School’s officially out for the summer and that means no more homework for the near future. But should homework be gone forever? That was the question during a debate earlier this month at the J.V. Fletcher Library.
Hosted by the Westford Gavel Club, two teams of students argued over whether homework should be abolished in two-hour formal debate.
The event was the first ever debate for the Gavel Club, which was formed in January 2015 by the Westford Toastmasters to help Westford students with their speaking skills.
Debaters Claire Zhang and Joshua Sun spoke in favor of homework as a tool to help students reinforce lessons learned in the classroom while also teaching time management skills. Their opposition, Kerry Lynch and Lea Mezzanotte, argued that students face too much stress in the classroom and homework can destroy a love for learning.
The events’ judges, who were also all student members of the Gavel Club, voted unanimously in favor of the points raised by the side advocating the abolition of homework. However, the event in itself was a enjoyable experience for both sides.
“It was kind of challenging but it wasn’t that hard because I’ve been going to Toastmasters for a few weeks now,” said Sun, aged 10. “I know a lot about speaking, so it was what I expected.”
School Committee Members Erika Kohl and Avery Adam were in attendance at the event and were impressed by the arguments given by both sides.
Their committee’s views of homework during School Committee meetings have been slightly more nuanced, generally favoring an appropriate amount of homework while speaking against homework overload for younger students and older students who might have an excessive amount of high level classes.
Regarding the event itself though, both Kohl and Adam believed that all four debaters were eloquent discussing their beliefs.
“There’s so much to be taken from this particular venue because the kids are learning how to speak and present coherently,” said Kohl. “When it came to homework, both sides presented very well.
A recording of the event was submitted to WestfordCAT. More information on the Gavel Club is available at gavelclubspeakers.org