Wednesday, 5 September 2007

HP is not PC

Yes, you guessed it - the educational practices described in the Harry Potter books are not Pedagogically Correct:
Despite the very heavy load of homework that the fourth-years had been given for the holidays...
This quote is from Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire (Chapter 23) but the Hogwarts teachers overload the students with homework throughout all the books.

Lisa VanDamme will have none of it - here's the opening section of her article on homework:
The Homework Lie
by Lisa VanDamme [Dec. 04, 2006]

Every year, dozens of parents sit at my desk and describe to me the intense frustration they feel as they watch their children get churned through the public schools. One of the refrains of their complaints: endless homework.

And no wonder:
  • The work itself is largely pointless. Students must complete countless contrived worksheets meant primarily to satisfy state standards for homework volume.

  • Their children are overwhelmed, trying to cram this busywork into car rides between after-school activities.

  • Parents do not know the material themselves. They are often unable to help, and sometimes they even hinder the children with their own confused instruction.

  • There is no sacred family time. Instead, the time for bonding between parents and children is compromised by battles over homework.

  • There is no sacred free time; the time the child should be allowed to rest, play, spend time with family, and pursue personal interests is compromised by the looming responsibility of performing hours of homework drudgery.

VanDamme Academy has a policy of no homework. Yes, you read that correctly.
You should read the rest as well. From further on in the article:
Our students shine because we make efficient use of the school day, focusing on those subjects which are most essential to the cognitive development of the child...
So don't expect to see Divination on the VanDamme Academy's curriculum.

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