Why One Teacher Banned Homework To Help Her Students
Since the beginning of the 1900’s, teachers have assigned homework. Homework started out as a punishment for students and morphed into something that was compulsory. Homework is assigned because it’s always been done, and other than grumbling students, few questions it. But is it effective?
Homework Could Hurt Learning
Some studies show that overloading students with homework to do after they’ve put in a full day at school can be detrimental to their learning. It can overwhelm them and turn off their curiosity, leaving them bitter toward learning itself. That’s the exact opposite of what anyone wants for their children. One teacher, Brandy Young from Godley, Texas, decided she wasn’t going to assign her students homework anymore.
The following is a letter Mrs. Brandy Young wrote to the parents of her students:
After much research this summer, I am trying something new. Homework will only consist of work that your student did not finish during the school day. There will be no formally assigned homework this year.
Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance. Rather, I ask that you spend your evenings doing things that are proven to correlate with student success. Eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside, and get your child to bed early.
Mrs. Brandy Young”
Children go to school in order to learn all they need to know from teachers who are trained to help them reach their learning goals. At the end of the school day, teachers assign their students additional work to take home and complete independently.
That homework is usually an extension of what the students have worked on that day. The purpose? Teachers and others believe in the power of repetition in learning, and they believe homework provides that opportunity.
Adjusting To Support The Kids
Since writing that letter two years ago and putting it into practice, Mrs. Young has noticed her no-homework policy had a positive effect on her students. She has adjusted her system, though, over time.
Now Mrs. Young assigns homework to those who need the extra practice, with the stipulation that their parents help them grasp the concepts. She also assigns homework to those who ask for it. Some kids love it! Either way, she now has a policy in place that not only works for everyone, but best serves the kids themselves.
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