Are you Team Homework or Team No Homework?
It’s a divisive question. Homework has been the subject of debate since the invention of school (probably).
On one side, homework is seen as an added stress that does more harm than good; on the other, homework is seen as important and necessary.
So who’s right and who’s wrong? Well, that’s hard to say. Here are both sides of the argument.
Take a look – what do you think? Add your comment below!
Homework reinforces students’ learningThink of it as a reflection on learning – homework gives students the chance to strengthen what they learned during the day, or what they’re learning about throughout the term.
Practice makes perfectWant to get better at something? Practise it. It’s true of just about everything.
Purposeful homework encourages your students to practise, rehearse and perfect the concepts and skills you teach them every day.
Homework gives parents an insight into their children's learningIt’s a chance for parents to connect with their children and see what they’re doing each day.
This is probably the biggest case for homework. In many cases, it’s the parents who want homework – to see their child’s learning being extended and pushed outside the classroom.
It’s ‘character building’Students are not just completing tasks when they do homework, no sir.
They’re also learning to be independent and self-disciplined, and are developing time management and research skills.
Now we're talking...!
Children need playEinstein (apparently) said it best: “Play is the highest form of research.”
There’s a good amount of evidence backing him up, too. Research suggests that play can have a massive impact on a child’s academic achievement, not to mention their character development, safety, and overall health.
Check out our blog on creating a play-friendly classroom.
Not all students’ home lives were created equalNo surprises here!
Your students aren’t on a level playing field when it comes to their lives outside your classroom: some children have parents who can support them with their homework, some children don’t.
This is a biggie. So much so, in fact, that former French president Francois Holland proposed a ‘no homework’ policy in his plans for education reform in 2012.
Students are already at school at least six hours a dayThat’s practically a full-time job, especially when you factor in all the added extra-curricular things your students get up to. They’re busy bees!
Now put yourself in their shoes and imagine you’ve been given more work to do when you get home. That’s rough! (Imagine? You say. You know I’m a teacher, right? Yes, yes we do. And we applaud you.)
It doesn’t increase engagement…… or any kind of improvement in academic performance, actually.
Worldwide, homework isn’t associated with high national levels of academic achievement. In fact, in many cases, it only contributes to students developing negative attitudes toward school in general. (Sad face.)
Homework – what do you think?
Do you think homework is good for kids? Should it be abolished? Find out the pros and cons of homework for students and join our education poll and debate.
Should kids have homework?
We are debating many contentious issues concerning education such as the use of computers, school uniforms, and homeschooling. Now we turn our attention to another longstanding debate: Should students have homework? Homework is a widespread practice in both public and private schoools. If we were to conduct a poll among children anywhere in the world on whether keeping or eliminating homework, an overwhelming majority of them would probably vote to abolish it. For kids, these assignments reduce playing time and can be a source of stress. But education has to be decided by adults, that's why we analize here the pros and cons of doing homework as a form of supplementary education.
Pros and cons of homework
Some researchers have identified a strong correlation between homework and academic success. Harris Cooper, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, led a meta-analysis in 2006, "Does homework improve academic achievement?," which showed that homework can improve students' scores on class tests. The study demonstrated that accross different topics, including Math, English, American History, and Social studies, student who had done homework performed better than their classmates who had not.
In addition to improving grades and results in standardized tests, there are many other pros to homework such as:
- Homework provides parents with the opportunity to participate in their children's education.
- Possibility for kids to further explore a subject at their own pace. Not all children have the same capacity to assimilate all the information covered in class.
- School assignments can help develop a sense of responsibility and time management.
- It facilitates rote learning.
- It reduces the time kids spend watching TV as well as playing video games and with their cell phones.
- Homework is an opportunity to practice some research and study skills and deepen understanding of some concepts which cannot be fully developed in class.
However, some voices have started to point out some disadvantages of doing homework and questioned the traditional education model in place. Some of them claim that homework should be abolished. The publication “The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learning” by Kralovec and Buell (2000) has brought into the discussion a very interesting new angle. Kralovec and Buell argue that homework contributes to a competitive culture that overvalues work to the detriment of personal and family well-being. Moreover, there are several other problems associated to homework, such as:
- Homework is very unfair because economically disadvantaged students can’t study at home with the same conditions and support as the wealthier children.
- Too many school assignments can excessively reduce the time for playing, doing sports or simply interacting socially with friends and family. Homework can also interfere with kids' household chores.
- Cheating is easy. Often students simply plagiarize their assignments from others or from the Internet and therefore the learning objectives of homework are not fulfilled. In occasions parents or older relatives do children's coursework.
- Sometimes homework is not well designed and do not really contribute to learning. In other cases homework is not marked shortly after being submitted and, therefore, feedback does not reach students as soon as it should. Students may get frustrated and lose interest.
- It may keep students up late at night, reduce their sleeping time and therefore their performance in class the following day.
- As Galloway et al (2013) show, homework can be a source of stress and physical health problems for children.
To summarize, there are several pros and cons to the use of homework as educational tool for children. What side of the debate are you on? Do you think homework is overall good or bad for the development and education of children? Vote and tell us why (see below).
Watch these videos on the homework debate:
Should kids have homework? Pros and cons of school assignments Vote and explain why in your experience homework is good or bad for children.
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