The Purpose of Homework

The argument against homework is gaining traction among many school districts and parent groups. Proponents of “no homework policies” argue that extra assignments do not improve student outcomes (i.e., standardized test scores). Research studies indicate there is no correlation between academic achievement and homework.

Homework is not an assessment; it is practice. It provides students with an opportunity to replicate or apply skills or concepts in order to master grade-level content.

Think of homework as a type of cognitive training to refine a student’s intellectual knowledge and application of grade- level content. The more opportunities students get to practice the better they will achieve grade- level proficiency.

Since homework is practice, it is not meant to be graded. Remember, students are completing homework to get better at mathematics, English, and science. When educators grade homework, they are determining a final -grade on preliminary knowledge. The schoolwork being assessed is not a student best effort, but his or her initial attempt at learning a concept or a skill. It is an inaccurate measure of what a student knows, understands, and is able to apply.

Instead, teachers ought to use summative tests or final projects to determine a final grade. These types of assessments determine what students have learned at the end of a unit of instruction or at the end of a grade level (e.g., through grade-level, standardized assessments). Summative assessment helps determine to what extent the instructional and learning goals have been met.

Homework is not able to provide this level of information. It’s only purpose is to help students review and repeat applications to improve or maintain their proficiency.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.