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Viewpoints on the Homework Debate
posted by: Melissa | October 25, 2017, 02:53 PM   

From flipped classrooms to schoolwide homework bans, there’s been a movement in recent years to decrease the amount of homework given to students. As with all new trends in education, there are mixed feelings about it. Here is what some educators are saying:

"The research showed that students who are given a preponderance of homework do not perform better, or get better grades, than those who do not." – Heidi Meier, Marion County School Superintendent

“There is hard evidence homework boosts results, but there is probably an optimal amount that varies between individuals.” – Institute of Education, University College of London

"A good way to think about homework is the way you think about medications or dietary supplements. If you take too little, they’ll have no effect. If you take too much, they can kill you. If you take the right amount, you’ll get better." – Harris Cooper, Duke University

“Although homework assignments for my students have been more meaningful since that Thanksgiving, it is still difficult to help people see the benefits of not assigning mundane practice pages each night.” – Samantha Hulsman, Volusia County Public Schools, FL

“Some parents might argue that a lack of HW is indicative of a lack of learning.” – Tony Sinanis, Plainedge Middle School

“Instead of excessive amounts of homework, we encourage our kids to explore their interests and passions in their free time. We want them to read for pleasure and write for real reasons. We expect them to play outside and enjoy time with their families whenever possible. We respect the fact that our kids have very busy extracurricular lives - whether they go to an after school religious school or a sport, they are growing in other ways and pursuing other interests. We recognize that during the school day we challenge our children and expect a lot of our ten-year-old ‘babies’ - they are still children. Everybody deserves a little ‘down time.’” – Allison Yablon, Cantiague Elementary

“The value of homework is that students can share with you what they know and do not know in a way that does not take up valuable class time.” – Johanna Ibarra, West Fargo, ND

“Perhaps the strongest argument in favor of homework is our instinctive feeling that, in a world of noisy distractions and endless opportunities for entertainment, inculcating in young people the habit of self-motivated and self-disciplined study must be a good thing.” – Angela Drew, Bromley High School, UK

Check out this infographic to see how U.S. homework compares with other countries!

How do you handle homework in your class?

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Comments (1)Add Comment
Robbing Childhood with Homework
written by Arthur - Michigan, October 25, 2017

As an elementary teacher of 27 years I ask; Since when do we expect more from our children than we do from adults? Students in the school where I work attend school for 7 hours. If two to three hours of homework are added students are expected to perform 9 to 10 hours per day. We are robbing the children of childhood.

I work in a school district with a large geographical area. I have had elementary students that have gotten on the bus at 5:30 a.m. and arrived home at 5 p.m. When should they do homework? What about the ones that are dropped off early, or stay for after school programs? When should they do homework?

In my opinion, any homework should be minimally intrusive to time constraints and serve a specific purpose. It should not be pages of practice work each week. Although I am opposed to structured homework assignments, I do encourage parents to practice basic math facts and spelling words, but on a limited basis of no more than 15 minutes per evening. I also give them creative suggestions on how to do so without it being viewed as "homework".

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