Homework Kills Education For Kids
Imagine a world where kids spend all their time at home, never having free time to do what they want, and always waiting for the weekend. Well, that’s what is happening in America today, with kids always inside, completely dedicating all of their time to homework, just to keep their grade afloat. We should have less homework because homework causes kids to slack off and to have health problems, and more homework isn’t equaling smarter kids.
(Student being surrounded by his massive amount of homework. Source.)
Japan and Taiwan both have the highest test scores in the world, and how many schools in these countries have 4+ hours of homework? For Japan it is 1% and for Taiwan it is 3%. In the U.S, about 10% of its schools have more than 4 hours of homework, and it ranks below average in the world. (Source 2.) In Japan, most teachers rarely give more than 30 minutes of homework, and the students are outperforming American students in every subject. Japanese students also are not nearly as stressed as the typical American student. (Source 3.)
In tests conducted by Gerald LeTendre, professor of educational theory and policy at Penn State, and Motoko Akiba, faculty member at the University of Missouri–Columbia, in 18 different nations, they found that the amount of homework assigned to American students isn’t giving any boosts in test scores, except for infinitesimal boost in middle school, and actually are producing worse test scores from students. (Source 2.)
Another test conducted by some Australian researchers confirms the same findings: more homework does not equal higher test scores. (Source 4.)
Homework is also causing health problems in students, the biggest problem being stress. Stress is felt by students everywhere today. Whether it results from family or school matters, it is always there. We can help American students overcome some of that school stress by cutting down the amount of homework given to kids. At most American schools, kids are given 2 hours of homework per night. If we just cut half of that away, we can relieve tons of stress. (Source 4.)
It is important to lessen stress felt by students because its effects are quite harmful. Stress can act like a cold or cause even more complicated problems, such as intestinal pain or headaches. In a test taken from 10 high schools in 1999, it was determined that 56% of the kids had sleep deprivation or other symptoms from stress. (Source 6.) Sleep deprivation is a serious problem that impedes kids learning and functioning speed because, well, you're tired all the time. So, if homework is doing that, we know it is bad. Also in a test taken by American Psychological Association, it was proven that 45% of kids suffered from to0 much stress, and in all of these cases, school was shown to be the cause. (Source 7.) If we can just lower the amount of homework nationwide, we could lessen stress and its harmful effects on kids.
(This shows how much sleep the tested kids are getting on average. Source)
My third argument about why we should lower the amount of homework we have is because homework is causing too many kids to drop out of school. After reviewing my sources, I can say confidently that homework is causing kids to just not care about school or their grades. Lots of smart students who do better than straight A students on standardized testing are failing out of school because they just don’t have time to do homework. (Source 8.) The rate of students in the U.S. who have dropped out of school is rising. And, because people are dropping out so often, the U.S. has decided to make commercials saying, “Stay in school kids,” but it has not helped the problem.
Many teachers, like our own Mr. Townsend, have actually seen the flaw in homework, and now don’t give it to their students. An article I read said this, “...The average educator was taught in her pre-service days that homework is a part of every teacher’s instructional handbag. You lecture, model, assign a worksheet and follow that up with homework….” (Source 6.) But this teacher later discovered when you assign homework it doesn’t really help the kids learn the subject, more often than not it actually hurts the kids’ grades. (Source 6.) Also in that test by Australian teachers, homework was causing depression, which caused the kids to slack off. (Source 4.) So if we just lowered the amount of homework given or how many points it is worth, we could save lots of smart kids from dropping out of school.
Many parents think that homework teaches responsibility, and helps them with their grades, but this is not true, homework doesn’t really teach responsibility. Even though there is no evidence that it actually makes kids more responsible, parents still want to believe in that idea. (Source 9.)
It teaches them to obey their teachers, but does turning kids into obedient slaves really equal responsibility? In the 10th article I credited, the author wrote about how homework doesn’t teach responsibility, but obedience. Because when you tell a student “I want these pages done by tomorrow,” does it really teach kids to be responsible and manage their time correctly with room for homework and play? The author said no and I agree. This is because just telling somebody to do something is not going to make them become responsible. Rather, it is just going to make them obey you, and do whatever you say. It does not force them to learn how to organize their time. (Source 10).
(Student being crushed under weight of his homework. Source)
Now imagine a world where kids learn responsibility, have balance between work and play, reduced stress levels, and actually enjoy school. This is what America could be if the amount of homework that students have is reduced. I know that lowering or eliminating homework can help make that fantasy true, because homework causes lots of stress/health problems, kids to drop out of school, and it actually lowers kids test scores.
1. Kohn, Alfie. "The Value of Homework Needs Further Research." Do Students Have Too Much Homework? Ed. Judeen Bartos. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. At Issue. Rpt. from "Studies Support Rewards, Homework, and Traditional Teaching. Or Do They?" alfiekohn.org. 2011. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 28 Apr. 2015.
2. Penn State Live. "Global Homework Practices Do Not Always Correlate with Performance." Do Students Have Too Much Homework? Ed. Judeen Bartos. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. At Issue. Rpt. from "Benefits of More Homework Vary Across Nations, Grades." 2007. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.
3. “Do Kids Have Too Much Homework?” Smithsonian. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2015. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/do-kids-have-too-much-homework-55452207/?no-ist>
4. “Too Much Homework Can Cause Stress, Depression and Lower Grades, Studies Suggest - Factual Facts: Interesting Facts, Fun Facts and Weird Facts.” Factual Facts Interesting Facts Fun Facts and Weird Facts. N.p., Aug. 2013. Web. 20 May 2015. http://factualfacts.com/science-facts/too-much-homework-can-cause-stress-depression-and-lower-grades-studies-suggest/
5. “Learning Diversity.” Learning Diversity. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2015. http://www.learningdiversity.org/2013/02/is-homework-redundant/
6. “Homework: It Fails Our Students and Undermines American Education.” SmartBlogs. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2015. http://smartblogs.com/education/2012/11/13/homework-it-fails-students-undermines-american-education-mark-barnes/
7. “School Stress Takes A Toll On Health, Teens And Parents Say.” NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 20 May 2015. http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2013/12/02/246599742/school-stress-takes-a-toll-on-health-teens-and-parents-say
8. “Homework And Grades.” educationrealist. N.p., Jun. 2012. Web. 20 May 2015. https://educationrealist.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/homework-and-grades/
9. “Why Homework Is Actually Good For Kids.” - Memphis Parent. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2015. <http://www.memphisparent.com/memphis-parent/january-2012/why-homework-is-actually-good-for-kids/>
10. “Membership.” The Cult(ure) of Homework. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2015. http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/108071/chapters/the-cult(ure)-of-homework.aspx