Studies Prove students face excessive work

Morgan Pierce, Staff Writer

I find myself trapped in the never-ending continuum of stress and overextension. I come home from a long day of school and practice, and then I spend the rest of my night being suffocated by mountains of notes and worksheets. Like so many other high-schoolers, my typical day seems to solely consist of school, sports and homework.

According to the National Education Association, the general guidelines for homework are “ten to 20 minutes per night in the first grade, and an additional ten minutes per grade level thereafter.”

Taking this and applying it to Dulaney’s block schedule means that each teacher should only give about a half hour of work per night, leading to a total of two hours. The Journal of Experimental Education also agrees with the two-hour guideline, arguing “more than two hours of homework per night is counterproductive.”

While attending school for six hours and then going home with another two hours of homework isn’t my ideal situation, I can understand how these guidelines could be noted as reasonable. However, these recommendations are not followed by school systems in the slightest.

The University of Phoenix College of Education conducted a study proving that high school students are assigned about three and a half hours of homework per night. This adds up to about 21 hours per week (excluding Sundays), compared to the recommended 12 hours per week.

I decided to field-test the study myself.

I found that, on average, I spend around three hours per night on homework.

While I only did this for a week, it still

proved more than the recommendation. This also means that, combined with the school day, I spend about 45 hours on school work per week. This is more or less equal to an average adult with a full-time job.

Teachers have exceeded the homework guidelines by almost two-fold. Stanford University found that “students who spend too much time on homework experience more stress, physical health problems, a lack of balance in their life and alienation from society.”

So why are teachers continuing to up their amount of homework? Why do students have to go home with almost double the recommended amount?

I believe that homework is a necessary evil, but I don’t agree with the excessive amount. I don’t mind practicing several problems, reading a chapter, or finishing classwork, but having to do an entire packet of work, or watch an hour long video is unnecessary.

I understand the value of practicing and applying new concepts at home, as it promotes growth and shows how much of the information you’re actually retained outside of school. But 45 hours a week is unwarranted and prevents students from seeking out the balance they so desperately need in their lives.

Excessive homework needs to end, and we need to start a dialogue. This could merely mean pulling a teacher aside, or talking to the subject department chair, or just explaining the overload of homework being given.

Starting small can make a difference, and it’s always worth a try.