What are your views on homework?

TeAch-nology.com's Teacher Poll of the Week
What are your views on homework?
I feel that homework is a very valuable learning tool.
I feel that homework is of little value to the educational process.
Iím undecided on the issue.

View Results

The debate over homework has raged for many years with both sides arming themselves with the positive and negative effects. This poll showed that the majority of teachers believe that homework is a valuable learning tool. In fact, when the number of respondents who felt homework had little value and those who were undecided were added together they equalled only a little over half of the positive respondents.

Benefits of homework have been listed as improved study skills, especially with regard to time management, the involvement of parents in the student's learning process and the fact that homework helps promote responsibility and self-discipline. Naysayers point to the fact that homework sometimes becomes a cause of stress between child and parent and can lead to disinterest in the subject. Other negative effects that have been discussed are the fact that time spent on homework limits a student's ability to be involved in sport or community activities, and that parent assistance may actually confuse students.

The benefits of homework are also affected by the age of the student involved. Students in secondary school have been shown to have higher levels of achievement when homework is given regularly. There is, however, a maximum level of homework and once this is reached no increased benefit is seen. For student's age 11-13 homework also improves achievement but to a lesser degree than that seen in older children. There is little evidence to suggest that homework for children under the age of 11 has any benefit except in promoting good study habits and attitudes.

While parents and teachers have strong views on both sides of the debate, students are probably fairly united in their viewpoint. It must be a very small minority of students who ask for or like the idea of homework. If they made the decision, then it would be a pretty cut and dried case.

Life's never that simple though. Unless standardized rules about homework in different grade levels are mandated, the situation will continue much as it has for many years with teachers doing what they believe is best for students.