Added to that is the research that shows that too much homework is often counterproductive and that in the early grades, the homework that actually helps kids learn is reading. There has never been any agreement in the education world about exactly what homework should be or even what its basic purpose is. Should it be about review or about learning new concepts?
Should it be graded or not? Harris Cooper, professor of education and psychology at Duke University, who is probably the best known researcher on the subject, has concluded that:. Beyond those time limits, he has said, research shows that homework has no impact on student performance. Kids often complain about homework assignments for good reason: Many consist of mindless tasks, or else are time wasters that have nothing to do with the lesson at hand.
In , I asked some students to tell me their favorite and least favorite homework assignments. Here, in an encore performance, are the still informative answers. Write them in the comments or e-mail me at straussv washpost. The best homework assignment I can remember was a project on music that corresponded with a civil rights class. Lousy homework assignments are uninspired ones — the ones that get assigned only to prove that the student completed the reading or opened the textbook.
The teacher went straight into another subject that was completely irrelevant to what was in the curriculum and had nothing to do with what would be relevant to the final exam, the tests, quizzes, and midterm. I learned more than I had expected to because of all the critical thinking that the homework required.
What I feel makes a homework assignment good is if it is relevant, challenges the student doing it, and is not too time-consuming. A bad homework assignment is one that has absolutely no relevance to what is being taught or anything that is learned or part of the curriculum. If it is meaningless AND time-consuming, then it is quite possibly the worst of the worst in terms of homework assignments. The most useless homework is always those study questions that we get after we read a text in a class.
And even if I were able to, the answer would not stick with me unless I knew why it was the answer. I get the most out of these passages and essays by discussing them in class.
After a long year in which we all worked hard and definitely improved our reading and writing skills, my teacher simply told us to write a journal entry in which we tell her something. Anything well, anything school appropriate. I wrote about how my family moved from Pakistan to the United States when I was very young. This assignment gave me the opportunity to use my refined writing skills and also allowed me to reflect on my life. A good homework assignment is one where you and the classmate sitting next to you do not necessarily have the same answer.
It allows you to be creative in the way you put to use what you learn in class. Bad homework assignments are those tedious, monotonous pieces of work that you get each time you finish a section of lessons in class.
They are a series of repetitions that are supposed to polish your skills in a particular subject, but do not effectively do this. I think that the most useless homework assignment was High school seniors should complete about two hours of homework each night. But some schools have begun to give their youngest students a break. A Massachusetts elementary school has announced a no-homework pilot program for the coming school year, lengthening the school day by two hours to provide more in-class instruction.
We want them to go to soccer practice or football practice, and we want them to go to bed. A New York City public elementary school implemented a similar policy last year, eliminating traditional homework assignments in favor of family time. The change was quickly met with outrage from some parents, though it earned support from other education leaders.
The most comprehensive research on homework to date comes from a meta-analysis by Duke University psychology professor Harris Cooper, who found evidence of a positive correlation between homework and student achievement, meaning students who did homework performed better in school. The correlation was stronger for older students—in seventh through 12th grade—than for those in younger grades, for whom there was a weak relationship between homework and performance. His report noted that homework is also thought to improve study habits, attitudes toward school, self-discipline, inquisitiveness and independent problem solving skills.
On the other hand, some studies he examined showed that homework can cause physical and emotional fatigue, fuel negative attitudes about learning and limit leisure time for children. At the end of his analysis, Cooper recommended further study of such potential effects of homework. Despite the weak correlation between homework and performance for young children, Cooper argues that a small amount of homework is useful for all students. Cathy Vatterott, an education professor at the University of Missouri-St.
Find out if homework is harmful or helpful to reinforce learning, at which ages is it appropriate & how involved parents should be.
Lately there has been an outpouring of books and articles against homework. Critics call homework a form of child abuse and say that it prevents children from engaging in wholesome activities.
Why homework is helpful “Homework is important because it’s an opportunity for students to review materials that are covered in the classroom. You need to practice in order to become proficient,” says Sharon R. Stallings, principal of Signal Hill School in Voorhees, NJ. Yes homework is helpful. Yes, I think that homework is helpful and helps to reinforce skills that were learned in the classroom from a lesson. I think that students need homework in order to help move along in a lesson and also to acquire higher order thinking skills, and therefore homework is a good opportunity for that to happen.
The issue. For decades, the homework standard has been a “minute rule,” which recommends a daily maximum of 10 minutes of homework per grade level. Homework should be something expected that will have problems and challenging ideas that will hone the skills we acquired that day of the lesson or before and shouldn’t go further than that.