As more schools decide to ban homework, the debate continues on whether such policies are helping or hurting students. Find out what education professionals think of these bans.
Schools decide to ban homework for many reasons. Maybe there are concerns about the amount of stress homework is causing students or that it takes away from kids spending time with their family. Whatever the reasons, not everyone is on the same page when it comes to these 'no homework' policies. We find out why educators are both for and against these bans.
In Favor of Homework Bans
Homework Leads to Stress
''There's nothing worse than having to put in long hours after your workday is over. This is how many kids feel when they come home from school having to complete hours of homework. While many kids have support and resources at home, some students are stuck at home with little or no support and have to fend for themselves leading to frustration and stress.
Parents also feel this stress as they struggle to help their children with half completed assignments based on lessons they did not hear. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that all learning should occur at school. Kids should read at home, practice automaticity of already learned content (for example math flash cards), research current events on the internet, or explore academic computer games but they should also have the chance to just be kids.''
-Sara Croll, Literacy Coach and Author
Homework Creates Negative Associations
''…I'm absolutely in favor of this ban. What [homework] does is create negative associations in students of all ages, takes away their innate desire to learn, and makes the subject at hand a dreaded chore.
Every time parents ask me to assign homework I flat out refuse as my goal is to have kids willingly approach art as their means of relaxation, not the other way around. Only when the desire to learn is genuine will the information truly sink in. I, for one, do not remember a thing from my art history courses at Cornell University.''
-Diana Stelin, Teacher, Artist and Mother
Homework Doesn't Let Kids Be Kids
''Many kids are working as many hours as their overscheduled parents and it is taking a toll - psychologically and in many other ways too. We see kids getting up hours before school starts just to get their homework done from the night before…
While homework may give kids one more responsibility, it ignores the fact that kids do not need to grow up and become adults at ages 10 or 12.
With schools cutting recess time or eliminating playgrounds, kids absorb every single stress there is, only on an even higher level. Their brains and bodies need time to be curious, have fun, be creative and just be a kid.''
-Pat Wayman, Teacher and CEO of HowtoLearn.com
Against Homework Bans
Homework Develops Important Skills
''I have found, over several years, that my students who do their homework understand the subject and earn better grades and are more successful in school because homework compels them to review and apply what they have learned. Solving homework math problems or answering comprehension questions from an assigned chapter in literature etc., exercises the student's thinking skills and memory and encourages the self-discipline required to be a successful learner.
When homework is banned, it's hard to ascertain that students understand the material. There is no incentive to study and students' performance on assessments indicates poor preparation. The additional review and discipline that homework requires goes out with the ban; students then develop poor study and poor test preparation habits, which will hurt their success in college. A homework ban means more time on social media and computer games, especially for those students who need to do additional schoolwork at home to be successful.''
-Joseph Adegboyega-Edun, Counselor (Grades 9-12) and Author
Homework Shows Which Students Are Willing to Work
''Homework bans will only make my job more difficult. Students already come to college with the expectation that they don't have to purchase books (even when I show them how their grade directly correlates to not understanding the material in the text). The adage of having to study 2-3 hours for every hour you spend in class means homework.
By creating the idea that homework is 'banned' makes it, connotatively, a bad thing. Homework shows the student is willing to put in the effort to master the task. This means that some students may have to work harder than others at achieving the same result.
Personally, I do not feel that requiring homework is necessary, but banning it is ridiculous. A ban sets students up for a horrible college existence (and an even worse struggle for their college instructors).''
-Rachael Jurek, Lecturer at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and Adjunct at Champlain College
Homework Encourages Learning Outside of the Classroom
''The implicit and explicit message [of homework bans] to kids is that they have no responsibility for learning outside school walls. This runs contrary to the importance of self-regulated learning, a concept replete in the educational and psychological literature. It also sets them up for a terribly rude awakening if they want to succeed in college, a place where significant learning must happen outside the classroom. As more and more classes are offered online or in hybrid formats, the self-regulated learning and meta-cognitive skills built by doing homework are crucial to student success.''
-Troy Dvorak, Psychology Faculty, Minneapolis Community & Technical College
* Submissions have been edited for clarity and/or length
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