Q:

What is the point of having to do homework? Almost every teacher has a different answer to this question. To me (a 13-year-old girl), homework is just a pointless waste of time that stops kids from being kids. When a teacher says it is to help you remember what you learned in a lesson, I say: We review the lesson in the next lesson, so homework doesn't really help me remember. Please answer my question. -- Against Homework

A:

The point that you make about homework has some merit. However, this is largely because you are only 13. While doing homework has literally no effect on achievement for elementary school children, it does have some positive effect on children your age in middle school. The real benefits of doing homework occur in high school, where those who do their homework do achieve at a higher level.

There are definitely negative effects to homework. Too much homework at a:ny level in school can result in loss of interest in academic material, and physical and emotional fatigue, as well as denial of access to leisure time. It also can lead to cheating by copying and too much parental help.

The educator who has done the most research on the positive effects of homework is Harris Cooper of Duke University. According to his studies, the most obvious benefit is that homework will increase students' retention and understanding of the material it covers. Furthermore, according to Cooper, homework can less directly improve students' study skills and attitudes toward school and teach students that learning takes place outside as well as inside of school.