11 Sept 14
The Hamilton Spectator
Concerning the article “”Homework ban a courageous school move”, today’s Spec:
For generations, top performing education systems (Alberta, Finland, Singapore) have not needed homework. We personally, schooled in Alberta long ago, cannot recall doing homework in primary grades. Yet we found ourselves, upon moving here, better educated than average Ontarians, thanks not us but to the Alberta system. This superiority has been recognized for generations by the likes of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. But many, perhaps most, Ontario senior educators will reject, sometimes angrily, any suggestion that Ontario should study Alberta or Singapore.
There is little question that the need for homework arises in no small measure from the grossly inefficient, error-prone, expensive “Constructivist” curriculum model used in schools here.
The “Constructivist” model requires students to “develop” and “discover” principles and rules for arithmetic and other subjects that were well documented as much as thousands of years ago. They must reinvent, not the wheel, but one-quarter of one spoke of it, using a chipped spokeshave. Homework, again inefficiently and expensively, is expected to fill in the rest. One bad result of many is students in tears because they cannot do their homework, and parents who, unable to help, can only stand by anxiously.
Constructivism does not work. Educators who have not learned this need to be educated about education.
Frank Gue, B.Sc., MBA, P.Eng.,
2252 Joyce St.,
Burlington, ON L&R 2B5
905 634 9538