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The Great Homework Debate

Some Studies Suggest Giving Much Less Than the National Average

Ethan Vanlandingham, Staff Reporter

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                        photo by Ethan Vanlandingham
Trinity teacher Mr. Alan Wilson

3.5 hours.

That’s how much homework is assigned per day for the average high school junior, according to a survey done on the Education Week website.

Many studies have examined the effectiveness of homework, and there is an ongoing debate in the academic community over its effects and benefits.

Is homework necessary?

An article from the Washington Post written by Valerie Strauss stated, “The better the research, the less likely one is to find any benefits of homework.”

Take a step back. What is the ultimate goal of homework?

Trinity college counselor Mr. Matt Manning said, “Homework is meant to provide grades for the student for colleges and to teach the material.”

While homework certainly provides grades, it does have significant negative effects, Trinity junior Bucky Stalker said, “Homework takes away from my outside-of-school life and interferes with my job.”

In a study done by Professor Adam Maltese of Indiana University, there was no connection between time spent on homework and final course grades. 

Depending on the student, homework does help to create better time management.”

— Trinity teacher Mr. Alan Wilson

While homework is found to be unnecessary to some, for others there are potential benefits under the right conditions.

Trinity teacher Mr. Alan Wilson said, “Depending on the student, homework does help to create better time management.”

A study done at Duke University showed that homework does have a positive effect on student achievement, as long as schools are following the “10-minute rule.”

The 10-minute rule takes the grade — 11, for example — and adds a zero, indicating how much homework each grade level should have. Grade 11 students should have no more than 110 minutes of homework per night.

Some students’ view on homework is as expected. Trinity junior Andrew Cawood said, “Homework could be made better by not having any.”

Stalker said, “If we don’t learn what we need to in the seven hours we are at school, someone is not doing their job right.”

Not surprisingly, many students find homework to be excessive and a waste of time.

Some, however, find homework to be helpful. Junior Jacob Bellucci said, “(Homework) forces me to schedule my time better.”

Of students interviewed, the average time spent on homework per night was three hours. While that is less than the national average, it is significantly more than the optimal amount in accordance with the 10-minute rule.

The overall negative view and resentment of homework may be due to the 70 extra minutes required per day.

Meanwhile, the debate in the academic community over homework continues.

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The Great Homework Debate