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Alfie Kohn

Does homework improve student achievement?

❶Once the researchers controlled for other variables, such as the type of courses kids had taken, that relationship disappeared.

How Much Homework?

From the homework laboratories
Homework haterz
Yes homework works

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. School is from am until pm and when your back home you got only 3h left.

Homework gives lots of stress and pain. Homework is useless , we already learn ,understand and study in school. But they give us extra work practice that causes lots of pain as i said. Students that know and understand the material have no reason to do homework. Those that have not grasped the material are not going to learn it by doing an assignment at home.

If a student does not understand a particular concept when it is explained, that same student is not going to get an epiphany while doing homework for that subject. The point of school is that you're learning. You should not have to teach yourself concepts and learn outside o school on your free time. Kids should not be learning from their homework but using it to practice skills they've learned in class. All too often children will come home with a boatload of homework with concepts they don't understand.

This leads to kids not doing their homework because they don't understand it and don't have the time to figure it out or have a parent help them. I think a majority of the time teachers give out homework because they are on a set plan and they don't have enough time to teach all of the concepts they are required to.

Homework should only be given out when extra practice is needed to help with a skill or prepare for a test. When you walk out of school you shouldn't need to do more work.

If school isn't a place for fun then home isn't a place for work. Why don't all the students just take out a pillow and sleep in class? For the students who like outdoor games they should start throwing a football in class. Homework is a pain in the butt. No kid wants to go home and say they have homework to their parents. Especially on a Friday. They don't want to use a perfect Saturday to figure out the mass of his shoe, or write a word essay. They want to go out with friends and family.

They want to sleep. In fact, some evidence suggests that K—4 students who spend too much time on homework actually achieve less well. For students in Grades 6 and 7, up to an hour of meaningful homework per night can be beneficial.

Things change in high school. Most studies involving high school students suggest that students who do homework achieve at a higher rate. Based on his research, Cooper suggests this rule of thumb: In other words, Grade 1 students should do a maximum of 10 minutes of homework per night, Grade 2 students, 20 minutes, and so on. Expecting academic students in Grade 12 to occasionally do two hours of homework in the evening—especially when they are studying for exams, completing a major mid-term project or wrapping up end-of-term assignments—is not unreasonable.

But insisting that they do two hours of homework every night is expecting a bit much. Research suggests that homework benefits high school students most in the following situations:. While the debate continues, one thing remains clear: For that reason, assigning students some homework can be beneficial. 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. Research casting doubt on that assumption goes back at least to , when a study found that assigning spelling homework had no effect on how proficient children were at spelling later on. 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.

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.

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.

What the Research Says

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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 .

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The average high school student doing homework outperformed 69% of the students in a class with no homework. Homework in middle school was half as effective. In elementary school, there is no measurable correlation between homework and achievement.

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But even if we agreed that doing more homework probably isn’t responsible for lowering students’ achievement, the fact that there’s an inverse relationship seems to suggest that, at the very least, homework isn’t doing much to help kids who are struggling. These studies suggest that some homework does help students to achieve but (1) only in the case of some children, (2) only for a reasonable period of time and (3) only if the homework is meaningful and engaging and if it requires active thinking and learning.

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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. They also learn to learn meaning they learn new methods and new ways to . Balli () discovered that when parents help their sixth-grade children with homework, the students believe they do better in school—regardless of how they feel about working with their parents. Epstein () examined homework, parent involvement, and student achievement in elementary schools.