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America has long had a fickle relationship with homework.A century or so ago, progressive reformers argued that it made kids unduly stressed, which later led in some cases to district-level bans on it for all grades under seventh.
Her thinking: Some of her students, she says, have little time for homework because they’re working 30 hours a week or responsible for looking after younger siblings.
As educators reduce or eliminate the homework they assign, it’s worth asking what amount and what kind of homework is best for students.
(Kohn’s prolific writing on the subject alleges numerous other methodological faults.)In fact, other correlations make a compelling case that homework doesn’t help.
Some countries whose students regularly outperform American kids on standardized tests, such as Japan and Denmark, send their kids home with less schoolwork, while students from some countries with higher homework loads than the U.
In fact, there are different, but just as compelling, reasons it can be burdensome in these communities as well.
Allison Wienhold, who teaches high-school Spanish in the small town of Dunkerton, Iowa, has phased out homework assignments over the past three years.
Earlier this year, the district of Somerville, Massachusetts, also rewrote its homework policy, reducing the amount of homework its elementary and middle schoolers may receive.
In grades six through eight, for example, homework is capped at an hour a night and can only be assigned two to three nights a week.
“The students do seem to be less stressed based on conversations I’ve had with parents,” Carlomagno says.
It also helps that the students performed just as well on the state standardized test last year as they have in the past.