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Alfie Kohn

It Makes Us to Manage Time Wisely

❶When they published their findings in , they could scarcely conceal their surprise:

Does homework improve student achievement?

Homework haterz
Yes homework works
From the homework laboratories

Homework studies confuse grades and test scores with learning. Each is seriously flawed in its own way. In the second kind of study, course grades are used to determine whether homework made a difference.

Any given assignment may well be given two different grades by two equally qualified teachers — and may even be given two different grades by a single teacher who reads it at two different times. The final course grade, moreover, is based on a combination of these individual marks, along with other, even less well defined considerations. The same teacher who handed out the assignments then turns around and evaluates the students who completed them.

The final grade a teacher chooses for a student will often be based at least partly on whether, and to what extent, that student did the homework. Thus, to say that more homework is associated with better school performance as measured by grades is to provide no useful information about whether homework is intrinsically valuable.

Yet grades are the basis for a good number of the studies that are cited to defend that very conclusion. The studies that use grades as the outcome measure, not surprisingly, tend to show a much stronger effect for homework than studies that use standardized test scores.

Cooper and his colleagues conducted a study in with both younger and older students from grades 2 through 12 , using both grades and standardized test scores to measure achievement. They also looked at how much homework was assigned by the teacher as well as at how much time students spent on their homework. Thus, there were eight separate results to be reported. The last, and most common, way of measuring achievement is to use standardized test scores. They are, however, excellent indicators of two things.

The first is affluence: Up to 90 percent of the difference in scores among schools, communities, or even states can be accounted for, statistically speaking, without knowing anything about what happened inside the classrooms.

The second phenomenon that standardized tests measure is how skillful a particular group of students is at taking standardized tests — and, increasingly, how much class time has been given over to preparing them to do just that. In my experience, teachers can almost always identify several students who do poorly on standardized tests even though, by more authentic and meaningful indicators, they are extremely talented thinkers.

These anecdotal reports have been corroborated by research that finds a statistically significant positive relationship between a shallow or superficial approach to learning, on the one hand, and high scores on various standardized tests, on the other. To that extent, students cannot really demonstrate what they know or what they can do with what they know.

Multiple-choice tests are basically designed so that many kids who understand a given idea will be tricked into picking the wrong answer. Instead, its primary purpose is to artificially spread out the scores in order to facilitate ranking students against each other. Moreover, the selection of questions for these tests is informed by this imperative to rank. Thus, items that a lot of students answer correctly or incorrectly are typically eliminated — regardless of whether the content is important — and replaced with questions that about half the kids will get right.

This is done in order to make it easier to compare students to one another. In the latter case, a high or rising average test score may actually be a reason to worry. Every hour that teachers spend preparing kids to succeed on standardized tests, even if that investment pays off, is an hour not spent helping kids to become critical, curious, creative thinkers. The limitations of these tests are so numerous and so serious that studies showing an association between homework and higher scores are highly misleading.

The fact that more meaningful outcomes are hard to quantify does not make test scores or grades any more valid, reliable, or useful as measures. To use them anyway calls to mind the story of the man who looked for his lost keys near a streetlight one night not because that was where he dropped them but just because the light was better there. Even taken on its own terms, the research turns up some findings that must give pause to anyone who thinks homework is valuable.

Homework matters less the longer you look. The longer the duration of a homework study, the less of an effect the homework is shown to have. The studies finding the greatest effect were those that captured less of what goes on in the real world by virtue of being so brief. Even where they do exist, positive effects are often quite small.

The same was true of a large-scale high school study from the s. There is no evidence of any academic benefit from homework in elementary school. The absence of evidence supporting the value of homework before high school is generally acknowledged by experts in the field — even those who are far less critical of the research literature and less troubled by the negative effects of homework than I am.

But this remarkable fact is rarely communicated to the general public. In , Cooper summarized the available research with a sentence that ought to be e-mailed to every parent, teacher, and administrator in the country: It, too, found minuscule correlations between the amount of homework done by sixth graders, on the one hand, and their grades and test scores, on the other.

For third graders, the correlations were negative: He was kind enough to offer the citations, and I managed to track them down. The point was to see whether children who did math homework would perform better on a quiz taken immediately afterward that covered exactly the same content as the homework.

The third study tested 64 fifth graders on social studies facts. All three of these experiments found exactly what you would expect: The kids who had drilled on the material — a process that happened to take place at home — did better on their respective class tests.

The final study, a dissertation project, involved teaching a lesson contained in a language arts textbook. It seems safe to say that these latest four studies offer no reason to revise the earlier summary statement that no meaningful evidence exists of an academic advantage for children in elementary school who do homework. The correlation only spikes at or above grade A large correlation is necessary, in other words, but not sufficient.

Indeed, I believe it would be a mistake to conclude that homework is a meaningful contributor to learning even in high school. Remember that Cooper and his colleagues found a positive effect only when they looked at how much homework high school students actually did as opposed to how much the teacher assigned and only when achievement was measured by the grades given to them by those same teachers.

All of the cautions, qualifications, and criticisms in this chapter, for that matter, are relevant to students of all ages. Students who take this test also answer a series of questions about themselves, sometimes including how much time they spend on homework. Especially on a Friday. They want to go out with friends and family. They want to sleep. They want to play with the family pet. Homework today is a quantity over quality thing.

As John Dewey would say in his article "Thinking in Education" subjects need to be reinforced with real world application, not pluralistic assignments, or cut and paste facts. If you want to know a fact, google it If you want to understand a subject, apply it to the real world around us, and work on coming up with answers on your own terms.

So, if there must be homework, it should be more along the lines of taking the parents grocery bill and calculate the average expense, or read a news article, and articulate a counter argument. Becasuse student take it as an pressure. So due to this they waste their time for doing copy from book. Insted of this if they utilise this time for doing study they can get more chance to success.

So i think that homework have no matter in the students learn. Homework is usually given so that students learn while writing. But the pressure of completing h. W is more than studying itself.

If the students do the homework without refering to their books, then they are actually learning and using their minds. But they almost always copy from their books, which makes them more of a copycat than a student. If the time given for hw can be utilised by the students for studying, then they have a better chance of scoring well.

Most teacher are just throwing a bunch of crap on the kids to do which is unfair to the children. The students could be doing other things like studying and practicing for sports, but NOOOOO they have to do homework. Either get rid of home work or put more time into making it. Sign In Sign Up. Add a New Topic. Does homework help students learn? New to Old Created: Old to New Likes: Most to Least Likes: The first exception is in the case of a student who is struggling to complete classroom tasks.

The second is when students are preparing for a test. For example, students might review a list of words for 10 minutes in preparation for a spelling test the next day.

Parental help with homework appears to be beneficial only if the child has already learned the concepts and simply needs more time to complete the assignments. In fact, some evidence suggests that K—4 students who spend too much time on homework actually achieve less well. For students in Grades 6 and 7, up to an hour of meaningful homework per night can be beneficial. Things change in high school. Most studies involving high school students suggest that students who do homework achieve at a higher rate.

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.


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Sep 23,  · The homework question is best answered by comparing students who are assigned homework with students assigned no homework but 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.

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It’s true that we don’t have clear evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that homework doesn’t help students to learn. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine what that evidence might look like – beyond repeated findings that homework often isn’t even associated with higher achievement.

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As a student I do believe other students get better grades when doing homework. Fellow students learn responsibility when they have homework because they have to DO and TURN IN the homework. They also learn to learn meaning they learn new methods and new ways to improve themselves when doing homework. Sep 14,  · New research suggests that a lot of assigned homework amounts to pointless busy work that doesn’t help students learn, while more thoughtful assignments can help them develop skills and acquire knowledge.

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Do homework help students learn Asking a proficient student for the translation into Japanese or Korean of an important word you have been explaining often helps a shyer — will often need modifying in order to make them fair and reliable ways for ESL students to demonstrate knowledge and skills in your subject. Over the past several years, there has been a growing debate about the effectiveness of assigning homework to students. Most adults and children are quite familiar with homework, and teachers and parents have historically viewed homework assignments as supportive of student learning.