Should Students Be Given Homework?

Before now, only students complained about the amount of homework given to them each day. Teachers and parents were of the school of thought that giving homework is important for proper education.  However, from recent studies, homework has not shown a decisive level of effectiveness. This has caused arguments amongst some adults that homework for school children should be discarded.

What Does Research Say?

According to the research done by Professor Harris Cooper of the University of Duke, he concluded that completion of homework is important for the academic success of students, at least for older grades. He recommended a 10-minute rule for students’ homework in the first grade and the addition of 10 minutes more as the grade progresses, so by the twelfth grade, students should be completing about 120 minutes of daily homework.

His studies, however, were inconclusive as he could not prove that kids that did homework performed better. The professor also found some research that argued that homework results in a negative learning attitude by causing emotional and mental distress for students.

Other researchers have argued that giving homework is not as important as the quality of homework and the bulk of the assignment. To be effective, homework should meet the specific needs of the student. Some teachers in middle school have testified to the success of online math homework that is designed to suit each student’s level of knowledge. Still, the grades of those students also went down in math and science when they were assigned more than thirty minutes of homework.

Researchers also found that although math and science homework improve test grades, there is no general difference between students who did their homework and those who didn’t. This research led to the theory that homework does not result in mastery but builds familiarity with the kind of questions that appear on a standardized test. So while many teachers and parents support giving homework, there is no concrete evidence that it produces positive results.

Challenges With Homework

Discussing the challenges with homework in an article in “Education Week Teacher,” Samantha Hulsman disclosed that she heard parents complaining that the 30-minute homework that their kids take home takes them hours to solve. She also said she had been made to rethink her belief on the necessity of homework now that she faces the same issues with her children.

In an article published in “Psychology Today,” Kenneth Barish, a child psychologist wrote that homework rarely helps any child improve at school. He suggested that students who don’t do their homework are more frustrated and anxious than lazy.

Ban On Homework

In 2019, public schools in Marion County, Florida, decided in the affirmative on a no homework policy for all elementary school students. Kids were instead given a task of a 20minutes nightly reading. This decision was reached based on Cooper’s research that elementary students benefited more from reading. This homework policy has four parts, which include: nightly reading, play outside, family dinner, good night sleep. 

Most elementary schools have chosen to discard homework but middle schools and high schools are still pro-homework.

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