In elementary classrooms in particular, homework is trending more detrimental than beneficial; with higher quantities of “busy work” replacing quality assessments, stress levels on the rise, and studies declaring that more homework tends to actually lower academic performance, the question of “how much homework is too much?” is forced into the spotlight. A large, unstimulating workload risks physical and mental health issues, and can cause a negative association with learning. Elementary children as young as five years old are receiving as much as an hour of homework a night (Hinton, 2018). There is a “10 minute rule” endorsed by The National PTA and The National Educational Association that supports 10 minutes of homework being assigned per night per grade level. Studies have also shown that higher quantities of homework can actually result in a poorer academic performance, with elementary students seeing close to no benefits from homework at all. The conclusion to be drawn from this is that there needs to be a more careful consideration of homework as a whole, with a close look at the traditional forms of homework, and what is working and what is not–the measure of quality in “quality, not quantity” can be a tricky one, and it is important that educators listen to their students in these matters. Students do not lack a desire to learn, and especially in the earlier grades there is no want of curiosity. Education would benefit and student stress would be reduced by teachers finding alternatives for what is commonly thought of as homework. Increasing homework serves neither the student, the student’s family, or the teacher. Practice does not always make perfect: sometimes less is more.
There is the argument that homework, a large quantity of homework, is necessary for assessment. I would largely use Cooper, H., Robinson, J. C., & Patall, E. A. (2006) and Cooper, H. (2010) and Terada, Y. (2015) to disprove this claim; it is the quality, not quantity, of homework that best assesses the progress of a student. There are other, more quality ways to measure progress in a classroom than take-home work.
Another argument is for “practice makes perfect”–that repetitive homework assignments are of benefit. I would argue that there is a threshold that is reached where the practice is a hindrance rather than a help. Simplicio, J. S. C. (2005) is a source I would rely on here.
What did you learn from Laura Fathauer’s presentation about User-generated content and Mashups that may help you in our class or in your other academic pursuits? Did she challenge your thinking? Did you offer you advice you will use?
I think it was very interesting that Fathauer spoke to her own work collecting information, and how one does not need to be a specialist in a field to use the internet in an attempt to offer aid to others. I like the emphasis on the everyday citizen making something of worth, offering up their own skills in this technological age.
User-generated content, and us all having the ability to make the internet a more open, welcoming, helpful place, also ties in to the accessibility matters she opened her presentation with. The idea that we make it so that the most people possible have access to the internet and its contents is very important to me. I think considering what tools are out there, both for myself and to help others, is something that will definitely help in my academic pursuits. As an education major, I want to make sure I am using all the tools at my disposal to make my work as accessible as possible, through compatibility with screen readers, etc. I want to take the advice she offered in general: thinking about what you can offer, and how you can take something and make it better, and have it reach as many people as possible.