Role of homework and achievementMarch 11, 2021 2021-04-01 11:04
Role of homework and achievement
Role of homework and achievement
Role of Homework and Achievement The role and amount of homework to be assigned is the most controversial topic of discussion among educators: teachers, parents, administrators, psychologists, and researchers. Even politicians get into the fray. Researchers have been trying to figure out just how important homework is to student achievement. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) looked at homework hours around the world and found that there was not much of a connection between how much homework students of a particular country do and how well their students score on tests (OECD, 2009). However, in 2012, OECD researchers drilled down deeper into homework patterns, and they have found that homework does play an important role in student achievement within each country. They found that homework hours vary by socioeconomic status. Higher income 15-year-olds, for example, tend to do more homework than lower income 15-year-olds in almost all of the 38 countries studied by the OECD. Furthermore, the students who do more homework also tend to get higher test scores. An important conclusion of the study is that homework reinforces the achievement gap between the rich and the poor. For example, in the United States, students from independent schools do more homework than students from Christian/parochial and other religious schools. And students from suburban public schools do significantly more homework than those in urban public schools except the urban public examination schools. It is not just that poor children are more likely to skip their homework, or do not have a quiet place at home to complete it. It is also the case that schools serving poor children often do not assign as much homework as schools for the rich, especially private schools. Other findings from this study are also instructive. For example,
- While most 15-year-old students spend part of their after-school time doing homework, the amount of time they spend on it shrank between 2003 and 2012.
- Socio-economically advantaged students and students who attend socio-economically advantaged schools tend to spend more time doing homework.
- While the amount of homework assigned is associated with mathematics performance among students and schools, other factors (teacher competence in subject matter and classroom management; higher expectations from students, parents, and teacher; amount of classroom time allotted to content, etc.) are more important in determining the mathematics performance and achievement of school systems as a whole.
- Homework patterns among 15 year-olds, revealed that the children in western countries get much less homework than children in eastern countries. For example, students in United States and UK are assigned an average of five hours of homework a week compared to nearly fourteen hours in Shanghai, China, and nearly ten hours weekly in Russia and Singapore.
- Communicate to students that meaningful learning can continue outside the classroom;
- Help children to develop study habits and foster positive attitudes toward school;
- Reinforce and consolidate what has been learned in the classroom;
- Helping students recall previously learned material;
- Prepare, plan, and anticipate learning in the next class;
- Extend learning by making students responsible for their own learning.
- Practice to achieve fluency by initiative, preparation, reinforcement, preparation, and discipline of independent learning.
- The school, with teachers, should establish and communicate a homework policy during the first week of school. The policy should be uniform across grade and subject levels. Students and parents need to understand the purpose of the homework, the amount to be assigned, the positive consequences for completing the homework; description and examples of acceptable types of parental involvement should be provided.
- The amount of homework assigned should vary from grade to grade. Even elementary students should be assigned homework even if they do not complete it perfectly.
- Research indicates, to a certain limit, homework compliance and mathematics achievement are related. The curve relating the time spent on homework and mathematics achievement is almost an inverted “wide” parabola. For about every thirty minutes of additional homework a high school student does per night, his or her overall grade point average (GPA) increases approximately half a point. In other words, if a student with a GPA of 2.00 increases the amount of homework he or she does by 30 minutes per night, his or her GPA will rise to 2.5. On the other hand, oppressive amounts of homework begin to reduce its benefits. Homework is like exercise, difficult to start and keep up, but the more we do it, the better we get at it and, within limits, we can do more.
- Parents should keep their involvement in homework at a reasonable level. At the same time, parent involvement in the classroom should be welcomed. Parents should be informed about the amount and nature of homework, and they should be encouraged to have moderate involvement helping their children. Parents should organize time, space, and activities related to homework. Parents should be careful, however, not to solve content problems for students; they can give hints, or explain the method, but not give a method, which the student does not understand. Giving “tricks” to solve problems is not useful in the long run. There are no tricks in mathematics only strategies. An efficient strategy for others looks like a trick because they may not have the reason why it works.
- Not all homework is the same. That is, homework can be assigned for different purposes, and depending on the purpose, the form of homework and the feedback provided to students will differ.
- All assigned homework should be commented on and responded to because the benefit of homework depends on teacher feedback.Homework with the teacher’s written comments has an even greater positive effect on students. It provides a formative assessment, information how the student is doing. This also offers information for parents about standards, pedagogy, and methods of assessment. When homework is assigned but not commented upon, it has limited positive effect on achievement. When homework is commented on and graded, the effect is magnified. In addition to teacher corrected homework, homework can be self-corrected by the student with the teacher providing the answers. The homework can be peer corrected. Some homework is corrected publicly under the teacher’s guidance. Still, at least once a week, the homework is commented upon by the teacher. These comments should address common problems – lack of concept, misconceptions, poor language, inefficient procedures, poor organization, and misunderstanding of standards – as well as the efficient and elegant methods and concepts used by students.
- Homework is practice. Students should practice at least 30 minutes a day on their academics just as they would an instrument or a sport. If one plays multiple instruments or multiple sports, does one give only 30 minutes of practice for both? Of course not! The same goes for reading and math, science and social studies. Research shows about 1 to 1 hour per day (7.5 hours a week) of homework, on consistent basis, can achieve the goals of homework.
- Parents should be active participants in their child’s academic career. However, that does not mean doing the homework for their child because it would be counterproductive. They can make sure to remind their child to do the homework and that it gets completed. They can give suggestions when necessary and review completed homework. Homework is a child’s academic practice. He/she needs rewards and consequences and a great deal of encouragement.
- Administrators and teachers should do everything to impress upon parents to make sure that they, in turn, make learning a priority for their children and practice every day. However, schools should not make children’s achievement solely dependent on this variable. They should make sure that all children get enough practice in the school itself. The lessons should be planned and delivered in such a way that there is enough practice in the classroom so that children feel confident in tackling the homework themselves.