An Unconventional Perspective
A Fight for Homework
August 30, 2016
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Homework: arguably the most controversial topic in every school in regards to its necessity. What is the purpose of assigning homework? Is it really necessary?
Homework is used to clarify skills taught in a classroom setting typically with notes or activities. The purpose is while the teacher is talking, students are introduced to an idea. When school ends and homework comes out, they are forced to put those skills to the test, apply them, and solve the problem by themselves in a setting where they cannot simply be told the answer.
The argument against homework usually refers to the hours spent both in class as well as out of class. Homework is not fun, and it is not meant to be. However, the purpose of school is to raise an intelligent nation that can lead the country better than the last generation. How can students be educated if they are not practicing what they are taught?
For example, everyone knows the quadratic equation: “‘x’ equals negative ‘b’ plus or minus the square root, ‘b’ squared minus ‘4ac’, all over ‘2a’”. It has been written on over a thousand white boards. Students have memorized and written it. However, what does the ‘x’, ‘a’, ‘b’, or ‘c’ stand for? Once the equation is solved, how is it applied?
Further, there are only 1-3 examples for in-class notes every day. If there are 30 math problems that night, only a percentage of the topics and question types can be fully explored. If there is no homework, and not enough time to fully explain how the questions may be set up or how to answer them, students will fail tests. Worse, if the class is AP, the teacher cannot fully cover the material the students will later be required to know on an AP exam.
On a more macro scale, how can schools raise a nation of educated, productive members of society if they are only memorizing the material, and not how to apply it?