Less Is More: a Case for Reducing the 
Excessive Homework Load

Running head: Less Is More: A Case for Reducing the 1
Excessive Homework Load

Less Is More: A Case for Reducing the Excessive Homework Load
Scott R. Thompson
Western Governor’s University
Less Is More: A Case for Reducing the
Excessive Homework Load
The debate over homework has been raging for more than a century. Experts on both sides passionately and regularly state their case in hopes of improving the school experience of students nationwide. Opinions run the gamut from overwhelmingly support to absolute denial. Homework’s advocates boast of its ability to boost academic performance, increase content retention, and teach important non-academic skills like responsibility and time management. Homework’s critics counter these arguments with claims that it is redundant and repetitive, infringes on other important childhood activities, and provides no proven benefit to academic achievement.
As the incumbent, homework is frustratingly difficult to unseat. It has a long history in American schools. Generations of parents have failed to question the efficacy of the practice based largely on the fact that they had to do homework when they were in school. Much like members of a fraternity or sorority, they subject their own children to endless worksheets for no other reason than “because I had to do them when I was your age.” Parents and educators alike all too frequently respond to the question of “Why homework?” with the trite response, “because that’s what we’ve always done.”
However, when subjected to closer examination and meticulous research, the flaws in the blind acceptance of homework are quickly exposed. According to Vatterott (2009), rather than a purposeful and effective teaching tool, homework is often a product of moralistic views, an adherence to the puritan work ethic, and behaviorist philosophy (p. 14-16). Homework proponents have accepted and perpetuated the myth that excessive workloads automatically equate to a rigorous and...