I was thrilled to hear that a Fort Worth teacher, Brenda Young, gave all parents at her parent/teacher night, a letter that said her new policy was "no homework" this year. Dr. Jeffery Brosco, a pediatrician and a director at the University of Miami thinks that's great. In a recent interview on NPR, Brosco said; "30-40 years of research shows that doing homework doesn't help academic outcomes. In fact, it produces negative parent involvement to override their child by doing the child's homework instead of making the project themselves. Coming from a long line of teachers--from a grandmother who taught in a one-room school house to an uncle who was a professor at Carnegie Mellon and who graduated from Harvard--I already knew that too much parental involvement was not a good thing. I remember how shocked I was when my daughter's kindergarten teacher asked her class to make something out of 3-D shapes like cylinders, cubes and spheres. All the projects were displayed for parent admiration on a following school night. It was obvious to anyone who can recognize the work of an adult over the work of a child, that these school projects were made by an adult not a child. Nor were the projects primarily by a child, but helped a little by an adult. When an adult intervenes like this, the child's self-esteem and confidence suffers, or to put it more clearly, is squashed.
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