No more homework!

Pedagogy Series 1

AA,

It is about time that schools got rid of the obsession with homework. Now, now, we all know that they focus upon issuing homework because parents complain that their children are not getting any- a move by most parents to keep their children busy at home or removing the guilt of not spending enough quality family learning time with their children. You know, like, teaching them social interaction skills through spending time talking with their children, engaging with them in sport and extracurricular activities or merely having dinner and a chat at the table with them. Now, I think that I will be looking up the idea behind ‘paralel learning’. Based upon what I read in this article, I think I will be including it into my planning. In fact, I was already thinking along these lines. Not so much the exclusion of homework, which I will build a case for and argue it with my colleagues; but the idea of delivering an introductory lecture at the start of a new theme or term or topic under study and drawing attention to the questions and issues therein and assign to students a range of collaborative and individual tasks which will involve them researching the material themselves and completing a project assignment. It is possible as in the case mentioned in this article, to include a range of questions related to the issues studied for pupils to answer, perhaps in a piece of report writing, rather than a tedious comprehension-type questionnaire.
However, I do think that homework is overrated unless it involves children working collaboratively on a project over a length of time, that way you know that they are involved in genuine extra curricular learning. On the condition that they can report back to the class on the learning process through an essay or video file.
For Islamic Education, it is time that schools encourage children to keep and manage their individual learning portfolios as evidence of them having learnt and this can be counted as part of their end of term assessment or examination. Homework and written examinations which seek from students to recall information are tools from the past and have little remaining justification in a highly socially connected and technological world. Don’t you agree?

School opening surprise: No more homework

http://coopcatalyst.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/homework-help-or-hassle/

Malick Elias

Should We Challenge Student Beliefs? | Inside Higher Ed

Pedagogy Series 1

AA,
A very good question to consider for those teaching at Senior school plus level. I am often faced with the dilemma myself when I am teaching issues like the Hijab or Muslim head cover for instance. How far should I go in challenging students’ knowledge and understanding of what the Holy Quran’s commands are and their family’s notions of what is ‘Modesty.’ My approach is often to cite the verses and prophet traditions on the matter, and come up with ways to allow students to express their views about what is ‘Modest’ and what is not. This way I can ask leading questions, get them in debate mode and get them to explore all the contradictions and contrasts involved in the issues, without forcing anyone to accept the opinion of the other. I usually end the discussion with closing remarks pointing out to them the difference between a Muslim and Believer and that the ultimate aim of a Muslim is to strive towards the obedience of God in all their actions.
The below article inspired me to make mention of how I deal with sensitive topics. I say sensitive because, only after exploring what teenagers thoughts are on a range of issues that effect them, you realise the struggles that they face within and are likely to hear what you are saying but not agree in the least. What are your thoughts on the matter? What is your approach? Does the following article make any sense to you?

Should We Challenge Student Beliefs? | Inside Higher Ed

Peace be with you all

Malick Elias