Homework: to grade or not to grade? Better question: “Why are you assigning it?”

In our PLCs we are discussing assessment and percentages (this is a crude reduction of the many conversations that are going on, but for the sake of brevity…).  One of the issues that we’ve been touching on is homework.  Here’s the question, or rather, series of questions:

  • Should homework count?
  • Should homework be graded?
  • Is homework a demonstration of student responsibility?

How do we address homework in a world of competing assumptions, philosophies, and objectives? Should a school be expected, for the sake of continuity of experience, to have a uniform policy on homework?

First, ask yourself why you assign homework in the first place.  Is it to prepare them for a future assessment?  To reinforce something that they’ve already learned, perhaps mastered?  To deepen their understanding of a concept learned?

Would this assignment best be done at home, alone, with no support from the teacher?  With limited resources?  Or would this assignment create greater meaning if it took place in the context of a conversation with a subject matter expert in the room?

I’m curious to hear from any and all.