A high school in Norrbotten County, Sweden, just introduced a ban on school homework and tests, in order to reduce stress on students.
The Stureskolan School said the action was taken in order prioritize analytical skills over facts. School principal Petronella Sirkka shed light on the recent move and said research suggests reducing the burden of homework and tests on students is better for their psychological well-being.
“We are constantly receiving new reports about our children not feeling well. And that's because they endure a very high stress level all the time. This is our way of trying to reduce that stress,” said Sirkka.
She added, “Our school plan is very complicated and places extremely high demands on students' capacity for analysis, and we are constantly trying to help them. In addition, the world is now completely different from how it used to be only a decade ago.”
The principal also said the new regulations are in place with a new approach to education. She added students learn better at schools, not home because the questions that arise in the minds of students are best answered in schools.
Sirrka also said that a number of students in the school have not lived in Sweden for a long time and they don’t get the same support from their parents as their classmates. Therefore, the school introduced the practice and decided to lessen their burden.
Although the ban applies to all students and all subjects, students will still have to take national tests, as they are mandatory. The principal admitted to the fact that once students move to higher classes and begin high school, it will come as a problem to them to cope with tight test schedules as well as homework.
“The pupils think it's great. Judging by the feedback, the parents also think it's very good. The teachers think it might be difficult to change in the middle of the term, but we actually started this in February so they have had some downtime,” she added.
According to a 2015 research, excessive homework on students leads to higher stress levels and may also cause physical health problems. The research also showed the assignments lead to extra stress on the family as a whole because some parents are not educated enough to help their children with homework.
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