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. That will be the subject of the following chapter….
Two of the four studies reviewed by Paschal et al. The third found benefits at two of three grade levels, but all of the students in this study who were assigned homework also received parental help. The last study found that students who were given math puzzles unrelated to what was being taught in class did as well as those who got traditional math homework. There is reason to question whether this technique is really appropriate for a topic like homework, and thus whether the conclusions drawn from it would be valid.
Meta-analyses may be useful for combining multiple studies of, say, the efficacy of a blood pressure medication, but not necessarily studies dealing with different aspects of complex human behavior. Homework contributes to higher achievement, which then, in turn, predisposes those students to spend more time on it.
But correlations between the two leave us unable to disentangle the two effects and determine which is stronger. Epstein and Van Voorhis, pp. Also see Walberg et al. In Cooper et al. For a more detailed discussion about and review of research regarding the effects of grades, see Kohn a, b. That difference shrank in the latest batch of studies Cooper et al.
See Kohn b, , which includes analysis and research to support the claims made in the following paragraphs. Nevertheless, Cooper criticizes studies that use only one of these measures and argues in favor of those, like his own, that make use of both see Cooper et al.
The studies he reviewed lasted anywhere from two to thirty weeks. Quotation appears on p. If anything, this summary understates the actual findings.
Why this might be true is open to interpretation. The unpublished study by C. For example, see any number of writings by Herbert Walberg. Until they get to high school, there are no such tests in Japan. As far as I can tell, no data on how NAEP math scores varied by homework completion have been published for nine- and thirteen-year-olds. Department of Education , p. In , fourth graders who reported doing more than an hour of homework a night got exactly same score as those whose teachers assigned no homework at all.
Those in the middle, who said they did minutes a night, got slightly higher scores. For older students, more homework was correlated with higher reading scores U. Specifically, the students taking the test in many of the countries were older, richer, and drawn from a more selective pool than those in the U.
Also see the many publications on this subject by Gerald Bracey. Sadler and Tai; personal communication with Phil Sadler, August Permission must be obtained in order to reprint this chapter in a published work or in order to offer it for sale in any form. Please write to the address indicated on the Contact Us page. Standardized tests are even less useful when they include any of these features: Other countries whup the pants off us in international exams. Premise 1 explains Premise 2.
When they published their findings in , they could scarcely conceal their surprise: Here are two examples: And he reports that each year my students have performed better on the AP Economics test.
Hofferth and Sandberg, p. Chen and Stevenson, p. The four, in order, are Finstad; Townsend; Foyle; and Meloy. Baker and Letendre, p. Chen and Stevenson, pp. Baker and Letendre, pp. Phelps, personal communication, March Sometimes students cannot understand the topic or do not know how to write the work correctly.
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School homework help Children hate homework. Kids become tired enough during school day and after it they have to deal with home tasks, write essays and papers, solve tests and making exercises.
Homework Helps For High School Students. Posted on April 26, by.
The best multimedia instruction on the web to help you with your homework and study. Home Community: Help Center: Log In About High School and College Our AP content is a good resource to help students prepare for AP exams. However, while we provide content resources, we do not have instructors who teach the courses. Homework, Sleep, and the Student Brain. By Glenn Whitman. May 20, Updated May 7, At some point, every parent wishes their high school aged student would go to bed earlier as well as find time to or freedom to follow passions outside of school. For too many students, homework is too often about compliance and "not losing points.
A High School Student's Perspective on Homework. Many of the projects and activities are too difficult to be done without our parents' help. Students who have no help at home, therefore, are at a total disadvantage and their grades might falter because of this lack of assistance. Homework helps high school students — but how much do they need? High school students are better able to manage their time, stay focused and complete complex tasks, which enables them to tap the value of homework.