As a result, a discussion of homework stirs controversy as people debate both sides of the issue.
But the arguments both for and against homework are not new, as indicated by a consistent swing of the pendulum over the last 100 years between pro-homework and anti-homework attitudes.
Early in the 20th century, an anti-homework movement became the centerpiece of a nationwide trend toward progressive education.
Progressive educators questioned many aspects of schooling: "Once the value of drill, memorization, and recitation was opened to debate, the attendant need for homework came under harsh scrutiny as well" (Kralovec & Buell, 2000, p. As the field of pediatrics grew, more doctors began to speak out about the effect of homework on the health and well-being of children.
The Internet and bookstores are crowded with books offering parents advice on how to get children to do homework.
Frequently, the advice for parents is to "remain positive," yet only a handful of books suggest that parents should have the right to question the amount of homework or the value of the task itself.
Yet the historical arguments on both sides are familiar.
They bear a striking similarity to the arguments waged in today's debate over homework.
Homework is a long-standing education tradition that, until recently, has seldom been questioned.
The concept of homework has become so ingrained in U. culture that the word homework is part of the common vernacular, as exemplified by statements such as "Do your homework before taking a trip," "It's obvious they didn't do their homework before they presented their proposal," and "The marriage counselor gave us homework to do." Homework began generations ago, when schooling consisted primarily of reading, writing, and arithmetic, and rote learning dominated.