If you ask a student what he or she thinks about homework, you will probably hear an emotional answer that homework is boring, backbreaking, and should be abolished. A teacher’s answer will be on the contrary and well-reasoned. Moreover, it will be devoid of emotions and grounded by purely pedagogical reasons. Educators claim that:
Good home assignments given by talented teachers are not restricted to the paragraphs of the textbook they correlate to. They give students a glimpse of what is hidden behind the curtain. They challenge them to go further not because they have to do it, but because they enjoy doing it and do not want to wait for the next scheduled portion of the information.
It has been scientifically proven that you have to use a new word thirteen times in different contexts to make it part of your active vocabulary. Homework gives students a chance to do the tasks by themselves to make sure they are able to cope with them independently.
When a student gets a task to do at home, he or she gets the right to decide when to do it and even whether to do it at all. The student sets the pace of his or her progress by determining how much time or effort should be given to this or that task.
The best thing about homework is that it is as regular as clockwork; the procedure never changes. You attend a class, and then you get some home assignment with a small bit of new information to acquire. This information builds up gradually, so you can eventually revise and not have to learn the material right before a test or an exam.
One of the main tasks of any homework is to teach students how to learn without their teacher’s assistance. It develops research skills, self-assessment skills, and gradually prepares a student for university education, which presupposes that many aspects have to be learned independently and without teachers’ explanations.
All in all, it is clear that homework is a powerful tool that should never be abolished. However, teachers should give their students reasonable amounts of the tasks in order to make homework a pleasure rather than a burden.