Why must homework be?
How do you learn well and correctly in school? Through intuition and experimentation - and through homework. That's what many parents, teachers and students think. Only: That's not true. Studies have shown time and again that the pedagogical effect of homework is zero.
- Why, however, does the homework still cover the everyday life of families with school-age children?
- Why are teachers, parents and even students mostly convinced that homework must be an elementary part of school learning processes?
- Where does the deep, almost religious, belief in a pedagogical instrument whose effectiveness has never really been demonstrated?
Chicane for parents & children
"Homework: A 'pedagogical ritual' survives" - so in November 2013 the Neue Zürcher Zeitung wrote an article citing, among others, the pediatrist and author of educational counselors, Remo Largo: "They bring nothing. Students and parents are only bullied with it. "
And for Gabriel Romano of the Institute for Preschool and Primary Education at the University of Education in Bern, homework is only an "educational ritual" without a deeper sense of teaching.
"Homework has no educational value"
Because time and again scientists have shown that homework hardly produces learning effects:
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- 1904, Experimental Psychologist Ernst Meumann stated that pupils' achievements in their homework were "on the average of the material and formal side, considerably less inferior" than the solutions the children had developed during school.
- 1958, the Mülheim education scientist Bernhard Wittmann did not leave schoolchildren from two classes in Duisburg in two subjects. For four months the experiment lasted, then the results were compared with other classes: "Homework does not have any material educational value," the educator noted, "homework does not increase the level of knowledge and skills of the pupils."
- Hans Gängler, educator at the Dresden University of Technology, 2008 noted that it is not at all matter whether one is doing math homework directly after school, at night under the blanket or not at all - the effect on the witness censorship is "zero". However, homework by teachers is uncritically and "enacted" in the mere assumption that "they would already have some positive effect on the students". "Good students are not necessarily even better at home, and bad students do not understand what they have not understood in the morning."
- Recently, 2013 had spoken to the sociologist Jutta Allmendinger of the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin, and pointed out that homework has intensified social inequality in education processes. Good students who least need them receive the greatest support at home; but the encouraging domestic environment is often lacking in those with whom additional learning and help might actually bring something.
time for a change
In addition, many participants repeatedly report on critical and negative homeworking experiences: Teachers rob the tasks - their announcement, but above all the tedious control - valuable teaching time. The students will pay for the time after the end of the lesson. And parents are forced by homework into the role of substitute teachers. In short, homework causes dissatisfaction and is a significant stress factor for all concerned.
But where does this deep-seated belief come from that such tasks still promote learning? Maybe it's because they have been mentioned in school regulations for more than 500 years and we've all experienced school only with homework. But given the scientific findings, would not it be time to question the meaning of homework? The use of the cane was considered to be a pedagogical means for centuries - until, fortunately, there was a new social consensus. With homework, such a learning process is now more than overdue.
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