There have been many debates as to whether homework is an essential part of education. Some believe homework is a strain or perhaps a waste of time. Yet as the debates linger homework is continues to be a process used to strengthen the lessons taught in the classroom.
Bryan Garner, a professional legal writer and editor and chief of Black’s Law Dictionary once said, “You can’t truly master a skill until you have spent 10,000 hours doing it” While spending 10,000 hours on homework is extreme, the concept provides a clear message, and that is the more exposure to the lessons enhances a student’s knowledge to mastering a skill. In addition to enhancing a student’s knowledge with increased exposure, there are other reasons why homework is an essential part of education.
Homework reinforces learning, thus empowering a student with the knowledge to master a skill. Imagine it this way; if football players want to play for the pros, they need to practice the skill. When they practice, they not only conditioning their bodies for a game they train their mind to apply critical thinking enabling them to strategize games plays thus mastering the skill to play pro football. The same concept can be applied to students doing homework. When students practice math equations, writing or reading they are training their brain by reinforcing the lesson being taught as well as exposing students to learning critical thinking. Just like a football player mastering the skills to play pro football, with homework the students master skills they need to be productive members of society.
Homework not only reinforces learning, it also encourages self-discipline. Education is the platform to preparing a student for adulthood. Being an adult comes with many responsibilities, such as raising a family and entering the workforce which requires self-discipline. When teachers assigned homework, students are typically given instructions and deadlines to complete the homework. Students learn the valuable lesson of accountability or responsibility by following the instructions and meeting the required deadlines. Learning to be accountable also teaches self-discipline, which is essential to preparing a student to become a responsible adult.
As educational institutions organize their curriculums, they set goals to achieve. A common goal relates to the desired academic achievement or the outcome of the curriculum. To determine if the students achieved the academic achievement goals, teachers use homework as an observation tool or an assessment of a student’s understanding of the lessons. The assessment enables teachers to target areas in need of improvement and whether their students have mastered a skill needed to advance to the next level of their education.
Granted students may not spend 10,000 hours doing homework it is clear, however the time spent on homework is an essential part of education in terms of reinforcing learning, teaching self-discipline and providing tools for teachers in assessing academic achievement. Equally importantly, homework offers students the opportunity to master essential skills they will use as adults to be productive members of society.