Does your homework help you learn?



Many students have an immense amount of homework.

Amanda Mazzuchi, Editor

There is a difference between a teacher that falls back on habit, and those who stray from the norm. Teachers now are finding ways around the typical “we have always done it this way,” and instead are finding new approaches to homework.

“Most of what homework is doing is driving kids away from learning,” said education professor Harvey Daniels.

Homework for students is often a dreadful task, or something that has to merely “get done” for the completion points. While this is beneficial to allow the student to practice the material after school, it is not beneficial if students are just doing it to get it done.

Students are not like vending machines. The amount of homework that a teacher assign often does not equate to the amount of learning and “brain growth” that an educator may want to see.

“Reports that homework in science, English and history has “little to no impact” on student test scores. Enriching children’s classroom learning requires making homework not shorter or longer, but smarter,” said author of The Trouble With Homework, Annie Murphy Paul.

In the eyes of the parent, many feel as though they need to enforce homework on their children. This often times could make the child do the homework because their parents told them to and not as much because they want to.

“Many adults simply assume that homework is useful for promoting learning…Do students find that homework really is useful?  Why or why not? Are certain kinds better than others?” said author of Rethinking Homework, Alfie Kohn.

But, many teachers are starting to think outside the box when it comes to homework. There seems to be a trend of less “busy work” and more opportunities to prove knowledge of the material.

Adams High School social studies teacher, Mark Mcfarland is a teacher who strays away from the daily homework.

How do you think not giving students homework every night helps them in the long run?

“I think that students health and their ability to just be a teen is a big deal. As well as their well being and health especially when giving homework is a big problem for many students. All of which is hard to control but you do what you can.”

Do you ever think that the amount of homework equates to the quality of work you receive?

“Of course. When I give homework, it is often used the next day in class or test reviews. I never give homework for homework sake because of course, then there is a lack of quality. Busy work is usually rushed and done just to be done.”

Amanda Mazzuchi
Students often spend their lunchtime doing homework in the media center.

How do you think the amount of homework at Adams high school is/isn’t changing over the years?

“I hope that the trend is going down but seeing the amount of homework kids get every night is seemingly going up.”

For teachers interested in straying from the norm, changing how homework is assigned could be a good start. However, less may not always be more, especially regarding homework. An ultimate obligation to assign homework is necessary, not just because it is an expected standard practice, but for the benefit of the student as well.