Abolishing Homework

I read an interesting article over at the San Francisco Chronicle about a high school teacher who does not assign his students homework. It also discussed an elementary school that got rid of its homework policy.

I agree that for most elementary school age kids long periods of homework are not helpful and it is better spent doing other activities. The sticky spot is when students get to middle school and high school, the data gets a little fuzzy. I’m sure all students would want less homework, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is good to get rid of homework. Personally, I didn’t do my homework often and my test scores were fine, but I ended up getting not so good overall grades because homework counted as part of the grade. I am just one student though so what works for me may not work for someone else. I will admit though that homework can be beneficial, even in college. For my Econ class I have to do little quizzes on Aplia.com and this forces me to think about the material and it has helped me better understand the material.

The article made a point, which I think is one of the most important, that teachers need to consider what they are assigning as homework. Is it busy work? Or it is thought-provoking and beneficial to the student? Of course it is probably easier to get a student to do a fill in the blank worksheet over a sheet that asks for written response, but this brings up another question. What could teachers do to motivate students to do homework and care about their education? This leads to bigger questions about the role of the teacher and students and perhaps even the whole grading system.

So many question…

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