I think it’s safe to say that conventional wisdom holds that homework is a helpful part of children’s school education.

This conventional wisdom is challenged by the likes of Alfie Kohn who contend that there’s no evidence of the benefit of homework, and that it’s in fact detrimental. This came up again recently when a screenshot of a teacher’s note made the rounds on the ’net:

teacher’s note

*NEW Homework Policy*

Dear Parents,

After much research this summer, I am trying something new. Homework will only consist of work that your student did not finish during the school day. There will be no formally assigned homework this year.

Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance. Rather, I ask that you spend your evenings doing things that are proven to correlate with student success. Eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside, and get your child to bed early.

Though applauded by some, this image was immediately criticised by others.

Dr. Yana Weinstein characterise the claims as pseudo-science. Opponents of homework (Kohn included) contend that the opposite is true, and that proponents of homework are guilty of shoddy science.

Please note that I’m not asking for evidence for or against retrieval practice.

  • 2
    skeptics.stackexchange.com/q/34984/30557. Both questions present the same notable claim. The evidence in answers to both questions will be the same. – user30557 Aug 27 '16 at 14:40
  • @Dawn Ah. I was searching for a duplicate but overlooked that. However, with due respect, my question is better. – Konrad Rudolph Aug 27 '16 at 14:41
  • then just edit the other one. Same claim, same evidence will come. If you can ask it more clearly than they did, go ahead and edit :) – user30557 Aug 27 '16 at 14:41
  • @Dawn Hm. I would simply copy my question over. Since that’s a fairly drastic change and I’m obviously not impartial I’ll let the community decide this instead. – Konrad Rudolph Aug 27 '16 at 14:43
  • I don't see a particular reason to doubt that practice in the form of homework is any less beneficial than practice in any other form. – Dan Bron Aug 27 '16 at 19:31

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