Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Journal 6: Ten Reasons to Get Rid of Homework

Spencer, J. (2011, September 19). Ten reasons to get rid of homework (and five alternatives). Retrieved from http://www.educationrethink.com/2011/09/ten-reasons-to-get-rid-of-homework-and.html

Ten Reasons to Get Rid of Homework: This article, by John Spencer, puts forth reasons for teachers not to assign homework to students. His reasons cover multiple areas of schooling and argue for the abolishing of homework altogether. The most prospective reason in his article, in my opinion, is the "Inequitable Situation" reason presented by Spencer. According to him, many students have a disadvantage in that their parents do not provide the support needed for them to complete their homework at home. Many students have parents who are either too busy, too tired, or unwilling to assist their children in their work. The students with parental support gain the advantage in this case.

The least prospective reason, in my opinion, is that "Most Homework is Bad". Spencer argues that most homework recreates the school environment at home. What he fails to realize is that homework is the reality of schooling and always will be. Students must be prepared for intense homework if they plan to succeed in college and for a teacher not to assign homework implies that the teacher isn't looking out for his/her students' future and best interests. What a shame.

Five Reasons To Keep Homework: I've chosen to defend the use of homework by giving five reasons on why it should stay within our schools.
1. Homework promotes discipline and growth - Without homework, students can lose their sense of discipline and slow their academic growth. Do I believe that kids should have time to be kids? Of course, but there are many hours in a day and kids should devote some of their time to doing assignments. 

2. Many assignments address the problems facing our world today - If large assignments like essays and reports were done away with, then there would be two major problems as a result. First, what's to keep the students from doing any work at all? When I was in school, it was very easy to coast by and let other students participate while I sat back and listened. If a teacher called on me, I would say something similar to what another student said. If I had done all my assignments, I would be more motivated and more ready to participate in class. Second, without dedicated time at home to perform research, read, and write reports, students will lose out on examining many issues that are facing the world today. I know that if I was in school, I would rather watch television than read the news and find information about important topics. If there are no assignments, why should students care to engage in such information?

3. Homework provides additional feedback - Homework can be used to gauge student knowledge and understanding. Without homework, the teacher must perform additional steps and allocate additional time to figuring out whether his/her students are grasping the material. With homework, the teacher can spend time outside class grading and seeing common mistakes and subsequently plan to address the mistakes in later classes.

4. Homework is a great way for students to practice what they've learned - Students need time to digest what they have learned in class each and every day. Once they get home, students can play for awhile and relax and then begin to work on their homework. By doing homework, students can practice what they have learned and become better at what they do. After all, practice makes perfect and one hour periods each day do not provide enough time for students to practice the material. 

5. Group assignments promote collaboration - Some assignments can given as group assignments, where students get together and collaborate to form ideas. These assignments are fantastic ways for students to build relationships with their peers both in and out of the classroom. Let the students build things and perform experiments outside the classroom to solidify their understanding of the material and engage in collaboration. These assignments can show students the real world benefits of education, which often may not be present in the curriculum.

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