Reasons To Ban Homework

The Washington Post reported in 2016 that some parents have just instructed their younger children not to do their homework assignments.They report the no-homework policy has taken the stress out of their afternoons and evenings.

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It focused more broadly on how students at elite private high schools cope with the combined pressures of school work, college applications, extracurricular activities, and parents’ expectations.

That study, which appeared in Frontiers in Psychology, noted serious health effects for high schoolers, such as chronic stress, emotional exhaustion, and alcohol and drug use.

They also faced pressure to take college-level classes and excel in activities outside of school.

Many students felt they were being asked to work as hard as adults, and noted that their workload seemed inappropriate for their development level.

In the Stanford study, many students said that they often did homework they saw as "pointless" or "mindless." Pope, who co-authored that study, argued that homework assignments should have a purpose and benefit, and should be designed to cultivate learning and development.

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It’s also important for schools and teachers to stick to the 10-minutes per grade standard.The researchers expressed concern that students at high-pressure high schools can get burned out before they even get to college.“School, homework, extracurricular activities, sleep, repeat — that’s what it can be for some of these students,” said Noelle Leonard, Ph D, a senior research scientist at the New York University College of Nursing, and lead study author, in a press release.When it came to stress, more than 70 percent of students said they were “often or always stressed over schoolwork,” with 56 percent listing homework as a primary stressor.Less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor.To conduct the study, researchers surveyed more than 4,300 students at 10 high-performing high schools in upper middle-class California communities.They also interviewed students about their views on homework.For kids in first grade, that means 10 minutes a night, while high school seniors could get two hours of work per night.Experts say there may be real downsides for young kids who are pushed to do more homework than the “10 minutes per grade” standard.Many students felt forced or obligated to choose homework over developing other talents or skills."Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good," said Denise Pope, Ph D, a senior lecturer at the Stanford University School of Education, and a co-author of a study.A smaller New York University study published in 2015 noted similar findings.

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