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Transcript of Homework
and it's impact on academic achievement
How much time should students spend on homework?
Students who attended school spent 2-3 hours a night studying in order to be eligible for promotion.
The emergence of the anti-homework sentiment. Edward Bok, Editor of
Ladies' Home Journal
, writes the anti-homework article, "A National Crime at the Feet of American Parents".
1920s through 1940s:
Progressive Education Movement. Educational practice shifts from memorization to "active learning". Homework is thought to no longer make pedagogic sense.
The launch of Sputnik causes a rise in the amount of homework given to students in an effort to compete with the Soviet Union.
1960s and 1970s:
Anti-homework debates continue. In 1966, The National Association of Education limits homework to no more than 1 hour a night 4 days a week beginning in upper elementary school.
: The National Commission on Excellence in Education publishes, "A Nation at Risk". This document makes the connection between school success and economic success in the United States. This brings forth the "Intensification Movement"- the idea that education can be improved if there is more of it (ex. longer school days and years, more testing, more homework).
1990s to Now:
The No Child Left Behind Act. As accountability and standards intensify, homework is seen as a tool for meeting these demands. Media and technology broaden the homework debate.
What are some of the pros and cons of homework?
EDUC 511 12/3/13
Educational Issues Class Presentation
University of Saint Josheph
Valuable opportunities to reinforce and extend classroom learning.
Increased student responsibility, study patterns, and work habits.
Homework can help students recognize that learning can occur at home as well as at school.
Homework can give parents an opportunity to see what's going on at school.
At the secondary school level, student homework is associated with greater academic achievement.
Homework may allow teachers to assess student understandings and misunderstandings.
Homework can lead to boredom with schoolwork.
It can deny students access to leisure activities that also teach important life skills.
Parents can get too involved in homework -- pressuring their child and confusing him by using different instructional techniques than the teacher.
Stress induced by homework can lead to other health risks.
Homework can cause tension within the family.
Homework can also cause tension between students and teachers.
The link between homework and student achievement is far from clear. There is little evidence that homework increases student achievement across the board. Some studies show positive effects of homework under certain conditions and for certain students, some show no effects, and some suggest negative effects (Kohn 2006; Trautwein and Koller 2003).
"...Correlational studies suggest the homework—achievement link for young children on broader measures of achievement appears to be weak." (Cooper, 2008)
"...Correlational evidence [suggests] students spending more than ten hours on homework a week do so, even in part, because homework is harder for them—that is, lower achievement causes more time on homework." (Cooper, 2008)
"Some researchers believe that students from higher-income homes have more resources (such as computers) and receive more assistance with homework, while low-income students may have fewer resources and less assistance and are therefore less likely to complete the homework and reap any related benefits." (McDermott, Goldmen and Varenne 1984; Scott-Jones 1984)
Professor Harris Cooper of Duke University, is the country’s leading homework researcher. According to research conducted between 1987-2003:
"35 correlational studies suggest little or no relationship between homework and achievement for elementary school students. The average correlation between time spent on homework and achievement was substantial for secondary school students, but for elementary school students, it hovered around no relationship at all... A little amount of homework may help elementary school students build study habits." (Cooper, 2008)
"We did find experimental evidence that homework for young children can improve scores on unit tests involving simple mathematics skills (i.e., learning place value)." (Cooper, 2008)
"Students with learning disabilities can benefit from homework if appropriate supervision and monitoring are provided." (Cooper and Nye 1994; Rosenberg 1989)
The National PTA recommendations fall in line with general guidelines suggested by researcher Harris Cooper: 10-20 minutes per night in the first grade, and an additional 10 minutes per grade level thereafter (e.g., 20 minutes for second grade, 120 minutes for twelfth). High school students may sometimes do more, depending on what classes they take (Review of Educational Research, 2006).
According to research from the Brookings Institution and the Rand Corporation (Brown Center 2003). Their researchers analyzed data from a variety of sources and concluded that the majority of U.S. students spend less than an hour a day on homework, regardless of grade level, and this has held true for most of the past 50 years. In the last 20 years, homework has increased only in the lower grade levels, and this increase is associated with neutral (and sometimes negative) effects on student achievement. (National Education Association)
How much time does the average American student spend on homework?
What are other countries doing and saying about homework?
As part of an effort to overhaul education in France, President Francois Hollande is proposing the elimination of homework. (NPR, 2012)
Chinese officials hope to rein in teachers who assign too much homework, as the country's Ministry of Education considers new rules that ban schools from requiring students to complete written tasks at home. (NPR, 2013)
"In the fight over homework, it seems the teachers may have an unlikely ally: their students..."It takes just 40 minutes to do the homework," [one student] says. "If there's more from my mom, then it takes me just a little over an hour."
That's right — Chinese parents sometimes assign homework of their own. As another student explains, his parents require him to complete exercises that are separate from his school studies. (NPR, 2013)
Wang Ming, Elementary Education Director, National Education Development Research Center-
"If we want to have a real impact on easing the burden, the assessment and enrollment systems, which still heavily count on examination results, should be adjusted," he says." (NPR, 2013)
Homework gets a bad rep.
Despite it's negatives and unclear ties to academic achievement, after researching, I believe homework still be used as an aid in providing a quality education for children.
Here are a few recommendations to make homework more meaningful...
Make assignments purposeful and efficient.
What is the objective of the assignment?
Does the student really need to complete 20 of the same math problems?
Distributed practice is more effective than mass practice.
One size never fits all. Homework assignments can be differentiated in order to meet a student's academic needs, interests, learning styles, or even schedules!
"Researchers have found that students who received personal, pertinent feedback about their homework errors outperformed students who received only scores on their homework assignments." (AFT, 2011)
Communicate with students and their families.
Help students and their families understand your philosophy on homework, your expectations. Give parents suggestions on how to help their child succeed academically at home. Listen to questions and concerns they may have. Be flexible!