? As you might see – homework is not learning. Students separate learning and homework! They actually like learning very much.

So how we can transfer homework to learning?
Most effective way is to create learning environmet which is connected to the students. Learning environment is a set of possibilities to learn – school, lessons, teachers, parents, friends, community. So lets place the student in the centrum of the learning and start with collaboration. Students come to us with their knowledge and ubderstanding about the world and phenomema with their subculture. I as a teacher should be able take in account this subculture and help them to develop /construct new knowledge which is possible to implement in reality.

In order to start thinking differently about homework and make homework as learning, I offer a few suggestions:

  1. Do NOT grade the learning curve on new subjects. Use the homework as an opportunity to identify students who need additional help, NOT additional homework.
  2. Assign homework to empower learning through projects that allow creativity and expansion of ideas.
  3. Less is more. More homework does NOT mean more learning! Increase the quality of the homework not the quantity.
  4. Give every learner a chance. Audio, video, posters, oral presentations should be used, draw assignments from students own aspirations and interests.
  5. Listen to what your students (and their parents) say about the homework. Are they saying. ”I have done this a million times” or are they saying: ”While I was doing this work I thought about……”, or,”I had question about…..”
  6. Use lessontime effectivly, teach students how to manage time effectively. Let students continue with application or investigation of topic outside the school, and after that teach students to delivery questions and thoughts when they are back to the classroom.
  7. When I started to use Student-Centered facilitation in classroom I began assigning projects that required the students to APPLY their knowledge learned in class. I understod that homework should be an opportunity for students to engage in creative, exploatory activities. Homework also should have a focus.
  8. Instead of filling in the blanks on a worksheet I requested that students find materials at home and produce an electrisity and make a short educational video.

Homeproject, grade 7, History of Science 🤓.

Geplaatst door Ingvar Stål op Donderdag 26 oktober 2017
  1. Or I ask students to investigate about development of numbers which we use in mathematics today.
  2. I asked my students to plan a trip to Spain. I had them creating Spanish menus, trip itineraries and illustrated dictionaries. I assigned groups of students to create reader’s theaters, reenactments of historical events, game shows, detective who-done-it similar to CSI, newspapers, fashion shows, sidewalk art, food bazaars, travel agencies, restaurants, and department stores.

The homework became meaningful and learning became interesting for students. This is meaning of the ”homework” in Student-Centered classroom.

Thank you for your attention😎👋

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