Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Homework Book Club Recommendations

I recently received this email:

"Kerry, can you recommend some books to read for an adult book group about homework? I know our teachers aren't following the SRVUSD policy and I'd like to raise awareness and do something about it."

The two books I recommended were:


In fact, these two books launched me into rethinking homework and becoming pro-active about it. The Case Against Homework has many action steps and tools for homework reform that are helpful for parents wanting to create change in their children's school districts. In The Homework Myth, Kohn debunks the myth that homework "promotes higher achievement, reinforces learning, teaches study skills and responsibility."

If these suggestions are too subversive for your taste, a more school-district and teacher-friendly book I'd also recommend is:

This book is endorsed by the ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) so teachers and administrators will be able to stomach it.

As the holidays approach, perhaps the gift of a homework book for some of your children's teachers is a good idea?


  1. Thank you Kerry. Where would Harris Cooper's book fall in regard to the 3 mentioned above. I've read none of them but would like to start reading soon! Look forward to your feedback, thanks!

  2. Harris Cooper is a big fan of homework. He's the one who came up with the 10 minute per grade level rule of thumb. Alfie Kohn reminds us that Harris Cooper's 10 minute rule is not based on any research.

  3. So Cooper could be considered more pro homework than Vatterot? There was an article I recently read (link may have been on your site?) that seemed to paint Cooper as relatively on the fence re. homework. Or maybe better put, as someone who is familiar with the debate and can speak to issues both pro and con.. but from your response seems like this may not be the case. Thoughts? My husband gets triggered when he reads anything that is HUGELY for or against something on a deeply emotional level, I'd love to get a book for both of us to read that is as objective as possible while at the same time highlights the most reputable studies on the issue. Any advice? Thank you!

  4. If you want a mostly impartial view, I'd read Vatterot over Cooper. But my favorites are the other two I mentioned above.