''A Sin Against Childhood''

Progressive Education and the Crusade to Abolish Homework, 1897-1941

by Brian Gill, Steven L. Schlossman


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No item on the nation's educational reform agenda seems more solidly grounded than support for homework — indeed, the more the better. But today's consensus on the virtues of homework represents a sharp break with the past. Many "progressive" educational experts of the early twentieth century regarded homework as inconsistent with the best pedagogical thinking. They lobbied, often successfully, for school policies designed to curtail or eliminate homework. Unlike many other central components of American schooling, which remained largely unchanged over long periods of time, homework has been distinguished by major shifts in policy and practice over the course of the century.

Originally published in: American Journal of Education, v. 105, no 1, November 1996, pp. 27-66.

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