Commentary: Homework is detrimental to our education

Gazette/ staff photo

Gazette/ staff photo Michael Deaner

  The debate of homework is a vast, ever changing argument. It is a debate that struggles to determine whether homework genuinely does indeed benefit education or if it is just a pitiful attempt to enhance learning.

  Some insist that homework is a fundamental part of life and that it can do no wrong, that because students dislike it, it must be good for them, similar to how vegetables are good for kids despite their opposition.

  Contrary to the widespread belief that homework is inherently good, however, it is not as it has proven detrimental to students’ health, education and creativity.

  As students we are accustomed to hearing about how we need eight  hours of sleep per night. What we aren’t accustomed to hearing is how we are supposed to factor in gargantuan amounts of homework, extracurriculars and/or sports and still fulfill this vital sleep quota.

  We live busy lives. We play sports. We have clubs. We have jobs. We have friends. We have families. We have our own unique interests that we invest time in. We have college to prepare for. Add in homework, and something has to budge.

  Eight hours of sleep never stood a chance.

  Unfortunately, according to the Canadian Pediatric Society, a lack of sleep can lead directly to lessened concentration, motivation and memory.

  How can a decrease in any of these aforementioned areas be helpful to our education?

  In short, homework–something designed to improve our education–is actually deteriorating our education.

  Homework doesn’t only influence our health through sleep, as it also causes an abundance of stress. A “two-for-one special” of sorts.

  I implore anyone who denies this claim to talk to any high school student. We can all testify that throughout our extensive educational backgrounds, homework has been no pleasure cruise.

  A recent survey conducted by the Stanford Graduate School of Education agrees,  concluding that 56% of students cited homework as their number one source of stress.

Eight hours of sleep never stood a chance.

— Michael Deaner

  Any health teacher would enthusiastically share that stress is nothing but an unnecessary pollutant to the body,l negatively impacting your physical, mental and/or emotional health.

  “Kids are developing more school related stomach aches, headaches, sleep problems and depression than ever before,” psychology professor William Crain at The City College of New York said.

  Coincidence? I think not.

  Homework is also, to put it bluntly, burning students out. Excess homework is wearing out students, extinguishing our desire to learn and increasing our hatred of school.

  The irritability and frustration that homework has built up from a young age, until it boils over, prompting us to desire giving up.

  Homework has killed our curiosity to learn.

  Yet again, I ask, how can this be good for our education?

  Even if homework didn’t come with all of these drawbacks, it’s fair to wonder how much it does actually help us learn and study.

  Is it even necessary? According to Finland, no.

  Finland consistently ranks above the United States in education and interestingly enough, does not support homework. They have a graduation rate of 93%, while the United States has the pitiful rate of 75%. Surely homework, despite all of its negatives, would at least lead to a graduation rate higher than three out of four students?

  Apparently not.

  After destroying our health and our will to learn, homework also consumes our time, preventing us from pursuing extracurriculars.

  Although it may not be stated in our constitution, developing kids should have the inalienable right to have time to be themselves and do as they please, and not be constricted by the entangling arms of school at all times.

  At the end of the day, time spent with family or friends is more important than understanding how an endoplasmic reticulum functions.

  A life that predominantly features homework and a limited amount of fun feels regimented and monotonous, killing creativity and individualism.

  And some people wonder why depression is a growing epidemic among teens.