It’s not hard to find a high school student who is stressed about homework. Many are stressed to the max–juggling extracurricular activities, jobs, and family responsibilities. It can be hard for many students, particularly low-income students, to find the time to dedicate to homework. So students in the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs program at YouthBeat in Oakland, California are asking what’s a fair amount of homework for high school students?

TEACHERS: Get your students in the discussion on KQED Learn, a safe place for middle and high school students to investigate controversial topics and share their voices. https://learn.kqed.org/topics/29

Is homework beneficial to students?

The homework debate has been going on for years. There’s a big body of research that shows that homework can have a positive impact on academic performance. It can also help students prepare for the academic rigors of college.

Does homework hurt students?

Some research suggests that homework is only beneficial up to a certain point. Too much homework can lead to compromised health and greater stress in students. Many students, particularly low-income students, can struggle to find the time to do homework, especially if they are working jobs after school or taking care of family members. Some students might not have access to technology, like computers or the internet, that are needed to complete assignments at home– which can make completing assignments even more challenging. Many argue that this contributes to inequity in education– particularly if completing homework is linked to better academic performance.

How much homework should students get?

Based on research, the National Education Association recommends the 10-minute rule stating students should receive 10 minutes of homework per grade per night. But opponents to homework point out that for seniors that’s still 2 hours of homework which can be a lot for students with conflicting obligations. And in reality, high school students say it can be tough for teachers to coordinate their homework assignments since students are taking a variety of different classes. Some people advocate for eliminating homework altogether.

SOURCES

Edweek: How Much Homework Is Enough? Depends Who You Ask

Business Insider: Here’s How Homework Differs Around the World

Review of Educational Research: Does Homework Improve Academic Achievement? A Synthesis of Research, 1987-2003

Phys.org: Study suggests more than two hours of homework a night may be counterproductive

The Journal of Experimental Education: Nonacademic Effects of Homework in Privileged, High-Performing High Schools

National Education Association: Research Spotlight on Homework
NEA Reviews of the Research on Best Practices in Education

The Atlantic: Who Does Homework Work For?

Center for Public Education: What research says about the value of homework: Research review

Time: Opinion: Why I think All Schools Should Abolish Homework

The Atlantic: A Teacher’s Defense of Homework

 

Homework in High School: How Much Is Too Much? 17 May,2019Lauren Farrar

Author

Lauren Farrar

Lauren has a background in biology, education, and filmmaking. She has had the privilege to work on a diverse array of educational endeavors and is currently a producer for KQED Learning's YouTube series Above the Noise. Lauren's career has taken her to the deepest parts of the ocean to film deep sea hydrothermal vents for classroom webcasts, into the pool to film synchronized swimmers to teach about the pH scale, and on roller coasters to create a video about activation energy. And, she’s done it all for the sake of education. Lauren loves communicating science! Follow her on twitter @LFarrarAtWork

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