The Pros and Cons of Homework

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“Did you know that homework is one of the greatest causes of student dropouts and failing” (Kralovek 39)? Since the beginning of the twentieth century, homework has been a major debate in America. “At first, the brain was seen as a muscle that could be trained by learning from homework and people enjoyed learning at home. This enthusiastic spirit did not last long since during the 1940’s, Professor Otto explained that, ‘Compulsory homework does not result in sufficiently improved academic accomplishment.’ When Sputnik was launched in the 1950’s, the United States feared that Russia would dominate the world in technology if homework continued to be unnecessary. This incident has partially shaped our country to compete more with other nations. Yet again, during the 1960’s, researchers and educators feared that needless pressure on students was a symptom of overdoing homework. Educator P. R. Wildman wrote in the late sixties that homework does not meet its expectations when it blocks out social experiences, creative activities, outdoor recreation, and deprives students of their recommended daily sleep” (Cooper 34, 38). Today, homework continues to grow in need for students entering high schools and higher education; nonetheless, concern has grown over its benefits for all, especially elementary children. There are many necessary life skills that homework can provide for everyone, which must be used appropriately and in moderation. According to researchers, such as Harris Cooper, homework should be limited, even though research approves of its increased effectiveness as students grow older. Overall, America has witnessed major problems with homework overdoses because many of America’s families have become disrupted, the urge to improve test scores does not always come from doing homework, different ages deal better with specific types of homework, and problems with student behavior and attention in and out of school may arise.
Incorporating homework into the average student’s life can significantly improve academic achievement, the understanding of lifelong study skills, and school appreciation. In order for students to solidify their understanding of certain topics, homework is required since it enables students to retrieve what they have learned outside of school and learning skills can be improved. “For example, Cooper summarizes many of the positive outcomes homework has on students’ lives. Cooper categorizes these outcomes into four sections: immediate achievement and learning, long-term academic benefits, non-academic benefits, and greater parental appreciation of and involvement in school. Under the first section, Cooper explains that one’s learning can progress rapidly since there will be increased understanding, better critical thinking, retention of factual knowledge, greater concept formation, information processing, and curriculum enrichment for a student in the learning process.
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