Homework: Helpful or Harmful?

Jason Arevalo, Staff Writer

How do you feel when you’re in school and after a long lecture in class, you’re getting ready to leave, then all of a sudden your teacher assigns homework for everyone? The whole class sighs and they open up their book bags and toss the homework inside their bag, annoyed. “When you look at the paper”, you really just find the homework to be busywork again, like all the other assignments the teacher always gives out. You start to wonder if this homework is really going to help you better understand and learn, or is it busywork that teachers need to give out.

As a high school student myself, I can say classmates and myself all sigh or have some type of reaction when we all hear the word “homework,” because we either spend hours doing it or in some cases not even doing it at all, both of which will affect our grade. An article by CNN states “Research showed that excessive homework is associated with high-stress levels, physical health problems and lack of balance in children’s lives; 56% of the students in the study cited homework as a primary stressor in their lives.” 

Teachers have about an hour to “teach us,” but only some teachers really do teach; others might just put on a slideshow and expect us to learn from it”, and later on do a homework assignment. I am talking about a past experience from middle school with my social studies teacher. She would sit on her chair while controlling the Powerpoint, going slide by slide. Then we would all get up and grab a homework assignment from her desk. She sat at her desk”, she didn’t get up to walk around and ask people if they needed help”, or even tried to help anyone. This made it harder to learn because you would have to teach yourself while the teacher was no help.

Now some teachers are joining the anti-homework movement, just like Barbara Tollison, a high school teacher. “For the kids who understand the information, additional practice is unnecessary,” Tollison told TODAY Parents. “The kids who need more support are going to go home and not do it right. It’s just going to confuse them more. They don’t have the understanding and they need guidance.” As a teacher herself, she knows this will only make things worse for her students and herself.

Finally, homework has been a thing of the past and I would say school districts and teachers should really consider whether homework is helpful and if it is, what is the right amount? At what point does it become too much? If school is really a place to help students improve and learn, shouldn’t they take this into consideration and really think about whether homework is actually helping our students. Is it homework or is it really busy work assigned to all students?