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Gaining ground in the homework wars

April 16, 2017
Boy struggling with homework
Homework has long been a source of contention among teachers and families. (Photo: Howard County Library System/Flickr Creative Commons)
In this episode of School’s In, educators share strategies for making the most of after-school assignments.

How can teachers be sure the homework they assign serves its intended purpose? And if it becomes so burdensome that it gets in the way of sleep, play or time with family, what can parents do to help?

Students often fail to see the point of their homework assignments—and that’s a problem, says Denise Pope, Senior Lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Education. “A lot of them think it’s busy work or meaningless. If you have a lot and don’t see the purpose of it, you’re not going to do it well.”

In this episode of School’s In, she and GSE Dean Dan Schwartz are joined by Sharon Ofek, chief academic officer of secondary education at Palo Alto Unified School District and former principal at Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School to talk about homework.

They explore how families can overcome homework stress, how schools can come up with more effective homework policies—and what happened when teachers at JLS Middle School volunteered to be students for a day, experiencing the rigors of schoolwork and other pressures from the opposite side of the desk.

Listen from the link below, and find more episodes of School's In at the Stanford Radio main page. The show airs Saturdays on SiriusXM Insight Channel 121.