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The Pipeline

Why Homework is Useless and How We Can Fix it

Photo courtesy of Eleanor Efron

Photo courtesy of Eleanor Efron

Samantha Datnoff, News Editor

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Homework is considered to be one of the most important assignments given and completed, but how effective are these assignments, and what impact do they have on students? In past years, countless amounts of studies have been conducted in an attempt to solve the issue of whether or not homework is necessary. However, this issue is still a contentious subject for many teachers, students, and parents.

The work is partially effective in guiding one’s learning, but it is not the most efficient tool in bettering a student’s understanding. Teachers usually assign homework to allow their students to understand and practice specific topics covered in class. While this preparation can help students improve their skills, those who struggle to grasp topics within the classroom are inclined not to complete their homework pertaining to those lessons. Consequently, students who choose to avoid any preparation are more likely to lag behind in their coursework and struggle in the future. Although tutoring is available every Wednesday in the Learning Commons, most students either feel discouraged to attend or cannot find time after school.

Another problem with homework is the amount of time given to complete it. I notice that a large amount of the students who take rigorous AP courses are presented with lengthy assignments that are expected to be completed in a minimal amount of time. With this in mind, they are forced to devote all of their time to these extensive assignments and even neglect their other classes. This time crunch causes students to rush their work, which results in a detrimental effect to their overall performance. Time constraints as well as student health are significant factors that impact student achievement.

The health of a student has a drastic effect on their academic achievements and social lives. If children suffer from many health ailments, their problems can create barriers and act as obstacles to their success and happiness. For example, studies have shown that remaining seated for extended periods of time may increase one’s risk for cancer and heart disease. While some students may designate a daily exercise plan each week, the effects of exercise cannot completely counteract the damages of being seated for prolonged periods of time. Additionally, sitting can be linked with slow brain function as less blood and oxygen is transported to the brain. Evidently, those who spend the majority of their time studying and completing homework are suffering physically, as well as mentally.

Students may endure a variety of ailments that come from teachers assigning too much homework. A solution to this problem would be an increase in communication between teachers and students before assigning homework. For instance, students may vote on whether or not an assignment is ideal for their schedule, or how they can change the assignment to fit their needs. This could allow students to have a balanced amount of homework each night that will cater to their benefit, but that will also allow them to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Another solution to the homework problem could be allowing students to choose certain days of the week to complete homework. This way, students can plan out their schedules based on the assignments given in all of their classes. Overall, homework can be an effective medium to help benefit students’ learning, but too many assignments in too little time can be devastating.

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Why Homework is Useless and How We Can Fix it