Why Teachers Should Assign Less Homework in Montana: Opinion
The idea of reducing the amount of homework assigned to Montana's students might seem strange to some people, especially at a time when local students aren't excelling at every academic standard. This article from September of last year has statistics that show areas that need improvement, based on test scores provided by the Montana Office of Public Instruction.
I'm not suggesting teachers assign less homework in spite of low test scores, I'm suggesting a teachers should assign less homework because of this study from Stanford University, which cited research that indicates "homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night." So if a student has 6 classes, and each of those classes assign a half hour's worth of homework, the amount of time a student will spend completing their assignments will be well over what the research indicates is an optimal amount of time to spend.
Not only does research indicate that a certain amount of homework doesn't provide benefits, the research also indicates that a certain amount of homework can actually be harmful. Here's why teachers should assign less homework in Montana:
"56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress... less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor" according to Stanford University's study. I think that the less stressed a student is, the greater chance a student will love learning. If a student loves learning, that has a chance of actually improving their test scores.
"Many" students who participated in Stanford's study said that "their homework load led to sleep deprivation." Sleep deprivation can cause health problems, and I think students' health should be the highest priority.
"Both the survey data and student responses indicate that spending too much time on homework meant that students were 'not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills,' according to the researchers." A proper education doesn't need to come at the expense of other important factors to a student's life. I hope Montana teachers take the lead by only assigning a helpful amount of homework, which could set an example for the rest of the country.
If You Need to Relax, Here's What Montanans Recommend