Prowl student survey says ... a little bit of both


Hailey Carner

Trigonometry students listen to Mr. Greg Stenlund's lesson recently.

The clock strikes midnight and I decide I’m fully prepared to catapult myself into some sort of abyss. I”ve been working on homework for a solid four hours. My brain is fried, my body is shutting down and I have accepted my fate.

Have you ever felt this way? Neck deep in loads of studies? Or maybe you just stink at homework and/or time management?

If so, you’re not alone. Still, the real question remains. Is homework beneficial? How? And at what point do we draw the line for too much homework?

The fundamental purpose of homework is much like schooling in general: to increase knowledge and improve the skills and abilities of students.

The point of homework stems from a traditional mindset that it builds discipline, but that it also is designed to improve study habits, attitudes towards school, inquisitiveness, and independant problem solving skills.

So as much as we all probably hate homework, it is helpful … to a degree.

On the other hand, homework has also been known to cause physical and emotional fatigue, inflame pessimistic attitudes about learning and limit leisure time. Some kids blame homework for sleep deprivation and  health issues, as well as lack of time to spend with friends and family.

In order to learn more, I conducted an informal survey; asking PHS students how much homework they are assigned per night and how they feel about it.

The first question on the survey asked:

“Do you feel teachers give out too much homework?”

Percentages of “yes” answers

  • Freshmen – 47 percent
  • Sophomores – 73 percent
  • Juniors – 72 percent
  • Seniors – 28 percent

A noticeable trend was that for the first three years of high school, students will have an abundance of homework, but senior year seems a little more easy-going.

The next question on the survey asked:

“Do you think that homework benefits you?”

Percentages of “no” answers

  • Freshmen – 47 percent
  • Sophomores – 44 percent
  • Juniors – 27 percent
  • Seniors – 61 percent

The last question was the most interesting (mostly because the students who participated in the survey wrote in their own answers)

“How much homework do you normally have a night?

30 minutes-1 hour; 1-2 hours; 3-4 hours; 4 plus hours”

  • Freshmen – 47 percent have 1-2 hours of homework
  • Sophomores – 38 percent also have 1-2 hours of homework
  • Juniors – 36 percent have 30-60 minutes of homework
  • Seniors – 42 percent have 30-60 minutes of homework.

While many of us (myself included) detest homework, there is plenty of data that suggests it truly is for our benefit. Teachers want the best for us; they want us to practice our studies and pass our exams. While it may seem like they’re trying to fail us with all the homework they hand out; it’s in our best interest. They’re not out to get us, I promise.

“I think it’s good- I enjoy the aspect of maybe math homework specifically, that allows me to practice what I’ve just learned so I don’t lose it,” Junior Jaymison Cox said. “You obviously have to practice things to keep the understanding of stuff. So I think in math it’s helpful. It can be helpful in history — just anything where you have to remember things.”