Should homework be abolished?

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.

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, should 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 possible 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.


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 sticking to


Biljak, M. (2013, March 4). There Is No Homework In Finland! Retrieved September 19, 2014, from http://neomam.com/infographics/there-is-no-homework-in-finland/

Fitzpatrick, L. (2014, September 14). No-homework policy improves home life for younger students at one CPS school – Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved September 20, 2014, from http://www.suntimes.com/news/29822856-418/no-homework-policy-improves-home-life-for-younger-students-at-one-cps-school.html#.VCHuTCiZh8E

Ryan, J. (2013, September 19). How Much Homework Do American Kids Do? Retrieved September 19, 2014, from http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/09/how-much-homework-do-american-kids-do/279805/

Markow, D. (2007). The Metlife survey of the American teacher: The homework experience. New York, N.Y.: MetLife.

Faye Pryor-Johnson, G. (2012, January). Why Homework Is Actually Good For Kids. Retrieved September 23, 2014, from http://www.memphisparent.com/Memphis-Parent/January-2012/Why-Homework-Is-Actually-Good-For-Kids/


10 thoughts on “Draft

  1. I would like to know which method you would deem acceptable to replace exams, were they abolished as you have argued?
    I never enjoyed exams in school and I haven’t retained any of the information that was studied within them. However this being, I can still appreciate the benefits that an exam style test offers to education systems.
    Schools are full of a variety of different students, all bright in different areas. Exams help to determine from a large group of people (ie. students) where they are intellectually strong and how they place among their peers. It is not so much about the information that is retained, but more so about finding which students are strong in particular areas.


  2. Hi! Interesting topic… I’ve never enjoyed homework. Two points that might help (I know it’s a bit late but anywho…): Firstly, Rhetorical questions are apparently a no no. Maybe a change of words? Second, you’ve made a comparison but are you actually for or against homework in schools? It really isn’t clear straight up. Try thinking of yourself in a debate team, you can only be for or against; not both.
    Hopefully this helps.


    • Thanks for your comment! I was actually a bit confused as to how we were supposed to approach this brief, thanks for clearing it up for me! 🙂

      Personally I hate homework as much as everyone else but it wasn’t until I did the research for this argument where I realize it’s still necessary so I’ll be against the abolishment of homework! I’ll definitely be changing my words around to match my views, thanks a lot!


  3. Hi there
    I haven’t really had an close insight into abolishing homework. I don’t really like homework all that much but I think it’s a important necessity in life everyone benefits from. In my opinion I think homework is as important eating.

    When you mentioned ‘One of the main advantages to this is the possibility of the rise of grade’. I also found that quite hard to believe. Your reference for that was quite informative, the charts were effective. I have noticed when I’m in a smaller class help is easier to ask for, you feel more relaxed and more focused.

    Jen 🙂


    • I too was amazed by that fact. I for one wouldn’t mind at all being in a class with small numbers and still have been given at least some homework. Maybe it’s even possible that the grades could be even higher if done so.


  4. Great topic, its good to understand the pro’s and con’s of homework. Although I believe that homework is useful for the student to revise the lesson at home, I know that it can be a drag sometimes. You have a lot of good points included especially with the use of graphs, e.g. Finland, it is interesting to know that a country like that has no homework yet still has a higher passing mark. That makes me think that they still study, because most homework given out nowadays is to revise and study the notes in class, in level 1, 2 and 3 NCEA. In the younger years at school it was worksheets, etc. You also need to consider the fact that children not doing homework is mainly due to laziness but overall it was a good argument!


    • Thanks for commenting! I would say that the students in Finland do still study but possibly not as much as one would in NZ. Since the classes are small if one of the students does not understand a certain area of the subject they would feel more at ease to ask the teacher about it instead of having to go home and try to figure it out themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

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