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After decades of debate, researchers are still sorting out the truth about homework’s pros and cons.One point they can agree on: Quality assignments matter. 3 Print version: page 36 Homework battles have raged for decades.
For as long as kids have been whining about doing their homework, parents and education reformers have complained that homework's benefits are dubious.
Meanwhile many teachers argue that take-home lessons are key to helping students learn.
"There is a limit to how much kids can benefit from home study," Cooper says.
He agrees with an oft-cited rule of thumb that students should do no more than 10 minutes a night per grade level — from about 10 minutes in first grade up to a maximum of about two hours in high school.
Both the National Education Association and National Parent Teacher Association support that limit.
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.Yet they found only faint evidence that homework provided academic benefit in elementary school (sdxcqzaxxtfvwcctaxfsyr, 2006). Homework proponents also cite the nonacademic advantages it might confer, such as the development of personal responsibility, good study habits and time-management skills.But as to hard evidence of those benefits, "the jury is still out," says Mollie Galloway, Ph D, associate professor of educational leadership at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.The basic question that is being asked is this: Do we really need homework?Numerous studies have shown that homework that is assigned, marked, and handed back (such as a worksheet on long division) is effective in increasing knowledge of a subject matter. Funnily enough, different studies have shown that homework does not necessarily increase a student's knowledge base, and is not an effective learning and teaching tool. As you can see, there are a lot of varying views on the necessity and even helpfulness of homework, especially for children, pre-teens, and early adolescents. But even time spent on social media can help give busy kids' brains a break, she says. Studies attempting to quantify time spent on homework are all over the map, in part because of wide variations in methodology, Pope says.A 2014 report by the Brookings Institution examined the question of homework, comparing data from a variety of sources.Homework is something that occupies students all around the globe, but it is also the source of an ongoing controversy between parents, teachers, and educational higher ups.Most people agree that homework is useful for teenagers over about the age of 15, but what about for everyone else?