ForumTouchy Subjects ► School is bad, homework is worse
American public school system sucks. this is for public schools only. college stuff is a whole other can of worms.

i'm mostly salty at how much homework i have.

edit: to clarify, i think having a good education is important. not bashing education as a concept. i just don't like how it's executed, particularly in the US. also, when i post in the touchy subjects category, i feel that the words i say are very heavily scrutinized so please don't take what i say too seriously.
I have a friend who says the school system is fucked up, and wants to sue the schools for the system.

[Edit]: But for me, I agree with you.
Sueing the schools is probably the worst way to go about it. Half the reason the system is so broken is because they don't have enough funding, sueing the school and taking their money just makes that problem worse.
He gave good reasoning to do it, but I forgot it, and I agree with you. I don't think suing the school is a good idea.
I don't like school but its mainly a motivational problem
I actually think the whole schools don't have enough funding thing is a myth and not a real problem. I've heard this again and again in America and I don't believe the money is the problem, I think its a systemic problem.

America pays its teachers and funds its schools competitively by first world standards. Source. We are usually in the top five in the world or close to it for maximum pay, and only Denmark, Germany, and Luxemborg have a comparable or higher starting salary looking at this chart.

Also to keep in mind this is for probably 9 months of work, it would be closer to 8 because of Winter and Spring and Thanksgiving breaks, but I assume teachers have some wrap up work after school and some pre school opening work days so we'll be generous and say they work a standard 9 months.

No, there's plenty enough money thrown at schools, money isn't the problem. Its a standard teacher culture to complain about money and perpetuate that myth, which is stupid to me. However, there were older teachers who had real world jobs and careers before becoming a teacher and switching livelihoods and having been out in the real world the vast majority of them said the pay was great.

Its always a matter of perspective. I think the myth of teachers complaining about money might come more from the fact that there might not be much in their control to influence their pay or how fast it rises.

America doesn't want any kids to fail so they've set up a system where you can get all As merely by attending class every day and memorizing some stuff. Teachers have a lot of pressure for kids to all have good grades and this really bogs down the whole system.

I've had teachers constantly slow down lectures and postpone tests and slow the school year to a crawl to make sure everyone was doing well. This is fine in theory, but it was the kids who couldn't care less who were being yanked and tugged against their will to have good grades that were holding up progress.

Kids used to be responsible for their own grades.

We don't teach foreign language to elementary students. We don't teach advanced mathematics or science. We wait til a child's last 4 years to cram down a bunch of knowledge they should've been learning starting at age six or seven.

I've met acquaintances from foreign countries like China and some from the continent of Europe and they were all learning advanced math and foreign languages in elementary school.

There's no good reason America holds all its useful education until high school and then wonders why we are all so far behind the rest of the world in education, math, science, engineering, etc.

Throwing more money at schools and teachers isn't going to fix that problem.

Edit: The reason homework is mostly awful is that its mostly just busy work that's time consuming to make a kid look and feel productive. Homework doesn't often let you do any critical thinking, independent research, or anything useful in the real world. Sometimes it does! But hardly ever.

Most of the time its just memorize this date, write an essay on this chapter of a book with an emphasis on allegory or metaphor or whatever, memorize these latin prefixes, read this chapter on cellular structure - and don't worry about comprehension, just answer some questions about mitochondria being the power house of the cell.

American education is embarrassingly inept at educating people. Its a national disgrace.
When I was last in high school over a decade ago, I never really felt like I had too much homework or that it was just busywork. I wonder how things have changed.
I've met acquaintances from foreign countries like China and some from the continent of Europe and they were all learning advanced math and foreign languages in elementary school.
I'm curious what advanced math these kids are getting at age < ~14.
I have some pretty distinct memories of hating Spanish class in early grade school. I think it was middle school, though.

lmao I even made a video about how much I hated it almost exactly 10 years ago. So yea, around middle school years.
Haha, I'm sitting in spanish class right now, hating it.
Spanish was actually one of my favorites. I keep telling myself I'm gonna get back on Duolingo and finish my education, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
That was something, Eric. 😂

Duolingo's great because it weaponizes my loss aversion to force me to practice.
eric that animation was the best thing
Duolingo's great because it weaponizes my loss aversion to force me to practice.
Yeah, they're holding my first born hostage until I can order a meal in Spanish so I really gotta get on it. However, it is peaceful and quiet around here without having to look after the kid.

Edit: Eric that video is unironically amazing.
what is achieved by making students go through pain, suffering, and stress? what could they learn through this method that couldn't be achieved in any other way?
The more flippant and cynical side of me wants to say that pain, suffering, and stress are basic facts of adult life, and school prepares us to deal with them. But I won't say it!
i dont under stand homework. like we are at school for 6 hours a day for 5 days a week. how in the fuck do you not have enough time to teach us that we have to have homework
that argument is so true though
There are times where a teacher really can't teach something that you need to know. I personally liked a majority of my schooling, but probably because of the way I worked.

One example I like to bring up is math. I can't describe how much I dislike the way math is taught in public schools. I tested into a college-level math program in middle school (somehow), and the way they taught math was so much different than what you'd get in a public school. Instead of listing off concepts piece by piece, the class mixed up lectures with imaginative ideas (we learned vector fields by having students line up in a line and wave their hands around). Teaching is meant to inspire, and homework is meant to reinforce. The curriculum I see in some classes really is dreadful, which makes the reinforcement homework feel so much more tedious.

Another one of my favorite classes at high school was one of the newer engineering classes. There wasn't much structure; you were given a project and a due date, a guide or two and about two days' worth of instruction. It was then up to you to search stuff up, ask questions, and work with your peers to try and engineer a solution to the project you were given. Usually there was some initial direction to not let everyone be totally lost, but you learned by doing, not by copying.

But I digress. Teachers that may not have time to teach could also just be too invested in their subject. I know our French teacher (although pretty harsh) was really passionate about the subject. We'd always run out of time in class, but you couldn't argue that you didn't learn at least something. Just like anything, you can't get good at something without practice, and school isn't any different. If you were just told how your math formulas can be used, have you really learned anything? Do you know why the formulas are used? Why they're important? What situations they can be applied? That type of comprehension is something that can be built with homework (good homework, mind you; there's a lot of bad homework out there).

As an example from my current computer science class; we had to re-implement an easier version of Git as one of our projects. Git's already a widely used tool for programmers, so it wasn't an easy feat. We were given a detailed project spec, but all of the code and implementation ideas had to come from us. Sure, you can give three lectures a week slowly going over each method and class your implementation should follow, but that would produce one result over the period of maybe 6 weeks. Instead, we had it as a project, where we could design the entire product ourselves with minimal starter code. We got to create a product from the ground up as a homework assignment. That's good homework.
Yeah, Mathy basically just said all my thoughts but better. Homework's purpose is to reinforce through distributed practice, which helps you keep knowledge better than simply learning it once. It's the same reason why cramming everything the night before a test doesn't work very well, your short term memory hasn't had enough use of it to convert it into long term memory.

If your teacher is introducing new concepts through homework, they are either doing it wrong or you are in some form of class where you expected to have some self-agency to teach yourself how to do it. If your teacher is reinforcing new concepts that you already learned in class, they are doing it right.

Unnecessary tedium is a different topic alltogether, though.
I personally prefer pre-reading at home followed by worked problems with access to a teacher/tutor during class. It's the way my first year physics courses worked, but it involves more dedication from the student than learn in class-reinforce at home.
^ In the US at least that's sometimes called a flipped classroom (I think).
Instead, we had it as a project, where we could design the entire product ourselves with minimal starter code. We got to create a product from the ground up as a homework assignment. That's good homework.
Those are the most fun and can be an awesome learning experience. There is a danger though where some students get behind early, and then they're screwed. We tried to ameliorate that in a course I used to TA by providing a reference solution at the end of each week, but it does lose some of the charm of building a long project from the ground up. Also I think those kinds of very open-ended projects may be too hard for younger students.
This is something I’ve noticed after having been helping a 9th grader relative with their homework and studying all year: they give y’all a lot of homework and about 3/4 of it is mindless, easy bullshit like color and label a map that my relative usually ignores, and I don’t blame them (still just do your damn homework), and then the other 1/4 is actually somewhat challenging but they throw it in with the mindless bullshit. It’s led to my relative and some of their classmates ignoring huge swathes of homework and letting the harder, high points assignments go to the wayside along with the stupid shit. Looking back on when I was in high school and seeing this now, it makes me wonder if a big part of k12 students being given a huge volume of mindless assignments has more to do with “discipline” than it does with actually learning much.

Basically what I’m saying is just do your damn homework because sometimes I get kinda tired of “cousin Antimony, it’s 11:00pm and I haven’t done any of my algebra homework from this week because I’ve been doing nothing but watching YouTube every evening and afternoon and night and it’s all due tonight at 11:59 on a Friday, can you help me by doing half, maybe 3/4 of it please and just teach me the hard stuff yourself right after you get off work on Monday?” I mean the answer is always “Fine, but you gotta play Siege or Black Ops with me later,” but come on. It sucks ass, yeah, but you’ll stop even being given homework before you know it.
Eric-616 said:
lmao I even made a video about how much I hated it almost exactly 10 years ago. So yea, around middle school years.

That shit is beautiful.
Math homework is FUN
Science homework is AWESOME
English homework
History homework is COOL
Art homework is EXPRESSIVE
Forum > Touchy Subjects > School is bad, homework is worse