Homework should not be abolished in schools
They say that in the year 1095 a man by the name Roberto Nevilis, an Italian teacher first created the concept of homework which can be defined as a task(s) that are meant to be done outside of class hours. The argument that homework is unnecessary/should be abolished has been brought up recently and has also been brought up in the past, for example in 1901 California in the United States of America a law had been passed to abolish homework for kindergarteners to grade 8 whilst limiting the homework to high schoolers (SF Gate, 1999) and more recently in 2012 the French president proposed to abolish homework for all primary and middle school students. This report talks the current situation of homework and about the advantages and disadvantages of abolishing homework and also why homework should not be abolished.
The current situation
As of now the number of hours spent on homework varies from grade to grade. In 2007 Metlife conducted a study on an American school, here are the results:
From the graph it is understood that 45% of students from grades 3 to 12 spend over an hour doing homework per day. In the study it is also understood that the older the student the more time is being spent on homework. Students aged 6-8 spent 29 minutes, 15-17 year olds spent 50 minutes per night. 50% of students from grades 7-12 spent over an hour per day doing homework (Ryan J, 2013).
The questions still remains, why shouldn’t homework be abolished? There are arguments for and against this issue but to understand more we have to dig deeper and understand the advantages and disadvantages of abolishing homework.
Advantages of abolishing homework
One of the main advantages to this is the possibility of the rise of grades. This may sound hard to believe but when we look at a country where in the education system homework is non-existent (Biljak, 2013) we are able to understand why exactly that is.
To get a better understanding here is an info-graphic on how that was possible in Finland.
However the rise in grades is mostly due to the way the classroom structure is, although in most cases schools in other countries may not be able to afford to employ 1 high quality teacher per 12 students.
Secondly, no homework means students can spend more time with family or activities like a sports club they once may not have been able to. It is said that kids should be active, exploring their creative capabilities instead of being bound to doing homework when it has almost no educational value.
“Darling-Hammond said Cooper also is correct in pointing out that many teachers lack the skills to design homework assignments that help kids learn and don’t turn them off to learning.”(Strauss, 2006).
Kids would become more positive about education as homework causes stress and negativity about schools (Fitzpatrick, 2014) this in turn means the schools would too became more positive thus creating a positive learning environment.
Disadvantages of abolishing homework
Although many students do not enjoy the idea of homework it does have benefits that they may not understand at first. Responsibility, time management, perseverance and self-esteem (Faye Pryor-Johnson, 2012)
When a student is given homework it can be thought as a burden, the student now has responsibility. If the student decides to hand in the homework incomplete they are faced with bad grades and this can affect their future outcomes in life. This idea of responsibility from homework can be transferred to when the student has grown up and has responsibilities that have a bigger impact on their lives.
Time management almost needs no explanation, it is an incredibly obvious trait that is practiced by being given homework with set deadlines. Meeting deadlines for homework contributes to the students’ time management skills. This is a major skill required for when the student comes to get a job. When a student completes their homework their self- esteem may go up as they realized they have completed a set task that may have been difficult, this also helps with their perseverance.
If students were stripped of homework they may not be able to gain or develop these valuable skills that are required outside of education.
The content of the homework is also important as it may give the student a better understanding of what the teacher was going through with the students in class. It’s possible a student didn’t 100% understand what was being taught in class, if they go home and look at their homework they may be able to get a better understanding.
Students doing homework can also be a family task as many younger kids in school have difficulty understanding what is required in the homework task they go to their parents/siblings, this means that the parents/siblings can bond through the work of homework.
It is clear that after looking through the advantages and disadvantages of abolishing homework that abolishing homework would mean the student will possibly lack in general skills used in life, leaving kids to be kids and having no responsibility in itself does not sound like the right way to educate a child. If any change needs to be done it may be reduce how much homework a student may be getting so they still have time to be kids and attend activities but also have the advantages of skills that have been developed through homework.