Experts Opinion On Less Homework

Does Homework Really Help Students: An Answer To A Popular Question

Homework is one of the least favorite tasks of students across the globe. They tend to avoid writing lengthy and complicated homework assignments because they are repetitive and monotonous. Different experts have different suggestions about the ideal number of hours a student should spend at home assignments. A recent research shows that students in high school should have maximum 2 hours of home assignments on a daily basis. If we compare this figure with the actual time students spend on home tasks then we will receive shocking results. Over the past decade the home assignment and work load has increase by 40%. Teachers and university officials want their students to be more competitive and excel in academics. Every school wants to get maximum A grades in the final examination. They tend to ignore the problem this will create for students.

This does not mean that you need not attempt homework at all. It is important to help you revise the concepts you read in class and to practice your skills. If you want to improve your hold on certain subjects then you need to attempt home assignments on your own. When you research and find answers for different sums then you will develop a better understanding of the subject. There are both good and bad sides of homework assignments. They can be helpful for the students to practice their skills but on the other hand, it might be impossible for them to find time for themselves and their other activities.

Home assignments have their cons as well. Students have more than a few subjects to attempt the home assignments and find it impossible to complete all of them on time. They may not have interest in each subject or the type of assignment. Experts say that the best time for learning and development is free time. This is where students can improve their creativity and perform activities that improve their development. If a kid does not find enough time for his own activities, then he will not have opportunity to improve his thinking abilities. Another important thing to note is that students find homework hard and ask their parents to help them out. Parents may have to sit for long hours to first understand the problem and then explain it to the students.

Even though homework is helpful for students, its amount and type should be controlled as per capabilities of the students.

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Does homework help? Only if it's the right homework, expert says

By Jonathan Hepburn and Paige Cockburn

Posted August 24, 2016 19:47:50

Homework is not useless but its quality is far more important than quantity and schools should think very carefully about why they are setting it, an education expert at the University of South Australia says.

Over the past week an anti-homework note sent to parents by a teacher in Forth Worth, Texas, has spread around the world after being posted to Facebook by a parent.

"After much research this summer, I am trying something new," the note from Mrs Brandy Young, which has been shared more than 70,000 times, says.

"Homework will only consist of work that your student did not finish during the school day. There will be no formally assigned homework this year."

The note goes on to say that research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance.

Instead, Mrs Young urges parents to spend their evenings doing things like reading together, playing outside, and getting their children to bed early, which "are proven to correlate with student success."

Not surprisingly, the note was posted to Facebook with the comment "Brooke is loving her new teacher already!"

External Link: Facebook no-homework note

Good homework is 'purposeful, specific, and reinforces learning'

However, "she's not quite right," says Brendan Bentley, a PhD candidate and lecturer in the Education Department of the University of South Australia.

In 2006, a review of American research conducted between 1987 and 2003 found that "there was generally consistent evidence for a positive influence of homework on achievement."

The review, led by Dr Harris Cooper of Duke University, found that evidence was stronger for students in grades seven to 12 than for kindergarten to grade six, and for when students, rather than parents, reported how much time they spent doing homework.

On the other hand, in 2013, Australian academics Richard Walker and Mike Horsley published Reforming Homework, in which they reviewed international research and found that for young primary school children, homework is of little or no value and students are regularly given too much.

The issue is that although if you do something more often you get better at it, you have to be doing the right thing in the first place.

"Homework has to be purposeful, specific, and reinforce learning. If it's just to finish work, that may not help the student at all," Mr Bentley said.

In fact, too much homework can be worse than useless: It can be detrimental.

"For students in grades three or four, more than 20 minutes of homework can exhaust them. They go into cognitive load, and their ability to learn goes into a decline," Mr Bentley said.

"They can develop a negative attitude towards learning. It's about getting the balance right."

Cognitive load refers to the total amount of mental effort being used: a heavy cognitive load creates errors or interference.

That 20 minutes is not a guideline for each day: "There needs to be a good argument for having homework every single night," Mr Bentley said.

"Schools have to understand why they are giving homework. Without a good purpose and a rationale: Reconsider it."

He says that homework can be ramped up as students get older, but even in grade 10, research shows that, "if it's more than an hour, it's a waste of time."

Designing effective homework also depends upon how much the student is able to learn.

"Adults can learn about seven things at a time. For young children, that's maybe two or three," Mr Bentley said. "You only need 20 minutes to reinforce that."

However, he says the benefits of homework are not just about reinforcing learning, and that if it does not turn students off, it can teach important study habits.

He agrees that family time and relaxation can be more important than homework.

"Developing good habits and attitudes through interaction with parents can be good — every time you interact with your children, you are teaching assumptions," he said.

On the other hand, too much homework can lead to conflicts with parents.

"Parents are keen for their children to be the best, so they may ask about homework, and may do it for their children, which defeats the purpose," Mr Bentley said.

Topics:education, children, secondary-schools, primary-schools, schools, youth, australia

Key points:

  • Academics agree that too much homework can harm learning
  • Good homework is 'purposeful, specific, and reinforces learning'
  • Time spent with family after school can be more important than more study

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