The Instigator
Solid.Snake
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
MikeNovotny
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Students in Grades K-12 should NOT receive any work during the holidays

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/20/2010 Category: Education
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,495 times Debate No: 14105
Debate Rounds (4)
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Solid.Snake

Pro

I am for the notion that students in grades Kingergarten to Grade 12 should not receive any homework over the break (e.g. Christmas break, March/Spring Break, Summer Vacation, etc.).

I would like to call upon my opponent to present his/her reasons as to why students SHOULD be given work during the holidays.
MikeNovotny

Con

Thank you for posting this argument Solid.Snake. Lets have a good, clean debate.

I believe that students should be given schoolwork during the holidays/break/etc.

In my opinion, learning should definitely be an all around the calendar experience, but at a reasonable cost. Schools should assign work during the school year regardless of holidays or winter breaks. But when school is technically out during Summer, homework should be very light. Possibly a few books or short assignments. This is essential because many students can lose half of what they learned over the school year during the Summer. This means that students are playing catch up for half of the school year the following year just to recap on what they learned from the previous year.

Also, holiday breaks are widely regarded as giving break to students who can be stressed or having a meltdown. But studies have been done that actually show that reading or doing light work can relieve stress. Those two are great examples of work that is given over a holiday break. Cases to stress in students have been frequently traced back to extra-curricular activities such as sports. Students in after school activities may start to find the littlest work the hardest thing to do because of the stress that can occur. On the other hand, a student who is given the same work may find it much easier to do.

Overall, I believe that if school work is not given during a break, the student can begin to lose what they learned and therefore time is wasted trying to learn that back. If the school work is not attempted to be recapped or learned again, grades may begin to slip and turn into Ds and Fs.

That is my first round debate and I'd like to see what my opponent has to counter that. Good luck!

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Debate Round No. 1
Solid.Snake

Pro

Thank you Con for your well-though arguments. I will now attempt to refute Con's reasons as to why students should be given work during the holidays.

o I find nothing wrong with con's statement that learning should not stop after school. However, most of the work given to students during the break is not usually mentally stimulating. The type of work given to students during holidays is almost always busywork (I know this from personal experience). Students would consider it a chore and quickly run through it without actually thinking about it or revising it. Therefore, students learn little to no material with this work and no already-learned concepts are reinforced either. It is a waste of time for the students and the teachers who must mark it when the students come back.

o Also, how do we address the issue of students who go on vacations during holidays and have no time to do their homework? Do we penalize them for taking some well-needed time off? Do we force them to do math problems on the beach? No, we cannot do any of these things. We also cannot tell these students to not go on vacation because that would be too great a restriction.

o If a student has, say, 100 math problems to do, there is a good chance that they will leave them until the end of the break. By that time, at least a month and a half will have passed and they will have forgotten most of the things they learned during the year; the same concepts needed to do their math work. They will be completely lost without those concepts and unable to complete their assigned work. This would leave them with low self-esteem and feelings of hopelessness and embarrassment as they enter the school year.

o Also in the case of summer vacation: high school students will most likely have finished at least 2-3 exams (more than that if they are in a non-semestered school) and the LAST thing they need after all that hard work and stress is more work.

o As for giving the students light reading, I believe that this is a good idea carried out in a bad manner. Most students would find the task of reading books over the summer dreadful. What's worse is that most teachers would expect students to hand in a book report or book log at the beginning of the new year. Most students would find these books boring and would neglect to read them. Then would they be penalized for not reading them which is not a good way to start off the school year. Even the most die hard bookworms would find some of these books boring. Besides, why would any (pre)teen want to read Charles Dickens when they could borrow a copy of their favourite trendy novel at the public library, and that too without any restrictions?

Therefore, I believe that although learning should not be restricted to school hours, (home)work does not belong in the holidays.
MikeNovotny

Con

For this round, I will counter-act what Pro has said in Round 2 by breaking down each bullet point he gave and highlighting the main selling point of the particular bullet point.

1."However, most of the work given to students during the break is not usually mentally stimulating. The type of work given to students during holidays is almost always busywork (I know this from personal experience).

This particular argument is very hard to prove and debate because every school is different. When I went to school, if there was a holiday or break coming up, teachers were lenient and knew that we would like to spend time with our families. They did still give us homework, but very light. I think its good that teachers don't give students a free pass when there is a break from school. It cements the fact that they are still in school with there being an exception during Summer when school is out.

2. "Also, how do we address the issue of students who go on vacations during holidays and have no time to do their homework? Do we penalize them for taking some well-needed time off?"

This depends. Usually when someone goes on vacation they stay in a hotel and if the homework given is a book or assignment from a textbook, the student should do the homework in the hotel after a day of doing activities. Vacations are often traveled to by an airplane or car. This is actually the best time for the students to complete the homework because they are often bored of the long wait to get to the destination. But, I am not sure what type of homework you were talking about. If it's something a bit bigger like a paper, extensions can be given. In my opinion, we shouldn't penalize the students for taking the well needed time off. In the school I went to teachers/staff understood that we did need time off. If the vacation was told to the teacher ahead of time (lets say 1 week before leaving for vacation)
teachers would assign any projects as soon as possible so the student could have time when they're not on vacation to finish it.

3. If a student has, say, 100 math problems to do, there is a good chance that they will leave them until the end of the break. By that time, at least a month and a half will have passed and they will have forgotten most of the things they learned during the year; the same concepts needed to their math work."

Teachers can't necessarily force the students to get the homework done right away over the break but they can definitely enforce it as much as possible. I'm assuming that you are stating that they receive the 100 math problems over Summer break because of the month and a half time period that will pass. Many kids actually don't do anything besides sports at the beginning of Summer. Not even that many kids like to take sports because it "wastes" their summer. But what do they actually do during summer? Play video games, go on dates, dirt biking, etc.. Lets face it, that's a very typical summer for the average kid of the age group you stated. If that's all they want to do, then they have plenty of useful time to finish the 100 math problems right away and just get it over with. If they don't get it done over a seasoned time period, that's their fault.

4. "Most students would find these books boring and would neglect to read them. Then would they be penalized for not reading them which is not a good way to start off the school year. Even the most die hard bookworms would find some of these books boring. Besides, why would any (pre)teen want to read Charles Dickens when they could borrow a copy of their favourite trendy novel at the public library, and that too without any restrictions?"

This is the weakest point of your Round 2 debate in my opinion. If we surveyed 100 kids and asked them why or why not they think school is fun, I would put a lot of money in saying that at least 85 would say they don't think it is fun. The 15 that do would probably say because they get to spend time with their friends 6 hours a day. No one ever said that school had to be fun. If it was all about fun then less would be completed and more time would be wasted. Kids on break don't like to read, especially old fashioned authors like Charles Dickens. They'd much rather read a teen crisis book or something which is fine. But it goes with the curriculum. Many excellent additions to literature are not fun for teens to read, but that's the point. It's about discipline and branching out. A Charles Dickens book wouldn't hurt at all to read over the break.

I'd like to conclude Round 2 by saying this: I believe my opponent Pro is thinking strongly about what the average kid would like to do 100% of the time opposed to what they should do. Fun is great and kids need it, but at the same time it must be balanced well.
Debate Round No. 2
Solid.Snake

Pro

Solid.Snake forfeited this round.
MikeNovotny

Con

I see my opponent has forfeited the round. Lack of consistency. I'm not sure what happened.
Debate Round No. 3
Solid.Snake

Pro

Solid.Snake forfeited this round.
MikeNovotny

Con

My opponent has forfeited 2 out of the 4 rounds. He had good discussion about this though. I hope the audience thoroughly analyzed the discussion and will pick the one they had agreed with most. Happy Holidays!
Debate Round No. 4
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