We know there is a disparity between the amount of homework teachers assign and the amount of homework students actually do. Here are some numbers that illustrate that difference.
HOW MUCH HOMEWORK IN HIGH SCHOOL?
|Harris Poll 2013||Assigned by teachers:||3.5 hours a day|
|National Center for Educational Statistics 2007||Done by students:||1.4 hours a day|
Admittedly, this data probably does not show fully accurate numbers. For one thing, six years separate the times when the two different surveys were conducted. Plus the information is self reported, so some error is likely for that reason. Still, I’m willing to accept that it reflects what goes on in real life.
On average, students complete about half of the homework assigned by their teachers.
Or, more accurately:
On average, students spend about half the time expected by their teachers in doing their homework.
Why the difference?
Teachers cannot always accurately predict how long it will take their students to complete assigned homework. And clearly there are slacker students who simply don’t do their school work. Another element is the cynicism about the value of homework, sometimes prompting both parents and students to ignore some assignments.
This anonymous comment from a teacher captures some of the reasons for the cynicism felt by families.
Funny I was just thinking about this and other things we do in our school to satisfy parents who want their kids “busy” . I teach kindergarten and we give homework! We do it so the After School workers have something to do with the kids. Most of our kids don’t go straight home they go to daycare or After School so rather than have them do unrelated work we send work for them to do.
I don’t think homework is necessary and find that many teachers use it as an abdication of their own teaching. Many teachers, for example, will tell parents to practice reading sight words because their child is not learning to read in school. Right there parents are made responsible for teaching their child to read. Parents often made to feel guilty about their child not learning. This is just one example of how homework turns into school work.
I spiral the work so it’s always something the kids can do independently.
We have been told as teachers that homework is to teach self discipline but it’s really to show the parents that their kids are doing something in my school.
Some homework is just for show?