Let’s think more broadly. It’s argued that those who wish to learn are self-motivated and express a long-term desire for exploration and pursuit, which ultimately results in better understanding and useful life skills. Like many prominent educational systems, we at Lipa readily support children’s natural desire to learn – a hands-on learning that allows children to be active learners rather than passive observers. Why separate learning and play? Children find it one and the same.
That is, until they hit the wall of compulsory education. Their inner motivation to learn is gradually played down (no pun intended) by compulsory learning. If this is the case, how can contrasting approaches coexist? How do we encourage and reap the benefits of freewill learning in an environment governed by compulsory schooling?
The world is changing
Meanwhile, we’re observing changes in society’s employment structures and social norms. Half of the jobs will disappear over the next 25 years, claims an Oxford University study. Choosing a job is a thing of the past. The market says we should go and create one instead. Know yourself, be flexible and adaptable, and focus more on continuous lifelong learning.
So what does it all mean? Compulsory homework or not, in order for children to keep abreast of said developments, to grow up and succeed, they will primarily need to focus on their self-understanding and their own individual talent(s). Who are we, what are we good at, how do we learn and how can we adapt to changes? The answer to those questions will shape their learning, work, and their entire lives.
Individual approach is the key
We assume that individual strengths and talents need to be explored and nourished in order for children to transition from school to open society. The educational system should keep finding ways to support this. Without a doubt, schools ought to keep reevaluating their approach to the individualization of classroom instruction (including homework) and teachers’ roles. A desirable priority is respecting free will, various learning styles, differences in development, and the positive effects such respect can have on learning.
Parents, too, have a significant role to play. We can all help facilitate an environment where children will want to learn naturally and pursue the requirements that life throws at them. Make it individual, relevant and appropriate to the individual take the “compulsory” and “work” parts out of the equation. Help children love learning, and they will never feel they have to work a day in their lives.
Frey, C.B. Osborne, M., (2013). The Future of Employment. Oxford, UK: Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment, University of Oxford. Retrieved April 12, 2018, from: http://www.eng.ox.ac.uk/about/news/new-study-shows-nearly-half-of-us-jobs-at-risk-of-computerisation
Is homework a good idea or not? (2017). BBC Newsround. Retrieved April 12, 2018, from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/38383428
Jak se z touhy učit se stane sběratelství známek. (2010). Český rozhlas. Retrieved April 12, 2018, from http://www.rozhlas.cz/leonardo/audioslideshow/_zprava/jak-se-z-touhy-ucit-se-stane-sberatelstvi-znamek–816191
Kopřiva, P. (2008). Respektovat a být respektován. Kroměříž: Spirála.