Question Of The Day - Should Teachers Assign Homework?
Of course the answer to this question will very much depend on who is providing the answer. Students who find homework a real chore and would much rather spend the time having fun will probably answer in the negative. Teachers who want to see all of their students do as well as possible will almost certainly answer in the positive. And parents will almost certainly support the opinion of the teachers. Who is right?
The pros and cons
Perhaps we will arrive at a sensible and hopefully correct answer when we look at the benefits and the negative aspects of teachers assigning homework. Every situation will have its good and bad points and rather than give a blanket yes or no to the question, let’s examine what can, should and should not happen when a teacher assigns homework to their students.
If a teacher is able to pinpoint a weakness in a student's academic progress and assign specific homework tasks to that student which specifically address the weakness, then the student can very well benefit not just in their present studies but well into the future. Education for life is a far better aim than seeking to simply do well this term or semester.
By adopting a routine in doing their homework, a student is developing a habit which will stand them in good stead not only for the present time but for their future schooling years and in fact for the rest of their life. Knowing how to tackle an assignment, how to conduct research and to take notes and how to finish an assignment more or less unsupervised is great training for many aspects of life.
Homework can be of less benefit if the student receives little or no help at home, is forced or chooses to work in an environment which is not conducive to study and if the complexity and difficulty of the task is so great that the student becomes frustrated.
Work for the sake of homework is probably never a good idea. But homework which builds on the studies the student is undertaking in normal schooling situations definitely has the potential to boost the academic standards and thus the self-esteem and self-confidence of the student. So yes, teachers should assign homework but only if it is of a specific nature and designed to help the individual student.
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