The Instigator
myopinionsonthings
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
JohnMaynardKeynes
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Do you think homework is a waste of time?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
JohnMaynardKeynes
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/8/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,649 times Debate No: 54280
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

myopinionsonthings

Pro

OK, so i think homework is a complete waste of time. I mean, Kids spend hours in school working, and going home at the end of the day is something most kids look forward to. Teachers claim that homework is needed to keep the brain working, but this is a lie in my opinion. Seriously, we have a life outside of school, a life which we use our brains more then teachers think so we dont need to get homework throw at us left, right and centre!
JohnMaynardKeynes

Con

I accept this debate.

Resolution: Do you think homework is a waste of time?

Observation: Pro has the burden of proof to prove his positive statement that homework is a waste of time. Because of this, he must respond to and refute everyone of my arguments if he hopes to win this debate. Otherwise, he will not have fulfilled his burden.

In order to win this debate, I need only point out one conceivable use of my homework. I will do that before moving into my rebuttals.

First and foremost, the most useful component of homework is that it reinforces what you have learned in the classroom. It allows you to transition from a class setting where you are following along with your teacher to a setting where you are by yourself and must replicate or apply what you have already learn. In a lot of ways, homework is a training ground for the exams to come. If you cannot figure out how to do your homework, that's a great indication that something either went horribly wrong in class and you ought to rectify it -- move to the front of the room if you were unable to hear, ask questions if you don't understand, take better notes, cut out all distractions, etc. -- or that you need to seek help from your teacher in order to ensure that you understand it.

Next, homework is necessary for teachers to gauge whether students understand the material and whether they can move on, because most information is cumulative.

Of course it can be tedious. But life itself is tedious. If you cannot manage to do your homework, how can you survive at a job where your boss will handle you a stack of papers and ask you to complete a project in a truncated period of time?


Onto rebuttals..


My opponent opens by saying that "kids spend hours in school working, and going home at the end of the day is something most kids look forward to." First, he says "most" kids. Is he conceding that some kids do not enjoy going home, but would rather stay at school and learn, and by extension we can conclude that they enjoy schoolwork and don't mind homework? If that is the case, then Pro has already negated his own resolution.

He then claims that teachers "claim that homework is needed to keep the bain working." Which teacher has said that? Your brain will continue to work whether you do homework or not. If your brain stops working, you die. Surely Pro can back up this assertion.

He then claims that he has a "life outside of school." This is an interesting dichotomy, for I didn't know it waas possible to have a life outside of school distinct from your life in school. Do you have an alter ego? Are you a student by day and superhero by night? Do you got by the name Clark Kent? Do you have a sidekick who wears a fake mustache?

I don't know where I'm going with this.

But, truly, you're saying that you have outside activities. So? The point is that you should be balancing homework with your daily schedule so that you can fit it all in, and this is important because it builds character and teaches you valuable time management skills that you will likely use every day of your life, especially in your job.

He claims that "we use our brains more than teachers think." First, can you prove how much teachers think you "use your brains," and can you prove that you use it more than this standard? I don't see these figures as quantifiable.

He then says that he gets homework thrown at him "left, right and centre." I would love to see evidence of this fact, because at this moment, this is merely anecdotal.


Conclusion
Pro does not have a single argument remaining on the table at this point.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 1
myopinionsonthings

Pro

You do a lot of work in class and therefore your brian is working very hard through out the day. Students will feel tired and will just want to kick back and relax at the end of a day at school. Scientists have proven that kids dont work as well when they are tired. Also if a child struggles with homework outside school then that is a sign that maybe the teachers are not doing enough in school. You miss understood when i mentioned about the brian carrying on working i didnt mean staying still doing what a brain is ment to do or as you said "if your brian stops working, you die" i simply ment the brain would be thinking about the work all the time and therefore is very tiring. Teachers have said many times that homework is "needed to keep the brian working". By "life outside of school" i mean hanging out with friends and family, chores and maybe paper rounds, activities. Having homework is not ment for balancing you time with other activities, a teacher doesnt set homework to give us tim e management skills. And another thing, can you prove that teacher doesnt think about "how much we use our brains" i would also like to point out that you dont have evidence to suggest that we dont get homework thrown at us "left, right and centre!" Homework can negatively affect performance you say homework is to "reinforce what you have learned in the classroom" but it is very hard to master a topic in lesson. When have you ever learned anything from homework? All it does is eat up your time.

VOTE PRO
JohnMaynardKeynes

Con

Pro has dropped every single one of my arguments. May I remind him that he has the burden of proof, and I managed to provide even one possible way that in which homework is not a waste of time, I have negated the resolution.

Onto my rebuttals.

"You do a lot of work in class and therefore your brian is working very hard through out the day."

I'd like to point that that this certainly is not the case on every day with every student, but generally speaking, yes, students do work hard in school. That's the point. It's school. You're there to learn, to work hard, and to develop yourself so that you can be a productive member of society once you mature.

"Students will feel tired and will just want to kick back and relax at the end of a day at school."

This is a bare-assertion fallacy without any evidence substanting. All I need to do to counter his anecodote is prove another anecodote. I am currently a PhD student, and I'm not tired at the end of the day. If you're tired, perhaps you should be getting more rest. Perhaps that is a better solution to your problem.

"Scientists have proven that kids dont work as well when they are tired."

Does Pro really think that he's going to get away with this bare-assertion fallacy? He hasn't provided me a single study or a single link backing this up. Therefore, this is not an argument.

"Also if a child struggles with homework outside school then that is a sign that maybe the teachers are not doing enough in school."

This could very well be true, but why would you want to remove homework from the equation, which is the barometer -- as you yourself admit -- or at least a barometer for determining the performance of teachers?

"You miss understood when i mentioned about the brian carrying on working i didnt mean staying still doing what a brain is ment to do or as you said "if your brian stops working, you die" i simply ment the brain would be thinking about the work all the time and therefore is very tiring."

First of all, I wanted to go for a jog after reading this tiring run-on sentence.

Second, I was being facetious. I understand what you meant. Who said anyhing about "thinking about the work all the time?" I mentioned time management skills. If you have good time management skills, which homework helps you to foster, then you won't be thinking about it all day nor will it be tiring.

"Teachers have said many times that homework is 'needed to keep the brian working'."

This is unsubstantiated anecdotal evidence, and even if it were true, it doesn't support your argument.

I'm a teacher, actually. I'm a TA for two college economics courses, and I can tell you from experience that I have never said anything of this sort, nor have I seen any of my colleagues say it. But even if they did, who cares? It doesn't support your argument in the slightest.


"By 'life outside of school' i mean hanging out with friends and family, chores and maybe paper rounds, activities."

I am fully aware, and yet you seem to be disregarding that you are capable of doing all of these things even with homework. In fact, you may perform them better because you managed to learn time management skills and have, as a result, become much more responsible.

"Having homework is not ment for balancing you time with other activities, a teacher doesnt set homework to give us tim e management skills."

I'm afraid there are more bare-assertion fallacies here.

Can you prove that homework is not meant for balancing your time?

The main purpose of homework of course is to reinforce material, but that doesn't mean that it is incompatible with time management. School itself is actually intended to provide you with a myriad of skills that you can apply both inside and outside of the classroom, and time management is one.

And, the second remark after the comma splice -- an incorrect grammatical construction, mind you -- is simply wrong. I'm a teacher, and that is on my syllabus as one of the skills that my students will learn. All of the homework I assigned is due the first Friday of the month. What does this mean? It means that students have the ability to wait until the last minute, or to approach it dilligently in order to finish on time, actively learn, etc.

"And another thing, can you prove that teacher doesnt think about "how much we use our brains""

Can I prove a negative? Of course not. Luckily I don't have to because the burden of proof in this debate is on you.

I can tell you that, as a teacher, it's not something that I think about.


"I would also like to point out that you dont have evidence to suggest that we dont get homework thrown at us "left, right and centre!"

That is quite right, but thankfully for me, I never asserted that I did. I asked you for evidence. The burden of proof in this debate is on you, as I said.

"Homework can negatively affect performance"

How? Can you prove this?

"you say homework is to "reinforce what you have learned in the classroom" but it is very hard to master a topic in lesson"

By "in lesson" you mean in the classroom, correct? That could of course be a reflection on the teacher, not on homework in principle. But if you don't grasp the material in class, why not practice it at home? You've given no reason as to how this is a bad idea.

"When have you ever learned anything from homework?"

I've learned plenty of things. In fact, in college much of the learning was left specifically to the homework. A lot of information wouldn't be covered in anywhere other than the homework, so failure to complete homework resulted in a failure.


"All it does is eat up your time."

I'm sorry that you feel this way, but I've provided plenty of examples showing that it frankly just isn't true.


Conclusion


Pro once again no has credible arguments on the table.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 2
myopinionsonthings

Pro

Here is a quote from a student in an article "Homework doesn"t help anything. It makes kids stressed-out and tired and makes them hate school more." Here is that work "tired" again. According to you, if the child is tired then maybe they shouldn't be spending time doing homework but instead they should be resting. And I know what you will say to this, you will say, "they should do homework but just go to bed early". Again with all their after school activities, than obviously they wouldnt have time, and If they didn't have time management skills then how are they balancing all these after school activities so well. Also If the student can not complete their homework because they dont understand, than there will be no teacher to help them with it and not all parents are smart enough to help their child with their homework. If a child is struggling with their homework than that is all the teachers fault as they are obviously not able to teach their students in the time period given to them. Instead of commenting on the things i say, try giving me more reasons why homework isn't a waste of time, it seems to me that you are stuck and instead, you are going back on everything i am saying!
JohnMaynardKeynes

Con

My opponent begins by citing one student from one article, and even then he hasn't linked to the article so that we can verify the quote. For future reference, Pro, it is advisable that you link to your sources. No one is expected to conduct research to understand your position.

Next, this is only one student, as I have said. Not only is this anecdotal evidence, but Pro has provided no evidence that this is the norm. This one student -- and Pro himself -- could be outliers.

He then suggests a chicken-and-egg scenario as to time management skills. That is, in order to handle homework, you must have time management skills already developed, but then we may consider how in fact homework may yield time management skills.

What Pro misunderstands, however, is that people respond to incentives and demands in their lives. If you have, let's say, 2 hours of homework, 2 hours of hocket practice, 1 hour of band practice, etc. in an afternoon, you won't spend 3 hours watching your favorite show; you'll either DVR it and watch it on the weekend, or you'll schedule your time so that you can watch it after you have completed your homework. You could even schedule to work together with your friends, because several heads are better than one, and complete the homework faster and better. Life is about more than simply doing as you want when you want as much as you want. There is a such thing as responsibility. Children have significantly less responsibilities than adults. If you think homework is bad, just wait until you get a job.

He then suggests that, if a student doesn't understand the homework assignment, it may be difficult to complete it. But what he isn't telling you is that many teachers -- I'd say most, and I include myself in this -- do not grade homework. Rather we want to see a sincere effort. If you're not able to figure out third-order integrals on your first try outside of class, I'm not going to give you an F; I'm going to examine your process, see if you applied a sincere effort, try to note where you went wrong, and try to help you so that, when the test roles around, you'll understand. But Pro's argument is, "you don't understand it, so don't try." This is a horribly incoherent argument that will doom you to failure once the exam arrives. By forgetting about it temporarily, you aren't reinforcing what you have learned, nor are you doing yourself any favors.

Pro then says that, if a student has problems with homework, it is the teacher's fault. I agree for the most part, though there are outliers -- e.g., rebellious teenagers. The problem, however, is that Pro has dropped my argument: I said last round that homework may be an adequate check on poor teaching, and what Pro wants to do by eliminating homework is remove that check entirely. I agree that there are some very, very poor teachers. I want the education system to function, and in order for that to work under any scenario, we must be able to gauge the flaws inherent in the system and address them thoroughly.

He then says that I am going back to everything that he is saying instead of giving him reasons as to why homework isn't a waste. But I have already provided my own reasons -- see Round 1 -- which Pro has not refutted. He has the burden of proof in this debate, so all I needed to do was to (1) defend my own arguments and (2) refute his, so that he doesn't have any remaining arguments on the table. He hasn't touched my arguments, nor are any of his still remaining on the table. He has not in any way met his burden of proof, nor has he proven that homework is a waste of time. Everything he has said is based off an anecdotal evidence, poor logic, and bare assertions, and he hasn't sourced a single one of those claims.


Conclusion
Because Pro has not met his burden of proof, I highly advise you to vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by JohnMaynardKeynes 2 years ago
JohnMaynardKeynes
The next time I want input from the peanut gallery, I'll let you know.

And everything you just said there is wrong -- but never mind.
Posted by 123456789123456789 2 years ago
123456789123456789
Con's rebuttal of the word "most" is not valid, pro's use of the word most was legitimate. Finally, Con said "vote con"... not indearing
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by GaryBacon 2 years ago
GaryBacon
myopinionsonthingsJohnMaynardKeynesTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Although I do actually believe that homework is a waste of time for most students, Con had the more convincing and detailed arguments.
Vote Placed by Defro 2 years ago
Defro
myopinionsonthingsJohnMaynardKeynesTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro has not met his burden of proof. Con addressed every point made by Pro. Therefore, arguments go to Con. However, S&G goes to Pro because Con's spelling errors were more noticeable.