The Internet and bookstores are crowded with books offering parents advice on how to get children to do homework.
Frequently, the advice for parents is to "remain positive," yet only a handful of books suggest that parents should have the right to question the amount of homework or the value of the task itself.
In 1900, the editor of the Ladies' Home Journal, Edward Bok, began a series of anti-homework articles.
He recommended the elimination of homework for all students under the age of 15 and a limit of one hour nightly for older students.
Simple tasks of memorization and practice were easy for children to do at home, and the belief was that such mental exercise disciplined the mind. schools has evolved from the once simple tasks of memorizing math facts or writing spelling words to complex projects.
Homework has generally been viewed as a positive practice and accepted without question as part of the student routine. As the culture has changed, and as schools and families have changed, homework has become problematic for more and more students, parents, and teachers.
Early in the 20th century, an anti-homework movement became the centerpiece of a nationwide trend toward progressive education.
Progressive educators questioned many aspects of schooling: "Once the value of drill, memorization, and recitation was opened to debate, the attendant need for homework came under harsh scrutiny as well" (Kralovec & Buell, 2000, p. As the field of pediatrics grew, more doctors began to speak out about the effect of homework on the health and well-being of children.
Teachers are afraid not to give homework for fear of being perceived as "easy." Despite there being more diversity among learners in our schools than ever, many teachers continue to assign the same homework to all students in the class and continue to disproportionately fail students from lower-income households for not doing homework, in essence punishing them for lack of an adequate environment in which to do homework.
At a time when demand for accountability has reached a new high, research fails to prove that homework is worth all that trouble.