Do Americans think homework is helpful?

Jamie BallardData Journalist
July 31, 2018, 3:30 PM GMT+0

When asked whether they would support or oppose a homework ban in their school district, only 28% of people said they would support it

Sorry, kids: complaints about having too much homework probably fall on deaf ears. A vast majority (71%) of US adults agree that homework is an important part of the learning process, and an equal number (71%) “strongly” or “somewhat” agree that doing homework helps students learn important time management skills, according to new data from YouGov Omnibus.

Many people reflected positively on their own experience with homework – 64% said it was “very” or “somewhat” helpful to their own education, versus only 11% who said it was “very” or “somewhat” harmful.

Slightly more than half (56%) of people also said they “generally had about the right amount of homework” when they were students, compared to 31% who said they “generally had too much homework.”

When asked about the homework levels for current students, people tend to be split. 40% say that elementary school students generally have too much homework, while 31% say the same is true for middle school students, and 37% say this is true for high school students. On the other end of the spectrum, 24% of people say elementary school students don’t have enough homework assigned, while 22% say this is true for middle schoolers.

A significantly larger amount (34%) think that high school students don’t have enough homework assigned to them. People were almost evenly split on whether high school students have too much homework (37%), or not enough (34%).

Close to half (45%) of people disagreed with the statement “homework is an unnecessary source of stress for many students,” while 33% agreed. However, people who are 18-34 years old (42%) were significantly more likely to agree with this statement than those 35-54-years-old (34%) and 55+ (24%).

People in the 18-34 range were also far more likely than the total population to say they generally had too much homework when they were students (43% vs 31%) and that they believe high school students today also generally have too much homework (44% vs 37%).

They are also slightly more likely to support a school district banning homework. When asked whether they would support or oppose a homework ban in their school district, only 28% of the general population said they would “strongly” or “somewhat” support it, compared to 34% of 18-34-year-olds. Baby boomers (people who are 55 years or older) were the most likely to be “strongly opposed”: 46% chose this answer.

But despite largely being in favor of assigning homework to students at all schooling levels, three-quarters (75%) of people also agreed that students should have free time to explore activities they’re passionate about. Presumably after their homework is done, of course.

See full results here.

Learn more about YouGov Omnibus.

Image: Getty

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