Expert Opinion On Too Much Homework !!LINK!!
Pope and her colleagues found that too much homework can diminish its effectiveness and even be counterproductive. They cite prior research indicating that homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night, and that 90 minutes to two and a half hours is optimal for high school.
expert opinion on too much homework
In reflecting on how much homework is appropriate, consider how much time is it taking your students, their age, what your purpose and goals are, and the type of assignment. Also, consider all learners and their ability and support working without a teacher. Looking at all these factors will help you determine if in fact you are asking too much in regards to time spent on homework.
"Students in K-3 should not have homework besides daily reading. It is much more important for children to be playing a sport, learning an instrument, hanging out with friends or doing nothing at all than stacks of useless worksheets," Mensing said. "Elementary students are already in school for over six hours a day. They need an opportunity to relax and be kids after school."
"When teachers ask me how much homework to give, that's the wrong question. I would ask, 'What is the purpose of the homework?'" she said. "Even though homework has been around since the 1900s, it's almost been like a tacit understanding that a good teacher gives homework. And what we're trying to say is, actually, that's not the case."
In 2013, research conducted at Stanford University found that students in high-achieving communities who spend too much time on homework experience more stress, physical health problems, a lack of balance in their lives, and alienation from society.
The researchers also found that spending too much time on homework meant that students were not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills. Students were more likely to forgo activities, stop seeing friends or family, and not participate in hobbies.
Beyond that point, kids don't absorb much useful information, Cooper says. In fact, too much homework can do more harm than good. Researchers have cited drawbacks, including boredom and burnout toward academic material, less time for family and extracurricular activities, lack of sleep and increased stress.
The Brookings report also explored survey data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which asked 9-, 13- and 17-year-old students how much homework they'd done the previous night. They found that between 1984 and 2012, there was a slight increase in homework for 9-year-olds, but homework amounts for 13- and 17-year-olds stayed roughly the same, or even decreased slightly.
Yet other evidence suggests that some kids might be taking home much more work than they can handle. Robert Pressman, PhD, and colleagues recently investigated the 10-minute rule among more than 1,100 students, and found that elementary-school kids were receiving up to three times as much homework as recommended. As homework load increased, so did family stress, the researchers found (American Journal of Family Therapy, 2015).
One point researchers agree on is that for all students, homework quality matters. But too many kids are feeling a lack of engagement with their take-home assignments, many experts say. In Pope and Galloway's research, only 20 percent to 30 percent of students said they felt their homework was useful or meaningful.
Still, changing the culture of homework won't be easy. Teachers-to-be get little instruction in homework during their training, Pope says. And despite some vocal parents arguing that kids bring home too much homework, many others get nervous if they think their child doesn't have enough. "Teachers feel pressured to give homework because parents expect it to come home," says Galloway. "When it doesn't, there's this idea that the school might not be doing its job."
Some researchers say that the question isn't whether kids should have homework. It's more about what kind of homework students have and how much. To be effective, homework has to meet students' needs. For example, some middle school teachers have found success with online math homework that's adapted to each student's level of understanding. But when middle school students were assigned more than an hour and a half of homework, their math and science test scores went down.
Who is right? Are students not working hard enough or is homework not working for them? Here's where the story gets a little tricky: It depends on whom you ask and what research you're looking at. As Cathy Vatterott, the author of Rethinking Homework, points out, "Homework has generated enough research so that a study can be found to support almost any position, as long as conflicting studies are ignored." Alfie Kohn, author of The Homework Myth and a strong believer in eliminating all homework, writes that, "The fact that there isn't anything close to unanimity among experts belies the widespread assumption that homework helps." At best, he says, homework shows only an association, not a causal relationship, with academic achievement. In other words, it's hard to tease out how homework is really affecting test scores and grades. Did one teacher give better homework than another? Was one teacher more effective in the classroom? Do certain students test better or just try harder?
"The routine of reading is so much more important than the routine of homework," she says. "Let's have kids reflect. You can still have the routine and you can still have your workspace, but now it's for reading. I often say to parents, if we can put a man on the moon, we can put a man or woman on Mars and that person is now a second-grader. We don't know what skills that person will need. At the end of the day, we have to feel confident that we're giving them something they can use on Mars."
Some parents complain that their children don't have enough homework. Others say there is too much. Homework expert Harris Cooper, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, discusses the issue with Madeleine Brand, as part of a series of reports on education.
How much homework students should get has long been a source of debate among parents and educators. In recent years, some districts have even implemented no-homework policies, as students juggle sports, music and other activities after school.
But some experts say there's value in homework, even for younger students. When done well, it can help students practice core concepts and develop study habits and time management skills. The key to effective homework, they say, is keeping assignments related to classroom learning, and tailoring the amount by age: Many experts suggest no homework for kindergartners, and little to none in first and second grade.
Do private schools assign more homework than public schools? There's little research on the issue, but experts say private school parents may be more accepting of homework, seeing it as a sign of academic rigor.
When I started looking into the evidence, I was surprised to find that there is not much evidence that homework before high school benefits children. I really love this article by Justin Coulson, a parenting expert and psychologist, detailing why he bans his school age children from doing homework, concluding from the evidence that homework does more harm than good. A recent study showed that some elementary school children had three times the recommended homework load. In spite of this, homework has started appearing even in kindergarten and the first great in spite of recommendations to the contrary. This has become a source of great stress to families.
There is a perception that homework loads are excessive. This certainly may be the case in some communities or in high pressure schools. Teenagers certainly think that they have too much homework; here is a well researched piece written by a teenager who questions the utility of large amounts of homework.
Obviously, I am not an educational expert. My review of this topic suggests that most children do not have an undue burden of homework. Thus, the best way to help teenagers get more sleep is to start school later. However, there are a subset of teenagers who may have an excessive amount of homework. I would define that is over two hours of homework a night, or an amount of homework that keeps children up late at night with regularity, especially given that getting enough sleep is critical for learning. No child should have to regularly decide between homework and sleep. These factors can contribute to excessive homework:
The National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association recommend that students spend 10 minutes per grade level per night on homework. That means that first graders should spend 10 minutes on homework, second graders 20 minutes and so on. But a study published by The American Journal of Family Therapy found that students are getting much more than that.
"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.
"We are worried about young children and their social emotional learning. And that has to do with physical activity, it has to do with playing with peers, it has to do with family time. All of those are very important and can be removed by too much homework," he said.
Being an expert, I have spoken to too many students throughout the world. Some take homework as a burden or believe the time could be better invested in other activities. Conversely, others feel it should be necessary as it helps improve their learning process and is part of the school.
College students spend up to three hours a night on homework, on average. If you give too much homework, it can add to your stress and make you tired. Additionally, this has the opposite effect on how well you do in school.
Even when homework is well-designed and does foster learning, too much of it can be damaging. Children who have more than one hour of homework each night overwhelmingly report that they feel stressed about their ability to complete their work. Over time, this stress can create real problems for a developing brain. When we are under stress, the brain produces cortisol, which lowers immune function and processing speed. On a short-term basis, cortisol can help us deal with stress. But when the brain is constantly releasing cortisol, development and learning can slow. This is especially damaging for children, whose brains are rapidly laying down neural connections. Even more troubling, excessive doses of cortisol can damage the hippocampus, which plays an important role in memory, inhibition, and spatial reasoning.