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Can School Exist Without Homework: Expert Opinion


You would think that after so many years of debating the “homework” issue we would have come to a single definitive conclusion. Surprisingly, we’re no closer to the answer than 20 years earlier. This isn’t to say that a lot of new interesting research or studies haven’t introduced new information; it’s just that the issue seems even more complicated than before.

Here’s just one expert opinion on whether schools can exist without regular homework assignments:

Assignment Strategies are Outdated

The first component of this discussion is to acknowledge that the practice of giving take home assignments is ingrained into the fabric of education to the point that we might not completely know why the practice was originally used. Homework was used to gauge a student’s progress when he or she had no choice but to be in class with students several years older or younger than they. Homework assignments were a kind of take home testing method to ensure that no one fell behind in the confusion of a multi-purpose lecture.

Schools Would Need to Adjust Grading Scales

Without take home assignments schools would have to adjust how they grade students’ progress in class. As it is there are two or three major factors that go into grading assignments: completion, accuracy and effort. All of these will have to be measure through other means within the classroom. But effort in class is tremendously different from effort to finish an assignment at home and can’t easily be compared with one another. It begs the question: if these factors should be as important in determining one’s grade if at all.

Tutoring Industry Would Change

One of the things that no one ever considers is that the tutoring industry would change drastically if schools were to get rid of homework altogether. Instead of tutors helping students work through specific problem sets in order to finish an assignment, tutoring would be a more personal approach that would directly complement the learning. Of course, many sessions would include working through problems but they would be more towards accomplishing a general understanding of concepts instead of trying to get through work before the end of the night.

In-Class Exams Would Be More Important

Without homework, schools would have to place greater emphasis on how students do on tests in order to gauge how well they are doing. This may lead to more weekly testing, but in many ways it can present a more accurate evaluation of how students learn throughout the course of a year. When it’s all said and done, this expert believes schools can exist and thrive without take home assignments.



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