Homework – more of a harmful thing

“Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.” – Winston Churchill

Unfortunately there is an overlooked yet harmful epidemic going on in school districts across the country practiced simply because it is accepted as “conventional wisdom”.  This, despite 40 years of documented research to the contrary, and validated by today’s most educational scholars not to mention the families experiencing it, proving it has no value.  I am speaking of course of the long standing practice of assigning homework.  As most parents will attest, homework is the great wrecker of family and personal time – never mind the psychological stress it creates in students and parental relationships.  “Here Johnny, I know you don’t like this, and it’s unpleasant, but I have to make you do it anyways.”  After putting 7 1/2 hours at “work”, students are expected to bring home more with the parents involuntarily being assigned as tutors and homework monitors.  Who is the better judge of what a student should be able to do in their personal time: the family or the school?  Does homework increase a student’s love of lifelong learning?  The research says no.  Does homework increase students’ academic success?  By weak correlation only and at what price? Does homework increase a student’s self-discipline and responsibility?  Examine the research: No! It is, however, a test of the parent’s self-discipline and responsibility.  So what is the value of homework?  It prepares kids for doing more homework.  The truth is that all current research shows there is ZERO benefit for any homework assigned from Kindergarten through 8th grade.  Even high-school homework is sketchy at best.  Again this is on correlation and not on causation. If you really want to reform the schools, step one is to begin with the elimination of most homework.  To learn more, you need to read the book “The Home Work Myth” by Alfie Kohn.  The research is the nail in the coffin on this outdated and harmful practice.

 

 

 

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