Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Education: Mum I have to wash the dishes for homework

Hooray for common sense!

Justin Norrie, Education Reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a high school principal in Perth, Western Australia has suggested that cooking, washing dishes, shopping and other active tasks should be made compulsory homework under a plan to give students in the middle years of school time-management skills.

Ian Lillico, says that many students in years 5 to 9 had a poor work ethic and bad attitude in school because they performed too many "sedentary, lousy homework tasks that deliver no benefit".

Mr Lillico also believes that traditional written homework tasks should never be set for the following day: "How can students learn to manage their time that way?"

Over the last year or so, there has been a growing belief that homework should be abolished (especially below a certain age) as it provides little or no benefit and is an intrusion on a students free time. Considering that Australia is a country governed by talk back radio listeners, I doubt I will ever see such a radical but logical move in my life-time.

Still, it is nice to see a principal with progressive ideas. It's a far cry from my day when boys were only allowed to take woodwork and only girls were allowed to take "Domestic Science" as it was so quaintly called. When I asked the careers teacher why boys were not allowed to learn how to cook, he answered "What's the matter boy - you some kind of pooftah?"