Homework Should be Banned, or at Least Made Optional
Debate Rounds (3)
So when we examine this topic, we can't look at just the negative aspects of homework, but also acknowledge the benefits to three different groups of people: the students, the teachers, and the nation itself of the student. But before beginning, I'd like to mention that I am conducting this debate under the value of utilitarianism- that is, what does the most good for the most amount of people is the most morally justifiable.
So first, benefits to the student.
There are a few purposes of homework that are intended to further the student's educational career while simultaneously providing a better education from home. First, homework is intended as practice for the student.  A study done in 2006 showed a positive correlation between homework completed and class test scores. It combined multiple studies and each gave the same result: 77% of 35 studies found a link between time spent on homework and achievement in school.  Clearly, in a world where test scores are becoming lower and lower, it is up to the teachers (indeed, it is their job) to do whatever they can the raise these scores back up. Of course, homework does more than just force the student to practice. It also, in many cases, prepares them for class activities the next day and increases the student's involvement in their education. We need "active learners" as opposed to "passive learners" (if you are familiar with that term.) Homework is even intended to build student responsibility, perseverance, and time management. The point of school itself is to (a) educate us to become intelligent, contributing members of society and (b) prepare us for future occupations. Now, if we can't even manage our time, how can we even expect to jump into a busy, hectic job with plenty of stress? So yes, as odd as it sounds, we need stress in our lives to prepare us for our futures.
But believe it or not, there are also benefits to teachers, as well.
When teachers assign homework, believe it or not, they don't usually intend it as "busywork" meant to waste your time. Homework, of course, is intended to prepare the students for future classes as well review previous ones (which I mentioned in my last paragraph). But it's also a way of checking to ensure the students understand the material and are keeping up with the class.  In addition, by using it to prepare for future classes, homework will increase productivity because there will be more time in class for additional learning.
Finally, homework also benefits our nation as a whole.
When we mentioned that homework leads to higher test scores, and then also how it increases skills such as time management for the student, we must realize that these skills transfer over into a future careers and lives. When we begin to be able to explore subjects more than a 60 minute class will permit, we are increasing our knowledge and therefore furthering society as a whole. A new study recently reported that based on math, reading and science scores, the US is 36th best- in the world.  This is a problem. The US is 27th in math alone- out of 34 countries.  While these test scores are dropping by the day, it's clear that the issue isn't that we have homework, or even that are teachers are doing poor teaching. It's that we live in a society that places more emphasis on athletic achievement than academic. It's that we see people like Mark Zuckerberg succeeding without a college education and expect everyone to be like that. It's a lot of things, but obliterating our education by removing homework/placing restrictions on it is not the way to go. It's comparable removing hospitals in a plague.
NOTE: I'd also like to mention that placing limits on the amount of homework a teacher can assign is unrealistic, as you mentioned, yourself, that "certain homework is difficult for certain students" and therefore has no set time. One may complete it in an hour, the other in 10 minutes.
While homework does have its benefits, which you mentioned, such as improving student's grades, scores, and futures, the cons of homework far outweigh them. Homework can clarify the subject, but if the concepts have not been learned once class is over, the homework becomes pointless.
School is, and kids lives in general are, already immensely stressful without homework. Clear relationships between student's stress and ailments (physical and mental) have been found . I am again going to emphasise that homework should be limited. Though you make an excellent point about time restrictions, many teachers assign time-consuming homework that no one could complete quickly, no matter how intelligent they are or how well they understand the concept. If homework were to be limited to a few nights a week, this would open up more time for kids to be kids. I cannot speak for everyone when I say this, but at my school, we have at least four hours of homework total. Per night. Add in school, extracurriculars, meals, and sleep, and that leaves little to no time for freetime. No matter how well you manage your time, there will always be something that does not fit. If you were to try to squeeze in some freetime, you would most likely end up giving up some sleep, which would impair your performance at school the next day. As most kids enjoy having freetime, this is often the case. Therefore, I must say that, though homework is intended for a good cause (that is, improving ability), the ideals commonly get lost in the stress that balancing the different aspects of your life, and homework becomes more of a burden than a helper.
You mentioned that homework benefits teachers, but I would have to differ. Homework does show teachers whether the material is clear or not, but it creates extra work for them (as well as the students). Now they not only have mountains of classwork, tests, and projects to grade, they have to grade daily homework as well. This is more evidence why even just limiting the amounts of homework would be beneficial.
As for benefiting the nation, you yourself mentioned that the issue we have does not lie within homework, but rather within emphasis on athleticism. In that way, homework is unrelated, and not the fix for the issue: stronger emphasis on education through something such as more personalised learning is.
Sparrow24601 forfeited this round.
Because I accidentally forfeited and my opponent posted no new arguments, I will give a recap of this debate rather than a rebuttal. PRO argued in her first round that homework ought to banned and/or made optional and/or limited. As CON, I claimed that homework was good for a) the student b) the teacher and c) our nation as a whole and provided sources to back up these claims. Next, PRO claimed that the cons of homework outweigh the pros. She spoke of the added stress, extra workload for teachers, and misguided approaches to solving our nation's problems.
I thank PRO for a wonderful (albeit short) debate!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TheRussian 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct goes to Pro because of Con's forfeit. Con uses sources and data to back argument so sources to go Con. Con also makes more convincing arguments, because although homework does add stress, it is a necessary life skill to learn how to manage your time and deal with stress/under pressure.
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