B1 Intermediate US 21 Folder Collection
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(light ambient music)
- Let's face it:
Homework is never going to win any popularity contests.
In fact, there's a whole genre of memes
about how much people hate homework.
I mean, just look at--
Oh my god, there's so many of 'em.
Look at all--
(laughing) There's so many memes.
(record scratching)
It's no secret that homework is a big source of stress
in the daily lives of students.
Assignments can feel so tedious when they take hours to do.
And there's growing debate over the value of homework.
It's not just about students being lazy.
There's opponents that think it's an unnecessary stressor
and actually contributes to inequity in education,
particularly for low-income students.
Today we're asking:
How much homework in high school is too much?
So, in the US, there isn't really
a standard amount of homework high school students get.
It varies teacher by teacher, school by school.
The amount even varies all over the world.
Just look at this graph.
Check it out.
In the US,
we get over twice as much homework as South Korea.
South Korea's ranked the number-one best education system
by a Pearson review.
And, well, we're number 17.
And, like, what's up with Italy over here?
They're getting 8.7 hours per week, and they're number 25.
Must be rough over there in Italy.
Okay, now back to America.
We figured it was pretty important
to hear straight from students about this topic,
since they're the ones actually doing the homework,
so we turned to our friends
from Youth Beat in Oakland, California.
They're student reporters
with PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs.
This is Jonathan,
Olin-- - Yo!
- And Serina.
They helped research, write, and produce this episode.
First, I checked in with Jonathan,
who's not exactly a slacker.
He's on All City Council and reporting this episode
on top of all his regular homework.
So, Jonathan, what's All City Council
and what are you hearing from students?
- All City Council is the student union
for the Oakland School District,
and we represent the 37,000 students
who are within the public education system.
Man, we are tired of doing homework.
A lotta students have obligations outside of school.
There's students who've come to me like,
"Yo, I can't go to this meeting
"'cause I have to work and do homework."
There's some assignments that are online
'cause teachers are using Google Classroom.
Not everyone has access to technology,
to a computer or a tablet,
so how do you get that homework done
and keep up with the workload
when you don't have access to those materials?
- Some teachers are starting to take notice.
The reporters talked to Kathleen Bailey,
a teacher at Oakland Technical High School
in Oakland, California,
who doesn't really assign her students any homework.
- I just asked my students today how many of them have jobs.
There were nine students in one class that had jobs,
there were 11 students in another.
And if you're going home from school
and you gotta get from one place to another in Oakland,
you've gotta get to work, you get home at 10:30
and you're thinking about homework,
that's just like a recipe for a mental breakdown, I think.
- I don't really enjoy doing homework.
Personally, I have a lotta extracurriculars
that I participate in,
like I'm the Black Student Union president at Skyline,
I'm the media director for All City Council Student Union,
and I've partaken KDOL Youth Beat.
And so, with all those different things
going on for me after school,
it gets hard for me to focus on just one thing.
And I do realize academics are important, right?
But I feel like these extracurriculars
help me build as a person and also build out my resume.
- I can see how it could be hard for students
to figure out what to prioritize.
So, no homework is probably sounding
pretty good to you right about now,
but we have to acknowledge that homework isn't all bad.
Take it from our Youth Beat student reporter, Olin.
- There are actually a lotta studies
that show there are benefits to doing homework.
- Like this meta-analysis
that looked at a whole bunch of research on homework
from 1987 to 2003.
The authors concluded that, "With only rare exceptions,
"the relationship between
"the amount of homework students do
"and their achievement outcomes
"was found to be positive and statistically significant."
This just means that homework helps students perform better.
And in case y'all are wondering what a meta-analysis is,
it's basically a study
that looks at a lotta different studies in a systematic way.
- But it might be
that only a certain amount of homework is beneficial.
We looked at a study that found that too much homework
can actually hurt students.
- Check this out.
Researchers surveyed over 4,000 students
in 10 high-performing wealthy high schools in California.
The students surveyed
averaged over three hours of homework a night,
and the researchers found that more time spent on homework
is associated with greater stress, more compromised health,
and less time for family, friends,
and other extracurricular pursuits.
The authors cautioned against
assigning heavy homework loads.
- And the National Education Association
and the National Parent Teacher Association
recommend the 10-minute rule when it comes to homework.
This means students should receive
only 10 minutes of homework per grade per night.
- Sometimes my teacher would even tell me,
"Oh, just take an hour to do this assignment."
And I'm thinking, well, if I have seven classes
and each class tells me to do either 10 minutes to an hour,
that's already an hour to like seven hours
I have to devote just to homework after school.
- And it's not just the amount of time
you're spending on homework.
Some experts say that homework should have
a clear connection to what students are learning.
It just can't be busywork.
- The main thing with homework, as far as I'm concerned,
is that the kid's gotta know why they're doing it.
- That's Bob Kelly.
He's been a teacher for 21 years.
He thinks homework can be a valuable tool
for certain students and classes.
- In my regular US history class, we don't have homework.
The only homework that they get
is anything that they don't finish in class.
If they're messing around or something like that,
then they gotta take it home and get it done
before the next class.
Whereas, in my AP classes,
they have to read two chapters a week
and they have to analyze those chapters.
And so, the whole idea is that they'll come to school
understanding what we haven't talked about yet.
They'll have a basic understanding.
And then we take their basic understanding
and we build off of it.
- And this kind of rigorous homework in advanced classes
can help students prepare for the intensity
of classes that they'll have in college.
But if these homework-heavy college prep classes
best prepare students for college,
where does that leave low-income students
with conflicting obligations
that can't complete their homework?
How do you balance the potential benefits
you get from completing homework
with the real-world needs of students?
Homework is tricky, man.
So, tell us, what do you think?
How should homework be handled?
What is a fair amount of homework?
Let us know in the comments below.
Again, a big shoutout
to the student reporters at Youth Beat.
If you wanna hear more
from PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs,
be sure to check out this video on school dress codes
and this video on active shooter drills.
- Check it out.
- Check it out, like she said. (Serina laughing)
And again, we're Above the Noise
and we'll see you guys next time.
Peace out.
- [Woman] Oh my god. (all laughing)
That's so cute.
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How Much Homework Is Too Much?

21 Folder Collection
大文 published on April 6, 2020
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