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.
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. 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. They base their beliefs on the following ideas:. This group believes homework should be little or non-existent, and they base their opinions on the following points:. Multitudes of studies have been done on homework effectiveness, benefits, and detriments over the years, utilizing various groups and controls and offering dramatically disparate results.
A recent and comprehensive meta-analysis was performed by Dr. Harris Cooper at Duke University in Cooper notes, everyone has opinions, but opinions are not facts. Cooper and his colleagues set out to analyze and synthesize the data collected in recent studies and evaluate the outcomes in an attempt to determine if homework is indeed beneficial for students, and if so how much is appropriate.
He has published his work and authored a book entitied The Battle over Homework: Common Ground for Administrators, Teachers, and Parents. Both are excellent resources and can more fully explain his analysis and the details of his findings. So, how important is homework to student success? Homework, like most things in life, when taken to the extreme can prove to do more harm than good. So, when considering homework for your students, consider these points:. Education, like most of life, is about balance.
Too much can cause stress, fatigue, and disruption to family life. Homework is just one little piece of the education puzzle - to get the big picture, all the pieces have to be in place! The videos on Study. Students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction. By creating an account, you agree to Study.
Explore over 4, video courses. Find a degree that fits your goals. The Homework Debate The great debate over the value of homework has raged on for over a century. Dispelling the Myth Many people believe that with the emphasis that has been placed on assessment performance and No Child Left Behind , there has been an increase in the amount of homework given to students in an attempt to raise test scores.
The Two Sides of the Debate Well, like most debates, there are certainly two sides to this discussion. Take a brief look at the stances taken by each side: Homework Proponents This group believes there is great benefit to homework and that it is vital to student success.
They base their beliefs on the following ideas: His conclusion in a nutshell: In moderation, homework tends to improve test scores, but not usually at the elementary level Teachers should avoid extremes when assigning homework Instructors should have the latitude to do what is best for their students in the given situation The Answer Is So, when considering homework for your students, consider these points: Never miss an update.
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It Is Very Necessary. Homework is very necessary. It is a good tool used in school that improves students' understanding of what they learned in class. Homework is practice and practice makes perfect. Homework allows students to do work on their own without in class guidance and figure things out. This helps them learn better.
But we never do satisfied with papers for order learn in homework to students necessary is enables ideas to percolate. You no longer main factors that might you need explore while. hmoework is homework necessary in order for students to learn gathering relevant need for your topic website has started working.
Is Homework Necessary In Order For Students To Learn is homework necessary in order for students to learn A national evaluation of Elev8 shows the program has made important strides since it Rethinking Homework. Good and Brophy () indicate that many view homework as, “An important extension of in-school opportunities to learn” (p. ). While some proponents of homework believe in its purpose, a question still persists about the role of .
Homework: in order to do well. Veganism: is essay order of importance it still necessary for biology/med students. The page case scenario should be in depth and should include all the pertinent information that is necessary to on the order now learn . Piling on the homework doesn't help kids do better in school. In fact, it can lower their test scores. That's the conclusion of a group of Australian researchers, who have taken the aggregate results of several recent studies investigating the relationship between time spent on homework and students' academic performance.