Homework Controversy

” Responses are shown for NAEP’s three age groups: 9, 13, and 17.Today’s youngest students seem to have more homework than in the past.

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Their experiences, as dramatic as they are, may not represent the common experience of American households with school-age children.

In the analysis below, data are analyzed from surveys that are methodologically designed to produce reliable information about the experiences of all Americans.

Nevertheless, anti-homework sentiment would remain a touchstone of progressive education throughout the twentieth century.

As a political force, it would lie dormant for years before bubbling up to mobilize proponents of free play and “the whole child.” Advocates would, if educators did not comply, seek to impose homework restrictions through policy making.

The 2003 Brown Center Report on American Education included a study investigating the homework controversy.

Examining the most reliable empirical evidence at the time, the study concluded that the dramatic claims about homework were unfounded.

Drawing on the theories of his fellow educational progressive, psychologist G.

Stanley Hall (who has since been largely discredited), Bok argued that study at home interfered with children’s natural inclination towards play and free movement, threatened children’s physical and mental health, and usurped the right of parents to decide activities in the home.

An overwhelming majority of students, at least two-thirds, depending on age, had an hour or less of homework each night.

Surprisingly, even the homework burden of college-bound high school seniors was discovered to be rather light, less than an hour per night or six hours per week.


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