H. Eng 152
23 Feb 2010
Too Much or Enough?
A thirteen year old girl is looking through her agenda to see what the homework for the night is. English: write vocabulary words five times each and study the definitions. Math: finish twenty five problems on page 123, and show all of your work. Science: read chapter four in the textbook and do the assigned worksheet. Social Studies: study for quiz.
This exemplifies a classic weeknight for students in America. Is there too much homework assigned for students in America?
The National PTA recommendations fall in line with general guidelines suggested by Dr. Harris Cooper, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University: ten to twenty minutes per night in the first grade, and an additional ten minutes per grade level thereafter (e.g., ten minutes for second grade, 120 minutes for twelfth). These recommendations are usually overlooked, and often teachers frequently assign much more. High school students may sometimes do more, depending on what classes they take.
On the opposing side, some people believe that assigning a lot of homework will prepare them for middle school if they are in elementary school, high school if they are in middle school, or the workforce and college if they are in high school. An overload of homework is draining the strength, inquisitiveness, and strive to learn. Is this the desired effect of homework?
On the contrary to the beliefs of some parents and teachers, a Duke University study found no correlation between homework, and academic achievements in
elementary school. He only found a modest association in middle school. "More is not better," said Cooper, who carried out the study.
Teachers mostly assign homework to use as a tactic to memorize, and to learn the material. Although drills and repetitive exercises have a use during school, they may not be very useful during homework. If a student does her homework assignment that includes thirty problems, but does them incorrectly, she has a greater chance of failing the test. The United States Department of Education states that after checking five algebraic equations, most math teachers can tell whether a student grasped the concept or not. Practicing numerous amounts of problems and doing them the wrong way, can cause the student to learn the concept incorrectly.
Does assigning more homework improve standardized testing scores? In the Czech Republic, Japan, and Denmark, teachers give little homework. They also have higher-scoring students. Worldwide, The United States is considered one of the countries that gives the most homework for seventh and eighth grade students. More homework obviously does not mean a higher test score.
Overloading students with homework is sometimes unconstructive. Ever heard of a student getting sick because of homework? According to Dr. William Crain, a professor of psychology at City College of New York...