Does homework improve student achievement? October 8, Page Content Sinceeducators around the world have conducted studies to answer a simple question:
You might think that open-minded people who review the evidence should be able to agree on whether homework really does help. Their assessments ranged from homework having positive effects, no effects, or complex effects to the suggestion that the research was too sparse or poorly conducted to allow trustworthy conclusions.
What kind of homework are we talking about? Fill-in-the-blank worksheets or extended projects? In what school subject s?
How old are the students? How able and interested are they? Are we looking at how much the teacher assigned or at how much the kids actually did?
How careful was the study and how many students were investigated? Even when you take account of all these variables, the bottom line remains that no definite conclusion can be reached, and that is itself a significant conclusion.
About 70 percent of these found that homework was associated with higher achievement. Forty-three of fifty correlations were positive, although the overall effect was not particularly large: As for more recent studies looking for a relationship between achievement and time spent on homework, the overall correlation was about the same as the one found in But if we look more closely, even that description turns out to be too generous.
Limitations of the Research 1.
At best, most homework studies show only an association, not a causal relationship. Nevertheless, most research purporting to show a positive effect of homework seems to be based on the assumption that when students who get or do more homework also score better on standardized tests, it follows that the higher scores were due to their having had more homework.
There are almost always other explanations for why successful students might be in classrooms where more homework is assigned — let alone why these students might take more time with their homework than their peers do. Again, it would be erroneous to conclude that homework is responsible for higher achievement.
Or that a complete absence of homework would have any detrimental effect at all. One of the most frequently cited studies in the field was published in the early s by a researcher named Timothy Keith, who looked at survey results from tens of thousands of high school students and concluded that homework had a positive relationship to achievement, at least at that age.
But a funny thing happened ten years later when he and a colleague looked at homework alongside other possible influences on learning such as quality of instruction, motivation, and which classes the students took. Do we really know how much homework kids do?
The studies claiming that homework helps are based on the assumption that we can accurately measure the number and length of assignments.
But many of these studies depend on students to tell us how much homework they get or complete. When Cooper and his associates looked at recent studies in which the time spent on homework was reported by students, and then compared them with studies in which that estimate was provided by their parents, the results were quite different.
These first two flaws combine to cast doubt on much of the existing data, according to a damning summary that appears in the Encyclopedia of Educational Research: Homework studies confuse grades and test scores with learning. Each is seriously flawed in its own way.Homework teaches students the importance of planning, staying organized and taking action.
School and homework show students the important life lessons, such as how to read and communicate with others, that they will use as an adult. Sep 23, · The homework question is best answered by comparing students who are assigned homework with students assigned no homework but who are similar in other ways.
The results of such studies suggest that homework can improve students' scores on the class tests that come at the end of a topic. Homework can foster independent learning.
What students can pick as an alternative if they really need help running out of time or failing to get the main point of homework assignment is the professional writing service like ours. Do Students Really Need Practice Homework? Giving students homework that involves drill and practice is often said to “reinforce” the skills they’ve been taught in class.
Giving practice problems to students who lack understanding . For students in Grades 6 and 7, up to an hour of meaningful homework per night can be beneficial.
More than that can be detrimental. Grades 8 to Things change in high school. Most studies involving high school students suggest that students who do homework achieve at a higher rate. Homework assigned for personal development is intended to help students improve behavioral skills, such as time management or self-confidence.
Homework assigned to improve communication between parents and their children is identified as parent-child relations .