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Is math homework a mistake for pre-teen and teenage students?

  1. Aug 31, 2017 #1
    Most people don't get to cal 1 in high-school by the time they are seniors. People are excepted to get ready for cal 2 by the time they get to college. People don't get to cal 1 because they don't study at their home. However, in my personal opinion, is homework a mistake to give to students? Politicians complain how students and lazy and not committed to their work. Most 18 years old aren't math ready to do physics.

    However, have you ever considered the possibility that homework was a mistake to begin with and educators are doing it all wrong?

    Why are you guys people much trust for pre-teens and teens to do their homework at their home? Especially for 6 years. People claim how teenagers are incompetent with their studies yet put them the trust to do homework. What an incredibly foolish move. People will be distracted by video-games,facebook, television, and hanging out with friends. What if math classes were two hours long with the extra hour spent on doing homework? People should be able to get up to cal 1 by the time they get up to high-school.

    Food for thought
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 31, 2017 #2
    Well, I didn't take Calc I in high school, I took it in college which went fine. I believe there is a problem in public schooling were students are asked to do regurgitation and mimicking rather than critical thinking. I do think homework, at least in college, is a good learning tool. I think homework should stay but perhaps become more rigorous.
     
  4. Aug 31, 2017 #3

    symbolipoint

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    Pre-teens being expected to do homework (like for Mathematics) is not a mistake. Learning takes practice and some study effort outside of normal class-time. Pre-teens included.

    By the time students finish high school, they should have learned SOME algebra, not necessarily Calculus.
     
  5. Aug 31, 2017 #4

    phyzguy

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    I did math homework in junior high and high school, and took Calculus 1 as a junior in high school and more advanced calculus as a senior. So I was well prepared for college. Why was I able to do it but today's teenagers are not?
     
  6. Sep 1, 2017 #5

    symbolipoint

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    Why? Culture in a community; or culture within a family. This is not so much a matter of any individual student. This is a matter of what his home group promotes to him.
     
  7. Sep 1, 2017 #6
    There are people who will just never end up doing their homework at home. I remember my math class from the 9th grade a long time ago. There were people who just never ended up doing their homework.

    Study habbits are actually taught, not learned. Some people are clever enough to pick it up themselves and others who never get it without taking some kind of class that which teaches study habbits. Students should be required to take classes to teach them better study habbits. Just waiting for them to suddenly "get it" and study well is unpractical and unrealistic way of getting students to study.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
  8. Sep 1, 2017 #7

    phyzguy

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    I think the problem is more motivation than knowledge. Teaching study habits will have no impact if students are not motivated to study. There are some people who are unhealthy because they never exercise. I suspect a class in how to exercise will not get them off the couch. The motivation needs to come from within, not be supplied from the outside.
     
  9. Sep 1, 2017 #8

    Mark44

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    Nope. The only motivation I can think of for doing this is to dumb down things even further.

    Huh? What are you saying here?
    And so they will pass through school without much of an education, and without much of a chance to make a career for themselves. This is not really something new -- long before Facebook and even TV, there were students who were more interested in doing just about anything other than their assigned homework. Back then such people could get good-paying manufacturing jobs with nothing more than a high-school diploma (and sometimes not even that). These days, though, with automation and computers and such, there are a lot fewer of those jobs, so just having high school doesn't get you very far.

    I guess I understand what you mean here, but you didn't say it very well. Good study habits can be presented to students, but if the students aren't receptive to them, then obviously, these habits won't get learned.
     
  10. Sep 1, 2017 #9
    I remember having homework most days in high school, but I completed it in about 20 minutes and never needed to do it at home. Between classes, lunch, study hall, home room, yes. Never at home. NOT. EVEN. ONCE.

    But by college, such moderate amounts of homework left me unprepared for Calculus. Doubling the homework would have only averaged 40 minutes and only taken 20 minutes at home (at most).

    Having taught high school math, there is not enough time both to demonstrate the principles and problem solving techniques in class AND give students enough time for all the practice they need. There simply needs to be homework for students to practice.

    Sure, I bet every math teacher would love to double the time available so students could get all their practice in in the classroom. But you really think all the english and history teachers are gonna let math get double time without wanting their fair share? Aint gonna happen.
     
  11. Sep 1, 2017 #10

    symbolipoint

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    Really study habits are both LEARNED AND TAUGHT. Expecting students to just "learn" to study without some guidance how, is like expecting everyone to be brilliant naturally. I'd say, most students need a little help or guidance how to study best.
     
  12. Sep 1, 2017 #11

    russ_watters

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    Fine. As my dad used to tell me; the world needs ditch diggers.
     
  13. Sep 1, 2017 #12

    berkeman

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    And I literally dug irrigation ditches in the hot sun as a summer job during high school. Great motivation to double down in school and not have to do that ever again.

    (until you own your own home as an adult later in life and are doing yard work...) o0)
     
  14. Sep 1, 2017 #13

    berkeman

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    So, are you an educator troubled by the system, or a student wanting to justify doing less work? I can't tell so far by your posts...
     
  15. Sep 1, 2017 #14
    My 4th grade math teacher, Mrs. Kates, used to warn us that we'd be digging ditches if we didn't do our math homework.

    After completing my PhD, I became a farmer in Ohio for a decade. Didn't dig many ditches, but dug a lot of post holes building fences, etc.
    (Post Hole Digger.) I was good at it. I miss the cattle.
     
  16. Sep 1, 2017 #15
    Have you ever heard of athletes getting overweight after high-school? The fact is that when people are more likely to exercise if they were made to at school rather than at home. High-School athletes stop exercising after school because they lost pressure to show up to school everyday and jog. The same goes for homework, people are more likely to do math homework at school if they were made to do so then at home.
     
  17. Sep 1, 2017 #16
    I don't have trouble doing my homework. I have never missed a homework assignment even though I'm been at school one semester. I don't mind doing homework or had trouble with it since I am incredibly self-disciplined. I am a student troubled by the education system.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
  18. Sep 1, 2017 #17

    symbolipoint

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    You misunderstand students who are motivated from within and later, those who graduate, and athletes.
     
  19. Sep 1, 2017 #18
    Huh. what is this suppose to mean? Please elaborate.
     
  20. Sep 1, 2017 #19
    It goes to show that not everyone follows the same straight and narrow path. I never really did my homework in high school. I just thought it was too pedantic. I just showed up, aced the tests, and went home. Since homework was often ~30% of the grade, my gpa was not very good. I was often labelled as a burn-out. I worked in a factory after high school as a welder. It was hot and dirty work. I got bored of this and decided to go back to school. I went to a community college, transferred to a 4-year university, and am now a graduate student working towards a Phd in biophysics and have published a paper.... It's hard to say what someone is capable of until they actually try.

    P.S. @Dr. Courtney, I'm sorry you lived in Ohio. I'm from Michigan, so we like to make fun of Ohio. :woot:
     
  21. Sep 1, 2017 #20

    symbolipoint

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    That question is not genuinely what you want. You do understand this.

    I could ask the other direction: Why is a student who graduated (for example, from college) and is working a normal job, studying Algebra or Trigonometry or Calculus again after no longer being required to keep up?
     
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