Should students have homework is a tough question to answer. At first the answer should be obvious (especially if you ask a student) but after considering some of the pros and cons it actually isn’t that simple of a debate.
At first, it may seem like a good idea to eliminate homework all together. After all, then students would have more free time for extra curricular activities. This would give them more social time, and time to exercise outdoors. However, it would also mean that a lot more information would have to be covered in class. It also would require teachers to provide designated working time during their classroom sessions, leaving less time for lectures. Ultimately, if there weren’t any homework then summer would probably have to be shortened to assure that instructors could get through the entire curriculum. For many students this may be worse than having to do schoolwork a few evenings a week.
On the other hand of the argument is the fact that homework can be quite stressful and difficult for some students to complete. Young students who have trouble comprehending their assignments without instruction may get lower grades because of the amount of homework that they are assigned. It also means that students with busy schedules may feel stressed or too overwhelmed to get their homework done. Taking homework out of the picture for these students may remove some of these issues. However, it does not guarantee that they would do better in class or get higher grades in their classes without after school assignments to complete.
Another way to look at it is how homework affects teachers. If teachers were no longer allowed to assign homework it would require them to be more efficient in class. They would likely have to cover more information, and then quiz students on the answers. For many teachers this would make their job a lot more stressful and difficult to do. It would also be tough to make sure that every student is learning in the classroom.
At the end of the day it is hard to say whether or not students should have homework. Obviously, there are some clear pros and cons to both sides of the issues. A good middle ground would be to balance the amount of in-class and homework that students are required to do. Keeping homework loads manageable and providing plenty of student support for those who are struggling to get their assignments completed.