By: ASHLEE CAMPBELL
Education is a journey that almost every American begins. Along with the rise of learning and teaching, comes homework. Homework has a negative connotation from when it is first assigned in beginning levels, up to college level. It is the classic “weekend killer.” Homework is assigned to supply the student with extra help and support with the content that is discussed within that day; however, does it actually help?
The article entitled “Does Homework Help You Learn, on The Learning Network, stated that in 2008 survey, one-third of parents polled rated the quality of their children’s homework assignments as fair or poor. Four out of the 10 surveyed believe that the assignments were assigned as “busywork.” When a student brings home their homework, they usually receive help from their parents. It can be frustrating as a parent if they feel that the assignment is not helping their child’s education. The Program for International Student Assessment released in December 2011 that the Americans students are mired in the middle of international rankings: 17th in reading, 23rd in science, and 31st in math.
Cathy Vatterott, an education professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, supports a rule for students with homework. The “10-minute rule” is the maximum amount of time homework should take a student per grade. She expressed that just because a student does homework, that doesn’t mean they are going to perform better. She questioned, “does homework cause achievement, or do high achievers do more homework, correlation is not causation.” Vatterott believes instead of quantity of homework, the quality should be the main focus.
Principal Jackie Glasheen of Kelly Elementary School said in an interview with a local TV station, “We want them to go to soccer practice or football practice, and we want them to go to bed. And that’s it.” Schools have been following along with this debate and eliminating homework. A New York City public school eliminated traditional homework assignments in favor of family time. There are those who were outraged; however, it earned a lot of support from parents and other education leaders.
Schools should take the community into consideration when it comes to students’ educational plans. Teachers could also try less traditional homework styles to compensate for the ten-minute rule. Some teachers have been doing a “flip classroom.” I had a few teachers who participated in this style of teaching. It allows the student to read or watch videos about a lesson, and then do the actual homework in class. This allowed the students to get the quality leaning they needed in the lesson instead of having busy work. The students would review the material at home, then apply the learned material in class. Educators encourage the students and parents to become involved in the educational journey. They want the families to communicate with the teacher to see if they can provide a better style of homework or teaching that works best for that student. Overall, if a student can’t get their teacher to do the “no homework policy,” they should express to their teachers that they are struggling and create a new plan for their education.