Research has found that homework offers no real benefit to primary school children. According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, 95% of 10 and 11 year old children in Australia are given homework, but Richard Walker from Sydney University’s education faculty says only students in years 11 and 12 benefit from after-school work. “The amount of homework is a really critical issue for kids. If they are overloaded they are not going to be happy and not going to enjoy it,” he said.
Meanwhile, in France a group of parents are boycotting homework. They say “its useless, tiring and reinforces inequalities between children.” Homework is officially banned for primary school children in France, but teachers send students home with work anyway. This is from The Guardian:
“They say homework pushes the responsibility for learning on parents and causes rows between themselves and their children. And they conclude children would be better off reading a book.
‘If the child hasn’t succeeded in doing the exercise at school, I don’t see how they’re going to succeed at home,’ said Jean-Jacques Hazan, the president of the FCPE, the main French parents’ association, which represents parents and pupils in most of France’s educational establishments. ‘In fact, we’re asking parents to do the work that should be done in lessons’.”
What are your thoughts on homework?
High-class escorts in Spain are striking. ‘They’re refusing to have sex with the country’s most powerful bankers – until they agree to open up credit lines to struggling families. “We are the only ones with a real ability to pressure the sector,” Madrid’s largest luxury prostitute trade association said. “We have been on strike for three days now and we don’t think they can withstand much more,’ said a women, known as Ana MG. Apparently the bankers have been trying to get around the protest by posing as engineers or architects, but they’re “not fooling anyone.”
A 37-year-old man who was injured in a gun accident in the US in 1997 has been given a new face in what doctors say is the most extensive face transplant ever. Richard Lee Norris received a new face, teeth, tongue and jaw in last week’s surgery – and has already begun to feel his face and recover his sense of smell.
Mr Norris has been living as a recluse since the accident 15 years ago. His surgeon, Eduardo Rodriguez, said the surgery would give him back his life. “It’s a surreal experience to look at him. It’s hard not to stare. Before, people used to stare at Richard because he wore a mask and they wanted to see the deformity,” he said. “Now, they have another reason to stare at him, and it’s really amazing.”
Could hi-tech surveillance cameras be the key to stopping school yard bullies? Twenty five government and non-government schools in NSW received funding for CCTV cameras, fencing and lighting from the Federal Government’s Secure Schools Program. And they say the extra security has cut the instances of bullying and the number of break-ins and vandalism. Doonside Technology High School reported a 70 per cent drop in bullying since the cameras were installed.
The report in The Daily Telegraph said the “funding was not specifically targeted at “student bullying, harassment, student violence and child protection or opportunistic acts of vandalism or property crime in schools”. But data obtained under information access laws shows video footage has been reviewed by school bosses during the investigation of serious incidents between students.”
The cameras are banned in change rooms and toilets and parents are kept informed about camera positioning.
What do you think of the idea of CCTV cameras in schools?
The Syrian Government has reportedly accepted a peace plan designed by Kofi Annan, which aims to end bloodshed in the country. “The Syrian government has written to the Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan accepting his six-point plan, endorsed by the United Nations Security Council,” Mr Annan’s spokesman said. The plan aims to end violence in the region, provide aid to the suffering and and create an environment “conductive to political dialogue”. It also calls for a daily two-hour humanitarian ceasefire.
Meanwhile, the UN has increased its estimate of how many people have been killed in president Bashar al-Assad’s crack down on protestors over the past year to more than 9000.
A Victorian man who helped a friend conceive using IVF has won limited access the child while the court decides if he’s legally a parent. The Herald Sun reported: “The wealthy entrepreneur wiped away tears as he listened to evidence of the potential damage his son might suffer from not knowing his biological dad. The unusual case has highlighted an apparent conflict between state and Commonwealth law regarding known sperm donors, which could potentially affect other single Victorian women using IVF to conceive.”
The woman’s barrister said it was always her intention to be a single mother and that the child should not be considered a child who had never had a father, but “a child for whom the father is not a parent”. The man’s barrister said his client wanted to be “an active, involved and significant figure in this child’s life.”
A study of more than 220,000 people over the age of 45 has found that those who spend 11+ hours sitting down every day have a 40% higher chance of dying within the next three years. Those who sit for just 8 hours have a 15% greater chance of death. The 45 and Up study also found sitting down all day could lead to physiological issues. The researchers founds that even standing up a few times a day can be beneficial to overall mental and physical health.
How many hours a day are you sitting down?
Have you seen anything in the news you want to talk about?