Teachers, overwhelmed by an already glutted curriculum and pressures related to standardized tests, assign homework in an attempt to develop students' skills and extend learning time.At the same time, they are left frustrated when the students who most need more time to learn seem the least likely to complete homework.At the same time, labor leaders were protesting working conditions for adults, advocating for a 40-hour workweek.
Teachers, overwhelmed by an already glutted curriculum and pressures related to standardized tests, assign homework in an attempt to develop students' skills and extend learning time.At the same time, they are left frustrated when the students who most need more time to learn seem the least likely to complete homework.
This more critical view represents a movement away from the pro-homework attitudes that have been consistent for decades (Kralovec & Buell, 2000).Simple tasks of memorization and practice were easy for children to do at home, and the belief was that such mental exercise disciplined the mind. schools has evolved from the once simple tasks of memorizing math facts or writing spelling words to complex projects.Homework has generally been viewed as a positive practice and accepted without question as part of the student routine. As the culture has changed, and as schools and families have changed, homework has become problematic for more and more students, parents, and teachers.In 1900, the editor of the Ladies' Home Journal, Edward Bok, began a series of anti-homework articles.He recommended the elimination of homework for all students under the age of 15 and a limit of one hour nightly for older students.His writings were instrumental in the growth of the anti-homework movement of the early 1900s, a harbinger of the important role media would play in future homework debates.By 1930, the anti-homework sentiment had grown so strong that a Society for the Abolition of Homework was formed.Learning consisted of drill, memorization, and recitation, which required preparation at home: At a time when students were required to say their lessons in class in order to demonstrate their academic prowess, they had little alternative but to say those lessons over and over at home the night before.Before a child could continue his or her schooling through grammar school, a family had to decide that chores and other family obligations would not interfere unduly with the predictable nightly homework hours that would go into preparing the next day's lessons. 174) The critical role that children played as workers in the household meant that many families could not afford to have their children continue schooling, given the requisite two to three hours of homework each night (Kralovec & Buell, 2000).By the 5th grade, many students left school for work; fewer continued to high school (Kralovec & Buell, 2000).In the lower grades, school focused on reading, writing, and arithmetic; in grammar school (grades 5 through 8) and high school, students studied geography, history, literature, and math.