Expert recommendations for college students.

Why Homework Doesn’t Seem To Boost Learning--And How It Could

Opponents of homework have also argued that the practice is not beneficial to students. In affirmation to their stand, research conducted on the practice shows it does not necessarily boost achievement. As a result, some schools have begun abolishing homework, quoting the study.

Should teachers adopt new strategies in dealing with the surge in lack of interest in homework? Will assigning different kinds of assignment work? 

 Some teachers have also taken personal initiative to cancel homework. A second-grade teacher in Texas announced in 2016 that she has stopped assigning homework citing research. She said, “Research hasn’t proven that homework boost student achievement.”

Fast forward in 2017, the superintendent of a Florida school district with 42,000 students abolished home assignments for elementary students. Instead, she replaced it with 20 minutes of nightly reading. Since then, other schools have implemented such policies. 

However, proponents of homework are opposing such policies. They claim that homework has several other benefits, even if it does not improve grades. Such benefits include improving the study habits in students and parents having the chance to monitor their kids.

Now let’s explore why homework doesn’t necessarily boost learning or academic achievement. 

The excellent news is phycologists have come up with strategies to help students learn, and some of it perfectly suits doing homework. 

One such strategy is the “retrieval practice,” which allows you to retrieve information or knowledge already acquired.  The best time for such practice is not immediately after learning, but after forgetfulness tries to set in. 

But with homework, students are asked questions about what was taught in class in the day. Retrieval practice is more effective than rereading learning materials to do your homework.

Another problem is that most teachers don’t assign useful homework. They don’t know why and when to assign a particular home task. We can’t wholly blame them because they receive little or no training on how to do that.

Parental help in homework is another challenge hindering its effectiveness. It is good for parents to contribute to their kids’ education, including homework. However, there should be a limit. Some parents go to the extent of taking over the homework by solving it themselves without the kid’s contributions. When this continues to happen, the homework will never boost the academic achievement of the student. 

The stress and its related health issues on students resulting from homework make it somewhat ineffective. Most students feel overburden with homework; hence, they do it not as something they want to but to satisfy the teachers. With this kind of mentality, homework wouldn’t boost learning. 

Too much homework

Some teachers mostly disregard the recommended homework duration of 10 minutes per grade. Some assign about 30-minutes of work to first graders and students at higher grades mostly exceed the two hours limit. It turns to affect the students instead of improving learning. 

Conclusion

As an educator, assign homework that suits the needs of students. If possible, give personalized tasks to a particular group of students being those weak academically or intelligent. That is the only way homework can boost academic performance and learning. 

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