An Up-To Date Question: Is Homework A Waste Of Time?

As long as there has been education, people have questioned the validity and usefulness of homework. Some people say it is not useful and some say it is very important to the education process. Nightly and weekend assignments are probably a combination of both camp’s views. The reasons for this are as follows:

  • It should have a purpose-there should be a reason for an assignment. Some of the reasons for such work could be reinforcement, review, and introduction to a new subject. Students quickly discover when a lesson is given as busy work. And an instructor should never assign busy work to their students.
  • It should be realistic-the amount of work should be realistic. Most school administrators like for teachers to give 45 minutes to an hour of work at the rate of 2-3 times a week. When one subject takes up all of a student’s nightly time, this is not fair. It is good to remember that many students are often involved in extra curricular, community, and family activities.
  • Ample time for projects should be provided-if a project is assigned then all of the instructions should be very clear to the students. And not only should the instructions be clear, but there needs to be ample time for the student to complete the work. It is always important for a teacher to remember that the student has other classes.
  • It should never be a punishment-homework should be for purposes of knowledge. The homework should never be given for a punishment of any kind.
  • It can be used for review-the homework can be used for review purposes. It can be used to help a student move on to the next concept or as an evaluation readiness tool.
  • Assigned test days-many schools have assigned specific test days for each academic subject. When an administrator does this, it is helpful for the student, so that they do not have five tests on one day. This small but important move can help alleviates some nightly assignments.

There are valid reasons for nightly work assignments. For example, in a math class, this work is necessary to build a working foundation and the movement to the next concept. There simply has to be a reason for the work, common sense needs to be applied, and realistic goals are necessary when it comes to assignments.


© All rights reserved.