Canadian Study: Homework Has No Value

Researchers in Canada just released the results of the first study ever on homework and concluded that homework has no value through 6th grade. “”For elementary school, especially for the primary grades, I am down on homework entirely,” said Linda Cameron, one of the authors of the study and a former kindergarten teacher. According to thestar.com, the study also found:

* Not only does homework cut into family time, it becomes a primary source of arguments, power struggles and is disruptive to building a strong family, including putting strain on marriages.
* A large number of children in kindergarten are assigned homework, most of it “drill and practice.”
* 28 per cent of Grade 1 students and more than 50 per cent of Grade 2 students spend more than 20 minutes on homework daily.
* While there’s no real difference in the attitude of children toward homework, Ontario parents definitely feel more negative about it than others across the country.
* More than three-quarters of parents with children in Grade 4 and under help their children with homework. But, by Grade 4, only half of parents feel they are competent enough to do so.
* Parents are unsure about the benefits of homework; by Grade 5, just 20 per cent of parents feel it has a “positive effect on achievement.”
* Half of children in junior kindergarten are enthusiastic about homework; by Grade 6, it drops to just 6 per cent and by Grade 12, just 4 per cent.

The researchers also came across several themes from parent comments – that homework is too difficult or the assignment unclear, that it cuts into family time and causes stress at home and that children are left with little time to play.

5 thoughts on “Canadian Study: Homework Has No Value

  1. “Not only does homework cut into family time, it becomes a primary source of arguments, power struggles and is disruptive to building a strong family, including putting strain on marriages.”

    In other words, parents are completely incapable of disciplining and properly raising their children these days. Wonderful.

    “28 per cent of Grade 1 students and more than 50 per cent of Grade 2 students spend more than 20 minutes on homework daily.”

    NEWS FLASH: 72% of Grade 1 students spend less than 20 minutes on homework each day.

    “But, by Grade 4, only half of parents feel they are competent enough to do so.”

    NEWS FLASH: The average parent is much stupider than 20 years ago…

    “by Grade 6, it drops to just 6 per cent and by Grade 12, just 4 per cent.”

    And the point of this is what exactly? Homework isn’t something you do because its fun and exciting. You do it because it helps you learn something and partly because it makes up your grade in a class. Just like cleaning your room or vacuuming. You don’t do it because it you are enthusiastic about it.

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  2. I start to see why the education system is failing when teachers express that you don’t learn because you are enthusiastic about it, and that learning isn’t fun or exciting. I would beg to differ!

    And please don’t compare homework to cleaning your room and vacuuming, at least the latter two have been shown to do something: they provide a healthier environment that may prevent the development of asthma. As you know, elementary school homework has NOT been shown to correlate with improved academic performance.

    Consider this, though, if students started to get some homework in middle and high school, when it may actually affect academic performance, then they might not be so bored and disenfranchised by it.

    I think that children have to learn about personal responsibility, but we should wait until they are developmentally ready for it.

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  3. I am a grade 3 teacher who assigns homework, on the occassion. I would like to see this full documented study and its results since it is a topic of personal and professional interest to me.

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  4. I do believe that homework has no value till the age of TWELVE. we as teachers and parents have really made the life of our children more miserable by emphasizing so much on studies. where do the children have time to play the outdoor games? which teach them to be tolerant,accept defeat,feeling to share and growing up together as good neighbours and friends.

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