Should kids have homework?
Gone are the days when it was only students who seem to complain long hours of homework. Parents and teachers alike thought it was the best way to ensure continuity of classroom lessons. However, things have changed. Some parents are now backing the scrapping of homework or total hours reduction.
Aside from that, various research on the practice has provided contradictory reports. Some are for and others against homework, providing varied opinions. This makes the effectiveness or otherwise of homework uncertain. But the big question is, should kids have homework? Keep reading as you try to address this question.
Studies about homework
Duke professor Harris Cooper has emphasized the need for students to do homework. According to his research on the practice, there is a link between home tasks and academic achievement, especially at higher grades. He, therefore, recommended the 10 minutes rule, i.e., students at first grade should have 10 minutes of homework. This should be increased by an additional 10 minutes each year as they progress. Therefore, in the twelfth grade, they can have about 2 hours of homework daily. Cooper then proposed for more research to be done on the effects of homework on kids.
However, those against homework say that the research could not prove that students were doing better due to homework. They argue that some students may be performing better because they are more committed to learning and performing better in school and not because of home assignments.
On the other hand, some scholars suggest that the focus should be on the type and how much homework students have to do. To them, the debate on whether or not kids should have homework is needless. Homework must always address the needs of kids and shouldn’t be random. A personalized task should be given to kids with special needs.
A study at Indiana University found that science and maths homework could improve standardized test grades. Nonetheless, the difference in the course grades of students who took homework and those who did not was negligible. They, therefore, concluded that homework does not promote content mastery.
Ban on homework
Some schools and even countries have started scrapping homework at certain levels. Some are also considering banning the practice entirely. In the US, the state of Florida has adopted a no home task policy at the elementary level. They instead replaced it with 20 minutes nightly reading for kids. According to Superintendent Heidi Maier, the decision resulted from Professor Harris Cooper’s findings that elementary students benefitted much from reading than doing homework. Schools like Orchard Elementary School in South Burlington, Vermont, have taken the same decision.
Whether kids should have homework or not may depend on the situation. As clearly stated, the focus should instead be on how much homework kids can have and what type. We believe that educators can achieve great results if they were to assign a personalised task. Also, the quality of work can churn more significant results than more and random assignments.