Is Homework Necessary to Facilitate Learning?

Is Homework Necessary to Facilitate Learning?

Samuel Esposito, Senior Staff Writer

Homework: What is the feeling that you, as a high school student, instantly register at the sound of that word? Is it excitement or is it dread?  Putting the two words “home” and “work” together often just sounds like a bad idea; however, the main question is: Is it truly needed to learn or does it just become busy work?  According to an online site titled Sprouts Development, homework plays no significant role in learning: “It has been proven that homework does not have a substantial impact on learning. In the early grades, homework is simply not necessary. Children need time – unstructured time. They do not get enough of it.”  However, notice that the emphasis here is “in the early grades.” In an article on a site titled Hey Teach, a professor made the distinction: “According to Duke professor Harris Cooper, it’s important that students have homework. His meta-analysis of homework studies showed a correlation between completing homework and academic success, at least in older grades.” A poll in the same article further explained: “57% of parents believe that their kids were given the right amount of homework, with only 19% thinking it was too much.” 

However, the question of whether or not homework is needed to learn in both elementary and high school often depends on the class, the student and the teacher. Homework is meant to provide additional insight into a subject outside of class in order to enhance instruction. It is essentially a device put in place to help students further their understanding of the subject. Consider some of the pros and cons below, from a student’s perspective: 

Pros: Cons:
Homework keeps students organized  Sometimes it’s just busy work
Homework can bump up a student’s  grade.  If a student understands the material and its worth points, students must do it. 
It provides extra practice for what is done in class Homework can also lower a student’s grade. 
Many assignments are allowed to be finished at home. This can provide the required

time to not only finish it but to better understand it. 

It can add stress to students. 

Here’s what two Hubbard students had to say about the homework they have: Senior Ricky Kritz, expressed his viewpoint as follows: “I think homework doesn’t do much to help people learn. Some people who already have a grasp on the subject still need to do it, and it may tank their grade, even though they already know the topics and subjects. Perhaps one needs to ask this senior why his grade would “tank” if he already has a grasp on the subject?  Kirtz continues: “In school, teaching should be the only requirement, but other work should be available. That way the people who need extra practice can get it, and the people that already get it don’t need to do extra. As for the people that don’t get it and don’t take the extra work, they likely weren’t going to do the homework anyhow.”  

Junior Sierra Roy, agrees somewhat. “I don’t think it helps me learn because most of the time it’s just a repeat of what we did in class. If I already learned it in class, why would I need to do the same thing again at home? All homework really is, is a filler grade teachers can use to keep grades from rising or falling too much between tests.” Most students would agree with Sierra and Ricky. It is more common for students nowadays to not see the purpose of homework, that it just adds additional stress and is not needed. 

However, teachers might strongly disagree, stating that homework has additional benefits. According to an article on teachers’ lesson plan site, these are ten of them:

  1. Homework teaches students about time management.
  2. Homework teaches students how to set priorities.
  3. Homework helps teachers determine how well the lessons are being understood by their students.
  4. Homework teaches students how to problem solve.
  5. Homework gives student another opportunity to review class material.
  6. Homework gives parents a chance to see what is being learned in school.
  7. Homework teaches students how to take responsibility for their part in the educational process.
  8. Homework teaches students that they may have to do things—even if they don’t want to.
  9. Homework teaches students to work independently.
  10. Homework teaches students the importance of planning, staying organized, and taking action.

Ultimately, the answer lies more strongly in whether or not the targeted audience is the teacher or the students.  As indicated, there are some big differences in how those two groups perceive the homework issue.