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Himmelrath_arminArmin Himmelrath is a freelance education and science journalist. After studying to be a teacher (German and social sciences), he now works for Spiegel/ SpiegelOnline, Deutschlandradio and the WDR. He has published several books on educational topics and works as a moderator. In addition, he works as a lecturer at the Free University of Berlin for journalistic writing All texts by Armin Himmelrath.

Abolish homework at last: chicane for parents and children

The Süddeutsche Today the newspaper reports on the theses of our author Armin Himmelrath: He wants to do away with homework. And based on the best of HR - Berufebilder.de® why.

homework

Why must homework be?

How do you learn well and correctly in school? Through intuition and experimentation - and through homework. That's what many parents, teachers and students think. Only: That's not true. Studies have shown time and again that the pedagogical effect of homework is zero.

  • Why, however, does the homework still cover the everyday life of families with school-age children?
  • Why are teachers, parents and even students mostly convinced that homework must be an elementary part of school learning processes?
  • Where does the deep, almost religious belief in a pedagogical instrument, the effectiveness of which has never really been proven?

Chicane for parents and children

“Homework: a 'pedagogical ritual' survived” - this is how the Neue Zürcher Zeitung wrote one in November 2013 Items and quotes, among others, the pediatrician and author of educational guides, Remo Largo: “They don't do anything. Students and parents are only harassed with it ”.

And for Gabriel Romano from the pre-school and primary level institute at the University of Education in Bern, homework is just an “educational ritual” without any deeper teaching Sense.

"Homework has no educational value"

Because time and again scientists have shown that homework hardly produces learning effects:

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  •  As early as 1904, the experimental psychologist Ernst Meumann determined that the performance of students in the context of their homework was "on average considerably inferior in terms of material and form" than the solutions that the children had worked out in school during lessons.
  •  In 1958, the educational scientist Bernhard Wittmann from Mülheim did not let students from several classes in Duisburg do homework in two subjects. The experiment lasted four months, then the results were compared with other classes: "Homework has no material educational value," the teacher stated, "Homework does not increase the students' knowledge and skills."
  • Hans Gängler, educational scientist at the TU Dresden, stated in 2008 that it doesn't matter at all whether you do math homework right after school, at night under the covers or not at all - the effect on the censorship of certificates is “zero”. Nevertheless, homework is uncritically and nationwide "prescribed" by teachers on the mere assumption that "it would already have some positive effect on the students". Gängler continues: "Good students do not necessarily get better through homework, and bad students at home simply do not understand what they have not understood correctly in the morning by simply repeating."
  • Recently, 2013 had spoken to the sociologist Jutta Allmendinger of the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin, and pointed out that homework has intensified social inequality in education processes. Good students who least need them receive the greatest support at home; but the encouraging domestic environment is often lacking in those with whom additional learning and help might actually bring something.

time for a change

In addition, many participants repeatedly report on critical and negative homeworking experiences: Teachers rob the tasks - their announcement, but above all the tedious control - valuable teaching time. The students will pay for the time after the end of the lesson. And parents are forced by homework into the role of substitute teachers. In short, homework causes dissatisfaction and is a major stress factor for everyone involved.

But where does this deep-seated belief come from, that such tasks still promote learning? Maybe it's because they have been mentioned in school regulations for more than 500 years and we've all experienced school only with homework. But given the scientific findings, would not it be time to question the meaning of homework? The use of the cane was considered to be a pedagogical means for centuries - until, fortunately, there was a new social consensus. With homework, such a learning process is now more than overdue.

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4 responses to "Abolish homework at last: chicane for parents & children"

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