Homework is not practice!

Discussion
May 10, 2013
by: sanfra

Homework is a topic which has drawn my attention a while ago, and I finally have the opportunity to have an input in this. Ever since I got my first homework, which was tracing letter and rewriting my name, I have questioned it’s importance. I didn't have to research an abundance of website to know what homework is, since it’s something everyone goes through. Homework isn't a waste of time, but it also depends on what type of student it is. If it’s a student that doesn't do anything in class, then that student depends on the homework to pass. The Department of Education’s arguments are both subjective and debatable. They believe homework is practice on the material taught in class, but are the students really “practicing” or just doing it in front of the television in order to just to get credit?

Since I wanted to see other sides to this topic, I chose to do some research. It was a bit difficult because there are a lot of sites where people just state the positives and not the negatives. Out of all the sites I have come upon, only two that have the negatives towards homework. A lot of websites wanted to be on the safe side by agreeing. I started my exploring on an article written by Dr. Sam Goldstein and Dr. Sydney Zentall, http://tinyurl.com/c26vkl3. On this article, “The importance of Homework” the authors provide the readers with a list of the positives of homework being assigned. There is such a small amount of positives that the article “Top 14 reasons why Homework is important” by an unknown writer http://tinyurl.com/8c6gep8 also has the same positives in the importance of giving students a load of homework a day, but just stated differently.

After researching, I now have a better understanding of both sides of the topic. The positives of the topic are still reiterated, allowing readers to believe there isn't enough good reasons in order to assign homework. From the article “Is homework a giant waste of time” by Jonathan Anker, http://tinyurl.com/d5x5yqb he states “Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.” This a strong point. Teachers give a large amount of homework and expect all the information to be learned, but in reality it’s memorized. After a quiz/test the information is forgotten. Overloading students, doesn't make teaching easier but a waste of time. In a few years from now, students would only remember a handful, because learning has changed immensely. Learning is no longer about teaching it thoroughly, but just making sure the students go home and memorize the vocabulary definition, formula, or context of a book.

Homework is not a “waste” of time, but there should be a limit. Teachers should be considerate. They tend to forget that other than them, there are other classes. Teachers don’t want their class to be taken as a joke or be too easy, so they tend to give a lot of homework. In my ten years of being in school, I have heard a teacher say “I don’t care if you guys have an essay to do for the other class, my class is as important as all the other classes” about twenty times from different teachers. This bare the question, are teachers trying to make the subject they teach more “superior” or a student’s number one priority? Nevertheless, homework plays a huge role in school, but it’s more memorization than learning or practicing.

Comments

Dear Sanfra, Your post caught

silami's picture
Submitted by silami on Tue, 2013-05-14 10:08.

Dear Sanfra,

Your post caught my attention because most teachers believe that homework is best to be assigned. They feel as if without homework, students wouldn't get as much " practice " they should get. Homework has positive and negative effects to them.

A quote that stood out for me was "Teachers give a large amount of homework and expect all the information to be learned, but in reality it’s memorized. After a quiz/test the information is forgotten." This stood out for me because I am a primary example. One of the reasons why I do homework is because it is a possibility that those same questions would appear in an upcoming test or quiz. If I do not complete the homework then I will probably be at risk of not knowing an answer to a question.

Another quote that stood out for me was "They believe homework is practice on the material taught in class, but are the students really “practicing” or just doing it in front of the television in order to just to get credit? " This stood out for me because this is another reason why I do homework. If it were up to me , I wouldn't do any homework . I mostly only do homework because it brings my grade down if we don't do it . Kids my age nowadays seldom think about how they can use homework to practice classwork skills.

Thanks for your writing Cheka! I look forward to reading interesting topics that you write.

I Agree!

Submitted by galgio on Fri, 2013-05-31 10:18.

Dear Francheska,
I am compelled by your post “Homework is not practice!” because I think the same thing. I always tell myself while doing homework, I just need my credit. Or if not, I think this topic is starting to bore me we did enough of this in class.
A quote from your article that interests me was “Homework is not a “waste” of time, but there should be a limit” because it’s true. A teacher should consider the students and realize there are many other classes a student also gets assigned homework for. A teacher should give homework, but if they know the student has an essay for another class, they should assign it after that essay is due.
I agree with you that homework isn’t a waste of time. I agree with you because it helps you understand the topic better, and gives you a clearer interpretation. It helps the student with the topic and also augments their grade.
Thank you for writing, I look forward to more interesting posts by you. Great Job on analyzing the topic.

Hi Sanfra, I think your title

Submitted by ryan on Fri, 2013-05-31 22:32.

Hi Sanfra,

I think your title is misleading because in your discussion post you mention that that, "Homework isn't a waste of time, but it also depends on what type of student it is" as well as, "If it’s a student that doesn't do anything in class, then that student depends on the homework to pass." As a teacher in a public school, little emphasis or value is placed on homework because so many students do not do it.  Thus much of the grading policy is based off of classwork and test scores.  Still, the DOE's agenda is to simply get the majority of kids to pass because statistically the citywide passing rate is not that great.  Thus, teachers are pressured to pass kids and practically inflate grades based off of classwork.  Homework is a practice and would benefit students, but so many students go home and school is just an afterthought - sadly. 

There's a interesting article in the NYTimes "http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/11/opinion/sunday/quality-homework-a-smart-idea.html?pagewanted=all" about homework being more about quality than quantity, which you discuss a lot in your post. 

Nowadays, homework seems like a lost cause.  Yet, if you want to be great at anything you have to practice - and in my opinion, homework is practice (regardless of memorization or practicing answering questions or writing about what you learned in class that day.  Either way, it will help you to remember what you need to know for the test.