Banning Homework In Schools

Tammy Linder, a sixth grade teacher at Allardt Elementary School, is one of them.“Students have not had that daily homework practice in any subject that keeps the concepts ‘alive’ and moving in their brains, so that means that much of the practice time and teaching time and testing time had to come during the class time each day,” Linder says.On the issue of the actual educational value of homework, it may seem straightforward to many educators that reviewing lessons and practicing concepts after school would correlate to a greater retention of course material, but studies suggest that the link between assigned homework and academic achievement is drastically overinflated.

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“We don’t want kids to be unfairly penalized for their work because they don’t have the resources or support they need at home,” explained Randy Clark, Fentress County Schools’ Curriculum and Instruction Supervisor.

“Our new motto for assignments is ‘review and preview.” That means that homework in the district now constitutes an ungraded review or preview of current course work that’s the students’ responsibility to independently complete.

In 1901, the state of California voted to abolish homework for children under the age of 15. In 1994—nearly a century later—a district just north of San Francisco entertained the same notion when a member of the school board proposed banning homework from the school curriculum.

This time the proposal was rejected: the 3,700 students in the Cabrillo Unified State District still have to do their homework.

And when homework is assigned, the help provided by parents often mitigated any of the positive effects of the work.

Critics of this type of parental involvement say it can be counterproductive because parents may assume too great a role and/or may not fully understand the lessons being taught.

“Homework has its place: to practice skills and most importantly to involve families in their child’s learning” Spychala explains.

“But too much homework that takes over everyone’s lives should never happen.

“Rather, any homework assigned should have a purpose and benefit, and it should be designed to cultivate learning and development.” Video: Do Students Really Have Too Much Homework? “There are simply no compelling data to justify the practice of making kids work what amounts to a second shift when they get home from a full day of school,” says Alfie Kohn, an expert on child education, parenting, and human behavior, as well as the author of homework.

Teachers who do assign it need to have a very compelling reason for extending a student’s school day.


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