The Instigator
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
famousdebater
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

Homework Should Not Be Required

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/23/2016 Category: Education
Updated: 12 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,888 times Debate No: 91708
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (36)
Votes (4)

 

Danielle

Pro

Many thanks to my opponent for accepting this challenge.

I'll be arguing that on balance, teachers should not assign homework.

My opponent can use Round 1 for acceptance and I'll begin my contentions in R2. Thanks!
famousdebater

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Danielle

Pro

[ Arguments ]

There are several reasons that people support homework:

1. To reinforce what is being taught in the classroom
2. To enable parents to engage in their child's education
3. To help children prepare for tests and state exams
4. To teach fundamental skills such as time management

However I will be arguing that

1. Homework does not fuel academic success
2. Homework inhibits family time and burdens parents
3. Homework infringes on playtime and recreation time
4. Homework fosters resentment that is detrimental and unnecessary

Point 1

Let's begin with the supposition that homework is vital to one's education. In fact, there is almost no evidence that homework helps elementary school students achieve academic success, and little more that it helps older students. A study led by an Indiana University School of Education faculty member finds little correlation between time spent on homework and better course grades [1].

Using databases like the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) we can see how homework impacts academic achievement around the world. According to TIMSS data, homework is not associated with high national or international levels of academic achievement [2].

Adam Maltese and his colleagues analyzed the amount of time students spent on homework to their academic success. Research showed there was no relationship whatsoever between time spent on homework and course grade, and “no substantive difference in grades between students who complete homework and those who do not” [3]. Whereas the research showed a slight improvement in standardized test scores for students who did more homework, this improvement is described as being "very modest."

The fact is, you can't "reinforce" understanding the way you can reinforce a behavior. If you had a hard time understanding the lesson in class, chances are you won't have an easier time understanding it (if you can understand it at all) through the assignment of homework. I will be glad to expand on the research if my opponent challenges this contention.


Point 2

Homework places a burden on parents. After working all day, parents are required to go home and not only take care of their household, but help their child complete additional work. This is stressful and can often cause family conflict. Indeed many parents have rebelled against homework [4] and some have even taken legal action (and won) to not have to suffer the burden of this homework obligation [5]. Parents should be able to choose what the best way to teach their children is outside of the classroom, which may or may not be reviewing their day's lesson.

Homework can cut into important personal and family time [6]. Rather than bonding by spending quality time with their loved ones, homework requires students continue working rather than strengthening their personal relationships. A Stanford researcher found that too much homework can negatively affect kids away from school, where family, friends and activities matter [7]. It can also emphasize the mentality that work is more important than family.

Researcher Alfie Kohn notes, "We parents, meanwhile, turn into nags. After being away from our children all day, the first words out of our mouths, sadly, may be: 'So, did you finish your homework?' One mother told me it permanently damaged her relationship with her son because it forced her to be an enforcer rather than a mom" [8].

Moreover, each child has a different home environment. Whereas some parents have the time and resources to dedicate to homework monitoring and assistance, other parents do not have the opportunity to be as involved. Thus a shoddy homework response might reflect poorly on the child unfairly.

Further, homework arguably places an unnecessary burden on teachers in addition to parents. Rather than spending time planning their lessons, grading classwork or working on their own self-improvement, teachers have to spend time grading "busy work" that they can't be sure the child has even completed on their own. While some suggest that homework teaches kids about responsibility, most of the time it needs asssistance from parents. In the early years especially, it often cannot be done without parental guidance (so much for teaching independence!).


Point 3

After spending all day in school, children are forced to begin a "second shift" of work which can include hours of additional assignments. This deprives children of time for other physical and creative activities, or even time to rest. Homework leads kids to be frustrated and tired to the point of inhibiting their learning. For one thing they might become bored or impatient with the perpetual tasks; for another they might be too drained to focus on them.

Homework consistently builds a hateful relationship with learning [9]. While we don't give slow-working children a longer school day, we consistently give them a longer homework day. Kids who take longer to read, grasp the work or work more slowly in general have less time for non-academic education compared to their peers. Learning an instrument, playing sports, working on the arts, and even general playtime has significant benefits to a child's health, wellness and intellectual development [10]. Recreational activities can teach all kinds of useful life lessons and skills that pertain to schoolwork and beyond.


Point 4

Homework is known for “causing a loss of sleep, of self esteem, of cheer, and of childhood” [11]. “It extinguishes the flame of curiosity.” A child is not engaged through homework but rather disengaged through "drill and kill" methods that provide little to no utility. Homework also widens the gap between high and low achievers, and can increase pressure to do well. This in turn can encourage cheating and may disproportionately punish low-income or minority students in disadvantages situations.

As for proposed alternatives, "The best teachers know that children learn how to make good decisions by making decisions, not by following directions... At least two investigators have found that the most impressive teachers (as defined by various criteria) tend to involve students in decisions about assignments rather than simply telling them what they’ll have to do at home" [12].

As such, we can improve the status quo by asking students the best way to reinforce what they have learned in class. While this might include some work from home, it probably won't look like the standard version of homework that is uniform, repetitive and monotonous. Perhaps teachers and parents can work with each student individually to figure out their goals and best methods of learning based on their habits, skill set and home environment.

[1] http://research.indiana.edu...
[02] https://www.washingtonpost.com...
[03] Adam V. Maltese, Robert H. Tai, and Xitao Fan, “When Is Homework Worth the Time? Evaluating the Association Between Homework and Achievement in High School Science and Math,” The High School Journal, October/November 2012: 52-72.
[04] http://www.nationalpost.com...
[05] http://www.theguardian.com...
[06] Cooper, H., Robinson, J. C., & Patall, E. A. (2006). Does homework improve academic achievement? A synthesis of research, 1987–2003. Review of Educational Research, 76(1), 1-62.
[07] https://news.stanford.edu...
[08] http://www.familycircle.com...
[09] http://www.salon.com...
[10] http://www.parks.ca.gov...
[11] http://www.21learn.org...
[12] http://www.alfiekohn.org...



famousdebater

Con

Thanks Danielle!


Observations


OBV1: My opponent is affirming a change in the status quo meaning that my role is to defend the status quo. My opponent’s burden in this debate is to show why the status quo should be changed and as a result of this they hold the burden of proof. Since my opponent holds the burden of proof here, I will not be providing a constructive case. I will merely be refuting my opponent’s case.


OBV2: Voters ought to vote pro if, by the end of the debate, they found Pro’s case more convincing than mine. Voters ought to vote Con if, by the end of the debate, I have managed to refute my opponent’s arguments (and therefore proven that the status quo is better than my opponent’s proposed change).


Counterplan


I will be producing a counterplan upon the resolution. This counterplan will allow me to advance my burden and win the debate but by making a minor alteration to the status quo (and therefore giving me a small share of the BOP to defend it).


The Center for Public Education (CPE) produced a balanced report showing both sides to the debate on the necessity of homework. The conclusion that they made was that homework can be bad and get rid of children’s motivation when it is given in high quantity. Homework in moderate quantity produces better effects. With this information being considered, I present the following syllogism:


P1: Too much homework is negative.

P2: Homework in moderate quantity is positive.

C1: Homework should be given in moderate quantity.


This simple counterplan advances my burden and also improves the system of homework since it negates the arguments regarding stress, loss of motivation, etc.


[Rebuttals]


Point 1


My opponent’s report collected data from 14 - 26 years ago [3]. The system of education in all countries has changed since then [2]. As well as the data being largely outdated it is also very limited, in that it only analyzed 0.00000947368% of children [3][4]. This is extremely low and cannot sufficiently prove that homework is a net detriment when 99.99999163742% of the children are excluded from this study. Furthermore, even the article my opponent cites claims that this isn’t a reason to abolish homework - it is merely a reason to change the system [3].


The entire article that my opponent cites next (regarding TIMSS) is contingent on there being heavy homework loads. My counterplan explicitly deals with this issue. In fact the very study my opponent cites states directly after it speaks out the claim that my opponent uses:


“The TIMSS can’t be used to determine if homework is actually helping or hurting academic performance overall. But it can help us see how much homework students are doing, and what conditions are associated with higher national levels of homework.” [5]


This conclusively proves that the issue here comes down to homework quantity which is something that is negated already.


Point 2


Next my opponent attempts to show that homework places a burden on parents. My opponent fails to explain the impact of this argument which is why it breaks down easily. She states that parents have rebelled and that some parents have gone to court and won. I am confused as to how this advances her burden in this debate. I could easily cite people going to court as proponents of homework and winning. I could easily also show that people have protested as proponents of homework too. It’s a controversial issue - of course there will be people for and against it. That doesn’t contribute or advance your burden in any way. One example is where a boy and his classmates demanded more homework and the parents agreed [6]. This protest negates my opponent’s since this is all they cite to attempt to affirm this point.


My opponent’s next paragraph of point 2 is once again contingent on quantity. Homework can cut into family time but given that my counterplan specifically reduces the issue of homework in large quantity this point is negated. The same response can be made for the next point regarding the Stanford researcher’s findings.


The next sub point regarding the “one mother” is extremely minor and is once again refuted by the counterplan. Additionally, only 10% of parents find that their child receives too much homework (on a national level); 64% find that their children’s homework is “about the right amount” and 25% believed that their child was not receiving enough homework [7]. This ultimately means that this one scenario that my opponent cites is in the minority and this will be solved under my counterplan regardless.


The next reason is precisely why I am introducing the counterplan. I am aware that people may not have the time to dedicate to producing excellent quality homework which is why I introduced the counterplan which (again) refutes the point.


My opponent makes the unsourced claim that most of the time parents need to help out their children with homework. I will not be addressing the bare assertion here. If / when my opponent chooses to source this claim I will respond to it. Lastly my opponent claims that it adds an extra burden on to teachers. The fact of the matter is that teachers are paid to mark homework (as well as fulfill their other duties). If homework were to be removed the salaries of teachers would also decline. It is part of the responsibility of a teacher and it is a burden that they accept and are made aware of when they apply for the job. [8]


Point 3


My counterplan partially addresses the point regarding too much time being spent however I will expand upon another point I wish to make. My opponent raises the (unsourced) objection of children losing time for activities and rest. Sutton Trust Research concluded that 76% of children of all backgrounds do a range of out of school activities [9]. This shows that an overwhelming majority of people manage to do homework alongside creative and physical activities (and this statistic only refers to out of school activities).


Next my opponent talks about a hateful relationship regarding learning being an issue. This article specifically references to the quantity (which my counterplan addresses). In the conclusion it even recommends that homework should be given in smaller quantities as this is ideal and will help them to learn and to have time to do activities that will help to benefit them [10]. My opponent also lists many things that are beneficial such as sports, artwork and playtime. All 3 of these things are taught / applied at most schools [11]. With this information alongside the statistic that 76% of children participate in out of school activities this point is successfully refuted.


Point 4


Again, the review my opponent cites in an attempt to prove that homework results in the loss of sleep, self esteem and childhood is refuted by the counterplan as it once again references to excessive homework and homework taking up valuable time from children. Voters should NOT buy my opponent’s claim that it encourages cheating and creates a gap between the intelligent and academically struggling because this is once again bare assertion on my opponent’s behalf.


Afterwards, my opponent quotes Alfie Kohn in an attempt to show that there is a better alternative to homework. The problem is that the proposed change can be done within the status quo, thus making it unnecessary to ban homework. Involving students in decisions about assignments can be done within school and then the assignment can be set once those decisions have been made - this can and does happen [12].


In the final paragraph my opponent quasi-concedes. She says: “As such, we can improve the status quo by asking students the best way to reinforce what they have learned in class. While this might include some work from home, it probably won't look like the standard version of homework that is uniform, repetitive and monotonous.” She says that the improvement might involve some work from home. My opponent attempts to distinguish this from homework by saying that homework is uniform, repetitive and monotonous whereas her work from home idea will not be. The fact is that homework is simply defined as: “schoolwork that a pupil is required to do at home.” [13]. Meaning that my opponent’s proposition falls under the definition of homework and is therefore, in essence, a concession.


To conclude, my opponent is unable to provide any good reason as to why homework should be banned. At best she manages to show that homework (at its current state) can be slightly excessive and can take away time from students. My counterplan addresses this and even if it didn’t, this isn’t a valid reason to ban homework, as this issue can be resolved within the status quo. On multiple occasions she fails to provide the impact of her contentions. I have successfully refuted my opponent’s points and shown why homework should not remain as a part of the status quo. The resolution is negated.


Sources


[1] http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org...

[2] https://www.oecd.org...

[3] http://research.indiana.edu...

[4] http://www.gapminder.org...

[5] https://www.washingtonpost.com...

[6] http://www.express.co.uk...

[7] http://www.encyclopedia.com...

[8] https://www.prospects.ac.uk...

[9] https://societycentral.ac.uk...

[10] http://www.salon.com...

[11] http://www.bbc.co.uk...

[12] http://www2.ed.gov...

[13] http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Danielle

Pro

Thanks!

Point 1


Con claims that my research is outdated, however fails to explain how the date is relevant to the majority of my contentions. In fact data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) provides a good look at trends in homework (HW) for the past three decades, and concludes that today's students have had about the same amount of HW over the last 30 years [1]. This means all of my studies are relevant.

I presented studies that collected data from more than 10,000 students nationwide between 1990 and 2002 [2]. The TIMSS report is from 2007 and covers 59 different countries [3]. Is research from the last 8-20 years really that off base? Con would have to prove that the amount of homework assigned then vs. now is drastic enough to make a difference, but he won't be able to.

Con states that my research only includes a small portion of the population, and therefore this research is not valid. However this negates the very own research he presents. First, almost all of the "pro homework" studies cited by the CPE is research from the 1950s to 1990s, making Con's claim about my allegedly outdated research null and void. Second, Con does not prove that those studies account for more of the population than the ones I have presented. If he cannot, then we have no reason to believe that the pro-HW studies are any more valid.

Con's very own source:

"Information from international assessments shows little relationship between the amount of homework students do and test scores."

"Kohn says... there is no conclusive evidence that homework provides any benefits—either academic or nonacademic—to students."

"Homework also has potentially negative associations, one involving students' economic status."

"Teachers do not give students more help if they have trouble with homework."

"Lower-achieving students may take more time than higher-achieving students to finish assignments" [3].

Indeed it would appear there is conflicting information, and there are some cases where homework could be beneficial.

[ Re: Counterplan ]

1A. Even if we accept HW can sometimes be beneficial, Con is only saying that *beneficial* homework be required - not all homework. Yet he cannot ensure the HW assigned will, in fact, be beneficial.

1B. Just because something is beneficial does not mean it ought to be required. Exercise, a healthy diet and a good amount of sleep are all beneficial to one's health and even education, as those factors affect one's academic performance [4, 5]. Schools can encourage these things in their facility, however in the home they rely on parents to do what's best for their children. As I mentioned in the last round, parents should determine or influence the way their kids learn or reinforce information in the home. If they want their kid to do homework, they can assign it or seek additional resources.

In his Point 4 rebuttal, Con claims that HW is simply defined as “schoolwork that a pupil is required to do at home" and my suggestion that it can sometimes be beneficial works as a concession. It does not. First, homework is uniform and I specifically advocated an assortment of assignments TBD by teachers, students and parents - not uniform HW. Second, Con must prove that homework ought to be required - that is mandated by the school/state. Again just because something is beneficial does not mean it should be required. Homework can be suggested, encouraged or even assigned, but not necessarily mandatory.

Point 2

My opponent claims that he "doesn't understand" how the backlash from parents over homework proves that homework is a burden on parents. It's self-evident. Parents complaining about the burden (to the point of going to court) proves it is in fact a burden.

He then goes on to say that some parents don't mind homework, and claims he can cite court cases where parents have gone to court asking for homework and won. I would like my opponent to prove that he can cite court cases where parents have asked for more homework and won. He won't be able to, but even if he did, all this proves is that the parents who want homework should be able to give their kids homework, whereas those who don't shouldn't have to. Many parents secure tutors or prep classes for subjects and tests their kids need help with. This can replace homework for the parents who believe it is helpful, without placing an undue burden on teachers and other classmates/parents who feel otherwise.

Con argues that by reducing HW time, the problems of HW won't exist. But while they might be less significant, they would still exist. Even 1 hour of HW per night interferes with 1 hour of family or recreational time. Furthermore, Con cannot prove that all students spend the same amount of time on homework, and in fact this was one of my contentions in the last round that Con dropped. We don't assign slower students longer school days, but we assign them longer homework days. Kids who struggle with their HW would spend a lot longer on their tasks than those who do not, meaning required HW is still problematic.

Con requests sources proving that parents do homework:

A survey from 2008 shows that 43% of parents have done their kid's homework [6]. It's nearly 80% of black and Hispanic parents who do their kid's HW one day per week, and more than 40% of them do it THREE or more times a week out of likely four assigned HW days [7]. It is around 36% for white students. This cheating does not foster independence, responsibility or honesty, nor does it provide any of the alleged benefits of homework to these students.

My opponent has dropped my contention that each child has a different home environment. Whereas some parents have the time and resources to dedicate to homework monitoring and assistance, other parents do not have the opportunity to be as involved. Thus a shoddy HW response might reflect poorly on the child unfairly. Many students (especially in low-income areas) specifically have a hard time completing their assignments. They cannot focus in their environments [8] which Con's own CPE source reiterates.

Even when good HW is assigned, it is the student's approach that is critical. However teachers cannot monitor or control how students approach their HW. My opponent claims that my research on the utility of homework is outdated (I've argued that his is outdated) and yet I also don't believe his citations account for today's HW distractions. Research shows that students today are not grasping as much of the homework material even when they complete it, because they are distracted by social media and don't retain the information [8].

Con argues it doesn't matter that teachers waste time grading homework because they know it is a condition of the job. That's fallacious circular reasoning. Just because something is a condition doesn't mean it ought to be a condition, which is exactly what I'm arguing (that it shouldn't be). I explained that teachers can use the time they spend grading homework to improve their own education (research, school or reading) or plan new and innovative lessons that provide more learning utility than homework.

Point 3

Con states that I have made the "unsourced" claim that by spending time on homework, kids are missing out on time spent on other things. Quite frankly it's ridiculous to ask for a citation on this self-evident fact. If someone spends time on X, they cannot spend time on Y. I'm not sure how that can be any more clear, but hopefully these sources will satiate Con's request [9, 10]. Here is another source claiming homework inhibits rest [11].

My opponent does not deny the utility of things like athletics, the arts, etc. but rather says they are provided in school (irrelevant) and that students already participate in after-school activities. But regardless of the amount of homework assigned, the time spent on HW interferes with other things whether it is rest, relaxation or other hobbies. Further, consider the fact that many older students work (or want to work) but can't as they must complete their "second shift" of homework after school. Most adults are not forced to complete work at home after their work day. Even if they were, adults have the option of getting a different job. Con advocates less HW but cannot ensure that less HW (and meaningful work) will actually be provided by the teachers that students cannot opt out of.

Point 4

Con writes, "Voters should NOT buy my opponent’s claim that it encourages cheating and creates a gap between the intelligent and academically struggling because this is once again bare assertion on my opponent’s behalf."

1 - Parents often do their kids homework (which is cheating).

2 - Students cheat because they fear penalty of not completing their assignments from teachers and parents.

3 - Grades, rather than education, have become the major focus of many students [12]. Computers can make cheating easier than ever before, and kids have unmonitored (and often unlimited) access to computers in the home. Students can download term papers from the world wide web. They can also take pictures of math calculations that not only provide the answer, but how they got the answer so the student is able to regurgitate it without any effort or learning on their part.

Studies show cheating is more common than ever before [13, 14] which is obviously most problematic in the home. Research shows the lowest amount of students admitting to cheating on written assignments is 84 percent, and some data shows it as high as 95 percent [15].

Conclusion

Con's point that homework can sometimes kinda sorta maybe be beneficial to some people does not mean it should be mandatory for all. Outside influences have too great an impact on the alleged benefits of HW. Students, parents and teachers can ASSIGN homework, encourage it, grade it but not REQUIRE it given all of the problematic variables. This allows for HW's benefits but also accounts for its problems.


SOURCES: http://www.debate.org...




famousdebater

Con

Thanks Danielle!


Point 1


She claims that I provided no explanation of how the date is relevant. This is false. I claimed (and sourced the claim) that the education system has changed since those studies were published and also showed how inaccurate the studies were due to the fact that the percentage of people accounted for are 0.00000947368% of children! She drops this and merely claims that I fail to explain to explain how the date is relevant to the majority of her contentions. This is false as we can clearly see.


She then makes a mathematical error in the dates. She claims that her sources are from 8 - 20 years ago. In fact that are from 8 - 26 years ago and I clearly sourced the claim that education and homework has significantly changed in the last 3 decades (see my source [2] from last round). She drops this. She falsely states that I must prove that homework assigned then vs now is different in quantity. This is, as I said, false. All I need to do is show that the systems of education have changed since then because that affects everything. If homework is different in regards to difficulty (for example), then higher quantity is not as necessary if it’s harder. If it’s easier then the opposite is applicable. So the fact that the system of education was different then is a valid reason to consider her sources (at the least, the ones from 20+ years ago); the differences are too large to compare to the present.


The fact that my sources are outdated is irrelevant as my intentions and uses of them are different. If I was using those sources for statistical evidence or about the education system (which she does) then outdated sources are unacceptable. If I’m using them for more generic purposes (which I am) then the date is not applicable as it does not affect my point.


She cites some Con homework information in my source. I am aware that there is information in my source that I disagree with. I was using that source to reinforce a point that I agreed with in the source. I agree with some of the claims made however I disagree with the sources impact analysis and conclusion of information. Debaters are not expected to agree with everything said in every one of their sources. They are expected to agree with the statement that they are using the source to reinforce.


[Counterplan]


1A. This is false. I never said that only beneficial homework is allowed. This would be ideal but not once in my counterplan was the word beneficial mentioned. In fact I only mentioned the word beneficial once in my entire round and it was not in the context in which my opponent states (anybody can check my clicking Ctrl f and searching the word beneficial whilst viewing the debate).


1B. Again, this seems to be a misinterpretation of the counterplan. I never mentioned that it had to be beneficial, nor did I say that beneficial things have to be mandatory.


Here is a remind of my counterplan: Homework should be given in moderate quantity (in short).

This is about homework QUANTITY (ie. how much homework is given) NOT homework QUALITY (ie. how beneficial it is). I extend the counterplan.

I’ll drop the claim that she quasi concedes in order to continue onwards with the debate. I’ll allow voters to consider whether or not this should be viewed as a concession or not.


Point 2

The point that she fails to see regarding the burden on parents is that it is in extremely low quantity and I provided accurate statistics showing that this was clearly a minority.

The statistics clearly show that the majority of parents are satisfied with homework. Whether I can or can’t cite a court case regarding homework quantity is irrelevant. That argument was only made as an alternative to the counterplan. Since she fails to refute the counterplan, it still stands and due to this her entire objection is negated given that all homework will be reduced to a more suitable quantity.


She persists the raise the objection that family time is lost. If anything, family time is created. It is a psychological truism that teenagers (on balance) become more distant from parents and others during this period of their lives, this means that they spend less time with their parents and family [1]. Homework often involves parents helping the child and parents interacting with the child, as she correctly in his initial arguments. We can conclude that since teenagers are distant from their parents and given that parents often involves themselves with their children family time is created indirectly through homework.


Different students of different abilities will not take identical amounts of time which is why, within the status quo, there are sets which are based on examination and classwork. Depending on their abilities they are each set different amounts of homework so that it will fulfill a set amount of time [3]. Whilst students are more than welcome to spend additional time on homework, schools give recommended amounts of time and usually make this clear [4]. [2]


The fact that parents help with homework is a good thing. The fact that they do it is not. Since setting is based on classwork and examination parents doing homework has no negative effects. The homeworks purpose is to show a child’s understanding of a topic and reinforce their knowledge of the topic from their classwork. If their parents do it then it is the same as what she proposes (ie. no homework) because they are not receiving the benefits that homework has to offer. For the students that actually do their homework, they are benefiting from homework. This contention presents no mitigation to my burden since all it does is show that some people aren’t doing homework and some are. Some people benefiting from homework is better than nobody benefiting from it.


She says I dropped his argument regarding different home environments however the counterplan negates this without me having to address it since there will be a lower homework quantity this means that these people will not be overwhelmed with homework - homework is not used as a primary source of determining sets. Schools also take into account financial states [5].


She helps explain the very purpose of homework itself. She points out that homework cannot be monitored in regards to approach and therefore students may not grasp or understand the material properly. If they do not understand it and get all of the questions wrong (for example), then it is the teacher’s duty to correct the student and explain the homework to them. The lesson is designed to teach all students generally. The homework shows specific pupils progress and understanding of that lesson which teachers can then monitor and intervene if necessary in order to help said student to understand it properly [6].


There is a reason as to why it is a condition of the job. It allows teachers to have an individual understanding of a student’s grasp of the lesson so that they can help students that are struggling [6].


Point 3


The reason I asked for sourcing is because I wanted evidence that homework actually digs into and reduces the time that people spend on certain things. Often people can still do their one activity and also do other activities in the same amount of time that they usually would do even without having the first activity, so I was merely asking for confirmational purposes.


The CP negates this point since these sources reference to there being too much time being spent on homework due to excessive quantity.


The fact that these activities are provided in schools is NOT irrelevant due to the fact that IF you are buying her claim that homework cuts into activity time, students will not be missing out on these activities since they will be doing it in school.


She makes a an argument riddled with fallacies. She claims that homework cuts into time for anything. The fact of the matter is that schools cuts into people’s time, work cuts into people’s time, sleep cuts into people’s time, etc. Should people stop going to school, work and stop sleeping in order to do activities? The answer that she will most likely give is no. So why is homework an exception? People still manage to have part time jobs within the status quo, in the UK homework is compulsory and there are a record number of students in part time jobs at the moment [7]. This completely negates my opponent’s claims of a supposed negative correlation.


She misunderstands the counterplan. He says that I cannot ensure that less homework will be given by specific teachers. The counterplan is a proposed change in the status quo, thus making it a law for teachers to only be allowed to set a limited amount of homework.


Point 4


1 - Homework counts for nothing and only is there to show a student’s understanding of a lesson. So whilst parents cheating is discouraged, it still has no negative benefits that give my opponent’s proposed changes any advantage over mine.


2 - There is no evidence presented in support of this claim.


3 - Whilst cheating can be the case and the same objection to 4 - 1 is applicable here. Her statistics are unreliable. They are posted on a forum site and a bias one too. The site stophomework.com. The website makes little attempt to give credibility to these statistics and the only effort made is where they provide 3 fake links that lead to nonexistent / fake pages.


[Conclusion]


She provides her sources in an external link which shows a poor demonstration of conduct. She set a character limit and this limit was violated. I have abided by the rules set and not attempted to bypass them in the way that she does. I ask that voters vote on the conduct point as this gave her additional space for rebuttals and gave me limited space for counter rebuttals. More generally, the decision is simple. A vote for the Con is clear at this point in the debate


Sources


[1] http://bit.ly...

[2] http://bbc.in...

[3] http://bit.ly...

[4] http://bit.ly...

[5] http://bit.ly...

[6] http://bit.ly...

[7] http://dailym.ai...

Debate Round No. 3
Danielle

Pro

Keep in mind I cannot respond to any of Con's dropped contentions.


Point 1

My opponent seemingly defeats his own argument.

In the last round he said exactly this:

"Here is a remind of my counter plan: Homework should be given in moderate quantity (in short).
This is about homework QUANTITY (ie. how much homework is given) NOT homework QUALITY (ie. how beneficial it is)."

And yet when explaining why my sources are allegedly irrelevant, he says:

"She falsely states that I must prove that homework assigned then vs. now is different in quantity... All I need to do is show that the systems of education have changed since then because that affects everything. If homework is different in regards to difficulty (for example), then higher quantity is not as necessary if it’s harder."

In the first statement he says that he is arguing QUANTITY is what matters in assessing homework.

And then in the second statement he says DIFFICULTY is what's relevant and quantity isn't relevant at all.

I'm sure I am not the only one confused by Con's statements, and once again, I will not have the opportunity to respond.

To repeat my position, students have had roughly the same amount of HW quantity over the last 30 years. Con does not deny this - nor has Con proven that a DIFFERENCE in education standards over the last 30 years means a difference one way or the other (easier or harder) let alone a difference in the quality of HW assignments.

Moreover, I argued that Con had not proven that his studies account for more of the population than the ones I have presented. If he cannot, then we have no reason whatsoever to believe that the pro-HW studies he cites (noting that quantity of homework is most important -- which I've argued against) are any more valid. He dropped this contention and has not proven that his studies represent a larger sample size.

I pointed out that my study examined data of more than 18,000 students to uncover explanations for academic performance. Con suggests we have to use the entire world population of children as a measure which is absurd. Out of 1.9 billion children, 1 billion of them live in destitute poverty [1]. These children, especially in the third world, can't even eat or drink and millions die from starvation daily -- yet Con suggests we should factor them into the population of students who benefit from homework, when they have never seen a school in their life. That is an abusive standard no judge would take seriously. Quite obviously we are discussing homework in the West (especially the U.S.) where public education and the subsequent standards is the norm. Thus 18K is a good sample size for research.

Con has not even tried to present us with an estimate of the number of students his cited studies cover, let alone present research that accounts for a larger size. Some studies in his favor have "hundreds" yet I invite Con to prove his studies are more relevant in size, date and scope [2, 3]. One study in his favor had a sample size of around 1,300 students -- or about 1/18th of the population my sources covered.

In short, Con has dug himself a hole in trying to attack the credibility of my sources and studies; he has not proven his are any more valid. In the last round I decided to move on from this and noted it would appear SOME cases show that homework could be beneficial (accounting for a lot of different variables). Of course, that is completely irrelevant to the rest of my argument. I've pointed out that not everything that is beneficial ought to be required as well as suggested the potential negatives of HW outweigh the potential positives. Indeed that is the crux of my position in this debate.

1A. I pointed out that even if HW can sometimes be beneficial, Con is only saying that *beneficial* homework be required - not all homework. Yet he cannot ensure the HW assigned will be beneficial. He responded with accusations of straw mans when in fact he fails to see the absurdity of this objection. If Con is not saying that only BENEFICIAL homework be required, then he is advocating that even NON-beneficial homework be required. Why would Con advocate non-beneficial homework?! That would be punishment with no substance or positive effect. Therefore it is only logical to assume Con is only advocating BENEFICIAL homework. If he would like to challenge this, I guess he can...

1B. It would appear Con does want to challenge this lol.

He writes, "Again, this seems to be a misinterpretation of the counter plan. I never mentioned that it had to be beneficial, nor did I say that beneficial things have to be mandatory." So here we can see that Con even supports HW that is not beneficial, meaning he has no good reason (positive benefits) to support HW at all.

And furthermore, Con skirts 1B as if it is a meaningless statement when in fact it is the entire basis of my argument. Please extend all of my 1B points -- I pointed out why not all things that are beneficial should be required. Ergo, even if homework were beneficial, it need not be mandatory. Con thinks HW (despite being so problematic) should just be imposed whether it has benefits or not, which is an even more ridiculous position than I think anyone expected him to take.

Point 2

Con accuses me of not refuting the counter plan which is false. His counter plan is simply "less homework" which I have argued, especially in Point 2.

"Con argues that by reducing HW time, the problems of HW won't exist. But while they might be less significant, they would still exist. Even 1 hour of HW per night interferes with 1 hour of family or recreational time. Furthermore, Con cannot prove that all students spend the same amount of time on homework..." which proves I did address his counter plan of less HW time.

My opponent says that it's okay for students to spend different amounts of time on HW, which fails to address my point on an undue burden for slow learners or those who take longer to do assignments. This means additional stress and imposition for those students on recreational and rest time, which Con glosses over as being addressed by special classes/assignments but this cannot be proven or enforced. Even students in special classes learn at a different pace from each other.

Con asked for sources proving that parents do their kid's homework. I presented the studies; Con dropped this point and said "Well kids should be doing it themselves." Sure, but extend my argument that they are often NOT doing it themselves based on my statistics. Con must concede this point; instead he suggests this simply doesn't matter. Obviously when parents do their kid's assignments, it places burden on the parents and provides no utility to the child while still creating work for teachers.

Once again - whereas some parents have the time and resources to dedicate to HW monitoring and assistance, other parents do not have the opportunity to be as involved. Thus a shoddy HW response might reflect poorly on the child unfairly. Many students (especially in low-income areas) specifically have a hard time completing their assignments.

In response, Con says "since there will be a lower homework quantity, this means that these people will not be overwhelmed with homework" which clearly doesn't address my points at all regarding lack of resources, not just time. Con also says that the states account for financial factors in HW assignments and cited this source from the UK -- yet not a single line from that source said anything about poverty affecting assigned work or HW. I invite my opponent to copy and paste the line from that source which proves his point here [4]. I have no reason to accept it thus far. And besides, people within the same school can still come from vastly different financial backgrounds.

Con states, "If [students] do not understand [HW] and get all of the questions wrong (for example), then it is the teacher’s duty to correct the student and explain the homework to them." However teachers do not give students more help if they have trouble with homework - a factor cited in Con's previous source from the CPE [5].

Con dropped that even when good HW is assigned, it is the student's approach that is critical. However teachers cannot monitor or control how students approach their HW. Con also dropped that his citations don't account for today's HW distractions. Research shows that students today are not grasping as much of the homework material even when they complete it, because they are distracted by social media and don't retain the information.

Point 3

Con says "She makes a an argument riddled with fallacies. She claims that homework cuts into time for anything." That is not fallacious but a logical fact. If you spend time on X (homework) you cannot spend time on Y (anything else) that requires significant attention. That's called the law of non-contradiction. Just because school provides some activities doesn't mean it provides the same activities or amount of time/attention on those activities as parents or kids would like.

Con notes that school, work, etc. cut into people's time and yet I am not advocating those be abolished. I explained how homework provides a "second shift" of work that kids should not have to face. Please extend my arguments on parents not being subjected to this burden and having options here; Con dropped it and I will not be able to respond.

Point 4

Con says that HW "counts for nothing" yet HW is often graded.

Con says I have provided "no evidence" of cheating. See explanations regarding points 12-15 in the last round. He only contested 1 of those sources. One is a forum - the rest are academic - and he ignores that parents doing HW is cheating which he admits happens. He dropped every one of my arguments on copying and using the internet to cheat as well.

Con also dropped the negative effects of HW's "drill and kill" methodolgy and its impact on learning.


PLEASE EXTEND MY LAST ROUND'S CONCLUSION.



Thanks!

SOURCES: http://www.debate.org...

famousdebater

Con

Thanks Danielle! This debate has definitely been a fun one to participate in.


[Debate Summary]


Clarification


It is evident that my opponent completely misunderstands what a counterplan is. My counterplan (ie. proposed changes to the status quo which gives me a fraction of the BOP) was in regards to quantity because, obviously, I can feasibly make sure that all homework is beneficial and of a good quality - that does NOT mean that I can’t talk about homework quality within the status quo and in the past because my counterplan is not a list of my advocacies (as my opponent seems to believe). Ergo, there is no contradiction, I hope it is now clear to my opponent and to voters of what a counterplan is and how it is different to my advocacies and rebuttals. So, just to clarify, my counterplan states that quantity is too high so it will be reduced. My rebuttal to my opponent’s source is that it addresses an older version of the education system with different qualities of homework. These statements are not contradictory and can coexist without any contradictions. Nobody should be confused by this. I extend those arguments.


Point 1


The outcome of this contention is simple. My opponent uses incredibly unreliable data that fails to account for 99.99999163742% of the children in the world (children in poverty and in poor conditions are still children and should be [and are] included in this figure). Virtually all of my opponent’s sources here deal with large quantities of homework which is something that I’m specifically advocating the removal of from the status quo (as is made evident in my counterplan).


My opponent has attempted to show that my sources do not account for as many people as hers however my sources are not being used in the same way that hers are. She is using her sources to prove that homework should be abolished using statistical data. I was using mine for general claims that bare the same weight regardless of the amount of people involved since I did not use these for statistic related claims.


She also appears to believe that not every beneficial thing must be mandatory. I have accepted this however my opponent seems to believe that this is as far as her burden requires her to achieve. This is objectively false. There are some things that are beneficial and should be mandatory (my opponent concedes this). Therefore, my opponent’s burden entails them in proving that whilst homework can be beneficial it should not be mandatory. My concession of beneficial things not having to be mandatory does not mean that my opponent’s burden is advanced in any way.


Counterplan


1A. My opponent once again misunderstands what a counterplan is. My opponent lies about me saying that my counterplan involves only beneficial homework being implemented. She tries to get out of this precarious situation she’s been put in by saying that by saying this it means that I advocate all homework - even non beneficial homework. This is simply not true. A counterplan is a proposed change to the status quo on the the negative case’s behalf. I cannot make a beneficial related change to the status quo because as my opponent pointed out earlier on in this debate, that simply isn’t feasible. This doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t prefer there to be only beneficial homework, I would. Though this is virtually impossible so I am focussing my counterplan elsewhere.


1B. My opponent makes an identical misinterpretation to what she says in response to point 1A. Just because I’m not making a proposed change on the status quo to make all homework beneficial, doesn’t mean that I do not advocate this - I merely find this proposed changed to be unfeasible and unrealistic.


Please extend my counterplan as my opponent pretty much drops it all and instead resorts to refuting nonexistent argument regarding benefits and then making strange and ultimately false complaints about me advocating homework that isn’t beneficial.


Point 2


In this contention I proved that the burden on parents is of an extremely low percentage. The majority are clearly content with the status quo. Regardless, even if this objection fails you still ought to presume Con as the counterplan minimizes homework quantity for those that receive too much homework, therefore the burden on parents is virtually non existent. Either way, you ought to consider this point in my favor.


She also raised the objection of family time being lost which was also refuted by the fact that I used psychological evidence in order to refute this point and show that in reality family time is created as opposed to being lost.


I also showed that students are set based on abilities and are given the amount of homework that should be sufficient in correlation with their ability so that everybody spends the same amount of time on homework (though not necessarily doing the same amount of homework or the same difficulty level in homework).


Furthermore, I managed to show that parents doing homework is neither good nor bad. Though no benefits at all is worse. Sets and teaching opinion on students is formulated based on class work and examination (which I proved via citation in the previous round). Therefore, whilst this does happen, all this means is that some students won’t gain anything from homework and some will.


I refuted the objection in regards to resources due to the fact that schools take the student’s parents/carers financial state into consideration.


My opponent blatantly lies when she says:


“Con dropped that even when good HW is assigned, it is the student's approach that is critical.”


This is massively untrue. I will quote my response from R3:


“She helps explain the very purpose of homework itself. She points out that homework cannot be monitored in regards to approach and therefore students may not grasp or understand the material properly. If they do not understand it and get all of the questions wrong (for example), then it is the teacher’s duty to correct the student and explain the homework to them. The lesson is designed to teach all students generally. The homework shows specific pupils progress and understanding of that lesson which teachers can then monitor and intervene if necessary in order to help said student to understand it properly”.


My opponent’s claim that I dropped this is ludicrous.


Point 3


My opponent claims that homework cuts time into things and she also claim that it provides a second shift of work for children. This is automatically negated by the counterplan. Additionally, even if my counterplan was not enacted this contention would still work in my favor since after school activities exist and I presented a large statistic showing that people have plenty of time to do homework alongside activities and I demonstrated that there are a record breaking amount of people in part time jobs in the UK which my opponent drops.


Point 4


I have shown that homework does not count towards sets for children. In fact class work and examination are used only. The only claims that my opponent has been able to muster are bare assertions that homework is often graded (which is irrelevant since grading homework is not the same as taking it into consideration when assessing that student’s ability - which is what general classwork and examinations are for).


I concede that cheating happens however my opponent’s website regarding cheating statistics is unreliable (and my opponent drops this argument). We can conclude that since homework does not count for anything important, cheating has no effects (neither positive or negative). Whereas the students that opt in to do their homework properly receive the benefits from homework which my opponent concedes when she says that just because homework is beneficial, doesn’t mean that it should be mandatory.


Once again, my opponent lies and states that I dropped the effects of HW’s drill and kill methodology. This is false. Again, I will have to quote my response which my opponent supposedly claims is nonexistent when she says that I dropped it:


“Again, the review my opponent cites in an attempt to prove that homework results in the loss of sleep, self esteem and childhood is refuted by the counterplan as it once again references to excessive homework and homework taking up valuable time from children.”


The outcome of this debate is incredibly clear. The resolution is negated. Please vote Con!
Debate Round No. 4
36 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by fire_wings 9 months ago
fire_wings
lol, I thought 3 month period would make there be more votes. But, 4 votes, LOL
Posted by famousdebater 11 months ago
famousdebater
Thanks for all the votes guys!
Posted by Diqiucun_Cunmin 11 months ago
Diqiucun_Cunmin
An interesting debate, and finally on a topic I care about... I'll look at this when I get the time. I'll cast a tied vote, but write an RFD anyway.
Posted by whiteflame 11 months ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: Udel// Mod action: NOT Removed<

5 points to Pro (Arguments, Sources). Reasons for voting decision: I will post my rfd in the comments section.

[*Reason for non-removal*] After reading through the RFD and the extensions posted elsewhere in the comments, it has been determined that the voter more than sufficiently justifies all points allocated. The voter is not required to be exhaustive in their analysis of any point allocation, and does go into enough detail for their vote to be upheld.
************************************************************************
Posted by dtien400 11 months ago
dtien400
OK sorry I have no idea what my computer did when I posted this, I could've sworn I deleted the first sentence.
Posted by famousdebater 11 months ago
famousdebater
You judged arguments sufficiently. I just don't think you took all the points into consideration before voting on sources.
Posted by Udel 11 months ago
Udel
A few things. I am not going to change my vote for sources for now. I will respond to the thread and post a link to justify my vote on sources. I am sorry if I judged sources wrong. I used bsh1 voting guidelines on how to judged sources, which I outline here.

http://www.debate.org...

Something else I wanted to touch on for the RFD. Con says "The outcome of this contention is simple. My opponent uses incredibly unreliable data that fails to account for 99.99999163742% of the children in the world (children in poverty and in poor conditions are still children and should be [and are] included in this figure)."

Just for the record, That is wrong as Pro argued in the debate. You can't include all children when talking about education because not all children receive education. Pro pointed out that billions of children die of hunger and starvation, yet Con thinks it is reasonable to include all children in a sample study? No that is crazy. If you take any psychology course of science course that talks about sample size, relevance matters, and not all children are relevant to a discussion on children education if those children are not educated.

famousdebater, to be honest you did as well as could be expected in this debate against one of the best debaters. When I saw the research I realized she had won just because of the word "required." Even the beneficial things are not always required. Your very best arguments, of which there were many good ones, could not really compete with that though.
Posted by dtien400 11 months ago
dtien400
@fire_wings

It probably also helps that this debate is much of interest to a lot of people and formatted really well. Although the long debate period certainly helps, tt probably also helps that this debate is much of interest to a lot of people and formatted really well. (I'm not trying to imply your debates are formatted incorrectly or boring, it's just certain issues are more likely to interest more people - I for one would never read a debate about the economy but debates about sociopolitical issues or history are fair game)
Posted by fire_wings 11 months ago
fire_wings
Next time I am going to make my debate's voting period longer.
Posted by famousdebater 11 months ago
famousdebater
Lol.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by TUF 11 months ago
TUF
DaniellefamousdebaterTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PGlJ1hkiI-YAO5Qp9-8letd9vYFNvNNxxlEOJptnzcQ/edit?usp=sharing
Vote Placed by tejretics 11 months ago
tejretics
DaniellefamousdebaterTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: http://www.debate.org/forums/education/topic/88216/
Vote Placed by Udel 11 months ago
Udel
DaniellefamousdebaterTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: I will post my rfd in the comments section.
Vote Placed by fire_wings 11 months ago
fire_wings
DaniellefamousdebaterTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD here: http://www.debate.org/forums/education/topic/88175/ I hope this is enough for the RFD, Con rebutted Pro's first argument, and because he already filled the BoP, he wins. If any of you want me to explain more, I will be happy to do so, because there is 86 days left. From the Voter's Team, if you want a vote, you can sumbit it here: http://www.debate.org/forums/debate.org/topic/87775/