Our own Dr, Gates spoke at Open Forum this week about the purpose of homework. “Just between you and me,” he said, “I want you to realize why we teachers assign homework.”
He began by telling us what homework is not: it is not a punishment, it is not a way to use up time, it is not even ultimately a way of getting permanent knowledge into your head. “You read and take notes on math concepts you may never use again as an adult,” he said. “But learning specific information is not the final goal of homework.”
Dr. Gates explained that the work teachers assign is intended to help students learn how to learn and learn how to pay attention for longer periods of time. “These are the skills that will help you later in life,” he said. Dr. Gates has analyzed his students’ scores on standardized testing over the past 20 years and the data shows an extremely strong correlation between students who do their work and those who improve their scores the most on standardized testing. Moral of the story? Doing your homework is good for you—now and for the rest of your life.