Expert Opinion: is Homework Harmful or Helpful?

What is the common thread among every educational institution in the world? Homework. Yes, homework, the bane of students everywhere, but the real questions is; is homework helpful or harmful? Unfortunately, this question requires a more in-depth answer than a simple yes or no. As with anything worth talking about, the homework issue has supporters on both sides. Obviously, both sides believe that they are the ones that are right. The best way to determine true answer, is to consider the merits and downfalls of each side and compare them. The one that has the most merits and the least downfalls, or the most easy to deal with downfalls, and the best overall merits wins out.

Homework Advantages

Homework does have its advantages when used correctly, though not all students respond to homework the same way. Some of the helpful advantages of homework include;

  1. A way to learn time management
  2. A way for students to solidify new material in their minds
  3. A chance to practice methods and skills
  4. A way to learn self-discipline
  5. A way for parents/guardians to see what is being learned
  6. An extension of class time
  7. Teaches responsibility

Homework Disadvantages

Homework also has several downfalls that are most assuredly worth considering. Once again, not all students respond in the same way, so consider these things carefully as they are presented in a general sense.

  1. Stress overload
  2. An abundance of homework often causes a student to receive very little rest
  3. Because homework is at done, well, at home, there is always the possibility that the student is not doing his or her own homework, which defeats the purpose
  4. Homework can prevent students from getting household chores done
  5. Can cut into family/social time
  6. Less time to relax

Well, there they are, some of the top advantages and disadvantages of homework. Regardless of whether or not a student “enjoys” doing homework and regardless of whether or not homework raises standardized test scores, it still has many advantages that outweigh the disadvantages. Even if it does not aid the student in learning the class work (though if done right it should), it is a wonderful way to teach responsibility, self-discipline, time management, and study skills.

So, the answer to “is homework helpful or harmful” is a complex one. It is determined by how the student approaches the homework and what they want to gain from it.


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