I believe there is no right or wrong. It’s all about perspective and the way you look at things. Most of the times right or wrong can change depending on the information that you possess. If you have all the information on the situation in question, your opinion will not remain what it was with half the information. Let me elaborate this with the help of an example. I was travelling in a bus and I saw a man totally drenched in mud. He came and sat right next to me. I was trying to maintain my distance and I thought in my head, how can this man be so careless! Its absolutely rude to travel like this and cause discomfort to everyone around. The man probably got the vibes I was sending across and he said “ My apologies if I made you uncomfortable. I saw a woman slip by the road side into a huge puddle and she could not get up from the ditch. None helped her immediately because they would be dirtying their clothes. I had to help her and now I got to go back home to change before I can go to work”. I was a little embarrassed of my own thoughts about him. I realized I judged him too quickly and simply smiled and thanked him for his good deed.
Ok so that was an anthropological thought and the subject under discussion, Homework or not, is almost the most favorite debate. So again, it totally depends on the thoughts and the perspective of a student, a teacher and a parent. All three will have different perspective or an opinion on the same topic. Of course, no opinions are correct or incorrect, but just how each of them benefit from the same action Homework.
From a teachers perspective:
Damn right the homework is essential!! Now categorically this is a very traditional opinion. Someone started this and then it never stopped. A wise teacher once decided to make sure the child understood whatever the teacher had just taught in the class so she decided to load them with homework. The child should be connected to the school activity 24x7. Sounds a bit harsh I know, but a teacher wants the student to revise everything that has been covered in school. In some cases homework is a pre-study or preparation for the next class, which also makes total sense. If the child is aware of what is to be taught in the next class and has done a little prep, it becomes easier for the student as well as the teacher. It’s a win-win situation.
Not all students go for extra classes after school, even though it is a preparation for 11 Plus exam and for such students homework is the only self-study they will be doing. Not all students are sincere enough to go back home and open their books. Not all parents can afford extra classes to coach their kids. Hence a teacher certainly believes that homework is the only way a child will focus on studies.
Sometimes a teacher believes that everything cannot be taught in a classroom. During school year 7-8-9, some topics are not really important from exams perspective however are valuable lessons. Hence those topics are best to be self-studied so no school hours are utilized in those topics. Time saved on these topics means more time for difficult or important topics from exam point of view. Hence, teachers believe that its best to effectively assign these topics as homework so no topic remains uncovered, while saving a lot of time.
From a parents perspective:
Homework is nothing but a very huge sigh of relief for some parents and a pain for other parents. Parents believe that their child will stay occupied with the homework and they would be at ease knowing that their child is engaged creatively. Homework certainly ensures that their child is in the learning mode. With younger children a parent usually gets engaged too with their homework, even though SATs happen only at the end of year 2 and year 6. However, from yr. 4 onwards parents need not be highly engaged. Thus the perspective of parents changes as per their own engagement in this action.
Is homework necessary though? Well! Some parents would definitely want their children to be involved in school activities rather than recreational activities post school. Parents certainly think about the child’s grade and over all academic performance and homework can be a life saviour and the most handy tool there is to assure a better academic performance.
For parents who are highly engaged in their child’s studies, may not really find homework necessary because they would want to get involved and mold the child’s study patterns as they believe are better for their own child. So, thumbs down to the homework in this case.
From a student’s perspective:
Here is the most interesting take of them all. A very obvious perspective. I have been through it, you have been through it, we all have been through this and we wish to never go through it again. Thank our lucky stars we have completed our education, no more homework, phew!
Now I am making up a random number here but I still believe that its highly conservative. 90% of the students do not like homework. Can you challenge me on this?
With a strict curriculum, a full time school, some of them even attending extra classes, a student only wishes to not get back to books at home. Examinations are an exception here!
A student will always want the lessons at school or classes so effective that they completely assimilate and understand the information pitched at them. Everything that is taught to them should register in their brains. Ever wonder why students have favourite teachers! It’s because they can understand what is taught and probably that teacher does not give any homework. It’s a very big factor. No homework=favorite teacher/ professor.
Student lives, are already highly complex with multiple things to study. There is academics and there is extra-curricular activities which are equally important now. Adding homework to it, might not be the best idea.
To conclude I would say that homework should add value or should be abandoned if it’s merely engagement.