Arguments against homework
Throughout the first few decades of the 20th century, educators commonly believed that homework helped create disciplined minds. By 1940, growing concern that homework interfered with other home activities sparked a reaction against it. Education lacked rigor; schools viewed more rigorous homework as a partial solution to the problem. By 1980, the trend had reversed again, with some learning theorists claiming that homework could be detrimental to students' mental health. Since then, impassioned arguments for and against homework have continued to now stand at an interesting intersection in the evolution of the homework debate. Arguments against homework are becoming louder and more popular, as evidenced by several recent books as well as an editorial in ne (wallis, 2006) that presented these arguments as truth without much discussion of alternative perspectives. At the same time, a number of studies have provided growing evidence of the usefulness of homework when employed case for rk is typically defined as any tasks “assigned to students by school teachers that are meant to be carried out during nonschool hours” (cooper, 1989a, p. A number of synthesis studies have been conducted on homework, spanning a broad range of methodologies and levels of specificity (see fig. Synthesis studies on of effect , weinstein, &walberg, l effects of l effects of l, weinstein, & walberg, rk versus no rk versus no , 1992; fraser, walberg, welch, & hattie, l effects of teacher , robinson, & patall, rk versus no : this figure describes the eight major research syntheses on the effects of homework published from 1983 to 2006 that provide the basis for the analysis in this article. Commenting on studies that attempted to examine the causal relationship between homework and student achievement by comparing experimental (homework) and control (no homework) groups, cooper, robinson, and patall (2006) noted,With only rare exceptions, the relationship between the amount of homework students do and their achievement outcomes was found to be positive and statistically significant. Therefore, we think it would not be imprudent, based on the evidence in hand, to conclude that doing homework causes improved academic achievement. Case against gh the research support for homework is compelling, the case against homework is popular.
The end of homework: how homework disrupts families, overburdens children, and limits kralovec and buell (2000), considered by many to be the first high-profile attack on homework, asserted that homework contributes to a corporate-style, competitive u. The authors called for people to unite against homework and to lobby for an extended school day instead. Similar call for action came from bennett and kalish (2006) in the case against homework: how homework is hurting our children and what we can do about it. They provided evidence that too much homework harms students' health and family time, and they asserted that teachers are not well trained in how to assign homework. The authors suggested that individuals and parent groups should insist that teachers reduce the amount of homework, design more valuable assignments, and avoid homework altogether over breaks and a third book, the homework myth: why our kids get too much of a bad thing (2006a), kohn took direct aim at the research on homework. For example, referring to harris cooper, the lead author of the two leading meta-analyses on homework, kohn noted,A careful reading of cooper's own studies . Reveals further examples of his determination to massage the numbers until they yield something—anything—on which to construct a defense of homework for younger children. Also attacked a section on homework in our book classroom instruction that works (marzano, pickering, & pollock, 2001). Concluded that research fails to demonstrate homework's effectiveness as an instructional tool and recommended changing the “default state” from an expectation that homework assigned to an expectation that homework will not be assigned. According to kohn, teachers should only assign homework when they can justify that the assignments are “beneficial” (2006a, p. Finally, kohn urged teachers to involve students in deciding what homework, and how much, they should of kohn's recommendations have merit. For example, it makes good sense to only assign homework that is beneficial to student learning instead of assigning homework as a matter of policy.
However, his misunderstanding or misrepresentation of the research sends the inaccurate message that research does not support homework. Kohn's allegations that researchers are trying to mislead practitioners and the general public are unfounded and detract from a useful debate on effective dangers of ignoring the nly, inappropriate homework may produce little or no benefit—it may even decrease student achievement. Schools should strengthen their policies to ensure that teachers use homework a district or school discards homework altogether, however, it will be throwing away a powerful instructional tool. Cooper and colleagues' (2006) comparison of homework with no homework indicates that the average student in a class in which appropriate homework was assigned would score 23 percentile points higher on tests of the knowledge addressed in that class than the average student in a class in which homework was not s the most important advantage of homework is that it can enhance achievement by extending learning beyond the school day. Drop the use of homework, then, a school or district would be obliged to identify a practice that produces a similar effect within the confines of the school day without taking away or diminishing the benefits of other academic activities—no easy accomplishment. To enact effective homework policies, however, schools and districts must address the following gh teachers across the k–12 spectrum commonly assign homework, research has produced no clear-cut consensus on the benefits of homework at the early elementary grade levels. Even so, cooper (1989b) still recommended homework for elementary students rk for young children should help them develop good study habits, foster positive attitudes toward school, and communicate to students the idea that learning takes work at home as well as at school. Cooper, robinson, and patall (2006) meta-analysis found the same pattern of stronger relationships at the secondary level but also identified a number of studies at grades 2, 3, and 4 demonstrating positive effects for homework. 2007), cooper noted that homework should have different purposes at different grade levels:For students in the earliest grades, it should foster positive attitudes, habits, and character traits; permit appropriate parent involvement; and reinforce learning of simple skills introduced in students in upper elementary grades, it should play a more direct role in fostering improved school 6th grade and beyond, it should play an important role in improving standardized test scores and spent on of the more contentious issues in the homework debate is the amount of time students should spend on homework. The cooper synthesis (1989a) reported that for junior high school students, the benefits increased as time increased, up to 1 to 2 hours of homework a night, and then decreased. The cooper, robinson, and patall (2006) study reported similar findings: 7 to 12 hours of homework per week produced the largest effect size for 12th grade students. The researchers suggested that for 12th graders the optimum amount of homework might lie between 1.
For example, good and brophy (2003) cautioned that teachers must take care not to assign too much homework. Robinson, and patall (2006) also issued a strong warning about too much homework:Even for these oldest students, too much homework may diminish its effectiveness or even become counterproductive. 92), which states that all daily homework assignments combined should take about as long to complete as 10 minutes multiplied by the student's grade level. He added that when required reading is included as a type of homework, the 10-minute rule might be increased to 15 ng on the amount of time students spend on homework, however, may miss the point. A significant proportion of the research on homework indicates that the positive effects of homework relate to the amount of homework that the student than the amount of time spent on homework or the amount of homework actually assigned. Thus, simply assigning homework may not produce the desired effect—in fact, ill-structured homework might even have a negative effect on student achievement. Teachers must carefully plan and assign homework in a way that maximizes the potential for student success (see research-based homework guidelines). In addition, many parents report that they feel unprepared to help their children with homework and that their efforts to help frequently cause stress (see balli, 1998; corno, 1996; hoover-dempsey, bassler, & burow, 1995; perkins & milgram, 1996). And colleagues conducted a series of studies to identify the conditions under which parental involvement enhances homework (epstein, 2001; epstein & becker, 1982; van voorhis, 2003). Beyond the gh research has established the overall viability of homework as a tool to enhance student achievement, for the most part the research does not provide recommendations that are specific enough to help busy practitioners. Homework is a perfect example: figure 1 includes synthesis studies that go back as far as 60 years, yet all that research translates to a handful of recommendations articulated at a very general addition, research in a specific area, such as homework, sometimes contradicts research in related areas. For example, cooper (2007) recommended on the basis of 60-plus years of homework research that teachers should not comment on or grade every homework assignment.
She commented,When reported in the popular media, medical research often appears as a blunt instrument, able to obliterate skeptics or opponents by the force of its evidence and arguments. Like medical practitioners, education practitioners must develop their own “local knowledge base” on homework and all other aspects of teaching. Educators can develop the most effective practices by observing changes in the achievement of the students with whom they work every ch-based homework guidelinesresearch provides strong evidence that, when used appropriately, homework benefits student achievement. To make sure that homework is appropriate, teachers should follow these guidelines:Assign purposeful homework. Legitimate purposes for homework include introducing new content, practicing a skill or process that students can do independently but not fluently, elaborating on information that has been addressed in class to deepen students' knowledge, and providing opportunities for students to explore topics of their own homework to maximize the chances that students will complete it. Students should be able to complete homework assignments independently with relatively high success rates, but they should still find the assignments challenging enough to be e parents in appropriate ways (for example, as a sounding board to help students summarize what they learned from the homework) without requiring parents to act as teachers or to police students' homework lly monitor the amount of homework assigned so that it is appropriate to students' age levels and does not take too much time away from other home , s. The case against homework: how homework is hurting our children and what we can do about it. Interactive homework in middle school: effects on family involvement and science l of educational research, 96, 323–g, h. Time, 168(10), a more detailed response to kohn's views on homework, see marzano & pickering (2007) and marzano & pickering (in press). Homework grows, so do arguments against gton post staff y, september 12, nation's best-known researcher on homework has taken a new look at the subject, and here is what duke university professor harris cooper has to say:Elementary school students get no academic benefit from homework -- except reading and some basic skills practice -- and yet schools require more than school students studying until dawn probably are wasting their time because there is no academic benefit after two hours a night; for middle-schoolers, 1 1/2 what's perhaps more important, he said, is that most teachers get little or no training on how to create homework assignments that advance controversy over homework that has raged for more than a century in u. Education is reheating with new research by educators and authors about homework's purpose and one has gone as far as the american child health association did in the 1930s, when it pinned homework and child labor as leading killers of children who contracted tuberculosis and heart disease. But the arguments seem to get louder with each new school year: there is too much homework or too little; assignments are too boring or overreaching; parents are too involved or negligent.
The nation's classrooms, teachers say they work hard to conform to school board policies and parent demands that do not always match what they think is the best thing for teachers themselves don't uniformly agree on something as basic as the purpose of homework (reviewing vs. And the result can be inconsistency in assignments and confusion for is part of the reason some educators and authors are making new cases for the elimination of homework entirely, including in the new book "the homework myth," by alfie points to family conflict, stress and cooper's research as reasons for giving kids other things to do to develop their minds and bodies after school besides homework. Reasons kids need homework and 5 reasons they don'e free lesson plans, printables, and worksheets by email:Lesson plans and teacher tons of new worksheets? Reasons kids need homework and 5 reasons they don' benefits of homework has been debated by teachers and parents for the very word evokes very negative connotations to every involved, students,Parents and teachers. Although many people think of homework as doing than good by causing copious amounts of unnecessary stress to everyone,Others believe that it has great advantages for children by to think more independently outside the first benefit of homework is that it allows students and teachers more closely together. They can discuss their assignments or any they are having with parts of their textbooks, before or after second benefit is that it can bring families closer together as ask their parents or siblings for help on their homework. Not only help the students get a better understanding of their work with they are stuck on, it will also allow parents to get more their child's educational y, doing homework will prepare students for the big end tests. It also provides the opportunity to practice at what it takes to be successful in they say, practice makes homework is also a great way to develop responsibilities. However,Some parents, students and even some teachers feel that after 7-8 lessons in school, it is unfair to expect students to come home and another three first reason that children should not be given homework is that time to relax and take their minds off work. The pressure of complete homework every night is quite daunting for most children need time to refresh their minds and ly, it reduces the amount of time that children could be their families. Family time is especially important to a growing without it social problems can crop up and a family unit can be a lack of time being spent y, homework can cause conflict between children and parents parent wants to the child to do their homework but meets the student to do an overwhelming much homework can encourage cheating because children end up one another in an attempt to finish all their assignments. Here are my favourite four arguments for and against giving learners homework:the case for #1: class time isn’t enough and learners need extra practicehomework should, above all else, serve to review and build upon what has been learned in class, or to offer further practice of something that was new and particularly tricky.
With this in mind, make sure that whatever homework you assign can be completed by learners independently and with relative rk that gives the student an opportunity to further practice what he or she has just learned in class to further fix the concepts in their mind can be extremely worthwhile. You teach young learners, these children need unstructured play time to become social creatures more than they need homework from you. Homework can have a negative influence on learning in particular will feel guilty about not doing the work you’ve assigned… or resentment about having to do it when they should be getting on with something else. Children will also be negatively affected by the addition of you really must…find out how much time your learners have to do homework and assign work case for #2: homework helps learners remember the things they’ve learned in classhomework can do a great job of reinforcing the content of lessons, and provides a valuable opportunity for extra practice… before they have a chance to forget everything! Basically, homework should always supplement and mentally click that ‘i remember’ button, so don’t assign new material because there’s a big chance that a) they will not understand it, and b) they will become frustrated with the tasks, as well as being less open to discussing the work in class later on. Case against #2: let’s face it, you don’t really know what you’re doingas qualified as you might be and with as much knowledge of teaching pedagogy as you might have, do you honestly believe you know exactly what you’re doing when you assign homework? Granted, a lot of coursebooks have workbooks which are largely intended for self study, but you nevertheless have to be careful that there is a definite purpose behind what you’re you really must…consult your learners and ask them what they see as an appropriate follow-up task for them to do at home to supplement what you have done in case for #3: homework can help learners make more rapid progress in their language acquisitionhomework can provide valuable practice of the skills learned in the classroom. Case against #3: homework doesn’t lead to better performancetoo much homework can be a bad thing. Research indicates there is a weak link between achievement and homework, particularly in young learners. Countries such as america and the uk have relatively high levels of homework in schools and yet don’t show a correlation with high performance. Japan is one country that has taken the opposite route, having instituted no homework policies at younger levels to allow family time and personal interests. Finland, one of the most successful nations in terms of international tests, limits high school homework to half an hour per night.
While a small amount of well thought out homework can be beneficial, assigning excessive amounts of homework is at best you really must…a good tactic, particularly for teachers of young learners, is to assign homework for improving study skills, rather than homework that is uncomplicated and short, which involves families or friends, and which above all engages learner case for #4: homework can allow learners to use materials and other sources of information that are not always available in the class roomsome of us have the luxury of computers and projectors in class, others do not. Furthermore, assigning research tasks that require learners to go out into the wider world and independently find resources that link to what you did in class can be a useful and motivating questions:does the task work better as homework than it would in the classroom environment? Case against #4: they don’t really need itpeople are constantly learning in the 21st century and traditional homework should become obsolete within the next decade. So much of what learners can access is through the medium of english that it is unlikely that they can spend many days of their lives without acquiring some knowledge of the language from their everyday you really must…instead of assigning homework, utilise the technological tools that your learners use in their everyday lives. Get them doing something in english with their phones or on g upi’m not the world’s biggest fan of homework, but used correctly it can be a good teaching tool.