New York Public School Abolishes Homework
Jane Hsu, principal of P.S. 116 in New York City, cites research that suggests students up until fifth grade would benefit more from playing and spending time with family.
Students at a New York City public elementary school are pinching themselves this week after their principal announced that homework had been abolished. According to this report from DNA Info, the children -- all pre-K to fifth grade -- are instead being told to play, read books, and spend time with their families.
I can only imagine how awful the recently promoted sixth graders must feel.
Jane Hsu, principal of P.S. 116, cites research that suggests students of this age group would benefit more from non-homework activities. She says the school spent a year looking over various studies and concluded that there are better methods for fostering academic and personal success than through take-home assignments. Some of the school's parents are countering with accusations that eliminating homework will stunt the development of healthy study habits. There's also the worry that these formative years ought not to be wasted while children's memories are still strong.
While it's generally understood that too much homework at a young age can be detrimental, there's also research pointing to the benefits that come with homework habits, in particular to kids with learning disabilities. An objective look at the research leads to the realization that the jury is still out on whether homework helps or hurts. In all likelihood, this just isn't the sort of thing that can be generalized. Homework is not good for all; it's not bad for all. So much depends on what each kid needs on an individual, case-by-case basis.
When the dust settles from the initial outrage, P.S. 116 will be a very interesting school to keep an eye on. Researchers will doubtlessly analyze whatever effects result from every student's dream come true: the abolition of homework. Until then, kids across the country can keep their fingers crossed that P.S. 116 becomes the highest performing school in the world.
Read more at DNA Info.
Photo credit: Pressmaster / Shutterstock
Step inside the unlikely friendship of a former ACLU president and an ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice.
- Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were unlikely friends. They debated each other at events all over the world, and because of that developed a deep and rewarding friendship – despite their immense differences.
- Scalia, a famous conservative, was invited to circles that were not his "home territory", such as the ACLU, to debate his views. Here, Strossen expresses her gratitude and respect for his commitment to the exchange of ideas.
- "It's really sad that people seem to think that if you disagree with somebody on some issues you can't be mutually respectful, you can't enjoy each other's company, you can't learn from each other and grow in yourself," says Strossen.
- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Learn how to redesign your job for maximum reward.
- Broaching the question "What is my purpose?" is daunting – it's a grandiose idea, but research can make it a little more approachable if work is where you find your meaning. It turns out you can redesign your job to have maximum purpose.
- There are 3 ways people find meaning at work, what Aaron Hurst calls the three elevations of impact. About a third of the population finds meaning at an individual level, from seeing the direct impact of their work on other people. Another third of people find their purpose at an organizational level. And the last third of people find meaning at a social level.
- "What's interesting about these three elevations of impact is they enable us to find meaning in any job if we approach it the right way. And it shows how accessible purpose can be when we take responsibility for it in our work," says Hurst.
Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.
- The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
- The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing models, without resorting to "dark matter".
- While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company, has also engaged in test programs with the United States Postal Service and Amazon.
PAUL RATJE / Contributor
- This week, UPS announced that it's working with autonomous trucking startup TuSimple on a pilot project to deliver cargo in Arizona using self-driving trucks.
- UPS has also acquired a minority stake in TuSimple.
- TuSimple hopes its trucks will be fully autonomous — without a human driver — by late 2020, though regulatory questions remain.