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.
For any number of reasons, one might expect to find a reasonably strong association between time spent on homework and test scores.
Yet the most striking result, particularly for elementary students, is precisely the absence of such an association. Consider the results of the math exam. Fourth graders who did no homework got roughly the same score as those who did 30 minutes a night.
Remarkably, the scores then declined for those who did 45 minutes, then declined again for those who did an hour or more! In twelfth grade, the scores were about the same regardless of whether students did only 15 minutes or more than an hour.
In the s, year-olds in a dozen nations were tested and also queried about how much they studied. Again, the results were not the same in all countries, even when the focus was limited to the final years of high school where the contribution of homework is thought to be strongest. Usually it turned out that doing some homework had a stronger relationship with achievement than doing none at all, but doing a little homework was also better than doing a lot.
Again they came up empty handed. Our students get significantly less homework than their counterparts across the globe. Every step of this syllogism is either flawed or simply false.
Premise 2 has been debunked by a number of analysts and for a number of different reasons. But in fact there is now empirical evidence, not just logic, to challenge the conclusions. Two researchers looked at TIMSS data from both and in order to be able to compare practices in 50 countries. When they published their findings in , they could scarcely conceal their surprise:. Not only did we fail to find any positive relationships, [but] the overall correlations between national average student achievement and national averages in the frequency, total amount, and percentage of teachers who used homework in grading are all negative!
If these data can be extrapolated to other subjects — a research topic that warrants immediate study, in our opinion — then countries that try to improve their standing in the world rankings of student achievement by raising the amount of homework might actually be undermining their own success.
More homework may actually undermine national achievement. Incidental research raises further doubts about homework. Reviews of homework studies tend to overlook investigations that are primarily focused on other topics but just happen to look at homework, among several other variables.
Here are two examples:. First, a pair of Harvard scientists queried almost 2, students enrolled in college physics courses in order to figure out whether any features of their high school physics courses were now of use to them. At first they found a very small relationship between the amount of homework that students had had in high school and how well they were currently doing.
Once the researchers controlled for other variables, such as the type of courses kids had taken, that relationship disappeared. The same researchers then embarked on a similar study of a much larger population of students in college science classes — and found the same thing: She then set out to compare their classroom practices to those of a matched group of other teachers. Are better teachers more apt to question the conventional wisdom in general? More responsive to its negative effects on children and families?
This analysis rings true for Steve Phelps, who teaches math at a high school near Cincinnati. But as I mastered the material, homework ceased to be necessary. Lyons has also conducted an informal investigation to gauge the impact of this shift. He gave less and less homework each year before finally eliminating it completely. And he reports that.
Homework is an obvious burden to students, but assigning, collecting, grading, and recording homework creates a tremendous amount of work for me as well. Nor is the Harvard physics study. People who never bought it will not be surprised, of course.
Put differently, the research offers no reason to believe that students in high-quality classrooms whose teachers give little or no homework would be at a disadvantage as regards any meaningful kind of learning. The brain thrives when it is able to practice these skills on a daily basis. In one sense this type of homework could be considered pointless, but on the other hand, all types of homework help students develop good work ethics.
Regardless of if it seems useless, it is still good to encourage your child to complete the homework assignment in order to help them learn the lesson of completing jobs that are given to them. This will help them in the working world when they are asked to do seemingly brainless tasks that simply need to be done. We all know that cramming gets the job done, but there is often little to zero retention of the subject material.
You can help your child retain more information by helping them set up a homework schedule where they study the same amount of material in smaller sections over a longer period of time. For example, rather than reading fifty pages of Biology homework all at once, they can break up the reading into chunks of ten pages and read them throughout the week. This will help them build upon the information that they learned the previous days without getting overloaded. One way to help your child improve their test scores is to use part of their homework time to do sample tests.
This will enable them to practice using their newly acquired skills by forcing them to apply the information to the sample test questions. Does homework really help my child? Research suggests that, with two exceptions, homework for elementary children is not beneficial and does not boost achievement levels. The first exception is in the case of a student who is struggling to complete classroom tasks. The second is when students are preparing for a test.
For example, students might review a list of words for 10 minutes in preparation for a spelling test the next day. Parental help with homework appears to be beneficial only if the child has already learned the concepts and simply needs more time to complete the assignments.
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:
Does Homework Help with Learning? Does homework help improve learning? Do your children ask you for homework help? Do you sometimes question why they need to do so much homework? If you have any questions to ask us, or would like to share your thoughts on your experiences with us, use our contact info below. We’d love to hear from you.
Does Homework Improve Learning? You might think that open-minded people who review the evidence should be able to agree on whether homework really does help. It’s as if you were told to spend time in the evening learning the names of all the vice presidents of the United States and were then tested only on those names.
Sep 23, · But opinions cannot tell us whether homework works; only research can, which is why my colleagues and I have conducted a combined analysis of dozens of homework studies to examine whether homework is beneficial and what amount of homework is appropriate for our children. It can help students recognize that learning can occur at. 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. Posted by: Sully-Sulliven.
If the students do the homework without refering to their books, then they are actually learning does homework help us learn If you are looking for Assignment Writing services, Essay Writing Services you are in the right place. Does homework improve student achievement? educators around the world have conducted studies to answer a simple question: Does homework help or hinder a student’s ability to learn? As simple as the question seems to be, the answer is quite complex. often are questions that can be answered only after taking into account the unique.