For the longest time while I was in school, highschool primarily, I’d always try to find something resembling an excuse to put off, avoid doing, or just plain forget about ever doing anything that vaguely resembled homework. Sure, eventually, most of it would get done anyway–not without the insistance of my parents, of course. But on a personal standpoint, I didn’t see a whole lot of point to it. You spend an hour or so in class beating a topic to death, and just when you think it can’t get any more beaten to death, the teacher throws an asignment at you that takes you an additional couple hours when you get home. And you usually don’t end up learning a whole lot more from the extra work than you did in class–or, at least, I didn’t. Now, rince and repeat the same procedure for every class you have the privelege of attending over the course of a semester. Head, meet pressure cooker. No wonder we threw small parties at the end of June.
Flash forward to my post-highschool life, and people are starting to clue into that fact. Particularly, the people running Prince of Wales Public School in Barrie Ontario, which conveniently enough is about half an hour from where I was living when I did the highschool thing. Last year, after some arm twisting, they managed to ban the asigning of homework. And, surprise of surprises, they’re noticing grades are actually going up.
“As a whole we found marks have started to go up, our Education Quality and Accountability Office data has improved since we started,” Jan Olson, the school’s principal said in an interview with CTV’s Canada AM.
He says there are also fewer behavioural issues as a result of the ban, and academic improvement was observed across the entire spectrum of students: wealthy and poor, special needs and gifted.
See, mom? I told you homework was bad for me.