Homework Helps Students

Homework Helps Students-33
One possible explanation for the general lack of a boost from homework is that few teachers know about this research.And most have gotten little training in how and why to assign homework.

One possible explanation for the general lack of a boost from homework is that few teachers know about this research.And most have gotten little training in how and why to assign homework.

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In 2016, a second-grade teacher in Texas delighted her students—and at least some of their parents—by announcing she would no longer assign homework.

“Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance,” she explained.

The research relied on by those who oppose homework has actually found it has a modest positive effect at the middle and high school levels—just not in elementary school.

But for the most part, the studies haven’t looked at whether it matters what kind of homework is assigned or whether there are different effects for different demographic student groups.

If a child wants to learn to play the violin, it’s obvious she needs to practice at home between lessons (at least, it’s obvious to an adult).

And psychologists have identified a range of strategies that help students learn, many of which seem ideally suited for homework assignments.

A homework assignment could require students to answer questions about what was covered in class that day without consulting their notes.

Research has found that retrieval practice and similar learning strategies are far more powerful than simply rereading or reviewing material.

One study found that lower-income ninth-graders “consistently described receiving minimal homework—perhaps one or two worksheets or textbook pages, the occasional project, and 30 minutes of reading per night.” And if they didn’t complete assignments, there were few consequences.

I discovered this myself when trying to tutor students in writing at a high-poverty high school.

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