The Homework Debate: Advantages And Disadvantages Of School Assignments

Students of previous generations rarely stopped to consider the necessity of at home assignments. These were thought of as a part of the education process that, while uncomfortable, was ultimately necessary for learning to take place. Modern students exist in a world where information is constantly being updated and passed on to them in real time. Considering this, we can begin to look at the disadvantages of homework as well as the advantages. This article seeks to explore that argument fully.

The Advantages

The first advantage that should be listed is that students who have difficulty with certain concepts may be better able to grasp the subtleties of them at home. The same problem may become infinitely simpler in comfortable surroundings with a more relaxed time limit. For students who are especially gifted, they may be given more challenging work to do on their own. Assigning such work during the regular class time might discourage other students or take time away from the topics that they are struggling to learn.

There are students who are likely to use any free time available to them to engage in activities that are dangerous or at least counterproductive. For them, having work to complete at home reduces the amount of trouble they can get into outside of school. Another unfortunate reason that homework is necessary is that some educational bodies expect more to be taught in the school year than time allows. By having students cover some of the curriculum at home, it becomes possible for deadlines to be met.

The Disadvantages

When teachers assign work to be completed at home, they rarely consider the individual needs of the students. It is one size fits all so instead of helping slow students catch up and keeping exceptional students interested, no one gets exactly what they need. It is not uncommon for disinterested students to merely exchange answers right before the work is to be submitted.

With so much information available, robbing children of their ability to self-direct their education should not be part of our systems. Giving them the chance to study what appeals to them would lead to longer periods of sustainable study. When teachers assign work they can never truly intuit the students’ passions.

There may still be a purpose for homework in the modern school system but it seems to be a practice that is on the decline.