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To Homework, or not to Homework

EDGR 535- Concordia University Prof. Halpert.

Laurel Scott

on 5 April 2014

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Transcript of To Homework, or not to Homework

The Homework Wars
What is homework?
Types of homework
What are the advantages of Homework?
My Personal Take on Homework...
Conseiller en ameublement
2 ans de vente,
de conseils,
de formation,
de sourires,
mais aussi d'angoisse d'objectif !
The Disadvantages of homework
Alfie Kohn on homework

Homework is defined as work to be done outside of the classroom by the students and is assigned by the teacher (Cooper, 2007)

For the purposes of this discussion homework is not referring to extracurricular activities, such as sports, home study courses or teacher guided work time in school.
The homework debate is not new to the educational scene. It is something that educators, parents and students have gone back and forth about since the 1940's (Marzano and Pickering, 2007).

There is nothing that denies that homework has its benefits, however, at what cost to students? How much is too much?
What is the big deal?
1. Practice homework- an example would be math problems or spelling words

2. Preparation homework- to build prior knowledge of a topic or subject before studying it in class. An example would be reading the chapter to be discussed the next day in class

3. Extension homework- An extension assignment of the topic covered in class

4. Creative homework- Using the knowledge or skills learned in class students build or create something that represents what they have learned.
Lickona (1991) states, "more teachers would, I believe, assign more homework if they knew what the research shows" (p.222)
So... what does the research show?
"When low ability students do just one to three hours of homework a week, their grades are usually as high as those of average-ability students who do no homework."

"When average-ability students do three to five hours of homework a week their grades usually equal those of high-ability students who do no homework."
(Lickona, 1991, pg. 223)
According to Cooper, Robinson, and Patall (2006),
With only rare exceptions, the relationship between the amount of homework students do and their achievement outcomes was found to be positive and statistically significant. Therefore, we think it would not be imprudent, based on the evidence in hand, to conclude that doing homework causes improved academic achievement. (p. 48)
That being said, we can see that homework has its benefits....

*Homework improves study skills
*Teaches students important time management skills
*It builds understanding and helps students retain
*Homework teaches student responsibility and other
skills important to building individual character
According to Alfie Kohn (2007)
There is absolutely no evidence of any academic benefit from assigning homework in elementary or middle school. For younger students, in fact, there isn’t even a correlation between whether children do homework (or how much they do) and any meaningful measure of achievement. At the high school level, the correlation is weak and tends to disappear when more sophisticated statistical measures are applied.
According to Cooper (2007) " too much homework harms students' health and family time, and teachers are not well trained in how to assign homework"
Too much Homework...
*Takes the fun out of learning
*Causes problems for students who have little to no support at home
*Can increase the likelihood of cheating
*Can cause unnecessary stress at home
*Teachers become frustrated because they
assign more homework than is submitted.
There does not seem to be a clear cut answer to the question, does assigning homework benefit students more than harm them?

At this point in my research, I believe that homework or some sort of daily practice to reinforce skills is essential to closing the achievement gap. However, homework must be carefully selected and not used unless students have the necessary skill and means to be successful at it.
What do you think?
Cooper, H. (2007). The battle over homework (3rd ed.).
Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Cooper, H., Robinson, J. C., & Patall, E. A. (2006). Does
homework improve academic achievement? A synthesis of research, 1987–2003. Review of Educational Research, 76(1), 1–62.

Kohn, A. (2007). Rethinking homework. Principal, Retrieved
from http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/rethinkinghomework.htm

Lickona, T. (1991). Educating for Character: How Our Schools
Can Teach Respect and Responsibility. NewYork: Bantam Books

Marzano, R. J., & Pickering, D. J. (2007). Response to Kohn's
allegations. Centennial, CO: Marzano & Associates. Available: http://marzanoandassociates.com/documents/KohnResponse.pdf
What ever you decide... I think we can agree on this, if the following video is our student's response to homework... we need to change something! :)
Where do we as teachers and or parents draw the line?
Theories of Teaching and LEarning
Concordia University
EDGR 535 Prof. Halpert
Laurel A. Scott
Full transcript