Homework: Doesn’t improve grades but boosts test scores

Since my twins often have an hour or more of homework each night, I found this study out of  Indiana University interesting. This piece comes from IU.

A study led by an Indiana University School of Education faculty member finds little correlation between time spent on homework and better course grades for math and science students, but a positive relationship between homework time and performance on standardized tests.

“When Is Homework Worth the Time?” is a recently published work of Adam Maltese, assistant professor of science education in the IU School of Education, along with co-authors Robert H. Tai, associate professor of science education at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, and Xitao Fan, dean of education at the University of Macau.

The authors examined survey and transcript data of more than 18,000 10th-grade students to uncover explanations for academic performance. The data focused on individual classes for students, examining the outcomes through the transcripts for students from two nationwide samples collected in 1990 and 2002 by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Contrary to much of the published research, a regression analysis of time spent on homework and the final class grade found no substantive difference in grades between students who complete homework and those who do not. But the analysis found a positive association between student performance on standardized tests and the time they spent on homework.

“Our results hint that maybe homework is not being used as well as it could be,” Maltese said.

The authors suggest in their conclusions that other factors such as class participation and attendance may mitigate the association of homework to stronger grade performance. They also indicate that the types of homework assignments typically given may work better toward standardized test preparation than for retaining knowledge of class material.

Maltese puts forward the idea that “if students are spending more time on homework, they’re getting exposed to the types of questions and the procedures for answering questions that are not so different from standardized tests.”

Maltese said the genesis for the study was a concern about whether a traditional and ubiquitous educational practice, such as homework, is associated with students achieving at a higher level in math and science. Many media reports about education compare U.S. students unfavorably to high-achieving math and science students from across the world. The 2007 documentary film “Two Million Minutes” compared two Indiana students to students in India and China, taking particular note of how much more time the Indian and Chinese students spent on studying or completing homework.

“We’re not trying to say that all homework is bad,” Maltese said. “It’s expected that students are going to do homework. This is more of an argument that it should be quality over quantity. So in math, rather than doing the same types of problems over and over again, maybe it should involve having students analyze new types of problems or data. In science, maybe the students should write concept summaries instead of just reading a chapter and answering the questions at the end.”

This issue is particularly relevant given that the time spent on homework reported by most students translates into the equivalent of 100 to 180 50-minute class periods of extra learning time each year.

“The results from this study imply that homework should be purposeful,” Tai said, “and that the purpose must be understood by both the teacher and the students.”

The authors conclude that given current policy initiatives of the U.S. Department of Education, states and school districts to improve science, technology, engineering and math education, more evaluation should be done about how to use homework time more effectively. They suggest more research be done on the form and function of homework assignments.

“In today’s current educational environment, with all the activities taking up children’s time both in school and out of school, the purpose of each homework assignment must be clear and targeted,” Tai said. “With homework, more is not better.”

“If homework is going to be such an important component of learning in American schools, it should be used in some way that’s more beneficial,” Maltese said. “More thought needs to be given to this, rather than just repeating problems already done in class.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

99 comments Add your comment

Sandy Springs parent

November 16th, 2012
3:15 am

I don’t believe in homework! I never had any homework until at least until 6th grade. THen in middle school and high school with had a whole period each day after lunch that we three days a week we went to the cafeteria to do homework on 1-2 days a week we would rotate out to the library to do homework their, actually teachers walked around to assist with homework. This resulting in rarely having homework to do at homework. Perhaps finishing up are rare book report or project. Our home time was ours. The same thing occurred in high school. The same study halls in a high schools. Guidance counselor a all one of them helped us with college

Sandy Springs parent

November 16th, 2012
3:23 am

Applications. My daughter a senior with a 3.92 GPA has had no help from her 1 of assigned 5 counselers applying for college. One couselor sends out a monthly email listing scholarships, they are all for black and Hispanic students my daughter is in the 12% minority not in those groups. Most of the colleges they bring in are HBCU, or 3 rd their colleges we are not going their?

AnnieAD

November 16th, 2012
5:03 am

Sandy Springs parent, the role of a high school is to provide information, transcripts. parent help nights, and college fairs. It is your child and your role to apply. Ifyou do not know how, ask for help.

fjeremey

November 16th, 2012
5:51 am

I assign homework for two reasons: skills practice and accountability. I teach high school social studies and there is just too much knowledge to rely on our limited time in class, especially considering the EOCT schedule which make one of my classes 14 weeks instead of 18, and then of course AP classes.

Honestly if I could rely on students dedicating themselves to outside work I could “flip” my classroom and do most of what we know as “homework” in class. But I can’t so I assign light tasks that exist mainly to force engagement with the text for those that otherwise wouldn’t. I try to keep most skills practice in class, but sometimes they need a little more time or less time pressure.

Really I would prefer to get rid of the standardized testing all together and move to a more creative system of evaluation. But that is time consuming, takes a good deal of deeper engagement, and doesn’t generate nice, clean numbers so I don’t see it happening any time soon on a wide scale. Which is unfortunate because being creative and deeply engaged really is the best way to learn.

Private Citizen

November 16th, 2012
6:27 am

A person is not going to learn math unless they spend time on their own doing math problems, showing work, mastering concepts. Typically, a type math problem is introduced in class, the student uses a textbook or like information to see model problems. For example, there might be five same problems and explained solutions for one section. Student spends their own time (”homework”) doing assigned problems and refers to textbooks model problems when there is a question on how to solve problem. Through this (loosely told / defined) method, this is how math technique is gained or achieved. WIthout this process, a person will not learn or “seat” the knowledge required for math, the foundation of many things. The same thing/ process can be said for grammar, conventions, literacy. It you take away the student’s “home” time for work, they will not learn the material. It the students has no textbook to refer to, they will not learn the material. The three things required: lesson example taught by teacher, student doing assigned work on own time, student having textbook or like resource containing example problems that line up both what the teacher is teaching and the assigned work for student. If this process is not done, the work (content) will not be learned.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

November 16th, 2012
6:27 am

Regular, intensive studying is positively correlated to both class grades and standardized test scores.

DeborahinAthens

November 16th, 2012
6:43 am

Sandy Springs parent, maybe you should check your posts for spelling and grammar. Maybe extra homework would have been a benefit to you.

Pride and Joy

November 16th, 2012
6:44 am

Inciteful and accurate “The authors suggest in their conclusions that other factors such as class participation and attendance may mitigate the association of homework to stronger grade performance.”
I was very disappointed to learn what teaching in manhy APS classrooms (many not all) is like:
The teacher passes out a photocopied worksheet from a book and gives them to the children and says “circle the right answer” and then sits down and does something on her computer.
If I could, I would ban photocopy machines in schools.
It encourages teachers to “pass out” something and sit down.
Teachers should be up and out of their chairs and working with the kids, talking to them, walking by their desks and helping them individually.
I shudder to think of the flipped model — where homework is done in school and teaching is done at home with a CD.
What are schools coming to? It’s crazy.
My childrens’ private school is very different.
Very few photocopied sheets. They are almost always handwritten by the teacher and then photocopied. It’s not a “boxed program” — it is teaching the kids what they need to know: reading, writing and arithmetic.There are no political agendas and no achievement gap politics. The kids are diverse in race and gender and financial status and the outcomees are outstanding. This is why I am a proponent of charters. Charters can function as well as my kids’ private school because they have the flexibility to ditch most of the politics.

HS Math Teacher

November 16th, 2012
6:47 am

I believe for 10th – 12th grades it should be mostly optional. A large portion of the ones who need to do it are most likely going to copy it at the school breakfast, or will not do it at all, and suffer some sort of grading penalty. However, nothing replaces independent practice, and a student should get plenty of this in the classroom. Unless we’re talking about a very complex unit of instruction, a teacher shouldn’t be lecturing the whole class period in a math class. Get the students involved. Make them strike the iron while it’s hot.

The teacher should teach the Concept, then the Technique, then Application. I agree with this research article that any homework assignment should consist of a few unique problems that cover the whole unit, not just 20 problems that are all pretty much the same, and at least one problem should be a level 2 or 3 type problem.

Pride and Joy

November 16th, 2012
6:50 am

Private Citizen, that’s not how my own traditional school worked.
The teacher explained the concept in class then then solved a problem on the board for us to see. Then, IN CLASS, she would ask us to solve a problem in the text book IN CLASS. After a few minutes she would ask a volunteer to come to the board and solve the problem for all of us as we checked our own papers. Then she repeated and then assigned homework, which means, there was a great deal of class participation in school and homework to provide supplemental practice time.
The teachers were actively involved during class time as well as the students. THAT makes a HUGE difference.

Pride and Joy

November 16th, 2012
6:58 am

I dsagree that 10th through 12th don’t need homework. For college-bound kids, independent study is essential because that is how colleges function. To be successful in any real college, one has to know to how do do research and read texts and online information and take notes and learn on one’s own.

Kieran Pavlick

November 16th, 2012
6:58 am

My Mother raised me alone,until age 12. Then she married. Her and My Step Father,never went to High School and I had no older Brothers or Sisters. Fortunately, in 1965 Blue Collar jobs were available and the Draft,as I had no one to ask for help.
Also I worked six nights a week to help the family. Never learned,Geometry,Algebra,or Trig. Took the subjects and barely passed. Having Homework didn’t help me,as I had no resources for help.
No homework hotline back then.

Private Citizen

November 16th, 2012
7:09 am

HS Math Teacher – the plumber shows up! obviously you would know. Great post and well said. My previous post specific to middle / high school, not elementary. This is a great line of discussion. You have just covered the basics of pedagogy. It like a bucket of cold water compared with the numerous and distracting contrived initiatives we are made to suffer. You make an interesting point about three types of students: model student does work with integrity, disinterested students does not do work, still has integrity, and then there is the copying crowd. I have many times seem students assemble for group work, idea being someone has “the work” and the rest sit there diligently copying like they’re stenographers. This is the real teaching same as in 1920, 1950, 1970, and 2012. Learning and ciphering… learning and ciphering.

Private Citizen

November 16th, 2012
7:15 am

HS Math Teacher, I like your realpolitik, HS students 11/12 grade maybe not have homework? To have more time for the Taco Bell drive through job? I used to say, “Once they get the fast food job, it is game over for schooling, which is just a stopping place.” Point is, for those who go to college, and especially upper tier college, doing 2-4 hours of math homework a night is appropriate for several reasons. One is to master content to prepare for college work and the other is to get used to applying the mind and study hours / accomplishment for college work. If I may be the critic, the homework optional for 11/12 grade is maybe one reason why many Georgia students go to college and fail like a sinking rock in water. Another outcome is to soften and otherwise dilute the requirement of college work in this good-times everybody-wins current education politic.

Private Citizen

November 16th, 2012
7:22 am

One time in another state I got a summer job as a math tutor for a school district. I had two girl high school students show up, high achievers going the extra mile, they were real serious and real mature and they knew the trigonometry concepts better than me and they were asking me math questions I could not readily answer, as I am not a higher math specialist and it is not my main area of study. These two were a clear example of some unusually serious and able students poised to sail through a top tier school with a lot of hard work, which is what they wanted. Anyway, it was a real surprise for me, thinking I was going to be helping out “the needy.” These two showed me.

Private Citizen

November 16th, 2012
7:32 am

And sometimes the students who copy will howl like a siren when you call them on it, as if they have their little “system” and are determined this is how they are going to get “success.” I had one dear-soul student who went off for weeks like a cuckoo steam locomotive when I “called” them on this type activity. It was a clear example where they were “empowered” and the rest of the world was a blur for them to step on. Good kid, though. It would be nice if the administration was a little more up to speed with giving the teacher some “power” instead of the giving power to the one who has mastered the howling political siren. Some administrators treat good teachers as “suspect.” And then ask me to change the grade for their kid. And then the grade change is not good enough. Yes, thanks a lot. Jerk!

mountain man

November 16th, 2012
7:36 am

You COULD read this that teachers give certain grades (inflated) that do not reconcile with a student’s real performance. This could be because of a wish not to impede HOPE scolarship qualification or it could be one of those “no zero” policies.

I always thought homework was practice. It is like a coach showing you how to throw a ball, but then you practice at home until you get good at it. Same with teachers. They demonstrate the techniques, then you should practice at home to reinforce these things you have learned.

Private Citizen

November 16th, 2012
7:41 am

PS And a year later the student who received a little demand from teacher, something expected from them, they see teacher and look at them like “You’re the only one in the world who did anything for me.” Meanwhile the scheming multi-tasking administrators who just advanced one federal initiative, then withdrew it, then did The Big Debue of the new federal policy, they look at teacher like Zombie from the latest B-movie. The scheming administrators don’t get it, they just want the initiatives met and the nice tightly worded press release from their main office. And they’ve got their “players” on staff among teachers who say “yerrr hurting the students” and then these get the plumb positions, masterminds of subverting less crafty workers. Hey, let’s play “Flatter the principal!” No thanks. And engineers from other countries will keep making our stuff for us. And the Mexicans will keep bending over to pick our produce. Game. Match. Checkmate.

Atlanta Mom

November 16th, 2012
7:41 am

Seems to me we would have been better of with a regression analysis of time spent on homework and the success in college.
Or time spent on homework and satisfaction with one’s place in society ten years hence.
Just because grades are not corrolated with study time, doesn’t mean it’s not important.

mountain man

November 16th, 2012
7:54 am

“Seems to me we would have been better of with a regression analysis of time spent on homework and the success in college”

My guess would be that there is a direct correlation between good homework ability and good college success. In college, your-time studying (homework) is supposed to be two-thirds of your study time. Better get used to it in high school (and before).

cris

November 16th, 2012
7:57 am

I think it’s all about the student’s motivation…I never assign homework (before you start howling, I am NOT an academic core teacher), however; I do tell my students that they ONLY way for them to improve is to practice (aka homework) on their own time. And – voila! The ones who take the iniative to practice usually improve (sometimes greatly) and the ones who don’t, well, they don’t. It all depends on the intrinsic motivation of the student. As a teacher I can put it out there, whether they take it or not is up to them…

Private Citizen

November 16th, 2012
7:58 am

Sandy Springs parent So, you do believe in homework, as long as there is a study hall period at school to do it. Good idea.

i think the most successful homework time for me was when my friend (one year older than me) requested and was given an unused office / room and this is where he built the school’s first computer (from a kit) (this kit, in fact: http://s7.computerhistory.org/is/image/CHM/102626767p-03-07 ). There were three of use, we all sat there together at a table in the afternoon and did our math homework. It was quiet. We had sunlight from a window and we used a textbooks and pencils with erasers. The other two guys were better than me and when I got to those #9. and #10. problems, I asked for their help. I recall having three sheets of paper, in pencil, showing all of the steps for one problem. Routinely, completed homework in math would be 10 sheets hand written in pencil, solved first on one sheet of paper and then recopied for finished work / presentation. This was routine and daily. Needless to say, the other two guys are multi-millionaires today. Well, one of them is dead from unexpected pre-programmed dna health issue, but his wife has his estate! When he was a kid, rats ran around his grandmother’s wheelchair. Truth and fact.

Me

November 16th, 2012
8:06 am

I’m with mountain man. If they don’t learn how to do homework and study when they are young, then more than likely it will translate to poor performance in college.Yes some people will still perform well, but more than likely they won’t. That’s part of the reason why a large percentage of students who go to college don’t succeed in graduating. Homework is practice and from what I have seen, the kids who actually do their own work and don’t copy tend to make better grades. Oh and lets not forget the kids who get parental “assistance”…ie doing it for them.

Atlanta Mom

November 16th, 2012
8:07 am

There is nothing surprising in this study. Back in the olden days, students who didn’t do the homework, didn’t do well on tests or their report cards. In this day, where academic grades take a back seat to self esteem, there is no correlation.
Where the direct correlation is seen is homework time and standardized tests. And I’m not talking EOCTs or graduation tests. I refer to SATs, ACTs, and APs.
So Ms. Maureen, I’m afraid it’s back to the books for your twins.

Mother of 2

November 16th, 2012
8:09 am

I think that homework is generally beneficial because it helps students gain mastery of a subject. Of course, sometimes the projects are busy work. But overall, I think it helps build study skills for college and a strong work ethic.

Private Citizen

November 16th, 2012
8:18 am

By the way, the one guy’s wife is Chief Executive or somesuch in the company the other two founded. After they sold off their first company, now what they do is redundant internet connection / server management to run at least one major airport. Their connections do not go down, they’ve got it covered from four different sides and invented the concept, at least for themselves. I visited one time and they were upgrading a server room (in a building they had bought) and we were configuring some racks and, referring to a piece of rack mounted gear I was holding, the one guy told me “Don’t drop that thing. It costs half a million dollars.”

Redux: there’s a reason the trains run ontime

But this is the USA. Who cares? Let’s puff up some propaganda, put some nice pre-pack marketing photos to go with it, and debut the initiative with no support materials and then force everybody to do it and get angry with them when they don’t. Don’t forget, “respect” at all times and “confidentiality” regarding any of the thousand emails from the borg. At this time, I would like to express my recognition and gratitude to Julian D’Assange and especially, Bradley Manning.

PS What I learned about computing from my high school friends: No Microsoft – ever. And no Apple, too. That’s your homework assignment. Go figure out what is left. I suggest you start with what was used to run telephone systems since time immemorial, and go forward from there. Keyword: type of operating systems.

Hey, does anyone know what is the most-used, most applied operating system in the world? i-tron from Japan. http://tronweb.super-nova.co.jp/tronwebimages/wesupportitron.gif -Knowledge, so simple, so easy. But you get potato pie.

Private Citizen

November 16th, 2012
8:28 am

And now Bill Gates wants to tell you how to do education. In many parts of the world that guy is considered to be a criminal. The Indians like him because he temporarily monopolized US computing and gave the Indians something to do exploited US I.T. jobs. When Gates Foundation goes looking for money, the German industrialist says (and I quote) “Where’s the legitimacy?” Meanwhile, Microsoft was fined $1.1B in europe for anti-trust and the fine held 2012 upon appeal / review. Think about that. But they’ve got government and business principles and require competition over there, imagine that. http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Latest-News-Wires/2012/0628/Microsoft-fine-1.1B-upheld-in-antitrust-suit Pretty serious matter when you consider that State of Georgia is signing a lot of pre-packaged Gates initiatives into law, and I’m not talking about the charter movement, either.

Tom

November 16th, 2012
8:30 am

Just read the title of your article. It’s a shame that people are more concerned with making good grades than they are about LEARNING. We should be focusing on learning how to enjoy education, learning how to learn and discover, more than on getting good grades. (I admit I haven’t and won’t read your article or the other posts. Let’s love learning.

FJ

November 16th, 2012
8:39 am

@ Pride and Joy – I would like to know which private school your children attend. You keep bragging about how fantastic it is, yet I remember when you wrote last Spring that you just walked into the school and signed them up for the following year. You have also written that you pay less in tuition for both of them to attend than APS spends per child per year. I am calling BS. We are now a private school family and I know full well that any of the decent schools in Atlanta are around 20k per kid per year, and I also know how competitive the application process is. Do you just sit around and make this stuff up or what?

Concerned DeKalb Mom

November 16th, 2012
8:42 am

To clarify what I think HS Math Teacher was saying…homework should be OPTIONAL for 10-12 grade students. That’s a very different concept than assigning no homework at all.

When I have taught in the past, I’ve never graded homework for anything other than completion. Why? Becuase there is no way to ensure legitimacy of a student’s work when you send it home for them to work on it. I prefer students to work together on math problems, ask for help from me or from other teachers, or their parents…which therefore results in their work not being truly theirs. I’ll know on assessments–and I have given PLENTY–whether or not they are actually completing their own work. But I think that HS Math Teacher has a really good point–those who value the importance of hard work will always do their homework; those who don’t will find others to do it for them.

Hey Teacher

November 16th, 2012
8:43 am

I think it depends on the course and the definition of homework. I don’t know any way around “homework” in a high school English class — especially at the honors level. Most of my homework assignments are long term — an essay, a novel assignment for example that we will discuss in class. I don’t think it is meaningful for students to complete pages and pages of grammar worksheets but its impossible to read an entire novel in class without having it take up the entire semester.

Mom of twins

November 16th, 2012
8:59 am

It looks like the researchers overlooked the subjective component of grades. Both of my twin boys score very well on standardized, IQ, all the tests they give. At home when I give them assignments on vacation, they do very comparable work. BUT NOT AT SCHOOL. The cute, talkative one consistently gets better grades and the quiet one consistently gets put in study hall for not finishing his work. He’s not motivated and the teachers don’t like him. This isn’t a homework-related problem. This is a variance among teachers’ personal skills.

teacher&mom

November 16th, 2012
9:01 am

Quality of homework vs quantity of homework is almost always mentioned in the homework research. However, when the debate begins….it always morphs into homework vs no homework.

The secret is quality homework. Homework that can’t be copied. For example…handing students a packet filled with a couple of pipe cleaners, a handful of beads and asking them to return the next day with a protein structure. Or how about creating an pictorial analogy of photosynthesis that does include a single plant leaf or the sun…but they can show they understand the principles behind photosynthesis (electron transport chain, breaking of chemical bonds, etc). Give them a make-believe animal that is stranded on an island and ask they have to illustrate/discuss how the species evolves…include examples of coevolution, vestigial organs, etc.

Digger

November 16th, 2012
9:03 am

Pride and Joy is simply the latest reincarnation of some guy who likes morphing into various personalities on here. It has been busted numerous times, but continues in its fantasy land.

guest

November 16th, 2012
9:05 am

I can’t believe we are having this discussion. Last week it was let’s do away with cursive and this week it’s homework is really not worth it. I have an idea, next week let’s say do away with math because kids have smartphones to do that anyway. And we wonder why our kids are so stupid. Good grief.

BehindEnemyLines

November 16th, 2012
9:05 am

Seems like the most influential phrase in all of this was likely “with all the activities taking up children’s time both in school and out of school”.

If those aren’t leaving time for homework — and I’m familiar with students playing a sport with a high time demand still managing to complete 2-4 hours of homework & study per night, at least 5 nights a week — then maybe the activities are the issue rather than the homework.

Private Citizen

November 16th, 2012
9:09 am

Optional core assignments looks like a nice progressive way of dealing with single-track curriculum. So this takes some pressure off the none-college crowd (students). Still doesn’t teach those how to weld or have a means to support their family. College for me, Taco Bell and jail for you. And somebody else can do the welding and trade jobs. i.e. What are they at come age 25?

Long Time Teacher

November 16th, 2012
9:14 am

I have never given much homework because kids need to go out and play. But homework does build responsibility and discipline. Students who faithfully do their homework seem to do well in school. Students who have not dveloped the habit to complete homework usually lag behind because of a lack of discipline.

Duh

November 16th, 2012
9:18 am

My school’s philsophy is that homework should rarely be given, and shouldn’t count against a student if they don’t do it. As my principal says, “There is no standard for responsibility.”

Smackerel

November 16th, 2012
9:56 am

This study is the academic equivalent of peeing on your leg and telling you it’s raining. The notion that work does not correlate to results is nuts. It is a testament to P.T. Barnum that you can dress up such nonsense with academic gobbledygook and get people to swallow it hook, line and sinker.

When you have open heart surgery, or get on a 747 to fly across the ocean, do you want the guy who did his friggin’ homework, of the slacker that never cracked a book? Even if you want the slacker, you’re not going to get them, because those fields are meritocracies, and excellence born of hard work is required to advance. Slackers can’t hack it.

If the educational environment is such that slackers do no worse than hard workers, then the conclusion is not that work makes no difference, it is that the environment is dysfunctional, stupid and should be smashed to bits to that the obvious, normal and natural relationship between work and results is restored.

George

November 16th, 2012
10:00 am

Hey mom do not have your kids to do homework and stop starting a bunch of bull SSSSS.Every one knows everything in Georgia on how to educate except the DAM TEACHERS.Keep your kids at home and do it yourself.homework is vitial to learning.the real problem is parents do not want to do anything so they come up with a bunch of Bull SSSS just do you.

skipper

November 16th, 2012
10:06 am

There will be arguments for and against. I personally am against homework, because YOU NEED A LIFE! If the job is getting done at school, there may be a little test review at home, etc. but (and I hate to say it) but much homework is more “punitive” (if I may) busywork than anything else. It can put a bad taste in your mouth about school. There are experts on both sides…some who will argue for it. remember, though, that the so-called experts thought lobotomies, bleeding, etc. were the way! By the way, I did pretty well in school, am a college-grad, etc. We hac one teacher in high-school who did not believe in homework, save a little occasional test study. She made class so interesting that after her class we were betting on what she would come up with the next day; and nobody wanted to miss it, so absenteeism went down. She may have been the exception, but you can teach w/o making life frickin’ miserable!

Frankie

November 16th, 2012
10:10 am

I am a big supporter of homework. Home work should be consistent with the leasson covered for that day and it should be an evloving process. for math ie questions 1 – 4 should be easy and allowfor work to be shown, questions 5 – 9 should be a little more difficult but incorporate the ideas of questions 1-4, and so on and soforth…thee should be at least 10 questions that incorporate all the concepts. as far as reading I had to explain this over and over agiain to my son’s mother….that if he is having difficulty comprehending his reading assignmet, make him after each chapter write a short 2-3 sentence summary discussing the chapter, who were the main caharacter fo that chapter, etc..
like a light bulb….oh yeah she says….that is a good idea…
I think the larger problem is kids and their parents do not know how to study and are trying to catch up with the teacher and her assignments..
Learn how to study folks and homework won’t be a chore…

Mark Rheault

November 16th, 2012
10:21 am

Yes….and I can just pick up a bat and hit a home run in a game without practicing at the batting cages…

mgdawg

November 16th, 2012
10:23 am

Here’s my first argument, is the fact that homework helps with standardized tests a bad thing? It was said in this very text that the US is behind many other countries, what is that based off of? My guess is standardized tests. Teachers are being evaluated on what? Standardized tests. College’s look at the SAT and ACT as one of the major components of acceptance, those are standardized tests. Many classes in high school’s have end of course tests that you must pass to pass the class, that is a standardized test. Do you get my point? If homework helps on standardized tests, does that make it not useful?

Now onto my personal opinion on homework. I believe homework helps out a lot, if done correctly. The problem is the latter part of that sentence. Homework is very easy to cheat on, if you cheat on it then it won’t help. If it isn’t graded right or wrong, and just graded if you put something on the paper, then many kids are just going to run through it and put no thought into it. Extra study time can’t hurt you, it can only help. Not to mention, if you go to college all of your work is homework. If you have never done homework before then it is very difficult to have the self control to do homework. It takes practice to have the self control not to play video games or go out with friends if you have something that needs to be done.

AlreadySheared

November 16th, 2012
10:44 am

Only way to learn math is to do math. Teacher teach you math, you still gotta DO it to LEARN it. Period.

Bruce Kendall

November 16th, 2012
11:05 am

The correct answer depends on how the homework is used. If it is used to address any shortfalls in learning when the teacher checks it, then it is to the good. However, if not checked by the teacher or used to address shortfalls….

RCB

November 16th, 2012
11:32 am

If time is spent in school on homework, it should be called schoolwork. What a waste of time during the school day. Where are all of these schools that have such huge blocks of time for kids to do homework? I wouldn’t want my child going there. Homework teaches responsibility, structure and good work/study habits. There is no easy way out, which is what we’ve come to expect these days.

sloboffthestreet

November 16th, 2012
11:36 am

So we have a college professor writing about tenth graders. How about elementary school students? Students are still counting on their fingers entering middle school. Anyone see a problem? I watch our sons 6th grade classmates struggle with multiplication and division. Why? They were never taught their addition and subtraction facts and they were also never required to memorize their multiplication tables.

Writing a paper titled homework doesn’t improve test scores and then targeting one grade level is idiotic at best. But what else does a Highly Qualified Educator have to do other than spew their garbage? “Oh look at that smart professor. He wrote a paper.” Just more trash to entertain the education minions.

And as so correctly stated above, “The Only Way To Learn Math is Through Repetition.” Do it, and do it again. It may be boring but once the light goes on it burns forever. Homework please. And please teach one skill at a time. Send home a homework sheet every night that shows one example of the skill completed and 10 -20 questions that allow the student to master that skill. I have asked for this every year including this year and all the teacher sends home is one page for the week with 5 different skill questions for each night. The font is so small you struggle to read the problems. The line for the student to write the answer is also microscopic. When I asked for 10 – 20 skill specific questions nightly, her answer was “Amen to that.” She continued to explain that the homework sheet sent home is what she was given relating to Common Core and went on to say that many of her students “Were Not Getting It.” Imagine, she teaches the same lesson to every sixth grader and she is to lazy to write a daily homework assignment. Instead she takes an example given to her from the Common Core and copies it and sends it home every week. Now that is above and beyond the call of duty. NOT!!!

Sandy Springs parent

November 16th, 2012
11:38 am

@Mark R one of my friends from a big 10 college never practiced football in high school or college. He was the first tight end choose in 1981, in the NFL draft. What do you call him a naturally gifted athlete.