. Should there be and increase in the length of the school day and/or the number of days spent in school? Why or why not?

1. Should educators expect parents to participate directly in their children’s education? If so, why and how should they participate? If not, why not?

I do not think educators should necessarily “expect” participation from parents because often times this expectation leads educators to believe the participating will naturally take place (parent-initiated rather than school-initiated parental involvement). I think if the expectation is set, then educators should meet that expectation with ways they can encourage participating from parents and establish the level of importance of their participation. Many times parents believe it is the sole job of the educator, and they are not aware of the ways in which they can enrich their child’s education. Parental involvement often advances the quality of education children are already receiving. I think teachers can provide a variety of ways for parents to be involved both in and outside of the classroom. If able, parents can volunteer to read to their child’s class or volunteer to help with special events. Outside of school, parents can take the initiative to socialize with their child about school or what they are learning in the classroom. They can help with homework and school projects. Most importantly, parents can attend parent-teacher conferences in order to get on the same page as the educator on how their child is performing inside the classroom.

2. Should children spend more time at home working on homework? Why or why not?

I do not think children should spend more time at home doing homework. Instead of allocating extra work to do outside of the classroom, teachers can provide students the opportunity to finish work at home that they may not have completed in class that day. Many times students are assigned extra work on top of what they were assigned in class, which leads to a lack of participation in extracurricular activities. Children’s peer relationships are noted as an important way for them to grow cognitively, and with an increase in homework the opportunity to interact socially with anyone would significantly decrease.

3. Should there be and increase in the length of the school day and/or the number of days spent in school? Why or why not?

I think this question really depends on where you are located geographically, because I have found in moving across the United States that length of the school day and number of days fluctuate a bit. I think going to school 1/2 of the year is an acceptable amount of time because you are welcoming educational opportunities and developmental growth in a variety of environments besides just the classroom. I think if an increase in the length of time a student spent at school occurred, then other changes would have to follow such as extracurriculars, sports teams and time for homework. Being in my masters program, I am reflecting on my time spent in school and I felt the length of time and days throughout the year was sufficient.

4. Should teachers spend more time during the day on productive activities? If yes, which activities should they eliminate and which activities should teachers spend additional time? If no, why not?

I do think there should be an equal amount of time spent on lecturing and educating students and providing them with activities to implement their learning. As students get older and enter more difficult grade levels, education becomes how you can apply the knowledge rather than simply knowing it. My sister is an elementary school teacher, and she probably does more productive activities than simply teaching all the lessons. Her school’s STEM curriculum encompasses various subjects into interactive activities. They build things, perform experiments and sing and dance while reciting educational lessons. In high school, we would participate in debates and presentations to display our learning. I think education far exceeds sitting down and listening to a teacher, but having the teacher provide her students the opportunity to apply and show off what they are learning.

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