In elementary school, there is no measurable correlation between homework and achievement. Despite all the research, homework remains something of a mystery. Choosing the wrong college can be bad for mental health. How to talk to your teen about their reach school. Please enter a valid email address.
Thank you for signing up! Please try again later. Sorry for the inconvenience. Does homework really work? After decades spent trying to assess the value of homework, researchers still argue over the simplest findings. Leslie Crawford June 14, Print article. Get the GreatSchools newsletter - our best articles, worksheets and more delivered weekly. Choosing the wrong college can be bad for mental health Choosing the wrong college can be bad for mental health.
How to talk to your teen about reach schools How to talk to your teen about their reach school. Homework studies confuse grades and test scores with learning. Each is seriously flawed in its own way.
In the second kind of study, course grades are used to determine whether homework made a difference. Any given assignment may well be given two different grades by two equally qualified teachers — and may even be given two different grades by a single teacher who reads it at two different times.
The final course grade, moreover, is based on a combination of these individual marks, along with other, even less well defined considerations. The same teacher who handed out the assignments then turns around and evaluates the students who completed them.
The final grade a teacher chooses for a student will often be based at least partly on whether, and to what extent, that student did the homework. Thus, to say that more homework is associated with better school performance as measured by grades is to provide no useful information about whether homework is intrinsically valuable. Yet grades are the basis for a good number of the studies that are cited to defend that very conclusion.
The studies that use grades as the outcome measure, not surprisingly, tend to show a much stronger effect for homework than studies that use standardized test scores.
Cooper and his colleagues conducted a study in with both younger and older students from grades 2 through 12 , using both grades and standardized test scores to measure achievement. They also looked at how much homework was assigned by the teacher as well as at how much time students spent on their homework.
Thus, there were eight separate results to be reported. The last, and most common, way of measuring achievement is to use standardized test scores. They are, however, excellent indicators of two things. The first is affluence: Up to 90 percent of the difference in scores among schools, communities, or even states can be accounted for, statistically speaking, without knowing anything about what happened inside the classrooms.
The second phenomenon that standardized tests measure is how skillful a particular group of students is at taking standardized tests — and, increasingly, how much class time has been given over to preparing them to do just that. In my experience, teachers can almost always identify several students who do poorly on standardized tests even though, by more authentic and meaningful indicators, they are extremely talented thinkers.
These anecdotal reports have been corroborated by research that finds a statistically significant positive relationship between a shallow or superficial approach to learning, on the one hand, and high scores on various standardized tests, on the other. To that extent, students cannot really demonstrate what they know or what they can do with what they know. Multiple-choice tests are basically designed so that many kids who understand a given idea will be tricked into picking the wrong answer.
Instead, its primary purpose is to artificially spread out the scores in order to facilitate ranking students against each other. Moreover, the selection of questions for these tests is informed by this imperative to rank.
Thus, items that a lot of students answer correctly or incorrectly are typically eliminated — regardless of whether the content is important — and replaced with questions that about half the kids will get right. This is done in order to make it easier to compare students to one another. In the latter case, a high or rising average test score may actually be a reason to worry.
Every hour that teachers spend preparing kids to succeed on standardized tests, even if that investment pays off, is an hour not spent helping kids to become critical, curious, creative thinkers. The limitations of these tests are so numerous and so serious that studies showing an association between homework and higher scores are highly misleading. The fact that more meaningful outcomes are hard to quantify does not make test scores or grades any more valid, reliable, or useful as measures.
To use them anyway calls to mind the story of the man who looked for his lost keys near a streetlight one night not because that was where he dropped them but just because the light was better there. Even taken on its own terms, the research turns up some findings that must give pause to anyone who thinks homework is valuable.
Homework matters less the longer you look. The longer the duration of a homework study, the less of an effect the homework is shown to have.
The studies finding the greatest effect were those that captured less of what goes on in the real world by virtue of being so brief. Even where they do exist, positive effects are often quite small. The same was true of a large-scale high school study from the s. There is no evidence of any academic benefit from homework in elementary school. The absence of evidence supporting the value of homework before high school is generally acknowledged by experts in the field — even those who are far less critical of the research literature and less troubled by the negative effects of homework than I am.
But this remarkable fact is rarely communicated to the general public. In , Cooper summarized the available research with a sentence that ought to be e-mailed to every parent, teacher, and administrator in the country: It, too, found minuscule correlations between the amount of homework done by sixth graders, on the one hand, and their grades and test scores, on the other.
For third graders, the correlations were negative: He was kind enough to offer the citations, and I managed to track them down. The point was to see whether children who did math homework would perform better on a quiz taken immediately afterward that covered exactly the same content as the homework. The third study tested 64 fifth graders on social studies facts. All three of these experiments found exactly what you would expect: The kids who had drilled on the material — a process that happened to take place at home — did better on their respective class tests.
The final study, a dissertation project, involved teaching a lesson contained in a language arts textbook. It seems safe to say that these latest four studies offer no reason to revise the earlier summary statement that no meaningful evidence exists of an academic advantage for children in elementary school who do homework.
The correlation only spikes at or above grade A large correlation is necessary, in other words, but not sufficient. Indeed, I believe it would be a mistake to conclude that homework is a meaningful contributor to learning even in high school. Remember that Cooper and his colleagues found a positive effect only when they looked at how much homework high school students actually did as opposed to how much the teacher assigned and only when achievement was measured by the grades given to them by those same teachers.
All of the cautions, qualifications, and criticisms in this chapter, for that matter, are relevant to students of all ages. Students who take this test also answer a series of questions about themselves, sometimes including how much time they spend on homework.
Your fellow 6th grader, Kaitlyn N Pack. It helps students because it is kind of a revision. Like from school we learn the topic and at home we just revise. For example if teacher does not give any homework we may get less marks.
The reason is because if we dont practice we may forget the facts. Practice makes a man perfect. If students are not given homework, I wonder how many of them would even do something productive in their increased free time, let alone open their textbooks and reabsorb what they've learnt in class. Also, sometimes while doing homework, students may find doubts that they can ask their teacher.
Homework also allows students to sit down alone unless they're group-studying and take their own time to understand and test what they've learnt. The problem only arises when a teachers burden students with homework so that they have no choice but to rush through it without understanding.
B teachers use homework as an excuse to not teach. C students themselves blindly do homework giving it no importance. Teachers and professors teach concepts and the how to's in class. However, that is not enough. Once students get home they need to reinforce and reflect on what they've learned in class.
Without reinforcement, students can easily forget what was learned in class. There are rare students who do not require reinforcement, however, the rest of the regular students need to reinforce what was learned. Homework is the proper way to do this. Kids often feel better studying in a comfortable environment.
I hated studying at another friend's house, and always found it relaxing to do homework in my room. As an introvert, I felt I could truly focus and complete my work at an area I was used to. Having the entire afternoon and evening to do the homework is comforting and lets the child manage their time correctly at their own pace, instead of the intervals at school.
Homework and yes it can be annoying but it reinforce the concepts you learn in class. In addition, lecture time is small and they don't have much time. I realize this is probably more directed to kids K through 12, but it still applies. If Reading the text book actively, underlining, putting questions marks make you a learner. Also interest level in a subject plays a role, if you don't like the topic much you won't pay much attention.
I believe homework helps you be responsible to study and be active learner. As a college student I get homework and yes it can be annoying but it reinforce the concepts you learn in class. If I remember from high school lecture is about 55 minutes. Reading the text book actively, underlining, putting questions marks make you a learner. Fear not homework is the best solution to this problem.
Students should get homework because homework is a great preparation for tests, you will have a better understanding about the topic, and its a productive way to spend your spare time.
Students should get homework because it's a great preparation for tests, tests are the prime piece that goes on your report card. You will want to be prepared for it, so you can do well on it. Homework will help you do that because you can memorize and be better at what you're doing it so when the test comes, you feel confident that your going to do good well because you studied.
Sometimes homework takes hours and hours to do , and it even wastes your time for having fun and relaxing from school.
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.
Sep 14, · New research suggests that a lot of assigned homework amounts to pointless busy work that doesn’t help students learn, while more thoughtful assignments can help them develop skills and acquire knowledge.
On the other hand, a study reporting a modest correlation between achievement test scores and the amount of math homework assigned also found that “repetitive exercises” of the type intended to help students practice skills actually “had detrimental effects on learning” (Trautwein et al., p. 41). Yes homework works. As a student I do believe other students get better grades when doing homework. Fellow students learn responsibility when they have homework because they have to DO and TURN IN the homework.
Studies show that homework may not help students learn and adds hours to their day. Learn more about the case against homework. Studies show that homework may not help students learn and adds hours to their day. Learn more about the case against homework. Room A Blog by Concordia University- Portland. Most of us can recall being assigned homework in school. Now, with demands on their children's time increasing, some parents wonder just how valuable it is.