Opinion: Busy work is bogus!


The reality today, is that when students are overwhelmed with assignments they'll care more about getting it done for s grade, rather than actually learning the material. This is another example of why homework isn't beneficial for students. Photo by: Brooke Newman

Garrett Jaffe

As a Ventura High School student, I believe that my ability to attain a fruitful education has been limited by the district’s long standing system of bureaucracy and allowing the teaching process to be substituted for a pile of paperwork.

My personal belief is that education is the most important thing a person can ever obtain. With education comes success, and with success comes anything you’ve ever wished for.

However in today’s society, we allow teachers to teach students however they wish. This includes the choice to actually teach students in the way they learn best, or to take the easy way out and give students pointless paperwork that only teaches them a single approach to problem solving.

Garret Jaffe is a sophomore at VHS and this is his first guest submission to The Cougar Press. Photo by: Ryan King

It’s crucial to understand that each student learns differently, and if teachers give each individual the same questions with the same answers, that kills students individuality by implying that there is only one solution to a problem.

For all of the bureaucrats and unmotivated teachers of America, homework is the most efficient and effective way of teaching our youth. However, numerous studies and even the word of the youth, shows that the preferred method of teaching is not simply assigning homework.

For example, education critic, Alfie Kohn, states that “Research fails to demonstrate homework’s effectiveness as an instructional tool.”  This goes to show that homework- good or bad- is an obsolete mean of education.

To me, homework is meaningless and therefore is a waste of resources and the students time. Instead of spending countless hours doing homework, students could do something productive that they actually care about, like researching their own interests or participating in extracurricular activities that give them a sense of the real world.

Education guru, Doris Santoro, says,  “Policies that may demoralize teachers are scripted lessons that divest of using their talents in planning, mandated curriculum that allows no space for teachers to respond to students’ academic needs and interests, and testing practices that make teachers feel complicit in doing harm to their students.”

This quote blatantly shows that even teachers sometimes feel that the mandated curriculum and paperwork their job entails is not only obsolete, but mindless and destructive for the learning and teaching process.

Many administrators see homework as a time efficient and interactive teaching process, which in my opinion, couldn’t be farther from the truth. Typically their argument is that “practice makes perfect,” and while I agree with this expression, I find it to be an inadequate argument in favor of homework.

The reality today, is that when students are overwhelmed with assignments they’ll care more about getting it done for a grade, rather than actually learning the material. This is another example of why homework isn’t beneficial for students.
Photo by: Brooke Newman

Now a days, we don’t live in a world where every student processes information in the same way. So in saying that homework is effective because it gives students more practice, I would argue that this is not accurate and can be debunked by numerous studies.

The number of students that find an extensive workload to be their favorite learning method, pail in comparison to students who find extensive homework to be regressive to their understanding of a subject. If a student finds extra practice at a subject to be their favorite form of learning, then they have the internet and countless libraries at their disposal to study up. However, the majority of students should not have their education tainted simply because of lazy administrators and their unwillingness to see how ineffective the current teaching system is.

All in all, we must not allow the next generation’s education to be sabotaged by lazy teaching and inaccurate statements about the approval and effectiveness of homework.

To solve this problem, we must force educators to admit the faults in assigning too much homework and implement an individualistic and energy efficient educational system that allows students to learn in their own way.

I believe that all students should have the opportunity to learn in a way that best suits them, whether it be hands on instruction, or tedious paperwork.