Homework is still considered a vital tool for delivering knowledge. It is a standard of practice in schools across the globe; from the jungles of the Amazon to the sleek metropolitan of London. Teachers are brought up to believe that unless they supplement their efforts at school with assignments at home. This concept has remained unquestioned for centuries, but recently science has become interested with the possible repercussions especially with the already massive influx of data that students receive each day. We are faced with the question: Is homework doing more harm than benefit?
It is no secret that students hate homework with a passion. Even some of the high achievers resent having to go back home and put in mandatory extra work. Punishment is not making any changes because millions of children have been repeatedly punished for slacking off, and yet they keep on as repeated offenders. Different generations with different values have come and gone and the situation is still the same. Finland has long topped the charts with the quality of its education, and ironically it is the country where students spend the least amount of time in the school and are required to do a minimal amount of homework. This polarity suggests a missing link on some level. It clearly implies that there is an alternative to burdening our children with tasks that eat away what is left from their precious childhood time. Is it really helping with their education?
Recent studies stated that there is no clear evidence that homework makes better students. In fact, several studies in the last 30 years have shown that direct application after the explanation is a much more effective method for students to properly assimilate ideas for the longer run. Other researchers suggested that homework does not produce any conceivable effects that justify the mountain load of assignments they are given. Other clinical studies furthermore came to the conclusion that those who spend the average of an hour dealing with homework score higher than those who spend 3 to 4 hours. The reason behind this is that those with the extra free time children get to dedicate more attention to activities that bring them joy. It serves to widen their interest, sharpen their skills and make them more rounded individuals.
Our perception of homework is in need of a checkup. They are cumbersome for children and cause them undue stress without any quantifiable benefit. It makes them unwilling to learn new things because they associate it with further work and effort needed to be exerted. It also takes away from their initiative and independence when they ask parents for assistance as some of these assignments, especially projects, are beyond their capabilities. And at a certain point, parents are no longer capable of helping out, so they often have to spend more money on private tutoring. Those who are incapable often have to stand aside helpless and witness the ascending resentment and frustration. Schools become symbolic of black holes that suck in all the fun from living.
The World Health Organization is now taking steps to abolish the standard practice of assigning homework as it considers it a detrimental cause of unhappiness and underachievement among children. Knowledge should be a gateway to a better future and never a source of undue punishment. If we want our children to regain their passion for knowledge, it’s high time that we reshape the educational system to fit their needs instead of bending them out of shape to conform to outdated models that should have remained part of the distant past.