In the 1940s, educators began to question if homework interfered with home life. In order to stay ahead of countries such as Russia, education in the U. The homework debate reversed again in the 1960s out of fear that it caused extreme amounts of stress on children and parents. After taking a look into homework history, it should be no surprise that the debate continues into the 21st century.
After all, many students had to work on the family farm or in the family business. However, the 1970s and 1980s again saw a change in public opinion when the Japanese began to surge forward economically. What is surprising is that, according to Duke University psychology and neuroscience professor Harris Cooper, the percentage of people for or against homework--and the actual amount of homework given--has hardly changed over the centuries. Simple: Homework is merely the center battle in the growing war for better education.
The Scholastic article references Alfie Kohn’s book The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing, in which he says, “There is no evidence to demonstrate that homework benefits students below high school age.” The article goes on to note that those who oppose homework focus on the drawbacks of significant time spent on homework, identifying one major negative as homework’s intrusion into family time.
They also point out that opponents believe schools have decided homework is necessary and thus assign it simply to assign some kind of homework, not because doing the work meets specifically-identified student needs.
Why, then, is homework an inescapable part of the student experience?
Worksheets, busy work, and reading assignments continue to be a mainstay of students’ evenings.
Too much research has shown the positive effects of homework. The solution to the homework debate should be centered on the students.
What works for one classroom does not always work for another.
If you're thinking about implementing a no homework policy for your students, it's a good idea to do a little research into the homework debate to decide if you're making the right choice.
And if you choose to do away with homework, you'll need an arsenal of facts to make your case. The idea of homework has been debated since it was first conceived in the early 20th century.