Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On Education: Montaigne #2

This week's topic as you think about Montaigne is education. As a twelve-year veteran of the system (assuming you began in kindergarten) you undoubtedly have your own opinions about education. How has your education helped you think? What practices are effective and what needs to be modernized? What do you think of this article on homework, which ran on the front page of The New York Times?

Here are some thoughts from Montaigne. Does his view on education surprise you? Does it seem like what you would expect from him? Do you agree/disagree with him? As you did last week, please feel free to compare these ideas with what you read (and this time, please respond in a comment to this post). Take notes on the ideas and the writing style, and remember that we will begin the year with a series of in-class essays on these topics, so if anyone has ideas or questions please don't be shy-- start sharing your ideas in comments now.

montaigne2 education


  1. 'I can’t come out and play because I have to stay in and do homework,’ Now that's something I remember saying to my friends all the time. I could recall my mom favoring the more homework theory because she took my education seriously. I don't blame her, since it's the reason why I favor my studies over anything else.

    If the educational system decides to terminate homework on weekends, winter breaks, summers, etc., then what will happen to those who like having something to do, like writing and counting numbers, during that time period. I for one am against terminating extra work since extra work was what helped me improve in school. I started school with Spanish as my first language, but because of the extra work and time at home I was able to get the extra help needed to perform better in class.

    Not everyone is going to agree with the person besides them, for everyone has different priorities: school, friends, work, etc. Though it doesn't mean that everyone is incorrect. People learn through different methods and i'm the one that learns through extra hard work because that's the way I prefer it. Giving the students the power to chose if they want to do their homework is a better option than getting rid of of the opportunity. Each individual knows what their capable of and if by the fifteen problem they understand the method then that's where they should stop. Teacher and parents by now should understand how their student learn, and optional opportunities should be there for whoever wishes to take them.

  2. I think that homework should be treated the way Mr. VanPatten does it. You get one point if you do the homework. This way he can keep you somewhat accountable, but you won't stress like the little boy in the article if you make a mistake. The one point system won't really affect your grade when in the end it adds up to thousands of points, but it will motivate those students who need to study more as the article noted. Also, one point homework teaches children to be motivated to do homework for the learning experience not the brownie points. When homework is not for credit you only worry about the learning process and not how many points you'll lose if you don't spend hours on it. Michelle is right homework is important, but I don't think it should bring a child to tears.