Or is it just busywork? Whether or not homework helps, or even hurts, depends on who you ask. It makes kids stressed-out and tired and makes them hate school more. Books like The End of Homework , The Homework Myth , and The Case Against Homework and the film Race to Nowhere make the case that homework, by taking away precious family time and putting kids under unneeded pressure, is an ineffective way to help children become better learners and thinkers.
One Canadian couple recently took their homework apostasy all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. After arguing that there was no evidence that it improved academic performance, they won a ruling that exempted their two children from all homework. In an effort to answer this question, researchers have been doing their homework on homework, conducting hundreds of studies over the past several decades.
Despite scores of studies, definitive conclusions remain a matter of some debate. For better or worse, homework is on the rise in the United States. The homework ante has been upped as school administrators respond to increasing pressure for their students to perform better on state-mandated tests. So how can you know if your child is doing the right amount? But where did it come from? If you think your child is doing too much homework, Cooper recommends talking with her teacher.
Recent studies suggest that proper sleep may be far more essential to brain and body development. Usually it turned out that doing some homework had a stronger relationship with achievement than doing none at all, but doing a little homework was also better than doing a lot.
Again they came up empty handed. Our students get significantly less homework than their counterparts across the globe. Every step of this syllogism is either flawed or simply false.
Premise 2 has been debunked by a number of analysts and for a number of different reasons. But in fact there is now empirical evidence, not just logic, to challenge the conclusions.
Two researchers looked at TIMSS data from both and in order to be able to compare practices in 50 countries. When they published their findings in , they could scarcely conceal their surprise:. Not only did we fail to find any positive relationships, [but] the overall correlations between national average student achievement and national averages in the frequency, total amount, and percentage of teachers who used homework in grading are all negative!
If these data can be extrapolated to other subjects — a research topic that warrants immediate study, in our opinion — then countries that try to improve their standing in the world rankings of student achievement by raising the amount of homework might actually be undermining their own success.
More homework may actually undermine national achievement. Incidental research raises further doubts about homework. Reviews of homework studies tend to overlook investigations that are primarily focused on other topics but just happen to look at homework, among several other variables.
Here are two examples:. First, a pair of Harvard scientists queried almost 2, students enrolled in college physics courses in order to figure out whether any features of their high school physics courses were now of use to them.
At first they found a very small relationship between the amount of homework that students had had in high school and how well they were currently doing. Once the researchers controlled for other variables, such as the type of courses kids had taken, that relationship disappeared.
The same researchers then embarked on a similar study of a much larger population of students in college science classes — and found the same thing: She then set out to compare their classroom practices to those of a matched group of other teachers. Are better teachers more apt to question the conventional wisdom in general? More responsive to its negative effects on children and families? This analysis rings true for Steve Phelps, who teaches math at a high school near Cincinnati.
But as I mastered the material, homework ceased to be necessary. Lyons has also conducted an informal investigation to gauge the impact of this shift. He gave less and less homework each year before finally eliminating it completely. And he reports that. Homework is an obvious burden to students, but assigning, collecting, grading, and recording homework creates a tremendous amount of work for me as well.
Nor is the Harvard physics study. People who never bought it will not be surprised, of course. Put differently, the research offers no reason to believe that students in high-quality classrooms whose teachers give little or no homework would be at a disadvantage as regards any meaningful kind of learning. That will be the subject of the following chapter…. Two of the four studies reviewed by Paschal et al. The third found benefits at two of three grade levels, but all of the students in this study who were assigned homework also received parental help.
The last study found that students who were given math puzzles unrelated to what was being taught in class did as well as those who got traditional math homework. There is reason to question whether this technique is really appropriate for a topic like homework, and thus whether the conclusions drawn from it would be valid.
Meta-analyses may be useful for combining multiple studies of, say, the efficacy of a blood pressure medication, but not necessarily studies dealing with different aspects of complex human behavior.
Homework contributes to higher achievement, which then, in turn, predisposes those students to spend more time on it. But correlations between the two leave us unable to disentangle the two effects and determine which is stronger.
Epstein and Van Voorhis, pp. Also see Walberg et al. In Cooper et al. For a more detailed discussion about and review of research regarding the effects of grades, see Kohn a, b. That difference shrank in the latest batch of studies Cooper et al. See Kohn b, , which includes analysis and research to support the claims made in the following paragraphs.
Nevertheless, Cooper criticizes studies that use only one of these measures and argues in favor of those, like his own, that make use of both see Cooper et al. The studies he reviewed lasted anywhere from two to thirty weeks.
Quotation appears on p. If anything, this summary understates the actual findings. Why this might be true is open to interpretation. The unpublished study by C. For example, see any number of writings by Herbert Walberg. Until they get to high school, there are no such tests in Japan. As far as I can tell, no data on how NAEP math scores varied by homework completion have been published for nine- and thirteen-year-olds. Department of Education , p. In , fourth graders who reported doing more than an hour of homework a night got exactly same score as those whose teachers assigned no homework at all.
Those in the middle, who said they did minutes a night, got slightly higher scores. There is not value in torturing a kid with five pages of math problems, when they have other classes with homework assignments as well.
Coping with homework insanity. Debbie Regent, 48, center, assists her children Haley, 10, left, and Brooke, 14, with their homework at their kitchen table.
Weston resident Debbie Regent, 48, working parent with two girls, supervised her children homework for several hours in Weston on Sunday, September 16, Copyright Miami Herald Media Company. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Follow me Visit My Website. Follow me on Facebook.
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Sep 23, · It can help students recognize that learning can occur at home as well as at school. Homework can foster independent learning and responsible character traits. And it can give parents an opportunity to see what's going on at school and let them express positive attitudes toward achievement. Opponents of homework counter that it .
The only effect that correlates with homework is a more negative attitude toward school on homework part of students who get more assignments. The results help national and international exams raise further doubts.
Does homework overload or help shape the next generation for what’s ahead? Or should we be providing some balance for kids (and their parents), too? Debbie Regent, 48, center, assists her children Haley, 10, left, and Brooke, 14, with their homework at . Homework and after-school tasks are very important and useful to every student in elementary school, preschool, and high school. Homework improves students’ scores on class tests that always come at the end of each topic and has a long-term positive effect on the future of the student.
Help that reported simple homework-achievement correlations revealed evidence that a stronger correlation significado de do my homework in grades 7—12 than in grades Does and when students, rather than parents, study time your homework. Homework for junior high students appears to can computing coursework help help of diminishing returns after about 90 minutes a night. For high school students, the positive line continues to climb until between 90 minutes and 2.