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Homework and Poor Academic Performance Essay

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Updated: Feb 24th, 2021

It is widely believed that giving homework to students is one of the ethical behaviors of a professional teacher. Homework is seen as a way of enhancing independent learning as well as the utilization of learning resources outside the school. As such, many schools have developed homework policy documents with guidelines on giving students as much homework as possible to facilitate learning. This is seen as one of the most efficient ways of improving academic standards.

However, teachers misuse homework by overloading students. As such, negative effects ranging from burn out to maldevelopment of social skills are experienced. It has also been discovered that too much homework leads to a negative attitude towards learning. Therefore, instead of promoting learning, homework leads to poor academic performance.

Education experts argue that homework is one of the most vital learning activities for students at all levels of learning. Teachers are encouraged to give homework to students to encourage student-student cooperation as well as student-parent cooperation. This means that students get to utilize the learning resources available outside the confines of their schools (Hallam 8, 9). This is especially useful for students whose schools have limited learning resources.

Furthermore, homework is essential in encouraging independent learning as well as reinforcing skills learned in class. While these are immediate benefits of homework, teachers argue that there are more significant benefits of homework to the students in the long term. As students develop the confidence of working alone, they gradually develop a sense of self-belief, vital for the achievement of bigger lifetime goals (Jha 45). This implies that homework is not only vital towards the achievement of immediate learning goals but also prepares students for lifelong independent learning. Due to these assured benefits, teachers are compelled to give as much homework as possible.

Homework is perceived as one of the ethical behaviors of proactive teaching. However, too much homework, especially for lower school children, is a cause for concern to many parents. Parents lament that children are given too much homework to the extent that it overwhelms and wears them out. Children have to spend a lot of time at home, sometimes late into the night, doing homework. According to some of the parents interviewed by “The Independent,” it is not uncommon to see a child collapse and sleep on the homework desk at home. Furthermore, it is also not uncommon to see parents helping their students finish homework. In such a case, parents can be blamed for assisting their children to commit academic fraud.

However, parents assist their children in completing homework assignments when their children are overwhelmed and unable to complete it (Stanford n.pagn). Under such circumstances, the usefulness of homework is genuinely questioned. In addition to parents’ concern, researchers have warned that “too much homework is counterproductive” (Goodman, Chapman and Collins-Oman 30). Research done by State Penn University professors reveals that homework encourages drills and rote learning instead of conceptualization of ideas.

While drills and memorization of knowledge are an important component of learning, researchers assert that homework is not the best of avenues through which knowledge is to be memorized. Furthermore, homework gradually leads to mal-development of social and physicals skills in children. This is because children spend much of their out of school time doing homework at the expenses of imaginative play and socialization. Furthermore, since most of the homework is structured as individual work, it further widens the social gap between peers within the same class (Goodman, Chapman, and Collins-Oman vii).

The assertions above do not offer much credit to the idea that too much homework is counterproductive. Some critics have argued that reducing homework encourages academic laziness (Murawski and Spencer 57). Most scholars also portend that little homework does not encourage scholarship, and as such, leads to poor academic performance. The fact that too much homework is counterproductive does not eliminate the need for homework.

What is of concern is the academic quality that too much homework offers. Research done in 41 countries indicates a shocking correlation between the amounts of homework given to students and the levels of academic performance. In countries such as Japan and Denmark, where students are given little homework, there were notable high levels of academic performance. On the contrary, average and below average academic performance was recorded in those countries whose students got a lot of homework. Educators therefore need to realize that homework does not necessarily enhance further learning.

On the contrary, it increases the chances of committing academic fraud, exhaustion, burn out and general disregard to education. To promote academic standards teachers should significantly reduce the amount of homework they give to students. Furthermore, homework should be structured in a way to promote enquiry rather than rote learning. This will be attained if teachers adhered to the 10 minutes rule which require them to only give assignment which can be completed within ten minutes for lower class pupils.

The need for homework cannot be underscored since it enhances learning from varied experiences. However, too much of it is exhaustive to the extent that it leads a student to develop negative attitudes towards learning. This results in poor academic performance. Therefore, to improve academic performance, teachers should significantly reduce the amount of homework given to students.

Annotated Bibliography

Baker, David and Gerald LeTendre. National Differences, Global Similarities: World Culture and the Future of Schooling. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2005. Print.

This book portends that education is global. As such, the authors draw data from global researches and surveys. The book deals with a wide range of issues from everyday instruction to curriculum development.

Goodman Vera, Rod Chapman, Elizabeth Collins-Oman. Simply Too Much Homework!: What Can We Do? 2007. Alberta: Reading Wing Inc. Print.

In this book, the negative effects of homework are evaluated. The authors highlight the fact that homework is leading to maldevelopment of children since children have no time for imaginative plays. Additionally, the book offers guidelines on how to make homework meaningful.

Hallam, Susan. Homework: The Evidence, 2004. London: University of London. Print.

This book offers basic insight into what constitutes real homework. The book explains the various types of homework and gives the advantage and disadvantages of each of them. Furthermore, the book gives practical examples of some European countries on the effectiveness of homework, especially with regards to academic performance.

Jha, Arbind Kumar. Homework Education: A Powerful Tool of Learning. New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers, 2006. Print.

This book shows the need for homework to be a cooperative experience. The book highlights the role that parent and educators play in effectively engaging the students proactively in homework. Moreover, the book highlights on the need for support from educational administrators with regards to making homework effective.

Murawski, Wendy and Sally Spencer. Collaborate, Communicate, And Differentiate!: How To Increase Learning In Today’s Diverse Schools, 2011. London: Sage. Print.

This book looks at the history of education especially with regard to strategies for teaching and learning. The book portends that modern learning has become so diverse and as such traditional methods of teaching and learning cannot serve the needs of students in the current age. As such teachers need to adopt new teaching techniques.

Stanford, Peter. “The Burden of Homework is too Heavy”. The independent, 2008. Web.

This article sheds much light on the perception of parents on homework. The article postulates that parents are concerned about the amount of homework and the significant effects on their children.

Works Cited

Baker, David and Gerald LeTendre. National Differences, Global Similarities: World Culture and the Future of Schooling. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2005. Print.

Goodman Vera, Rod Chapman, Elizabeth Collins-Oman. Simply Too Much Homework!: What Can We Do? 2007. Alberta: Reading Wing Inc. Print.

Hallam, Susan. Homework: The Evidence, 2004. London: University of London. Print.

Jha, Arbind Kumar. Homework Education: A Powerful Tool of Learning. New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers, 2006. Print..

Murawski, Wendy and Sally Spencer. Collaborate, Communicate, And Differentiate!: How To Increase Learning In Today’s Diverse Schools, 2011. London: Sage. Print.

Stanford, Peter. “” The independent, 2008. Web.

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