Reinforcing Learning | What We Can Do Better

Archana, R (2023) Reinforcing Learning | What We Can Do Better. Learning Curve (17). pp. 29-35. ISSN 2582-1644

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In the book The Homework Myth by Alfie Kohn, there is a structured exploration of the myths about homework, how it is constantly defended by teachers and parents, and ways that data can be misread to continue the practice. The most interesting, convincing, and altogether horrifying defence of the arguments made in the book that I have come across is in a documentary by Irani filmmaker, Abbas Kiarostami. In his documentary titled Homework, the renowned director asks Iranian children from different age groups simple questions about homework. He asks them about how much homework they get, how much time it takes them to complete it, whether they get support to complete it and about their favourite activities. It is clear that the children get too much homework, and completing it takes up most of their time after school. But what the documentary also does is that it explores in a subtle, nuanced way the effect homework has on children. When children were asked if they preferred homework or watching cartoons, each of them instinctively said, ‘homework’. A lot of children stick to the same answer even when probed. Only one or two of them admit (quite shyly), after several attempts, that they prefer to watch cartoons. We understand that this shyness, hesitation, and need to respond promptly is the overarching effect of children doing something that is clearly uninteresting and unhelpful to their learning experience but has been established as a marker of a good student.

Item Type: Articles in APF Magazines
Authors: Archana, R
Document Language:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Learning, Education
Subjects: Social sciences > Education
Divisions: Azim Premji University > University Publications > Learning Curve
Full Text Status: Public
Publisher URL:

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