The impact of homework on children
The authors conclude by saying:
“Given the negative outcomes we find associated with more time spent on homework, our study calls into question the desirability of such diligence and the utility of assigning large quantities of homework in high-performing schools. […] any homework assigned should have a purpose and benefit, and it should be designed to cultivate learning and development.”
It seems the horrible, wasteful, idiotic culture of pointless ‘busywork’ is alive in well in some high schools.
The last half of the actual abstract reads:
Results indicated that students in these schools average more than 3 hr of homework per night. Students who did more hours of homework experienced greater behavioural engagement in school but also more academic stress, physical health problems, and a lack of balance in their lives. To better understand the role homework played as a stressor in students’ lives, the authors explored students’ qualitative descriptions of their experiences with homework. The discussion addresses how current homework practises in privileged, high-performing schools sustain students’ advantage in competitive climates yet hinder learning, full engagement, and well-being.
This article basically speaks for itself – but it misses something:
There’s a reason those children are so, “High performing,” — it’s that mom and dad are spending their evenings teaching. (In Calgary, this describes even the normal schools.)
Each of the child’s five teachers, of course, defensively retort, “I would never do that — I never assign more than 20-30min of homework,” ignoring what that adds up to. From the school’s point of view, homework solidifies learning — and it does. In those five 20-30min blocks, the parents are teaching their children what each teacher (at least when compared to places like Finland) has essentially forgotten how to teach.
Don’t believe it? There’s an easy way to test that theory: At the next PTA meeting, just challenge your children’s school to send home a letter to every parent that reads:
Here at ______________ school, we take responsibility for your child’s learning. We believe your child should be able to learn everything he or she needs to know in class and, as such, we assign minimal homework only when absolutely necessary.
When assigned, we request you allocate time for homework and engage your children with such, but please DO NOT HELP him or her with that homework in ANY way. If your child can not easily do the homework, then we have failed and we need to see evidence of such so we can assist with whatever struggles your child is facing.
Once again, you are the parent and we are the teachers. Your child’s learning is our responsibility.
If they start back-peddling and talk on about school-parent partnerships, you have your answer…
Edit: Yes, if parents finally stopped being complacent, that would put huge pressure on very poorly funded teachers/educational systems. Who in turn would put huge pressure on their school administrators via their unions who in turn would have to start shaking down governments for the funding and Masters level education they need to properly do their jobs.
I’m trying to find a problem with that…