Is Banning Homework a Good Idea?

I recently heard about a high school in Germany that is banning all homework for the next two years.  This policy change sparked my interest a bit and I am curious what you all think about this idea.

Apparently, from what I have read, the high school already has extended hours and some websites even reported the students were in school until 6pm.  Instead of having students do the extra individual work at home these schools are having them do the work at school.

Since a lot of students participate in extracurricular activities do you think this is a good idea?  Would it be beneficial for students to be able to know once they leave the school doors they won’t have to do anymore work until tomorrow?

These students are in school for a longer day, however they do leave knowing that they have no extra work to do at home.

In France there is also a proposal to ban homework.  A part of the article that struck me was when it mentioned, “This will give students a level playing field to be able to do homework in school.”  It seems quite logical when I thought about that for a minute.  Some students receive minimal to no support at home with their homework while others may have private tutors paid by their parents to help them.

What do you think?

Thank you for listening,

Student Voice

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3 responses

  1. I think this is a good idea IF they are definitely doing the work at school and have teachers or trained staff to assist them. Many students do not get the support at home that they need to complete their work. If a student is struggling to understand something but does not have someone to ask for help then they will most likely not complete the work and will then get penalized at school for not having it done. Having the extra time at school with the aid of teachers may increase academic performance for students. Also, many students deal with stresses at home and outside of school, so not having homework to add to that may be beneficial.

  2. I have mixed feelings about the issue of homework. On one hand, I think that many schools are requiring too much homework, and from too young an age. If a six or seven year old is spending his or her entire evening doing schoolwork, just to wake up and do it all over again, there is a problem. I also agree with your statement about leveling the playing feild. Depending on a student’s home situation, homework may be valued differently from one home to the next. More educated parents will likely be able to assist children with homework more than parents with less education, and those with financial resources are able to hire private tutors, while many are unable to do so. The ease of mind of going home knowing that you are done with school work would likely reduce anxieties, and allow for a healthy amount of sleep.

    On the other hand, we so often forget that school is about more than simply learning to read or write. It is (or should be) about learning social skills and ways to become more independent. With this in mind, having a school that isn’t dismissed until 6pm doesn’t lend much time for sports, music or other extracurricular activities. These activites have numerous benefits including an outlet for energy, creativity or potential anxieties as well as a place to establish healthy relationships, and be a part of something bigger than yourself–not to mention the fitness benefits of sports. While not all students are able to participate in extracurriculars, other activites or responsibilites are important after school such as watching younger siblings or working a part-time job. Additionally, homework acts as way to develop skills of independence, time management and study habbits.

    I think that this issue is very thought-provoking, and is something that I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about. The documentary “Race to Nowhere” offers some interesting viewpoints on the idea of homework, as well as other issues in America’s schools–I recommend checking it out!

  3. I can understand discontinuing homework for younger children, especially if they do not have the support at home to be able to accomplish it. Homework at a young age should not be any new material, it should just be a reflection of what the teacher has previously taught. Young children should not be experiencing the stress of HAVING to complete homework alone without truly understanding the material, and having the students practice the material under the watchful eye of an educator can be immensely helpful. The problem that I have with this is at the high school level. Education shouldn’t just be subject based, it should be preparing students for the next step, be it furthering education or introduction into the work force.

    If a student in high school has never had to do homework, never had to teach themselves material, what is going to happen when they go to college? Where the standard homework time is about 3 hours for every class. These students never going to have experienced delayed gratification to be able to complete homework. Students are not going to develop study skills, they are not going to have the skills to be able to teach themselves, something that is required in both college and in the work force.

    Introduction to the work force is also another problem that I have with this new model. Work no longer ends at 5pm. Even when I was working at an hourly wage, my boss would still text or email me about work materials. People are working at home, getting emails, writing reports, creating spreadsheets, and so forth off the clock. Homework is a life skill that allows citizens to be prepared for the modern world where everyone is always connected, and work is always happening. Without these skills and preparations high school graduates will have difficulties in the post high school world.

    Homework is not just about teaching or reviewing the academic material, it is also about teaching responsibility and delayed gratification.

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