Many schools are now considering abolishing homework assignments in their institutions. May of their educators supporting this move, often cite various research studies that found out that homework has no significant impact in boosting student performance.
This has become a common trend among elementary schools, which now prefer other methods such as 20-minute nightly reading practices.
On the other hand, critics continue to object to this motion. They claim that despite not having significant evidence in boosting academic performance, homework has excessively many other additional benefits and shouldn’t be banned. One of its core beauties includes the opportunity for parental involvement in their kids’ school life and the ability to nurture good learning habits among students.
But why is it that several studies are showing a lack of evidence for homework to increase students’ grades? Something doesn’t add up because for one to sharpen a specific skill, say playing the piano, you will need to practice in between and after classes to be a pro at it. Practice makes perfect for crying out loud and homework provides students with the chance to continually practice what they have already learned.
Psychologists have also weighed in on the debate and revealed that there are several other strategies for bettering your skills. But, many of these options seem to be best suited for homework practices.
Retrieval exercise is one of these methods. In this practice, the aim is to make the student recall the material that they have already learned in class. It works by assigning homework activities that encourage students to try to answer questions about concepts that had been taught in class earlier that day. This method has proven to be more effective than the basic notes reviewing exercises.
What parameters do these studies use to measure the effectiveness of homework? From my understanding, some homework metrics are almost impossible to measure. For example, homework activities meant to boost students’ reading and comprehension levels are rarely taken into account by these studies.
Also, a test can be set to evaluate students’ understanding of the history of Ancient Egypt while their assignment focused on Greek Mythology. Tests are rarely derived from homework assignments and it would be wrong to state otherwise.
Furthermore, other studies show that homework is beneficial but to a given set of students. By narrowing down on a specific lot, these studies reveal that homework wasn’t essential for elementary school pupils but helped many high school goers with their studies.
Another study finding contradicts this and reports that math assignments helped elementary students more compared to their middle school counterparts. Others found out that parental assistance during homework time could prove fatal towards students’ performance. the list goes on and on as we continue to consider specific variables such as household income levels and economic status.
Overall, many disadvantaged students especially those coming from low-income families don’t have access to key homework resources and are less likely to harness their benefits. To help boost learning, teachers need to be more considerate when assigning effective homework.