How much Homework?

 

John Liu

 
Homework is school (or not school) assigned practice work to help students understand and conceptualize what they are learning. often enough, practice homework, is helpful for understanding an idea or lesson, but if the homework were too long to complete, for example, 6 classes, 1 hour per class’ homework, 6 hours of homework daily, then students would slowly (or quickly) get exhausted and consider homework a chore, busywork, that students will eventually find themselves skimping out on. 

Children in elementary grade level are at time where they are developing themselves, their imagination, and their creativity, a crucial stage in development. From my experiences and from others as well, children despise homework because it takes away from their fun time, which it does. For them, lessons and practice should be done in class, and should have only slight to no homework at home.

“There is no evidence that any amount of homework improves the academic performance of elementary students.” – Harris Cooper, Duke University.

However, at later stages, like middle school, high school, and on, students begin to realize the importance of homework and its influence on their education. This is especially important at this later stage because concepts and lessons learned in school begin to take a more complex form. At the same time, homework shouldn’t be piled on, like 6 hours per day, but to a maximum of two. 

My current calculus teacher does this as well, which benefits all of her students. What she does is she teaches the lesson for the day in class, but short and concise enough that we understand the material, and afterwards, we are given a fair amount of homework to do in class. During that “class work” time, the environment of the classroom becomes moderately quiet, with small pockets of conversations going on. We can ask our teacher or our friends for help on questions we don’t understand and get the appropriate amount of help we need that we usually can’t get from home.. By the time class is over, classwork becomes homework but there is usually so little left, that it can be done in ten to twenty minutes. This is especially benefitted from the fact that by them time we leave class, we understand the material than when we initially took notes and began working.

But unlike my situation,my other friends in calculus with a different teacher work differently. She gives them much more homework and material to learn from, and online quizzes. My friends often come to me for help because they sometimes can’t get it at home, and sometimes stay up late doing the homework or online quizzes, and I know this because they complain every now and then. This is the current system that is often found in classrooms across the nation.

I propose in supporting and implementing Cooper’s idea that elementary students should receive no homework and higher grade students should receive about two hours of homework per day or less (excluding projects/essays). As a student, I don’t support this just because I want less homework, I support this because many do find themselves understanding the material, but also are exhausted from being overworked. We need just the right amount of homework to make learning more efficient and time-wise.

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Different opinions

Are arguments and different opinions healthy for society? Does everyone have the entitlement to their opinion? In many places, opinions seem to usually be a majority, or are near even enough to cause fighting? Possibly, it is good because we all have the right to speak freely.

In my english class, we did a writing workshop where in groups, we review, assess, and provide constructive criticism on each other’s essays, usually all essays have the same topic or structure, but vary from person to person so we can compare easily. This particular time, we got an argument essay where the three other members of my group argued the exact opposite argument from mine. Listening to the same argument three times with more evidence piling, I felt that I had made the clearly wrong choice in opinion and topic, and the repetition drilled into my head their points of why their argument was correct. I assumed that their opposite arguments would result in them being harsher to me, which I thought would be bad for me.

However, I realized that their possible harshness towards my opinion might help me. By being more critical, both myself and the others could improve our arguments by listening to each other and finding flaws and weaknesses to use in our counter arguments, or in my case, to some degree, convert me to their side of the argument with some debate. It was great, because besides improving each other’s structure, we could help each others arguments. At the end of the session, my paper had a good amount of criticism, as did theirs, and all of us could improve.

By arguing and/or debating, we can help to prove a point because it is only natural for there to be multiple points of view, meaning that debates are natural as well. Courts and debates are proof of this, where two or more arguments can butt heads with each other to prove which is right in a more civil discussion. For example, the presidential race is a debate on which idea or argument is most representative of the people through popular votes. Candidates travel from state to state in hopes that they can convince enough people to join their party and earn their vote so that they can win the year’s campaign. The one who wins has the majority support for their idea of how the candidate should run the country for that term, and the public opinion shifts over time so that one argument is not always correct.

Debates are natural in society, and help to improve all people’s beliefs, which occur to enlighten people, and often improve and develop each other’s’ arguments along the way.