“No homework; No exams.” This is perhaps the most popular statement we love to use when describing our ideal form of better education.
Throughout our interactions with the media, we could not stop them from summarising our school with this statement. We have witnessed, over and over again, posts with this statement would bait the most clicks/reactions on FaceBook from educators and parents.
But I am sorry, that’s not the truth, or at least that’s not what we believe excellent education is only about.
We have homework. We also have exams. Because kids need to practice, and kids need to be assessed.
We bake cakes. We taste them. We bake more. We taste more.
We try different ways to cook steaks. We come up with really creative ways to describe the well-doneness of a piece of steak: Core temperature, color, texture … and we use thermometers, forks and even our palms to assess our steaks.
So the same applies to learning and education. We have things for kids to take home and practice (homework), and we have many forms of assessments (exams).
Therefore, we believe homework should feel challenging and frustrating and fun and meditatively rewarding. Exams should feel anxiously anticipative and insightfully reflective.
Or in other words, the challenge we as parents and educators should give ourselves, is to try our absolute best, to make homework feel like frying steaks, and to turn exams into feasts of tasting all those deliciously fried steaks.