A word on education and research…
It’s important for educators to stay up to date on information regarding teaching styles, how students respond to those styles, and current events and how they may affect your students. Teachers do not necessarily need to perform this research, but it can always be beneficial to read up on different types of research in order to stay informed and live an academically enriched lifestyle. As for myself, I’ll be able to teach Psychology and Sociology, which are two subjects that involve a lot of different kids of research studies. Teaching my own students how to read and write academic articles are important for critical thinking skills which does more for them than simply teaching facts and numbers.
As far as homework goes, I really believe homework should be used as a way to encourage parent involvement with their child’s schooling. Obviously, younger grades should have more hands on guided learning with their parents, while the older students learn to be more independent with their work, especially those in AP classes. Of course, this only works if the parents want to be involved. Recent research shows that students native to the U.S. have much more parents involvement that immigrant children, or even children of immigrants. (Suarez 2016).
Additionally, homework meas different things among different cultures, and it’s important for teachers to be aware of the differences among his or her students and how it may affect their performance. Hong and Milgram (2000) found that students belonging to different cultures around the world (U.S., China, Korea, Greece, and Brazil) complete homework in a way that reflects their societal standards. For example, children in China and Korea usually do homework sitting in a desk and chair in a quiet room whereas children from the U.S. might do their homework at a kitchen table with the T.V. or radio on in the background. Because of these differences, it’s important for teachers to make it clear to their students and families just how involved they wish the parents to be, and why they think it’s a good thing for their students, while still remaining culturally sensitive to diverse students. Without understanding teachers to do so, homework becomes a stressful chore for students to complete in competition with other students who might do it differently, and therefore benefit more or less from it.
Now, if all goes smoothly and teachers become aware of how different cultures respond to homework, I do believe it can benefit students in the long run. I’m not talking about hours of homework each night, but I like the idea of students only having to complete what they don’t finish in class. Like I said earlier, students in AP or accelerated classes might get a little more as they are choosing to take harder courses, but even so I think the amount of homework should be debated. Parent involvement with their child’s homework from an early age can encourage high reading achievements and more autonomy expressed by their children. (Doctoroff & Arnold 2017). Of course, this would mean students need more time during the school day for independent work if they want to get their work done, and not all high schools allow their students to take a study hall every semester- something else we should think about discussing.
When I was in high school, I would have loved to argue against homework, but I also got way too much of it and was a tad bit lazy. If administrators lessen the burden on teachers to assign homework, and lessen the burden on students to complete it, then teachers could simply assign less homework (or at least allow their students time to work on it in class) and maybe students wouldn’t hate it so much.
Doctoroff, G. L., & Arnold, D. H. (2017). Doing homework together: The relation between parenting strategies, child engagement, and achievement. Applied Developmental Psychology. 48. 103-113. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0193397317300011
Hong, E., & Milgram, R. M. (2000). Homework: motivation and learning preference. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey.
Suárez, N., Regueiro, B., Epstein, J. L., Piñeiro, I., Díaz, S. M., & Valle, A. (2016). Homework Involvement and Academic Achievement of Native and Immigrant Students. Frontiers in Psychology, 7. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01517