When you were a kid, what was the one thing you absolutely dreaded most? Had the most squabbles about with your parents? Was the most time consuming? Homework. Homework is an issue that has been highly debated for centuries. Some believe it is tremendously advantageous while others passionately disagree. When considering the necessity of homework, one must contemplate the entirety of the evidence before making a rational decision: the origin, the scientific findings, as well as the benefits or detriments to the children of America. Whether homework is something educators decide to preserve or ban, they need to make rationalized decisions that are the best for our children, putting aside their bias of how they acquired their education.
To begin to understand why homework has become such a current issue, one must first understand the origin of this debate. The article “The Homework Debate” explains, “Throughout the first few decades of the 20th century, educators commonly believed that homework helped create disciplined minds” (Marzano). In continuation, the article then discusses how this view flip-flopped throughout the rest of the 20th century. Starting in 1940, those views suddenly began to change when homework began to interfere with household chores and activities. Merely ten years later when the Soviet’s launched Sputnik, American educators began to fear that our education system was lacking and more rigorous homework was assigned. Views on homework then switched again in 1980, when many theorists became concerned about homework negatively influencing children’s mental health (Marzano). Since this time, our education system has refused to pick a stance and continues to have educators that wrangle for both sides.
Homework has been a part of the curriculum in schools for centuries. It is ordinarily believed to teach self-discipline, time management, as well as, prepare for standardized tests. Not only does it train children in these qualities, it also has shown to be successful in assisting students achieve. Cooper’s study explained in the article “Special Topic / The Case For and Against Homework,” that students who completed homework scored 23 percentage points higher than the student who were not required to complete homework (Marzano). When breaking it down into grades, grades 4-6th had a percentile gain of 6. Grades 7-9th had a percentile gain of 12. Grades 10-12th had a percentile gain of 24. (Marzano) This percentile gain is quite significant, especially when looking at the secondary grades. The NCTM explained that in a recent study, it was proven that:
“Second-grade students who did homework did better than no-homework peers on number places; those in third and fourth grade did better on English skills and vocabulary; those in fifth grade, on social studies; high school students, on American history; and twelfth graders, on Shakespeare. Across five studies, the average (fiftieth-percentile) homework doer had a higher unit test...