Petition against homework
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Not all students learn through pen/pencil and paper. Some learn hands-on or visually, and others in many other ways. Schools teach every kid the same, meaning every kid receives homework that they may not understand while another student does. Some kids learn faster than others and some slower, creating an imbalance in the classroom for learning.
Homework worsens the imbalance by putting pressure on kids to learn at the same pace. Studies have shown that when students have less homework, their stress levels decrease, paving the way for a more comfortable mindset for learning instead of worrying when the next assignment is due. A Stanford researcher found that too much homework can negatively affect kids, especially their lives away from school, where family, friends and activities matter. The study concluded that home work is associated with "greater stress, reductions in health, and less time for friends, family, and extracurricular pursuits" (Stanford University).
Instead of homework, students should be using up this time studying material and notes given in class in their own ways. Teachers, to help, could create variety in their lessons, such as using games and teamwork so students can bounce ideas off each other and work together to find the right answer, instead of having to search for the answer them self through a textbook, which they will have to repeat over and over to memorize for a test or quiz.
Students also have a life outside of school including extra curricular activities which take up most of the afternoon, along with chores at home. Most students only have an hour to do homework after all of their prior arrangements, sometimes even less. This hour also cuts into free time which students need to relax and get the proper sleep for the next day of school.
Lets do some math: there are 24 hours in a day. 7 hours are taken up by school, leaving 17 hours. Of those 17, teens need a minimum of 8 hours of sleep, which leaves 9 hours. Take off an hour or two for getting ready for school/getting ready for bed, and you have 7-8 hours. Of these 7-8 hours, 2 are used for extra curricular activities (such as sports and clubs) which are essential to getting into a good college, leaving students with 5-6 hours. Of these 5-6 hours, let’s take away 1 for dinner. This leaves us with 4-5. Of these 4-5, two hours are left for chores, a grocery trip, etc., leaving 2-3 hours. Take away one hour for free time, seeing as its essential for emotional health, and you have 1-2 hours for homework. This is assuming sleep is at its minimum. At its max, 10 hours, there is no time left for homework. Sometimes homework cuts into free time, taking up 2-3 hours, leaving the student stressed for the next day of school and not in the proper mindset for learning.
An alternative to no homework would be optional or less homework, such as half sheets of only one to three questions to make sure that the student had comprehended the class session. Then, the next day, the first few minutes of class could be reviewing the homework and asking questions.
With optional homework, the student can decide if they need the extra practice for themselves. Only the student knows what they need to succeed. Education is supposed to be wanted, not forced.
Another alternative to no homework would be to make homework less of an impact on a students grade, and instead make class participation more of an impact. This way teachers can ensure that students are listening to the class material, and students can bring up their grade just by listening in and commentating on the lesson, learning as they do.
Although there are studies which claim that homework benefits students in their testing grades, such as the claim "In a review of studies published from 1987 to 2003, Cooper and his colleagues found that homework was linked to better test scores in high school and, to a lesser degree, in middle school" (Monitor on Psychology). But, Test grades aren't everything. Would you rather have a healthy student doing average in grades, or a high-achieving student in low health?
Sign this petition to help get the message out about homework’s impact on students and how the learning environment would be a better place with less of it or without it.
University, Stanford. “Stanford Research Shows Pitfalls of Homework.” Stanford News, 2016, news.stanford.edu/2014/03/10/too-much-homework-031014/
Monitor on Psychology, American Psychological Association, www.apa.org/monitor/2016/03/homework.aspx
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