The value of homework has been scrutinized for a long time. There are a few students, parents, and teachers who go to a great extent feel that homework causes a lot of stress. Others feel that it is a boon, an encouragement to learn beyond what is taught in class. For the latter, it is the time they spend to work independently to achieve something. Is the scenario the same in an online setting with the pandemic? My thoughts below revolve around this aspect as a teacher at Ekya Schools for Grade 6 and 7.
Homework is where students and teachers work together to achieve a goal. It helps them to build a bond where they can discuss, attend to concerns, or even help solve the problem as in the case of math or any subject. The online learning model during the pandemic situation provides a similar promising time within families. Students at times get in touch with their parents for help or concern. When the family gets together to solve it, we notice trust and admiration. This successively allows parents to get more involved in their child’s education, understand what is happening in the class. How do I know this? Often, we teachers see parents and siblings attending but they are also participating by helping their child answer. We see this kind of bonding even in our family ties session.
Responsibility is the other topic I’d like to talk about. Imagine children completing their classwork, project, homework without being prompted. That would be a dream. Teachers and parents have to walk hand in hand to reach this path. We have to keep reiterating to achieve this goal. Once students do this without being told to do so, it means that they are responsible enough to make good decisions in life too. This indeed means they are heading towards a life encompassing larger goals of life such as social responsibility.
Considering the online mode of education with only 3 hours of classes on core subjects, students have a considerable amount of time to do asynchronous study. This after school 2-3 hours that they spend is a gift that they need to cache on. For instance, students can work on their assignments, etc. at ease and not rush for last-minute deadlines.
Thanks to Google, that invariably helps students to take notes, information, or homework off it so there is no space for research or students giving their views and opinions. But, I am hopeful that while there is information all around, there is an opportunity to use that constructively… And the online environment is an opportunity for students to move beyond copying to being ethical as well.
During these uncertain times, education needs to continue, families, students and teachers are the heart for a positive learning environment be it online or offline.
Ms Anjana Santhosh
Ekya School – JPN
English- Grades 6 and 7