Studies show homework kills kids’ creativity and wreaks havoc on their mental health
Homework does nothing to improve learning and is causing mental, social and even physical health problems. Education experts say we should ban it in elementary schools and keep it to a minimum in middle and high school.
The superintendent of one Florida school district has already implemented the recommended “no-homework” policy for elementary schools.
She told the Washington Post she “made the decision based on solid research about what works best in improving academic achievement.”
That research includes a 2006 meta-analysis of homework studies dating back to 1987. It found there was no association between homework and achievement. In other words, assigning children homework did not help them learn or retain information better or do better on tests.
It also includes a 2014 study by Stanford University showing high school students are suffering “stress, physical health problems, a lack of balance and even alienation from society” thanks to too much homework.
The Stanford researchers looked at a survey of 4000 California high school students from upper-middle class neighborhoods.
Over half of the students said homework was their primary source of stress. Many students said their homework load led to “headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems.”
“More than two hours of homework a night may be counterproductive,” wrote Denise Pope, lead researcher and senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education.
While it’s too soon to determine the results of the Florida school district’s homework ban, teachers say so far grades and test scores have not suffered, and may actually be improving.
Six months into a similar experiment at an elementary school in Vermont, the principal there says students now have “time to be creative thinkers at home and follow their passions.”
“Homework may be the greatest extinguisher of curiosity ever invented.” ~Alfie Kohen, The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing