The Great Homework Debate

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The Great Homework Debate

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Homework has been a problem for centuries as teachers hand out rigorous assignments for students to do at home. It has been fairly consistent until recently. Students, teachers and parents alike are starting to reconsider the importance of work outside of school. This has most likely come to pass after many treacherous complaints from parents, students, and maybe even teachers. After all, they are having to grade whatever we accomplish! In fact, some teachers have eliminated after-school work completely and are now only grading tests and quizzes. I asked some teachers who were going in this direction to tell me why they are doing it. The first teacher I asked was Mrs. Hyatt. Mrs. Hyatt gives out homework, but it is only for the students to practice. The only thing that goes in one’s grade in that class are tests/quizzes and participation. She explained to me that homework is solely based on practice, and most students don’t use it for that and use their friend as an answer key. One might think that because of this, test scores would be lower, and some could even believe that they would increase. However, Mrs. Hyatt told me there hasn’t been a significant difference. After this answer, one might still question, “why aren’t all teachers changing to no homework?” After talking to Mrs. Hyatt, I questioned Mrs. Lucero, who still gives homework and inputs them into grades. I asked her why she was still giving homework and her answer was simple: “Students need practice and structure.” She believes that homework will help students by not procrastinating their learning, but instead they are learning in the present and practicing to help them with the current subject. Now, some people might have problems and concerns with either one of these homework methods. For example, some students might need the homework graded because they are not natural test-takers, or one might not have enough time to do the homework. When I questioned Mrs. Lucero about this eminent problem, she gave an immediate response. She explained that each student is diverse and different in their own way, and the solution to this problem is to have teachers who are diverse and different also. I talked to one last teacher, Mrs. Adair. Her policy on homework is not as extreme as the other teachers’. Her grading system is simple: if you do not finish something in school, it is to be taken home and done for homework. She does this because she believes that homework does not show skill, and that it is not beneficial for students. Similar to Mrs. Hyatt, she has found that cheating is very common when students do their homework. Every teacher has their preference, and so does each student. So. After this research, I have not come to a conclusion. I figure it is up to the school board to decide.

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