Do you think homework is good for kids? Should it be abolished? Find out the pros and cons of homework for students and join our education poll and debate.
Should kids have homework?
Pros and cons of homework
Some researchers have identified a strong correlation between homework and academic success. Harris Cooper, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, led a meta-analysis in 2006, "Does homework improve academic achievement?," which showed that homework can improve students' scores on class tests. The study demonstrated that accross different topics, including Math, English, American History, and Social studies, student who had done homework performed better than their classmates who had not.
In addition to improving grades and results in standardized tests, there are many other pros to homework such as:
- Homework provides parents with the opportunity to participate in their children's education.
- Possibility for kids to further explore a subject at their own pace. Not all children have the same capacity to assimilate all the information covered in class.
- School assignments can help develop a sense of responsibility and time management.
- It facilitates rote learning.
- It reduces the time kids spend watching TV as well as playing video games and with their cell phones.
- Homework is an opportunity to practice some research and study skills and deepen understanding of some concepts which cannot be fully developed in class.
However, some voices have started to point out some disadvantages of doing homework and questioned the traditional education model in place. Some of them claim that homework should be abolished. The publication “The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learning” by Kralovec and Buell (2000) has brought into the discussion a very interesting new angle. Kralovec and Buell argue that homework contributes to a competitive culture that overvalues work to the detriment of personal and family well-being. Moreover, there are several other problems associated to homework, such as:
- Homework is very unfair because economically disadvantaged students can’t study at home with the same conditions and support as the wealthier children.
- Too many school assignments can excessively reduce the time for playing, doing sports or simply interacting socially with friends and family. Homework can also interfere with kids' household chores.
- Cheating is easy. Often students simply plagiarize their assignments from others or from the Internet and therefore the learning objectives of homework are not fulfilled. In occasions parents or older relatives do children's coursework.
- Sometimes homework is not well designed and do not really contribute to learning. In other cases homework is not marked shortly after being submitted and, therefore, feedback does not reach students as soon as it should. Students may get frustrated and lose interest.
- It may keep students up late at night, reduce their sleeping time and therefore their performance in class the following day.
- As Galloway et al (2013) show, homework can be a source of stress and physical health problems for children.
To summarize, there are several pros and cons to the use of homework as educational tool for children. What side of the debate are you on? Do you think homework is overall good or bad for the development and education of children? Vote and tell us why (see below).
Watch these videos on the homework debate:
If you change your mind, you can change your vote simply by clicking on another option.
Pros and cons of school assignments: Should kids have homework?
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