kitchen table math, the sequel: Richard Elmore on time

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Richard Elmore on time

It would be an enormous step forward if adults in schools treated the time that children and their families give to schools as a precious gift rather than an entitlement.

Three Thousand Missing Hours
Where does the instructional time go?
Harvard Education Letter
Volume 22, Number 6
November/December 2006
Somewhere along the line I began to see my middle school with its required "health class" and its required "technology class" and its required PowerPoint assignments for Spanish class (create a menu; pack a suitcase and label the clothing) as scooping up huge, heaping armloads of my son's childhood and simply tossing them in the trash. 

 C. told me a funny story. One of his brainier friends was up late one night, reading stuff for health class. His dad saw that his son was still up and asked what he was doing. When C's friend said, "I'm reading health," his dad barked at him: "Put that away! Get to sleep!"

Dad is a physician.


FedUpMom said...

This is exactly how I feel about most of my kids' homework -- it's throwing their childhood away.

SteveH said...

My son hasn't had a single menu or baking assginment for his Spanish II class. (That's not what I hear about the German classes.) He just talks to me about verb forms. I think I'll send kudos to the teacher. His Algebra II teacher is all business, and world history requires a lot of memorization. Things are definitely better in high school.

Lisa said...

One of the reasons we are currently homeschooling the elementary kids, I couldn't take one more scrap booking assignment disguised as literature or math. Not to mention the hours lost to drug awareness, school fundraising pep rallies and watching "Finding Nemo"