Homework

Report
Homework
What research
says about the
value of homework
Does homework affect student
learning?
Consider the following ideas:
0 Homework increases academic achievement
0 Without excessive homework, students’ test
scores will not be internationally
competitive
0 Those who question homework want to
weaken curriculum and pander to students’
laziness
A Brief History of the HW
Debate
0 Late 1800s to 1940s: Progressive and health reforms
led to criticism of HW
0 Cold War period: Competition with the Soviet Union
led to more support of HW
0 Vietnam Era: Decline in Support
0 1980s and 1990s: Educational excellence movement
brought back support
0 Recent decades: Support and research varies
What Does the Research Say?
Does homework affect
student learning?
0 Older students benefit more
0 Students from low-income may not benefit as
much
0 Students with learning disabilities benefit
under certain conditions
0 Asian Americans benefit more than other ethnic
groups
0 HW may have non-academic benefits –
responsibility, study habits, time management
FIGURE 1. Synthesis Studies on Homework
Number of Effect
Average
Sizes
Graue, Weinstein, General effects of
29
.49
&Walberg, 19831 homework
Synthesis Study
Bloom, 1984
Paschal,
Weinstein, &
Walberg, 19842
Cooper, 1989a
Hattie, 1992;
Fraser, Walberg,
Welch, & Hattie,
1987
Focus
General effects of
homework
Homework
versus no
homework
Homework
versus no
homework
General effects of
homework
Walberg, 1999
With teacher
comments
Graded
Cooper, Robinson, Homework
& Patall, 2006
versus no
homework
Percentile Gains
19
—
.30
12
47
.28
11
20
.21
8
110
.43
17
2
.88
31
5
6
.78
.60
28
23
Note: This figure describes the eight major research syntheses on the effects of homework published from 1983 to 2006 that
provide the basis for the analysis in this article. The Cooper (1989a) study included more than 100 empirical research reports,
and the Cooper, Robinson, and Patall (2006) study included about 50 empirical research reports. Figure 1 reports only those
results from experimental/control comparisons for these two studies.
1
2
Reported in Fraser, Walberg, Welch, & Hattie, 1987.
Reported in Kavale, 1988.
How much time should
students spend on homework?
0 Too much HW may diminish its effectiveness
0 The amount of HW completed by students is
more important than the amount assigned
0 After-school and tutoring programs can
improve behavior and motivation, but not
necessarily academic achievement
What types of homework are
effective?
0 Practice HW
0 Preparation HW
0 Extension HW
0 Integration HW
0 Other – personal development, student-
parent communication, peer interaction
0 Very little research exists on connections
between specific kinds of HW and student
achievement
What does it mean for us as
teachers?
Some research-based HW Guidelines:
0 Assign Purposeful HW:
0
0
0
0
New content
Practicing skills
Deepen knowledge
Explore interests
0 Maximize chances for completion
0 Assign an appropriate amount
0 Research varies on whether teachers should comment
on or grade every HW assignment
0 “Educators should combine research-based
generalizations, research from related areas, and their
own professional judgment based on firsthand
experience to develop specific practices and make
adjustments as necessary…Educators can develop the
most effective practices by observing changes in the
achievement of the students with whom they work
every day.”
--Robert J. Marzano and Debra J. Pickering
For small-group discussion
1)Why do you assign HW?
2)How does it assist you in
assessing students?
3)How do you think it
assists students’ learning?

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