Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Spare the Homework, Save the Child?

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Spare the Homework, Save the Child?

Article excerpt

One of the hotter theaters of action in the school reform wars is the debate over homework. Consider the heated skirmish that occurred at a Harvard University forum on education this past fall. Etta Kralovec, vice president for learning with Training and Development Corporation in Maine, and political economist John Buell, the authors of The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learning (2000), staked out a controversial position: Homework is the great "black hole of learning." Even grade school students may have to spend more than two hours a night on it, while older students can put in as much as 50 or 60 hours a week of combined class time and homework.

That's not always been the case. In 1901, for example, California legally banned homework, as part of a progressive education agenda. Once the memorization drills of the 19th century fell out of favor, the popularity of assigning homework went into a half-century decline in America. But after Sputnik was launched in 1957, school achievement became wedded to national political and economic goals, and the amount of homework increased significantly. That happened again in the 1980s, in response to Japan's decade of economic ascendancy--and to studies that had American high school students ranking near the bottom internationally in mathematics and science test scores. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.