The Value of Homework

The+Value+of+Homework

Half asleep and half doing the 10-page essay you were assigned to finish, you begin to wonder why your literacy teacher assigned it. Not that it’s a bad assignment; you just want to understand the rationale behind it, which leads us to the main question: To what extent is homework necessary?

Every teacher has a different view on homework.

We asked Mrs. Kavanaugh, The 6 Central literacy and social studies teacher, about the subject. “There is a certain amount of information that I need for my students to understand,” She said. If they do not finish it within the class period, she does want those students to find time themself doing homework. Most educators believe there can be benefits to homework.

We next asked Chris Holmes, one Exploratorium teacher, his perspective on homework. “I think homework can be incredibly valuable and educational, and also potentially tedious and demotivating,” he stated. “I think there is a time and a place for it because the practice can enhance learning.”

The issue is just as debatable among researchers as it is among school teachers. A 2021 study recently concluded that “homework has a small effect on increasing academic achievement.” The study, “Homework and Academic Achievement: A Meta-Analysis Examining Impact,” from the University of Dayton, claims that there is little supporting evidence that homework increases learning, however, the report doesn’t go so far as to say homework is bad. This is where the issue gets sticky.

Some homework is obviously good. Good for learning. Good for life. Other homework… yeah, not so much. We asked two 6th-grade science teachers, Mrs. Kee and Mrs. Scatizzi, about the topic.

“I think there are two pros to homework. I think that it gives students a chance to connect to their content outside of a school setting,” said Mrs. Scatizzi. “Another pro of homework is that I think you can truly evaluate as a teacher if the student is retaining information without direct teacher support.”

Of course, that depends on the quality and quantity of the homework.

“I personally do not like giving a lot of homework because I know that students have a lot of things that are going on after school and so I want to make sure that they have time to be with their family and to do sports and music and different events like that,” Mrs. Kee is telling us.”…for me personally, when I give homework I try to only do it if you didn’t finish something in class, then it becomes homework because some students need more time to do things than other students…” She also said that studying is a great part of homework and being in middle school.

Of course, we needed to ask a Wydown student. After all, this is quite a controversial topic.

We talked to Tyson Higgins, a seventh-grade student. He says that the problem with homework is that “it takes time off of your free time and makes you think that you have to study more at home. I don’t study for tests. That might be bad. But I still get an A.”

Yet, can homework be harmful to the human body?

A study from the Better Sleep Council says that 74% of teens are stressed out from homework, causing more stress than even bullying, parent expectations, and self-esteem. 67% of teenagers get five to six hours a night, several hours less than what is recommended.

“The most direct positive effect of homework is that it can improve retention and understanding. More indirectly, homework can improve students’ study skills and attitudes toward school, and teach students that learning can take place anywhere, not just in school buildings,” said education.stateuniversity.com

From a student’s perspective, homework can be bad. Teachers say that homework will help a student’s understanding of a topic though it can be tedious. 

Cittana.org says that “It [homework] encourages the discipline of practice…It gets parents involved with a child’s life…It teaches time management skills…Homework creates a communication network…It allows for a comfortable place to study.”