CSI Literacy NZ

The pros and cons of homework

The pros and cons of homework

Are you Team Homework or Team No Homework?

It’s a divisive one. Homework has been the subject of debate since the invention of school (probably).

On one side, homework is an added stress that does more harm than good; on the other, homework is seen as important and necessary.

So who’s right and who’s wrong? Well, that’s hard to say. Here are both sides of the argument.

Take a look and let us know what you think in the comments below.


The pros of homework

1. Homework reinforces students’ learning

Think of it as a reflection on learning – homework gives students the chance to strengthen what they learned during the day, or what they’re learning about throughout the term.

2. Practice makes perfect

Want to get better at something? Practise it. It’s true of just about everything.

Purposeful homework encourages your students to practise, rehearse and perfect the concepts and skills you teach them every day.

3. Homework gives parents an insight into their children's learning

It’s a chance for parents to connect with their children and see what they’re doing each day.

This is probably the biggest case for homework. In many cases, it’s the parents who want homework ­– to see their child’s learning being extended and pushed outside the classroom. 

4. Homework is ‘character building’

Students are not just completing tasks when they do homework, no sir.

They’re also learning to be independent and self-disciplined, and are developing time management and research skills. 

Now we're talking...!

The cons of homework 

1. Children need to play

Einstein said it best: “Play is the highest form of research.”

There’s a good amount of evidence backing him up, too. Research that suggests that play can have a massive impact on a child’s academic achievement, not to mention their character development, safety and overall health.

2. Not all students’ home lives are created equal

No surprises here!

Your students aren’t on a level playing field when it comes to their lives outside your classroom: some children have parents who can support them with their homework, some children don’t.

This is a biggie. So much so, in fact, that former French president Francois Holland proposed a ‘no homework’ policy in his plans for education reform in 2012.

3. Students are already at school at least six hours a day

That’s practically a full-time job, especially when you factor in all the added extra-curricular things your students get up to. They’re busy bees!

Now put yourself in their shoes and imagine you’ve been given more work to do when you get home. That’s rough! (Imagine? You say. You know I’m a teacher, right? Yes, yes we do. And we applaud you.)

4. Homework doesn’t increase engagement

… or any kind of improvement in academic performance, actually.

Worldwide, homework isn’t associated with high national levels of academic achievement. In fact, in many cases, it only contributes to students developing negative attitudes toward school in general. 


 Homework – what do you think?



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