Why Homework Should Be Banned: 10 Facts You Might Not Know
When you find yourself groaning at the thought of going home at the end of a long day in school and starting work all over again, no wonder you feel that homework should be banned. Check out these 10 facts that support your opinion.
- Allotted Time. The task that you have been given will probably take a lot longer than is specified on your homework time table. This may not be anything to do with your ability, it may be because your tutor misjudged that time it would take.
- Timetable. Before the start of every academic year, teaching staff work out when they will be setting major tasks that you will be asked to do at home. Ideally there should not to a conflict between the time-scale for completing two or more major pieces of work.
- Need a break. Unless you do your work as soon as you get home you may find that you have to tackle the chore later in the evening, then stay up late to complete, which makes you late going to bed and then you get up feeling cranky in the morning.
- Distractions at home. It can be very difficult to produce a really good piece of work at home if you haven't got a dedicated area to work in or you have younger brothers and sisters who make a lot of noise.
- Lack of help at home. Family may be very willing to help but if they have never studied the subject that you are studying or are not very good at it (a good example is Math), then you will find that you have little or no help line at home to complete the work.
- Students hate Homework. Although everyone groans about homework, the truth is that students hate homework. It is difficult to see the positive side of bring home work to do when they see their parents come home from work without additional 'homework'.
- Little chance to socialise after school. This includes spending time with friends who are at other schools or even family. Homework can make students feel isolated from friends and family.
- Working alone can be stressful. All day you are with other people in a classroom which in itself can be stressful. It is difficult to concentrate when you are not sure what you are being asked to do and have the additional pressure of lack of time to complete.
- Prep work. You may have been asked to do some preliminary reading in preparation fro the next class. This can be confusing and also unproductive unless you have been given good instructions about the focus of the work.
- Not all subject areas give the same amount of work. It is bad enough when you are given two or more major pieces of work to complete in roughly the same time frame, but at other times there does not seem to be any consistency in the amount of work set.
Looking at all of these facts you may find it helpful to visit this website.
A TIMSS (Trends in Math and Science Study) survey, conducted in 2007, revealed that fourth grader students in countries that set below average levels of homework were more academically successful in math and science than those in countries that set above average levels. In Japan – ranked second in the results table – only three percent of students reported a particularly heavy workload of over three hours a night while a staggering 20 percent of Dutch students – whose scores were in the international top 10 – claimed to do no homework whatsoever. This is in stark contrast to countries like Greece and Thailand, where higher workloads have done nothing to rectify lower scores.
These results are not alone in debunking the myth that homework in any way benefits the academic performance of elementary students. So why, we should ask, are policymakers and educators so hell-bent on enforcing it? In his 2006 publication The Homework Myth, prolific author and outspoken critic of the current educational system Alfie Kohn set out a well argued and evidentially attested thesis saying that the purpose of homework is twofold. Firstly it’s meant to instill an air of competitiveness in children, not only within the physical classroom, but, because of the quantitatively driven approach of policy experts, within the global classroom – against China, Singapore and Finland, for example. Secondly, homework is used as a weapon to combat adults’ inherent mistrust of children, keeping them busy so they don’t run riot. This latter suggestion may baffle belief, but a concerned parent’s response to the suggestion that homework be banned (‘we have to have homework… otherwise the kids won’t have structure and they will just come home and fool around’) attests to its current orthodoxy.
The thing about homework is that is doesn’t work. As shown by numerous studies, it brings no educational benefits, acts as a root cause of conflict between children, parents and teachers and has detrimental mental and physical effects on children that, by the fact that they’re avoidable, are absolutely inexcusable. Children are not the only ones to fear the evils of homework though. Teachers, under increasing amounts of pressure to meet targets, cover curricula and achieve grades, are incentivized to set more and more of it and grade more and more of it; something that wouldn’t be so bad if we weren’t so aware of its utter pointlessness.
The most important problem, however, is that homework is more closely associated with punishment than with pleasure. Made to be completed during time that should be spent engaging in creative, playful and recreational pursuits, homework doesn’t even have the courtesy to be enjoyable by nature – as is completely apparent from my students’ faces when I fulfill my duties to the school in setting it for them. And such truth is not surprising when you consider that for homework to be enjoyable, it would have to be everything it’s not: optional instead of mandatory, creative rather than prescribed and objectively appreciated instead of subjectively assessed. Improvement to our children’s education, until we redefine what our definition of education really is, can only be achieved through one thing, its removal.