Should students get homework?

The issue was debated on High Noon

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Homework has become an institution among many households internationally - for some, it's a ritual; others, it's a battle.

With this comes the ongoing debate surrounding homework - following seven or so hours of learning in school, just how beneficial is it to students? 

Speaking on High Noon, former headmaster and director of Godsil Education Arthur Godsil said the practice has to be changed.

"Homework should not be part of the time that takes place after school when children go home," he said. "There's plenty of time in the school day for that to happen."

Mr Godsil said teachers talk to much, and don't try to "push the learning down". However, he said teachers are still the best monitors when it comes to learning, not parents.

"Education is not just about learning the curriculum, it's about interacting with your peers, your siblings, you parents," he said. "That learning is as important sometimes.

"Children nowadays are time poor. Why would you ask a child having done seven hours work in a school to come home and do three hours on top of that?"

Mr Godsil also criticised the Leaving Certificate examination process, calling it "deeply flawed".

He also cited the Finnish and Japanese approach to homework, with both countries giving students little to no homework.

"It causes so many problems because it's not set correctly in the vast majority of cases. Inquiry-based exponential learning is what really sets people up for the future."

'Idealistic'

Bernie Sheridan. guidance counselor at Mercy College Sligo and founder of Student Quote, said the concept of giving children no homework is "idealistic".

"The reality is the system is the way that it is at the moment," she said. "If they don't have homework, they will not have the maturity to do the study that's required.

"I'm not saying the schooling system is right or that it's the only way to learn, but let's face it - the Leaving Cert is the essential platform from which we jump on to the other aspects of our life."

Ms Sheridan continued by saying the examination system in place means some structured homework for students, within reason, is necessary. 

According to Ms Sheridan, what needs to change is the curriculum, saying students looking to achieve high points have told her that homework is key for getting them.

"If we're going to change it, it has to involve the teachers. They have to be sold on it, the students have to be sold on it, the parents have to be sold on it."