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, the effectiveness of which has never really been proven?
Chicane for parents and children
"Homework: a 'pedagogical ritual survived'" - so in November 2013 the Neue Zürcher Zeitung wrote an article and quoted among others the pediatrist and author of educational counselors, Remo Largo: "They bring nothing. Students and parents are only bullied ".
And for Gabriel Romano of the Institute of Pre-school and Primary Education at the Bern University of Education, homework is just a "pedagogical ritual" without a deeper sense of instruction.
"Homework has no educational value"
Because time and again scientists have shown that homework hardly produces learning effects:
- Already 1904, the experimental psychologist Ernst Meumann noted that the achievements of students in the context of their homework "on the material and formal side, on average, were considerably inferior" than the solutions that the children had developed at school during the lesson.
- 1958 was the Mülheim educationalist Bernhard Wittmann students from several classes in Duisburg in two subjects do no homework. The trial lasted four months, then the results were compared with other classes: "Homework has no material educational value," the educator noted. "Homework does not increase students' knowledge and skills."
- Hans Gängler, educator at the TU Dresden, told 2008 that it does not matter at all whether you do math homework right after school, under the covers at night, or not at all - the effect on censorship is "zero." Nevertheless, homework by teachers would be uncritically and comprehensively "prescribed" in the mere assumption that "they would have some positive effect on students". Gängler continues: "Good students do not necessarily get better with homework, and bad students do not understand at home just by repeating what they did not understand correctly 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 major stress factor for everyone involved.
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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