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Teachers must assign less homework for their students’ sake

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Teacher's must assign less homework

Teacher's must assign less homework

Teacher's must assign less homework

Alex Berenfeld, Managing Editor

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The rolling of eyes, stomping of feet, and quite possibly the throwing of a tantrum, are all familiar responses to a new school year’s workload. However, a group of second graders in Godley, Texas greeted their teacher’s homework policy with smiles and applause.

Brandy Young, a teacher at Godley Elementary, introduced an unconventional, “new homework policy” at the start of the school year. In short, her students will be given no homework, excluding classwork that was failed to be completed during the day.

Young sent a letter home to the parents explaining her new rule. Her reasoning behind it was that researchers are unable to prove that there is an existing correlation between the amount of assigned homework and the improvement of student performance. Instead, Young asks that parents, “eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside, and get [their] child to bed early.” News of this letter went viral on social media after mom Samantha Gallagher posted a picture on Facebook Aug. 16.

This poses an important question: Should teachers assign less homework? Yes.

Research has shown that not only is there a weak correlation between student’s academic levels and their amount of homework, but it also shows that too much homework can yield negative results.

In a 2013 study conducted by Stanford University, researchers interviewed over 4,300 high school students attending 10 different schools. They found that more than 70 percent of students said they were “often or always stressed over schoolwork,” while 56 percent listed homework as their primary stressor. Less than 1 percent said that homework was not a contributor to their stress.

It is not fair for kids to be working consistently for six hours at school, just to come home to more homework. After school is the time students should be dedicating to sports, painting, reading or whatever it is that makes them feel good about themselves.

Another study, conducted in 2015 by the University of Oviedo in Spain, found that students’ test results “began to decline when teachers assigned 90 to 100 minutes of homework per day.” The study, published in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Educational Psychology, questioned 7,725 students.

Contrary to popular belief, students don’t need an excessive amount of homework to excel academically. In fact, they don’t need any homework at all.

After calculating the test scores of math, science and literature students, The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that Finland is home to the best educated students in the world, whereas America ranks number 29. Michael Moore, an American documentary filmmaker, was interested in finding out why this is.

After interviewing a high school student attending a school in Finland and asking the average hours of homework a night she is assigned, the student replied, “About ten minutes, or something.” Another student explained how he was rarely ever given homework.

In an interview with Krista Kiuru, Finland’s Minister of Education, Moore learned that Finland’s teachers do not assign homework. “They should have more time to be kids, to be young stars, to enjoy the life,” she said.

The statement made by Kiuru is similar to Young’s idea suggesting that students be given less homework after school. The hours students spend on homework take away their opportunity to cultivate other critical life skills and partake in beneficial activities like spending time with family or working. Because of this, teachers need to adapt a homework policy similar, if not identical, to Young’s.

It is unrealistic to expect an immediate change regarding the amount of homework teachers assign, but there is hope that in the future, teachers will implement this policy into their own classrooms. Hopefully in the future, parents will be able to talk to their kids about more than just their schoolwork.

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6 Comments

6 Responses to “Teachers must assign less homework for their students’ sake”

  1. Goostradamus on October 10th, 2016 10:03 am

    I totally agree with this. This writer must be a genius.

    [Reply]

  2. Grant Paris on October 10th, 2016 7:27 pm

    Great article, but I think we should have a lot more homework and that teachers aren’t assigning enough, I think we can handle a greater workload.

    [Reply]

    Stephanie Lai Reply:

    Are you kidding me? Homework=Stress

    [Reply]

  3. Grant Paris on October 14th, 2016 4:20 pm

    I agree with the comment above. When I get home I am so bored. We need more homework to keep our minds going and teachers are doing nothing about it

    [Reply]

  4. Grant Paris on October 14th, 2016 4:20 pm

    I agree with the comment above. When I get home I am so bored. We need more homework to keep our minds going and teachers are doing nothing about it

    [Reply]

  5. ethan on May 10th, 2017 9:47 pm

    we need less homwork

    [Reply]

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Teachers must assign less homework for their students’ sake