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Canada abolishes homework across its entire school curriculum

During a much-anticipated announcement this morning in Halifax, Canada confirmed that it is moving forward with its education reform that abolishes homework, starting next academic year. Indeed, several recent studies have shown that homework, especially at the primary level, has only a minimal influence on success.

🚨🚨🚨 April 2nd edit: How did you like our April Fool’s prank? 😂😂😂

During a much-anticipated announcement this morning in Halifax, Canada confirmed that it is moving forward with its education reform that abolishes homework, starting next academic year. Indeed, several recent studies have shown that homework, especially at the primary level, has only a minimal influence on success.

Students and teaching staff are rejoicing. The federal government announced early this morning the rollout of a new curriculum model for elementary (primary) and secondary schools nationwide. The initiative “No Homework, More Time to Play” will start in September 2024.

Homework tends to disappear around the world

Thus, traditional homework will be completely abolished, following in the footsteps of Poland, which recently did the same. Instead, students will be encouraged to engage in playtime and creative leisure activities after school hours. The Canadian government cited extensive research indicating that replacing homework with playtime significantly improves cognitive abilities, social skills, and the overall happiness of students, especially at the primary level.

In an official statement, the Honourable April F. Ools explained the decision: “After reviewing years of data, we concluded that students learn better when they are not overwhelmed by the stress of homework. Therefore, we will promote development through unstructured play. Who would have thought that a little more fun could revolutionize education?”

The government will release new funds to allow for the development of play and leisure areas around schools, encouraging the revitalization of local parks where students can interact more with nature and participate in organized sports, considered essential for encouraging teamwork and developing physical fitness.

Replacing homework with a moment of metacognition

Some critics have called this movement “unfounded,” with many educators expressing concerns about the lack of academic rigour. In a follow-up comment, the spokesperson assured that “every Friday, students will be invited to share in class what they have learned during the week of play, thus ensuring the continual development of critical thinking and communication skills.”

While the announcement is causing considerable debate in educational circles, students across the country report organizing playful meetings and game tournaments in anticipation of the new school year. Nevertheless, many question its legitimacy given the day chosen to inform the population, while others celebrate what could be the most playful educational reform in history.

To prepare for the transition, the government recommends starting to convert all remaining documents into paper airplanes, a symbolic gesture.

No homework, really?

Even if today’s date may be synonymous with jokes, the idea of giving play a larger role in teaching and promoting engaging and innovative learning environments is no laughing matter. Happy April Fool’s Day to all our readers and their students! Indeed, it is important to note that in Canada, education is a provincial jurisdiction. Thus, each of the ten provinces and three territories is responsible for its curriculum, with the federal government unable to impose such a reform.

However, the “no homework” trend is not new. In fact, more and more teachers are applying it, especially at the primary level, while still maintaining the requirement for study and reading at home. Nevertheless, when students are also asked to produce “study traces,” for most parents, this ultimately amounts to “doing homework,” hence the importance of good school-family communication!

To learn more about gamifying education, refer to this past issue of Engaged Learning magazine.

Don’t miss our free live VIP event on April 18th: From A to G, A guide for Gamification in Education, with Fanny Langin.

Picture of Audrey Miller

Audrey Miller

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