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Alfie Kohn

What the Research Says

❶If 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.

Does homework improve student achievement?

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How Much Homework?
From the homework laboratories

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. However, how much homework a child should do and how often are questions that can be answered only after taking into account the unique needs of the child and his or her learning style, goals and challenges. The Case Against Homework: Da Capo Life Long.

You may be trying to access this site from a secured browser on the server. But opinions cannot tell us whether homework works; only research can. The homework question is best answered by comparing students assigned homework with students assigned no homework who are similar in other ways. Students assigned homework in second grade did better on the math tests; third and fourth graders did better on English skills and vocabulary tests; fifth graders on social studies tests; ninth through 12th graders on American history tests; and 12th graders on Shakespeare tests.

Across five studies, the average student who did homework had a higher unit test score than the students not doing homework. However, 35 less rigorous correlational studies suggest little or no relationship between homework and achievement for elementary school students. The average correlation between time spent on homework and achievement was substantial for secondary school students, but for elementary school students, it hovered around no relationship at all.

Why might that be? Younger children have less developed study habits and are less able to tune out distractions at home. Studies also suggest that young students who are struggling in school take more time to complete homework assignments simply because these assignments are more difficult for them. So, how much homework should students do? Many school district policies state that high school students should expect about 30 minutes of homework for each academic course they take a bit more for honors or advanced placement courses.

These recommendations are consistent with the conclusions reached by our analysis. Practice assignments do improve scores on class tests at all grade levels. A little amount of homework may help elementary school students build study habits. For middle-schoolers, there is a direct correlation between homework and achievement if assignments last between one to two hours per night. For high schoolers, two hours appears optimal.

As with middle-schoolers, give teens more than two hours a night, and academic success flatlines. It appears middle- and high schoolers have much to gain academically by doing their homework. Homework in middle school was half as effective. In elementary school, there is no measurable correlation between homework and achievement. Despite all the research, homework remains something of a mystery. Choosing the wrong college can be bad for mental health.

How to talk to your teen about their reach school. Please enter a valid email address. Thank you for signing up! Please try again later. Sorry for the inconvenience. Does homework really work?

Yes homework works

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Sep 23,  · Practice assignments do improve scores on class tests at all grade levels. A little amount of homework may help elementary school students build study habits. Homework for junior high students appears to reach the point of diminishing returns after about 90 minutes a night.

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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. Despite all the research, homework remains something of a mystery.

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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. Since , 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. So many variables affect student achievement.

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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 homework question is best answered by comparing students assigned homework with students assigned no homework 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.