Putting a Halt on Homework – Barrie, Ontario, Canada

In an article in the December 2009 issue of the Ontario Principals’ Council Exemplary Leadership In Public Education, Jan Olson, the principal of the Barrie, Ontario, Canada school which eliminated homework last year, and some teachers from that school, write about their experiences with no homework and why adopting a no homework policy is sound policy.

It’s too bad that so few principals have taken the steps that Olson, and Christine Hendricks (a principal who instituted a no-homework practice at her school in Glenrock, Wyoming) have. Both of those principals discovered benefits to their policies that they didn’t expect. In Olson’s case, students’ grades and test scores increased and he believes it was due to the emphasis placed on teachers working more closely together and working on effective teaching strategies, rather than sending work home with the students. in Hendricks’s case, she found that students came to school better rested and more eager to learn, and that there was a significant decrease in negative interactions between teachers and students.

You can read the article here. (Permission to reprint this article was received by the Ontario Principals’ Council. The original article appeared in The OPCRegister, Vol. 11 No. 4.)

4 thoughts on “Putting a Halt on Homework – Barrie, Ontario, Canada

  1. It’s so wonderful to see some teachers really thinking about what reality is in their daily lives and being sensitive to our modern world. They’re taking a scientific approach to the problem …being professionals in education…and making some really sound decisions based on their experience and research.

    Why is this so hard for other principals and teachers to understand that this is all we parents want? We want schools to be professional, not the snipping, blaming, ivory towers that respond to our concerns.


  2. The article is a coherent, encouraging, breath of fresh air. So nice to see a principal and teachers looking out for students’ best interests and questioning traditional practices that may have no basis in fact. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Sara.


  3. I esp. loved the section on formative assessments (vs. summative) and benefits of these to both students & teachers. What a tremendous difference it could make if most–or all! hey, we can dream–testing moved in this direction.


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