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Early in the 20th century, an anti-homework movement became the centerpiece of a nationwide trend toward progressive education.
At the same time, labor leaders were protesting working conditions for adults, advocating for a 40-hour workweek.
Child labor laws were used as a justification to protect children from excessive homework.
Simple tasks of memorization and practice were easy for children to do at home, and the belief was that such mental exercise disciplined the mind. schools has evolved from the once simple tasks of memorizing math facts or writing spelling words to complex projects.
Homework has generally been viewed as a positive practice and accepted without question as part of the student routine. As the culture has changed, and as schools and families have changed, homework has become problematic for more and more students, parents, and teachers.
There's a growing suspicion that something is wrong with homework.
This more critical view represents a movement away from the pro-homework attitudes that have been consistent for decades (Kralovec & Buell, 2000).
By the 5th grade, many students left school for work; fewer continued to high school (Kralovec & Buell, 2000).
In the lower grades, school focused on reading, writing, and arithmetic; in grammar school (grades 5 through 8) and high school, students studied geography, history, literature, and math.
Teachers are afraid not to give homework for fear of being perceived as "easy." Despite there being more diversity among learners in our schools than ever, many teachers continue to assign the same homework to all students in the class and continue to disproportionately fail students from lower-income households for not doing homework, in essence punishing them for lack of an adequate environment in which to do homework.
At a time when demand for accountability has reached a new high, research fails to prove that homework is worth all that trouble.