How would you answer this question?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by silverspoon65, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Apr 21, 2009

    I had an interview today where I was asked this question...

    Suppose you have a student. He gets high A's on every test and essay and project you give - 100 or close to it. But he refuses to do homework. He says he knows the material and doesn't need the extra practice in school. What should the kid's grade be?

    I got a really positive response from my answer, but I am curious as to how others would have answered it, then I will share what I said, and what they said.
     
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  3. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Apr 21, 2009

    I have a few of these kids....


    My primary is two fold.....

    First: Prove to me you know it. (This means do what you're doing on the assessments.)

    Second: Don't disrupt my classes. If you can be quiet and just get it....We're cool. If you can help those around you, I'll give you bonus points or find some other way to reward you.




    My secondary is....

    You need to sign up for honors next year!!!!! I'm talking to your parents and your counselor about this. You're nailing my class with no effort. If you're a well behaved student, you're sleeping or doing work for other classes while getting an A in my class.

    You are honor's material!!!!!!!!
     
  4. kacieann

    kacieann Companion

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    Apr 21, 2009

    We are not allowed to grade homework in my district. I can see the ups and downs to this policy, as I am in a low income school and many of my parents are unable to unwilling to help students.
     
  5. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Apr 21, 2009

    I might have the child develop a quality of homework that would be of interest and fulfill some portion of the necessary goals for the class. That is after the child has really shown he know the stuff, maybe through pretests.
     
  6. Camel & Walrus

    Camel & Walrus Rookie

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    Apr 22, 2009

    If the homework is graded as part of the final mark and you are allowed to be flexible I would give him a 50% pass mark for the homework - It will still bring his grade down but the basis of not doing the homework is advanced learning level rather than lack of trying.
     
  7. seduflow

    seduflow Companion

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    Apr 22, 2009

    if the student does well in the class, then he should not be graded against for not doing the homework.
     
  8. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Apr 22, 2009

    I just don't see how giving a student like that an "A" can be justified. If homework is part of the course grade for some students, then it has to be part of the course grade for ALL students. A student can't just be excused from a course requirement because they're "smart".

    It's simply an issue of fairness. What do you tell the kid with the "B" grades when he finds out that the "A" student doesn't have to do the work, but the "B" student does? Where do you draw the line? If you determine that homework is a course requirement, then it must be a requirement for everyone. Period.

    That said, I teach history. My homework assignments are reading assignments with a set of comprehension questions to ensure they did the reading. It isn't additional practice, but is background knowledge for the upcoming class. Students that don't do the homework in my class will be totally lost during discussion. And their grade suffers accordingly.
     
  9. capfortune

    capfortune Rookie

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    Apr 22, 2009

    I would have said that perhaps the student finds the homework too easy so I would set homework that is at his level and expect him to do it. In life we all have obligations and we just can't op out when we feel like it.
     
  10. JustT

    JustT Comrade

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    Apr 22, 2009

    That all depends on how the grade level is set up.

    After looking at the way homework is weighted in my gradebook, I would give a failing grade for HW because that is what the student earned for not completing the assignment. It will only affect the total grade around 3% which means about 1 or 2 points out of a 100.

    If the student knows the material, why make him practice? I'ld aim for him/her to apply their knowledge and create something that utilizes the skill and grade on a rubric.
     
  11. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Apr 23, 2009

    I don't grade homework, and I'd find something that interests him that he can take home and investigate further. I'd tell him that I, too, am not interested in busy work, so let's find a book, a computer research project, an object that can be built, etc. that expands his knowledge of the subject.

    I'd get him to agree that there is joy in learning for the sake of knowledge, and not for the sake of doing homework or because someone expects it of you.
     
  12. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Apr 24, 2009

    How about replying with (not these exact words, but this concept):

    A student can get 100s across the board in school, but if HW is a req & part of the overall grade, then it should be done. It helps prepare students for th real world & teachees them that school & work doesn't stop at 3pm (or 5pm for work). In college, they'll have plenty of HW & they may hv jobs where they'll hv to take work home, so skipping it won't make them a stellar employee. I believe HW should be 5 - 10% of the overall grade. It's similar to how attendance & class participation is part of the overall grade.
     
  13. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    Apr 24, 2009

    I don't see how someone can justify not giving an A to a student that knows the material.

    Why not? If they have demonstrated that they know the material then why the extra busy work?

    you tell them that life isn't fair. Some people have it easier because of their natural ability.
     
  14. BioTeal

    BioTeal Rookie

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    Apr 24, 2009

    I became a H.S. valedictorian despite earning several C's, because all of our A.P. classes had a "you get a 5 on the AP, you get an A in the class" policy. It seemed great to me at the time, but the truth is that policy did me no favors. Only a decade or so after finishing High School did I finally develop something resembling a proper work ethic.

    In this similar scenario, I would not make the student do "extra practice", however.

    According to the neuroscience research of Wozniak, Gorzelanczyk, and Murakowski in the mid 1990s, too-frequent repetitions of knowledge review can be counterproductive for long term memory formation. They found that the ideal time to review a concept is when we are just starting to forget it, and no sooner. They also found that successive "ideal time" reviews using this algorithm got longer and longer in a predictable pattern.

    If I (hopefully) had a more challenging set of knowledge for the student to learn independently, I would have them do so at home using "supermemo" (web based - in case of no home computer) or mnemnosyne (cross-platform and open source), which both use versions of the Wozniak algorithm for scheduling flash card reviews at the correct time. If I didn't have challenge material ready, I would have the student create their own flash cards on a subject area they wanted good long term memory for and study that card deck instead.

    The student could use the flash card software in lieu of the homework from my class on two conditions:
    1. They send me a copy of the log file from mnemosyne, or give me their login info for supermemo each week so I can verify their effort. Verification of their independent study would count as a substitute for their homework grade that week. If they fail to report a week, they must turn in the regular homework the following week for a makeup grade.
    2. They journal any variations in their study habits (music/time of day/sleep) along side a log of the performance data from the application and give me a two to five page report on their personal "brain owner's manual" at the end of the term. (the owner's manual idea is from the "Radical Teaching" blog at PsychologyToday.com). This report would get detailed feedback on their application of the scientific method, but no grade that counts towards the class grade.

    The weekly time expectation would be no more than if they had been forced to do the "busy work" instead.

    To be fair, I would offer this option to any other students who were consistently scoring 100% on tests in the class, not just the one complaining about homework.

    To answer the original question, if the student refuses to do either their homework or this "plan B", then they will lose 10% of their grade (still possible to get an 'A' if they have perfect 100%s everywhere else, but even the tiniest slip causes them to earn a 'B' instead).
     
  15. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Apr 24, 2009

    Homework is not always about the material. It is sometimes about responsibility. I think it would depend on the age.
     

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