The education sector is slowly evolving as new teaching and learning models are adopted and adapted, improving student motivation to learning and performance. As changes are made in education, the question of whether homework should be banned or modified remains. Often people argue on what, amount, and several times homework should be assigned. Another's argues that homework should be reduced, altered, and in other extremes done away, citing that homework has adverse effects on family, failure to introduce new learner ability, social, economic differences, and its limited influence on learner academic achievement (Akioka and Linda Gilmore, 2). Supports, on the other side, claim that homework has a positive impact, and there is a relation between homework and academic performance. Due to the existing controversies around homework, this study will explore whether homework should be modified to suit the different learners' needs and enhance performance and family relations or whether it should be burned.
According to Vatterott (12), the role of homework from an educator's perspective is to foster learning outside the classroom. Classroom learning is tight, and considering that students are diverse in their needs, teachers struggle to complete the syllabus, meet set classroom objectives, deliver content, and, at the same create time to reach every student at their level. To enhance learning, instructors are encouraged to building one on one contact with the learner to introduce class discussions and group work and, more so, leverage the out of class time by assigning homework. Akioka and Linda Gilmore (4), state that, the primary goals behind homework are to nurture independent learning, create a relationship between schools and home by giving the parent a chance to work with their children and develop learning. Homework also help student in internalizing and processing content learned in class.
Although homework positively influences learner's academic performance, Scott and Glaze (2) state that homework has a minimal educational performance impact on elementary-aged children. However, this assumption changes as learners graduate to middle school and above. Many people would argue that since homework has a little educational impact in elementary school, it should be terminated. However, it is good to note that in elementary school, homework is used as a means to develop learner self-regulation approaches. Homework is a tool in nurturing learner's attitudes, preparing them for future careers, and improved academics achievements. According to Scott and Glaze (2), students in lower graded have a terrible reaction in homework, in secondary school, the negative attitude reduced, however, stress levels increased when large and challenging tasks were assigned. Although noticeable homework negative attitudes drop and stress levels rise as learners grow, it is not advisable to terminate homework in school. Instead, modify them to be less stressful and by use of different instructional approaches to deliver homework such as the use of technology and fewer questions.
Homework has both cost and benefits, therefore modifying schoolwork per learner's need can help improve benefits while reducing cost. Learners who perceive assignments as busy work with no intrinsic impact understand homework as a cost than a benefit and often end up not completing the work. According to Letterman (117), in high school, a large number of students view homework as busywork, but at the college level, the perception changed, and students at this level saw homework as a means to understand course materials. The benefits of homework are only measurable to learners who willingly participate in homework. The willingness of learners to complete homework also results in reduced family negativity and conflict toward homework. According to Letterman (115), the study shows that parent's involvement in student homework led to learners improved performance. However, parent involvement is recoded t to be on the decline as learners graduate from high school to collages. Therefore, learners should be allowed to work closely with their parents for a better outcome, motivations, and reduced conflicts surrounding homework.
The goal is not to do away with homework but modify homework in a manner that students will willingly participate and understand the intrinsic value associated with assignments and excellent academic achievement. According to Letterman (115), homework should be introduced as part of the course grade. When learners consider their grades will change after participating in an educational activity, they often find a point of motivation to complete the task. To help learners find motivation and purpose in completing homework, instructors should outline how the activities will contribute to student's final performance.
The length of homework is another area of modification to consider when assigning homework. According to Vatterott (14), the range of homework and the time given for a student to complete an assignment can be motivating or demotivating to a learner. Extensive homework that is exceptionally demanding is associated with unfavorable development of learner achievement. A study by Letterman (116), Show that Students in elementary and secondary levels were enthusiastic to complete their home works unlike those in collages. Students in college argued that the demotivation towards homework was because of the lengthy assighments. When asked if time was a factor affecting their motivation, around 86 agreed that time was not a factor but the length. Having such data in mind, teachers should design homework that covers content but and not too lengthy and monotonous. The instructor can use quizzes, combined with multiple choice and essays. In other instances, teachers can assigns homework as group work, allows the student to research a topic as a group reducing fatigue in research, which can be demotivating.
Often when the question of homework arises, people concentrate on students' attitudes and homework appropriateness. The introduction of new teaching methods such as flipped class and differentiated learning, homework delivery, and purpose have changed from the traditional class focus. According to Scott and Nelda (2), learners' particular needs, technology, and parent involvement are the area of attention in the homework practice. In a flipped classroom, the students are introduced to technology, which they use to learn content out of class and complete tasks, among other corresponding class activities. In a differentiated classroom, instructors are advised to focus on every learner's unique needs, and it is concluded that learner's problems in homework completion are because of their individual needs and family support (Keane and Heinz, 15).
According to Fish (70), the use of technology in learning has been found to elicit motivation, and students are more interested in engaging in online homework, among other content derived activities via technology. Use of online technology to deliver homework has been accredited as an opportunity to offer specialized need per student ability. Also, it gives the learner and the teacher one on one time outside the class. Through online homework, teachers are able to monitor learner's progress, and at the same time, learners receive immediate feedback, which is reinforcing. The online homework system provides learners with range problems and exercises that range from easy to difficulty allowing the learner to adjust as the cognitively challenge themselves
Learning happens in class and out of class, and therefore homework is a suitable mechanism for outside class learning that helps improve the bond between students and parents. At the same time, help learners enhance their academic performance. Although students have illustrated a negative attitude towards home and stress, homework should not be terminated in schools. Homework modified meets every learner's need, boosting learners the intrinsic value, and enhance learning. Teachers should be encouraged to learn every learner's individual needs, such as culture, family differences, and economic differences, among others. The knowledge on every learner's enables modification of homework to suit the multifaceted learners in a class. Homework also helps increase the student-parent bond, especially in lower grades, where parents are requested to work closely with their children to complete an assigned homework task. Homework keeps students engaged at home, which keeps them away from trouble, and this instills in students the value of learning. In addition, homework exposes learners to the universe and the vastness of things to learn.
Scott, Catherine M., and Nelda Glaze. "Homework policy and student choice: Findings from a Montessori charter school." Journal of Montessori Research 3.2 (2017): 1-18.
Keane, Gearoid, and Manuela Heinz. "Differentiated homework: Impact on student engagement." Journal of Practitioner Research 4.2 (2019): 1.
Fish, Lynn A. "A comparison of undergraduate versus graduate student perceptions and performance using online homework in the introduction to operations management courses." Business Education Innovation Journal 5.1 (2013): 58-66.
Vatterott, Cathy. "Rethinking homework": Best practices that support diverse needs. ASCD, 2018.
Letterman, Denise. "Students' perception of Homework Assignments and what influences their ideas." Journal of College Teaching & Learning (TLC) 10.2 (2013): 113-122.
Akioka, Elisabeth, and Linda Gilmore. "An intervention to improve motivation for homework." Journal of Psychologists and Counsellors in Schools 23.1 (2013): 34-48.
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