Do Students and Teachers Think Homework is a Good Idea?


Eva Hatfield

A Rocky Mountain High School students homework for their math class.

Homework was first given in 1905 as a way to punish students. Since then, it has become widely popular around the world and is used in almost every American school. While many teachers see homework as a way to help students improve their knowledge, students and other teachers believe that it is not necessary and only takes up time. 


The Highlighter staff asked Rocky students and teachers what they think about homework.


“It’s a bad idea; it causes more stress on students. There are very few times where it is actually useful,” sophomore Erin Boehmer said.


Maddison Jackson, a student with a 4.02 GPA, added, “This week I’ve had around two and a half hours to three and a half hours of homework each night.” She also has two hours of competitive swimming each night, and that barely leaves time for anything else. 


“I feel like there shouldn’t be homework over the weekends. The district should make Fridays a remote day,” sophomore Cooper Lilly said. He added that he finds homework helpful. 


Mr. Smith, a math teacher at Rocky who does not assign homework, said, “I feel like I can adequately assess students and provide practice for course content within the 90 minutes we have for class. High school students who are involved [in extracurricular activities] and want to be a good student are some of the busiest people in the world and I want them to be able to spend time at home.” 


“All of the work that I assign in my class has a purpose and a direct connection to students’ learning and thinking,” said Ms. Ottoman-Freeman, an English teacher at Rocky. She assigns what her students say is about one hour of homework a night for her class and her syllabus says to expect 5-7 per week. 


Journalism teacher Mrs. White said, “Kids are in school eight hours a day. I feel like they should be able to get their work done at school. We want kids to be prepared for the real world but the real world doesn’t have homework.”


A poll taken by The Highlighter staff showed that seven out of nine students believe that homework is not necessary, while two of those students believe that it could be helpful. 


Homework can cause lots of stress and it takes up a lot of time. The National Center for Education Statistics conducted a study that showed high school students have an average of 6.8 hours of homework per week. 


“…there isn’t a shred of evidence to support the widely accepted assumption that homework yields nonacademic benefits for students of any age,” said Alfie Kohn, an author who writes books, particularly on parenting and education. People just assume that homework is necessary and that it helps students, but the research does not bear this out.  


Homework persists despite evidence showing it is not beneficial. Students and teachers continue to perpetuate this without following up on new research.