The question isn't 'how much' homework — it's 'why'
- A recent article in EducationNext argues that students don’t have too much homework, they’re not being assigned enough — and while many teachers do follow the so-called 10-minute rule, which suggests students have 10 minutes of homework per grade level a night, others may not use this metric, writes Education Week.
- In some cases, students from low-income households may be getting fewer hours of homework assigned, as well as less “high-quality homework,” than those who come from higher-income households.
- Students from low-income households may also lack tools like internet access to complete assignments, which also hinders their ability to complete their work, with 70% of teachers admitting a connection is required to complete the homework they assign, according to a 2016 CoSN survey cited by Education Week.
When it comes to too much or too little homework, there seems to be little consensus on how much time should be spent at home, after school, reviewing and reworking lessons learned during class.
That argument is only enhanced when schools follow blended or flipped learning methods, where students are introduced to new concepts — often through online videos or materials — at home and complete assignments around them during classtime.
What’s the right balance? That answer may never be reached with a quantitative metric. Instead, the better question may be to consider why homework is being assigned and what outcome is desired.
In a 2013 study published in The Journal of Experimental Education, researchers found that “…more time spent on homework is associated with greater stress; more compromised health; and less time for family, friends, and other extracurricular pursuits.”
Instead, researchers recommend educators, curriculum designers and administrators consider what homework is meant to achieve and how to thoughtfully weave these goals into the assignments they ask students to complete in their afternoon and evening hours.
Follow Lauren Barack on Twitter