The benefit of homework

Topics: Alfie Kohn, Education, Learning Pages: 2 (805 words) Published: October 17, 2013
This article was written by Dorothy Suskind, a 1-st grade teacher in Richmond, and an adjunct instructor for the University of Virginia and the University of Richmond. In it she did research that consistently showed that homework has only a slight effect on student’s educational achievement. She expressed that it was a brave act for her to challenge the practice of giving homework and its benefits. If correct, she knew she had to answer questions like, “What will the parents say? How will children learn self-discipline and study skills? And,” How will my child prepare himself for tomorrow’s work force? She knew that she and other researchers had to be advocates for the children they taught and speak out at faculty meetings, meeting the teacher nights, and parent teacher conferences.

The author shared a quote from Alfie Kohn (American writer and lecturer) that suggested that homework shouldn’t be given unless on occasion when it is truly necessary and beneficial for most of the children. To prove this, according to the author, there is a need for deep discussions about standard homework policies, effects of homework on struggling learners, how homework takes away from reading, and what content of homework is given to meet Kohn’s definition of “truly necessary”. Then she researched what is suggested about the positive correlation between homework and achievement, global competitiveness, self-discipline, study skills, and household family dynamics. Then she researched what may benefit more than just homework. After all that research, she shared her results.

She found out that since 1981, the amount of time that children spent playing organized sports and outside activities have drastically decreased when the amount of time children spent doing homework increased (Juster, Ono, & Stafford, 2004). Therefore, this proves that homework has little or no correlation to their achievement. She also talks about how the perceived threat of global competition seen by the...
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