The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
6 Points

Homework should be banned

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/19/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 612 times Debate No: 63514
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




Accept or not


Round 1 | Definition and Preview | by Eav | 19.10.2014

I accept this debate and look forward to my opponents arguments on the virtues of homework.

I personally don't consider homework to be necessary for the success of a learning process and even harmful for the students perception of the joy of problem solving. This will be shown (in terms of fairness) in the next round of the debate, but as a short preview; I'll cover the

1 Fairness
2 Learning Success Factors
3 (Relevant) Benefits of Spare Time

As my opponent forgot to kindly limit the concept of homework, I will do first:
According to various dictionaries, as an example here the FreeDictionary {1}, homework can mean
1 (Educational) school work done out of lessons, esp at home
2 (Educational) any preparatory study
3 (Industrial Relations & HR Terms) work done at home for pay

As this debate is listed under "Education" I consider the Industrial aspect of the core term as not relevant. Also, I would like to underline that I consider homework in this case as a compulsory work, therefore I would like to exclude university reading (that is usually a voluntary thing) as well as university assignments such as compulsory research papers as they are rather difficult to classify as homework and are also done in a rather voluntary education environment and concern grown-up-students.
Considering that Pro failed to define his term in the first place, I'll leave it to the judges whether my topic limitation can be seen as valid.

{1} FreeDictionary: homework
Debate Round No. 1


Homework encourages students to work and be more independently, as they will have to at college and in their jobs. Everyone needs to develop responsibility and skills in personal organization, deadlines, being able to research, etc. If students are always "spoon-fed" topics at school they will never develop study skills and self-discipline for the future. A gradual increase in homework responsibilities over the years allows these skills to develop. Homework is a way for you to practice what you are learning. If you didn't have homework, you would have to stay in school until you finished your practice, and since everyone works at different rates, you'd be there until the slowest people finally caught on. Also the best way to learn something is to recall it over and over again. If you learn something in class, and then do homework at home, you'll have a better chance of actually getting the knowledge. Homework serves a valuable purpose in education. Not only does it allow students to practice what was taught in class, thereby solidifying concepts, but most importantly it teaches responsibility. Best given as a few target exercises rather than pages and pages of mindless drill, homework is a way of teaching students responsibility when the teacher is not there to "make them learn".People learn by doing. No matter how many times you read about something or have something explained to you until you practice the skill on your own you do not truly possess that skill. A skill, which learning any subject is, is attained in the following way:

Watch someone else do it
Have someone else help you do it
Do it yourself

Until you master the last you do not have the skill. That is where the homework part comes in homework encourages students to undertake independent learning which they will be required to do when they get to University. Many people argue that schools spoon-feed their students, which makes them completely unprepared for what awaits them at higher education when all research and further reading must be done on the student"s own time. By setting homework in the form of projects, students will be able to learn on their own and develop skills that will serve them well in later life. It also helps to teach the students responsibility and time management skills, seeing as the teacher is not there to make them learn.
Also, a lot of students prefer to learn on their own and teach themselves, rather than having a teacher lecture them. Homework encourages children to do this and may also help them to revise it more thoroughly. Whatever students have learnt in the classroom can then be reinforced and solidified by completing homework tasks.
Homework can also be beneficial for the teacher as when they collect homework in to mark it, it gives them a good idea of how much their students understand what is being taught.
It gives kids responsibilities and discipline it also keeps them out of trouble as well as giving parents alone time it helps kids practice what they learnt in class lets just

it lets teachers to have more time to explain the topic and not worrying about the work that should be done in class because it can be done for homework.
Homework plays an important role in a student's education. It fosters independent learning, it develops one's study habits and it reinforces learning. How can students complain about not having not enough recreation time? A student could create some time within 24 hours for their recreation or relaxing.

Homework can also be proof that a student is up to date with their curriculum. It helps memorise information and other work. If a student attends class and then goes home free of homework, what he previously learned in class that day could have been forgotten, so homework will then bring that knowledge keep it memorised.


Round 2 | Arguments only | by Eav | 21.10.2014
I thank Con for his contribution to Round 2 and will do my best to keep up the quality of this debate myself. I will start with presenting my own arguments and sources and then rebuttal next round.

Argument Structure

1 Fairness
1a: for students that already understood the material and could spent time otherwise
1b: for students of non-supportive homes being left alone with the homework
1c: for students of overly caring homes where parents involvement makes proper feedback impossible

2 Learning Success Factors
2a: homework =!= understanding
2b: time loss due to homework control/ review

3 Benefits of Spare Time
3a: self-esteem / mental health
3b: positive learning experience with hobbies
3c: ensuring physical health as basis for successful learning



1 Fairness
Why homework is discriminative and unbalanced

1a: for students that already understood the material and could spent time otherwise
There are many different subjects you have to take or voluntarily take at school. Math is very different than History or Business economics in terms of what you learn and how you remember it. But as teachers try to be fair, they try to give an equal amount of homework for each subject. Which turns out to be not fair. Because students, that already understood one subjects material will spent an equal amount of workload on subjects they are strong at as on subjects they are weak at. Which can mask the real problem they might have in a weak subject. Or cause frustration due to the overall workload that doesn't offer enough time to focus on the real problems while making the student do over and over again, what he already can and knows.
Compulsory homework does not adapt the students individual abilities. It forces work on him/her that is therefore likely to be either too difficult or too easy.

1b: for students of non-supportive homes being left alone with the homework
Families are very diverse these days. But generally schools assume that parents help the younger kids with their homework while they don't take their time for this when the kids are older. Which is an assumption that sometimes misses reality harshly.

Kids from households of parents/single-parents that work a lot often face their homework alone from an early age, being left behind in school afterwards by kids that get extensive care from their parents. UE published a list of reasons they gathered from students about why they skipped homework and lacking the equipment and quiet place was also a common problem {1} . This is especially a problem for low-income households that they simply can't provided what is needed.
One might say that homework is therefore discriminative against kids from poor and undereducated homes from the very beginning when skills are learned that really are mostly based on repetition rather than understanding (such a reading).

1c: for students of overly caring homes where parents involvement makes proper feedback impossible
On the other hand are overly caring homes not that much better. They look better on the paper because the kids homework is usually proper, beautiful and correct. But how does a teacher actually know that the answers on the paper are the student ones? Parents might choose to push the abilities of their kids by giving them the answers without actually caring whether the kid understood the concept behind them, which gets more and more important around middle school, where this kind of parenting actively endangers the kids learning success {2}

2 Learning Success Factors
Once the kid enters middle school and has to understand complex ideas and concepts, repetition is no longer the only key to success.

2a: Homework =!= Understanding
Repetition of different problems all sharing the same solution method is necessary to develop skills in Art, Math or Chemistry or for Writing and Reading. But how fast these skills develop is a very diverse thing. That's why standardised homework assigns a broad kind of repetition often not targeting the individual problems.

It is not necessary to understand the problem solution method, but requires it. One who did not understand at school will not be able to complete the homework successfully. Even for maths, studies have shown that homework has barely any relevance for the actual understanding and long term performance of the student {3}

Independent reading and research to gain new skills is rarely the core of homework and requires especially supervision considering the problems of nowadays research methods such as the internet. A twelve year old should not be browsing on his own, the flood of relevant and irrelevant information is too big and it takes years to learn how to filter good sources from bad sources from irrelevant sources.

2b: time loss due to homework control/ review
Homework needs to be checked. From the teacher to make sure the students actually did them (it's compulsory) and for the student to make sure he did not develop a totally wrong approach to the problem. This
i. takes up relevant time at the beginning of the class that could have been better filled with supervised exercises
ii. relies on the student actively participating in the correction time
i. is done by the teacher which means students will get the results (and the message: you don't understand this) probably days after the topic was relevant and are then
ii. left alone with the problem to solve this lack of understanding

3 Benefits of Spare Time

3a: raising self-esteem and reality-connection to prevent bullying /mental health
The self-esteem of a kid is necessary to give them a positive learning environment. Or to say it different: happy people are better learners {4}. A kid that has time to develop a self-confidence outside the school can bring that in an is less likely to become bullied or be a bully or be a drop-out.
Sport, a hug, art and nature, all this helps kids to feel peaceful, save and loved {4}. If we don't offer kids the time to do all this without feeling like they have to skip school work for it or without feeling rushed, we seriously endanger their mental health. Depression and Burn out becomes more and more relevant for school kids. The pressure of bringing the school home via homework contributes to this problem {5}.

3b: positive learning experience
Reality is beneficial. Talking to adults and mates freely is beneficial. Having the time to develop a hobby is especially beneficial. How people learn a positive image of learning on their own? By having something that makes them do research and learn on their own. If all the learning you ever do is what you are forced to, how can you have a positive image of learning?

3c: ensuring physical health as basis for successful learning
Sport keeps you health. It's good for your teamwork-skills, self-discipline, goal setting {6} and it offers you to make new friends that don't go to your school, don't know that people there mock your for your nose and call you funny names.
But especially: it keeps your body fit and shows you how to develop a healthy lifestyle {6}. Being constantly sick or suffering from physical problems early in life is likely to reduce your performance at school and later at work and the benefits of teaching children the joy of sports outside a forced environment like school can only be of long-term benefit. Something that homework should not interfere with.

Homework is therfore discriminative and ineffective and thus unncecessary waste of time.


Debate Round No. 2


AimeeGleek17 forfeited this round.


Eav forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


AimeeGleek17 forfeited this round.


Round 3 | Rebuttal | by Eav | 24.10.2014

I am honestly apologizing for my last forfeiture; I forgot about the 48 hour frame (instead of 72). I am pretty embarassed by that. It's not what I do.


1: Preparation for independent learning in college and adulthood
On one hand, Con praises the glory of repetition, on the other and without differing, how you learn to learn by doing homework. By repetition you don't learn to learn. These two require a very different homework outline and can't both apply to the same task. That shows how he argues without properly distinguishing between the different types of homework. There are independent studies, but they are usually related to assignment papers and group projects. Independent studies are not the core point of homework. Closest to it would be reading homework that refers to a certain chapter of a book. While this at least able to trigger independent understanding, it doesn't teach you how to gather material and select it.
The type of homework that WOULD be preparation for independent learning in college and job, is practically non existent in the homework reality, and especially for young students also not helpful. You can't give a eight year old the homework of making an independent study on Subtraction. It's very problematic to make them google and use the internet, assuming they a) have a computer b) have internet c) are supervised at home while using said media. And also doesn't cover the responsibility to make sure young students get all the basics they need for middle school. Its important that teachers have a direct eye on the students performance (without relying on them making their homework) to make sure they don't get behind at a time when they can't comprehend the importance of what they learn for further in life.

2: Self-discipline and responsibility
Again, Con argues from the point of an ideal homework world, but not reality. In reality self-discipline and responsibility are formed by many factors and while homework CAN be one that supports that development, it can also harm it. A frustrated student (as one likely is - see Round 2) is much more challenged to fulfill his homework duty without getting any relevant positive feedback from doing so. Completing homework that is too easy will always feel like finishing something pointless (no positive emotion) and completing too difficult one might trigger the benefit system in the brain, if the student is not possibly to exhausted or to depressed that it consumed all his spare time and kept him from seeing his friends.
And students who actually would have self-discipline (from sports, playing an instrument or from proper parenting) appear undisciplined and get negative feedback from the teachers. Learning responsibility should not be linked to your success later in life so early. Give kids time to fail.

3: Homework reduces school hours
That depends of course on the way the school is run and how they teach. Banning homework would come with the need of restructuring the afternoon school time a bit to make sure students can learn supervised without being held back by the weakest.
There are new methods like an compulsory afternoon session in which guided assignments and exercises are done supervised by a small group of teachers that can answer questions an check the progress. That sort of offer is similar to homework apart from the part that you do it "at home" and that the help you get is fair and free and helpful. This makes it more effective meaning that it consumes less time.
There are many attempts to make school more effective and enjoyable and homework is no necessary part in it.

4: Parents' "alone time"
Homework is not the way to keep your kid busy because you take no interest in them. Because this only is relevant for younger kids. Older ones usually don't bother their parents often enough by consuming their time so apart from criticising that Con again generalises things, people and tasks of which only one aspect actually applies to the argument, I want to underline what I talked about in Round 2. That parents who don't or do take interest in what their kids do with their homework always comes down to an overall fairness problem. It's wrong to communicate that parents should leave all the homework duty to the kid while it's also wrong to say that homework is there to make parenthood easier.
Either way you do it it's going to be wrong. Which is why the best way, again, would be to abolish the whole concept of homework and get the child a sports activity or arts activity that they can choose to perform alone or with their parents help without influencing paperwork that ought to reflect the child's abilities.

5: Homework keeps kids "out of trouble"
I love the idea. I truly do. But homework is not at all effective in keeping kids out of trouble (not that Con has offered more sourcing material than his often generalising assumptions). The actual statement here is: if kids do homework from three to six they don't do drugs from three to six. Which on it's own is probably rather correct but doesn't tell us a thing about what said kid does after doing the homework, nor does it consider what happens to children that have difficulties at school or at home or in their neighborhood and already have difficulties to find the calm to make homework.
No, a kid that does it's homework shows that it is out of trouble. But that is not why it is out of trouble. A troubled kid can't do homework. So giving them some won't solve their problems. Con confuses here Effect and Cause. Homework is at best an indicator of how harmonic a kids environment and support is. Which again is not interesting for schools but for child services. On the other hand: if you offer guided exercises in school and ensure all are at same level without depending on homework to do what the teacher is not motivated to put effort in teaching, we ensure that no kid falls behind in school (regardless of their home problems) and develops a frustration that will sure lead to actual trouble.

6: Homework makes a teachers work easier
A teacher that works with homework has to prepare the homework and check it which are both tasks that he either does on cost of the students in class or to his time loss after class. So from that point we have no advantage.
The feedback you get from the homework is very limited in being honest about the students ability (established a few times in Round 2 and 4 so we don't have an advantage from this side.
And as a last thought on this: why would we communicate teachers that they can just lower their workload by raising the workload of the student? Of course we don't have to expect the impossible from teachers but we neither should not weaken their responsibility in the core of their task: to teach so the student understands.

7: Enough spare time left after homework
For this last argument, I am going to just quote Con to begin with:

"A student could create some time within 24 hours for their recreation or relaxing." (Con Round 2)

Assuming that said student has to go to school, sleep and eat and shower, there aren't 24 hours of a day available for him to choose when to do recreational activity. Doing the Math:
24 hours - 8 sleep - 7 school - 4 basics needs (food, hygiene) - 3 homework = 2 hours spare

And if we consider we might have a younger student in need of a bit more sleep or a student with a long drive to school, there is not really anything left for recreation. So where to make spare time? School: impossible. That leaves us with sleep and basic needs like food (>> fast food). Both are rather important for kids.

Trying to do all your homework well and properly is a very effective way to leave you with nothing but good grades. Which would sound better if that nothing would not also apply to a lack of functioning social life, a healthy lifestyle and a childhood.


A ban of homework would make schools fair and time for sports and soft skills.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Scott_Benson 2 years ago
I like your opinion! however, it would make more sense if our nations education system was better. Right now, homework is about 75% of how the students learn the material. It's more of teaching them how to learn and problem solve, and not everything in the world is supposed to be joyous: that is life.
Posted by LubricantSanta 2 years ago
Homework is a totally useless concept. I don't do homework because I learn the information without having to do the homework. As such, what should be a 3.9 high school GPA has become a 3.2 high school GPA. And the people that actually need homework are the ones who tend not to do it. Mandatory homework does nothing but screw over those who don't need to do it.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture