Author: Sarah_Wor_Debater

Homework Should be Banned

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PRO (6 arguments)

Links to more PRO research:

Homework and Its Role in Constructive Pedagogy

The site contains research and statistics on both sides of the homework debate.

 

Define

Homework: a task set by teachers for students to complete outside of the time allotted for a normal school day.

Banned: Disallow homework in K-8 grades in the U.S. public schools

1. Homework puts an unfair burden on teachers
Warrant:

Homework produces large amount of pointless work of little educational value, but marking it ties up much of teachers’ time. Add in correcting it  and the time it takes up in class going over it. Altogether, this leaves teachers tired and with little time to prepare more effective, inspiring lessons. Also, reversely, homework can function as a safety net for bad teachers in that they know that even if they do a poor job on their lessons and teaching during class they can always just pile on homework and hope that they can then use this as a sign that they are good teachers. A good teacher shouldn’t need to resort to homework to teach for them, which is why homework is unfair to the teachers who don’t need to assign it while the bad ones who do get credit for that from their employers.

“Teachers in many of the nations that outperform the U.S. on student achievement tests--such as Japan, Denmark and the Czech Republic--tend to assign less homework than American teachers, but instructors in low-scoring countries like Greece, Thailand and Iran tend to pile it on,” Time Magazine, The Myth About Homework

Sources:

Time Magazine

2. Homework demotivates students
Warrant:

Homework de-motivates kids to learn. Most see it as a consequence of going to school. Studies have shown that many children find doing homework very stressful, boring and tiring. Often teachers underestimate how long a task will take, or set an unrealistic deadline. Sometimes because a teacher has not explained something new well in class, the homework task is impossible. So children end up paying with their free time for the failings of their teachers. They also suffer punishments if work is done badly or late. After years of bad homework experiences, it is no wonder that many children come to dislike education and switch off, or drop out too early.

"It's one thing to say we are wasting kids' time and straining parent-kid relationships, but what's unforgivable is if homework is damaging our kids' interest in learning, undermining their curiosity." The Homework Myth by Alfie Kohn.

Sources:

The Homework Myth by Alfie Kohn.

3. Homework is discriminatory
Warrant:

Homework is discriminatory in that it gives unfair advantages to certain types of people depending on their home environment. In school everyone is equal, but home is a different story. Middle-class families with books and computers will be able to help their children much more than poorer families can. This can mean working class children end up with worse grades and more punishments for undone or badly done homework. On the other hand pushy parents may even end up doing their kids’ homework for them – cheating. Even worse, kids who live in an abusive or volatile home environment (something completely out of the kids control) end up having their homework counting against them and compared to kids who benefit from doing work at home.

Common sense; there are plenty of homes where education is not the #1 priority and some where it is. This imbalance only comes out with homework and skewers results unfairly.

4. Homework eats up time that should be used doing other more productive things.
Warrant:

Homework takes up a lot of time, usually enough to push off many extracurricular a student might want to do. Being young is not just about doing schoolwork. It should also about being physically active, exploring the environment through play, doing creative things like music and art, and playing a part in the community. It is also important for young people to build bonds with others, especially family and friends, but homework often squeezes the time available for all these things.

According to the American Educational Research Association released this statement: “Whenever homework crowds out social experience, outdoor recreation, and creative activities, and whenever it usurps time that should be devoted to sleep, it is not meeting the basic needs of children and adolescents.”

Alos, Curt Dudley-Marlin, a professor at Boston College, interviewed dozens of families and  found that, “the demands of homework disrupted…family relationships and led to stress and conflict.”

Sources:

American Educational Research Association

5. Homework decreases overall academic performance
Warrant:

Homework has little educational worth and adds nothing to the time spent in school. Some schools and some countries don’t bother with homework at all, and their results do not seem to suffer from it. Studies show that homework adds nothing to standardized test scores for primary/ elementary pupils. International comparisons of older students have found no positive relationship between the amount of homework set and average test scores. If anything, countries with more homework got worse results!

Harris Cooper, of Duke University, found that students in middle school who do more than 60-90 min. a night perform worse on standardized tests than those who do 20-30 min. a night.

6. Homework encourages copying and cheating
Warrant:

Homework does little to develop good study skills. First off, many children, after a long and hard school day, end up plagiarizing off of either another student’s work or a professional manuscript. With the Internet, copying has just been made easier. All a student has to do is copy and paste a few paragraphs onto a blank word document and they have their report. This isn’t even considering the massive input parents have on their child’s homework, ranging from checking over answers to even writing a paper for their child. All of this is extremely prevalent in today’s society, and it makes teachers spend ten times as much effort deciding whether a student created a paper or copied off some one else than actually grading the work. Therefore, homework should be banned due to these unavoidable consequences that occur with it.

Impact:

The pressure to complete homework can also lead to students cheating by copying from other students or obtaining help other than tutoring, such as getting their parents to complete it for them. Students who “perceive that achievement is defined by schools and teachers in terms of grades and performance, worry about school, and believe they can get rewards for doing well in class such as getting out of homework" are more likely to cheat, and to "avoid using deep level cognitive processing strategies such as trying different ways to solve a problem." The American Psychological Association (1998)

Sources:

The American Psychological Association (1998)


CON (0 arguments)