Who Can Tell Me What The Purpose Of Giving Homework Is?


Part of the education process involves the assignment of tasks by an instructor that a student must perform outside of the classroom, tasks that require the student to utilize the skills and processes taught in class. In most cases, the purpose of such assignments is to reinforce in the mind of the student what has been learned, but there can be other purposes, as well. One of those can be to require the student to do research or additional study in order to gain information or learn processes beyond those already taught in the classroom setting.

These assignments are commonly called “homework,” a term with which we all should be familiar from even our lowest elementary school classes. The term derives, of course, from the fact that the work is done at home in most cases, although many students may complete the assignments in school, at libraries or is study sessions with friends and fellow students.

Make It Stick!

Homework reinforces the retention of knowledge gained in the classroom by forcing the mind of the student to use it. This is necessary because a student commonly retains about half of the information presented in class, even with study notes. The practice of rehearsing the lessons and processes learned in solving problems and answering questions, whether they involve mathematics, history, literature or any other subject of study, causes the knowledge on which they are based to become entrenched in the mind of the student, ready to be called upon when needed.

Beyond the Classroom Experience

Homework can sometimes go beyond what is learned in the classroom. An example of this would be an assignment to research the life of a famous person from history or to use private study time to learn a new technique for forming a compound; the student is required to use learning techniques, rather than specific lessons or information, in order to perform the research necessary to complete the assignment.

Learn How to Learn!

This type of homework is critical because it enables the student to internalize the processes involved in the study, itself. This makes it possible for the student to do other research in the future, research that provides the student with the information needed in his or her own life or career.

The primary benefit of homework is that it enables the student to apply the information learned in class and embed it in memory. This is the basis of knowledge, when information is preserved in memory.

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