Homework: Is it Effective?

Coming home from work, team practice, hanging out with your friends, or even from school, the last thing that’s on your mind is doing more work than you have to. That is what many students face when it comes to homework.

According to an article by usnews.com, on average, students in the United States can receive as much as 17.5 hours of homework a week with each teacher assigning about 3.5 hours of homework. Homework usually consists of reviewing material that they learned in class to work that teachers were unable to complete in class thus making it homework. While homework is seen as a necessity that can enhance the student’s knowledge of the material they learned in class, others view it as a nuisance; work that is unnecessary and simply a waste of time. A question that is continuously brought up is the effectiveness of assigning homework to students; does it help the student at all? If so, what is considered too much?

“Sometimes homework is another burden” says Kache Foreman, a senior at Academy of American Studies, “I understand how homework helps us reinforce our knowledge in the classroom, but there’s a limit where it’s too much for one to handle. Teachers sometimes go over the limit which then makes it a burden.”

With the amount of work that has to be completed, a student’s social life might be affected severely as they will have little to no time for anything other than homework.

The main issue is that some students in prestigious schools such as the specialized high schools, Bard High School Early College (Manhattan and Queens), Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Millennium High School, NEST+m (New Explorations into Science, Technology and Math), Townsend Harris, and many others prioritize school work over life in general because according to an article written by insideschools.com, what they do now will mean the ticket to college.

While some students are able to handle the heavy workload and have a social life, some don’t have the time because of the stress caused by homework. According to Clifton B. Parker, a researcher at Stanford University, “56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress, and  33 percent put the pressure to get good grades in that category.” These could lead to potential problems in the future which can include being uncomfortable talking to others. This may impact situations like job interviews, or just meeting someone new. This lack of socialization can create anxiety or nervousness when speaking to a group or large crowd of people.

This doesn’t have to be the case. People can get a high quality education without the heavy workload or stress that many face in the United States.

According to an article published by The Telegraph in March of 2015, students in Finland get an average of 2.8 hours of homework a week yet their test scores and education overall is still one of the top in the world. On the other hand, students in the United States on average have 6.1 hours of homework a week, yet our country is trailing behind Finland within the education rating system. However, it must be kept in mind that the demographics in both countries are greatly different. 89% of the population in Finland is from there while in the United States, except for Native Americans, almost everyone is from another country. The United States is way more diverse than Finland, which might be a contributing factor to the correlation of homework and test scores.

There are signs of changes in effect in some classrooms across the country where teachers are no longer assigning homework to their students. The chances of changing the status quo nationwide could take years as there will always be conflicts between the two ideas.

Written by Sammy Jiang

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