For years on end, homework has been the norm between students and teachers. One goes to school for 7 hours, and they leave with assignments that have been given to them by their teachers to be completed outside of school. Many educators believe that these assignments will help students improve school achievement, develop responsibility and autonomy in academic endeavors in and out of school, in addition, it contributes to the enhancement of learning, and to the development of academic skills and responsibility . Although this is what has been believed for years, no research can directly prove these claims or the latter. However, a few observed contributions of homework are that it “crowds out social experience, outdoor recreation, and creative activities, and whenever it usurps time devoted to sleep, it is not meeting the basic needs of children and adolescents”. Students are becoming more overwhelmed the older they get and it is getting harder for them to enjoy their childhood. They are become more fatigued and majority of their time is dedicated to schoolwork. It’s because of these negative and positive impacts and viewpoints though, why homework is such a controversial issue. In this paper, I will address the pros and cons of homework, and why homework is thought of as a necessity- the neutral side of the argument in which people believe that because homework has always been around, it shouldn’t be taken away.
In the book “The Battle Over Homework” written by professor Harris Cooper of the Department of Psychology, and director of the Program in Education at Duke University, he argues that “many Americans think that a lack of homework rigor in the educational system was leaving children unprepared to face a complex technological future and to compete against our ideological adversaries”. It is a job parents especially to make sure that their children (the future generation) are prepared to face some of the obstacles that society may throw their way in the future. They believe that if they don’t get them into early work ethics , their lives will be greatly impacted. Homework is said to help students make the most of classroom discussion time, gives them valuable practice with what they’ve learned in the classroom, increases the retention of knowledge, and teaches responsibility, organization, and prioritization . All these skills are also some of the reasons why it is required for adolescents to attend school; if homework fosters them, it wouldn’t be right for teachers to give no or an insufficient amount of homework.
Professors Jose Carlos Nunez, Natalia Suarez, Pedro Rosario, Guillermo Vallejo, Rebeca Cerezo and Antonio Valle of the University of Oviedo conducted a study of four hundred and fifty four students, and found that at higher grade levels, there is a lower perceived amount of teachers’ HW feedback. This is significantly related to the amount of HW completed and to the perceived quality of the homework .The root cause of this is because high schoolers and college students particularly, aren’t particularly motivated to complete homework assignments as they were when they were younger. They know that teachers are mostly checking for completion and not quality, so how accurate their information is, doesn’t matter as much as it should. Teachers’ feedback helps you to better understand information, but if that is taken away/ highly limited, what’s the point of putting your best into your homework?. These thoughts are affecting students because they are now falling into bad habits. These bad habits are emphasized by the fact that there is an increase in homework plagiarism among students. Homework plagiarism was used by procrastinating students mainly as a survival too, but nowadays even high achievers are plagiarizing homework to thrive and maintain their academic status. This copying of homework to solve the problem defeats the purpose of homework . Our students have enough to deal with at school, but when they come home and can’t clear their head because of their workload, they become desperate. They turn to online databases to cheat/ plagiarize work so that not only will they complete their work in time, but they will more than likely get a passing grade for it. This is one of the many negative effects of homework, and one of the reasons why this topic is so controversial.
According to Professor of Education at the University of Missouri, Cathy Vatterott, “many believe that it is not only teachers’ inalienable right but also their obligation to extend learning beyond the classroom. Inherent in this belief is the assumption that teachers have the right to control children’s lives outside the school- that we have the right to give homework and that students and parents should comply with our wishes. Many teachers claim that homework
keeps children out of trouble and is better for them than television or video games” . There is only so much time present in the school day ( about 6-7 hours). During that time, students are assigned various teachers and those teachers teach them a variety of subjects. This is the main job of these educators, so it is their duty to make sure that their students are really learning and understanding the material. To ensure this, homework is given (often daily) as out of school practice. Even more so, homework also occupies the time of kids, making them less inclined to idle by/ cause trouble. If homework is so beneficial and has been since years past, how can it not be a requirement of both students and teachers.
If homework should be given is a very complex issue, where both the opposers and the supporters have a strong case. No one can really address this issue though if they don’t have all the sides, this report addresses these perspectives.
- Cooper, Harris M. The Battle Over Homework. Google Books, 3 Feb. 2015, books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=KmV4BwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT9&dq=info%3Ar_f0HghlVNwJ%3Ascholar.google.com%2F&ots=psbajTHaWw&sig=7LSaF6EPbhF3fQmB93tEGMwo4nI#v=onepage&q&f=true. Accessed 18 November 2018
- Hong, Eunsook, et al. ‘Discrepancies between students’ and teachers’ perceptions of homework.’ Journal of Advanced Academics, Winter 2011, p. 280+. General OneFile, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A249463533/GPS?u=fl_brwrd33&sid=GPS&xid=2cdbe5ed. Accessed 18 Nov. 2018
- Haddad, Rami J., and Youakim Kalaani. “Flipping Homework: An Effective Homework Model.” Digital [email protected] Southern, 14 June 2015, digitalcommons.georgiasouthern.edu/electrical-eng-facpubs/44/.Accessed 19 November 2018
- José Carlos Núñez, Natalia Suárez, Pedro Rosário, Guillermo Vallejo, Rebeca Cerezo & António Valle(2015) Teachers’ Feedback on Homework, Homework-Related Behaviors, and Academic Achievement, The Journal of Educational Research, 108:3, 204-216, DOI: 10.1080/00220671.2013.8. Accessed 19 November 2018
- Strauss, Valerie. “Homework: An Unnecessary Evil? … Surprising Findings from New Research.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 26 Nov. 2012, www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2012/11/26/homework-an-unnecessary-evil-surprising-findings-from-new-research/?utm_term=.affa094cdba6.
- Vatterott, Cathy. “Chapter 1. The Cult(Ure) of Homework.” How Student Progress Monitoring Improves Instruction – Educational Leadership, ASCD, www.ascd.org/publications/books/119001/chapters/The-Cult(ure)-of-Homework.aspx. Accessed 19 November 2018
- “Why Do We Have Homework?” Wonderopolis, wonderopolis.org/wonder/why-do-we-have-homework. Accessed 19 November 2018.