Should Homework Still Be In Place?

A widely accepted part of school life, homework has been a hot topic for debates for decades. Students all over the world- of both primary, and secondary age, are expected to participate in this age-long tradition of doing homework.

But why should a student have to do homework? Is it worth it?

Merits And Demerits Of Homework

The merits and demerits of homework are pretty glaring.

  • The important advantage of homework is that it gives room for students to extend their learning, helping to reinforce what they learned in class at home. 
  • Homework can also be used to develop a student’s independent learning and researching skills. 
  • Homework has also been argued to act as excellent preparation for later life- as it promotes self-discipline, self-preservation, and time management.

On the disadvantages

  • Parents have complained about the sheer amount of homework given to children. The extra time spent doing homework can eat into the leisure, and family time, while also putting a lot of pressure on kids.
  • Parents feel that children should enjoy being children and that too much homework can result in the feeling of frustration in children.

A Secondary School Bans Homework In The UK

One question that is mostly left unanswered is, what impact does homework have on a child’s learning and academic achievement? Most schools are rather focused on setting homework because it is the expected thing to do, not that it is the right thing to do.

Making a bold and controversial step, a secondary school in the UK outrightly banned the homework tradition. This decision caused a lot of outrage and shock and became national news. The school in question is Philip Morant School and College in Colchester, England. Defending the decision, the school principal Catherine Hutley argued that the decision helps her staff have more time devoted to planning lessons. Although the decision was supported by many parents, the resulting backlash from the public was far greater.

How to Make Homework Effective

Most people would agree that to reach academic excellence; students should expect to put in some extra hours of study, both in school and at home.

There are counter-arguments against this, and the arguments are also quite compelling. This new era has seen many young people experiencing mental health issues. Although this cannot be blamed sorely on homework, studies have shown a link between homework and stress in children and how it affects their overall well-being.

It is crucial to ensure the effectiveness of homework, but what makes homework effective?

Schools should not set homework just because they think it is the right thing to do; they should focus on it, serving the purpose of progressing students’ learning.

There are lots of factors that can make homework or a particular task effective- and a lot depend on the subject being studied. One simple way to ensure the effectiveness of homework is to ensure it is promoting independent learning. The misconception that any homework is an independent study is wrong. Homework should be specific tasks set to encourage independent thinking and creativity in students.

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