Homework can be a lifelong nightmare for students, while others find it to be a necessary part of the educative process. Nonetheless, some countries have abolished the requirement of homework, while others have adopted it.
This article will discuss which country has abolished homework and the reasoning behind such decision.
Overview of Homework in Different Countries
The opinion on homework is controversial. In some cases, students develop a sense of responsibility, organization, and improved grades by doing homework.
On the other hand, too much or too little homework can be a source of stress for students and parents, detracting from the quality of life. The amount of homework assigned and the amount of hours spent on it greatly vary from country to country. Students in Asian countries, like Japan, South Korea, and China, are amongst those who spend the most time on homework.
On the other hand, countries such as Finland and Denmark assign less homework, but still allow students to get enough practice on their academic skills to excel in exams.
History of Homework in Finland
Finland is a country located in the Nordic region known for its educational advancements and standards. During the eighties, Finland started an education reform. Since then, the country has abolished mandatory homework and included the practice of less is more into their school system.
Rather than assigning students hours of homework, teachers prefer to give more meaningful and creative tasks and projects. No longer must students worry about homework, as students can dedicate their time to leisure and extra-curricular activities while having the same grade level as students in countries where homework is mandatory.
Finns have a culture of knowing how to read, rather than what to read, and classroom activities and short exercises provide enough practice for students.
The Effects of Abolishing Homework
The decision to abolish homework has proved to be a successful and beneficial plan for the future of Finland. Students have more time to have a balanced life and to pursue activities, such as music, team sports, and part-time jobs.
Also, the decision gives more time and space to students to focus more on their studies and projects. For example, Finland implements a philosophy known as de-emphasis of testing. This means that the focus is not entirely placed on top results, but rather in the acquisition of knowledge.
Therefore, instead of focusing solely on grades, the emphasis is placed on learning how to think and how to learn.
International Recognition of Finland’s System
Finland has a universal, publicly funded educational system that is completely free and voluntary for students between the ages of 6 and 1 Other countries, such as Sweden and Denmark, follow the Finnish system and accomplishment of de-emphasizing on the testing and exam scores.
The policy of no-homework has even been recognized internationally. Books, such as The World’s Best Education System by Melinda Schawacher, and Pasi Silander’s book, The Education Revolution in Finland have given Finland’s system credit.
Criticisms of Abolishing Homework
Although Finland has achieved success with its system and educational advancements, there still remain some critics to the decision to abolish homework. For example, opponents argue that students are not compelled to sit down and study and that this decision allows students to succumb to distraction.
Moreover, some may argue that students develop better time management skills when managing their own time and dedicating it to homework; this way, they learn how to structure their studies and better manage their academic life.
Alternative Homework Policies
Not all countries are ready or willing to completely abolish homework. Therefore, other policy suggestions have been made to reduce the amount of homework assigned.
For example, in the United States, the Homework Policy Council suggests limiting homework to 10 minutes per grade level. In Brazil, the Justa Causa movement urges for the reduction of homework for primary school students. Also, in some countries, parents have started movements to reduce the number of hours spent on homework.
The Pros and Cons of Homework
Overall, some students receive beneficial results from doing homework while others find it to be a stressful obligation. Homework has both pros and cons, as it allows students to acquire more knowledge and practice, as well as improve their grades, but it also has shortcomings, as it takes away from the quality of life and social life of students.
The education system ultimately needs to address the needs of the students and address the proper amount and type of homework. Too much or too little homework can be a source of stress.
In conclusion, Finland has revolutionized the use of less is more in the educational system by abolishing homework. This decision has proven to be beneficial for Finland’s students, as they can dedicate their time to leisure and have more potential to excel academically.
The decision to abolish homework has also been recognized worldwide, as other countries have followed the Finnish system with similar results. Nonetheless, other countries have adopted alternative homework policies in order to prevent the burden of too much homework on students. Finland’s no-homework policy has pros and cons, from allowing the students to dedicate their free time to other activities, to not allowing the students to better manage their own learning process.
Despite the criticism, the decision to abolish homework has been a success for the Finnish; therefore, it is worth considering for other countries as well.