Homework and projects are one of the most important components of a well-rounded education program, and Belmont Hill assigns students work the same as any other school. Although students should be spending hours outside of school studying, they also need time to rest, relax, and pursue other interests like sports and hobbies. Schools and teachers ought to balance quality of learning with assigning students work. For the October Issue, The Panel surveyed 100 students of all forms about their experience with the workload.
The majority of students think that there is too much homework (48% with 30% neutral), and that it’s causing them stress (54% with 22% neutral). Many respondents suggested that lowering the amount of homework while increasing its relation to the knowledge learned in class would actually increase the quality of learning while reducing stress levels. When asked how teachers could improve the student opinion on the workload, one student answered, “if we had time to meet with teachers throughout the day like an X block built into the day it would be much easier to complete homework assignments at night because I wouldn’t be as lost on how to complete the assignment and have to stay up late completing it.” One tangible change the school could make would be increasing the amount of student-teacher meeting times through additional virtual x-blocks for homework help. Another student suggests that much of the homework is busywork rather than learning: “[Teachers should] give work that feels more productive rather than work for the sake of work.” Overall though, most of the comments implied that giving class time to work on or to go over the next night’s homework would decrease the workload.
When asked the amount of time per day that students are spending outside of class doing homework or projects, 15% replied 4-6 hours, 58% replied 2-4 hours, and 27% replied 0-2 hours. This result both demonstrates the wide disparity between different students and the large amount of time certain students are spending on homework. According to most learning information sources, high school students should be spending 3-4 hours a night on homework on average; meaning certain students are either not understanding the material well enough or are being assigned too much homework. When asked how much time ought to be spent on homework, the respondents got a little greedy and 65% said 0-2 hours of homework per night — clearly not enough to learn effectively.
Surprisingly, there was a general consensus that the onset of covid-19 and hybrid learning has not increased the student workload at all. In fact, some say that the workload has decreased because teachers are giving the same amount of homework per meeting when there are fewer weekly class meetings.