11 Surprising Homework Statistics, Facts & Data
The age-old question of whether homework is good or bad for students is unanswerable because there are so many “ it depends ” factors.
For example, it depends on the age of the child, the type of homework being assigned, and even the child’s needs.
There are also many conflicting reports on whether homework is good or bad. This is a topic that largely relies on data interpretation for the researcher to come to their conclusions.
To cut through some of the fog, below I’ve outlined some great homework statistics that can help us understand the effects of homework on children.
Homework Statistics List
1. 45% of parents think homework is too easy for their children.
A study by the Center for American Progress found that parents are almost twice as likely to believe their children’s homework is too easy than to disagree with that statement.
Here are the figures for math homework:
- 46% of parents think their child’s math homework is too easy.
- 25% of parents think their child’s math homework is not too easy.
- 29% of parents offered no opinion.
Here are the figures for language arts homework:
- 44% of parents think their child’s language arts homework is too easy.
- 28% of parents think their child’s language arts homework is not too easy.
- 28% of parents offered no opinion.
These findings are based on online surveys of 372 parents of school-aged children conducted in 2018.
2. 93% of Fourth Grade Children Worldwide are Assigned Homework
The prestigious worldwide math assessment Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) took a survey of worldwide homework trends in 2007. Their study concluded that 93% of fourth-grade children are regularly assigned homework, while just 7% never or rarely have homework assigned.
3. 17% of Teens Regularly Miss Homework due to Lack of High-Speed Internet Access
A 2018 Pew Research poll of 743 US teens found that 17%, or almost 2 in every 5 students, regularly struggled to complete homework because they didn’t have reliable access to the internet.
This figure rose to 25% of Black American teens and 24% of teens whose families have an income of less than $30,000 per year.
4. Parents Spend 6.7 Hours Per Week on their Children’s Homework
A 2018 study of 27,500 parents around the world found that the average amount of time parents spend on homework with their child is 6.7 hours per week. Furthermore, 25% of parents spend more than 7 hours per week on their child’s homework.
American parents spend slightly below average at 6.2 hours per week, while Indian parents spend 12 hours per week and Japanese parents spend 2.6 hours per week.
5. Students in High-Performing High Schools Spend on Average 3.1 Hours per night Doing Homework
A study by Galloway, Conner & Pope (2013) conducted a sample of 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in upper-middle-class California.
Across these high-performing schools, students self-reported that they did 3.1 hours per night of homework.
Graduates from those schools also ended up going on to college 93% of the time.
6. One to Two Hours is the Optimal Duration for Homework
A 2012 peer-reviewed study in the High School Journal found that students who conducted between one and two hours achieved higher results in tests than any other group.
However, the authors were quick to highlight that this “t is an oversimplification of a much more complex problem.” I’m inclined to agree. The greater variable is likely the quality of the homework than time spent on it.
Nevertheless, one result was unequivocal: that some homework is better than none at all : “students who complete any amount of homework earn higher test scores than their peers who do not complete homework.”
7. 74% of Teens cite Homework as a Source of Stress
A study by the Better Sleep Council found that homework is a source of stress for 74% of students. Only school grades, at 75%, rated higher in the study.
That figure rises for girls, with 80% of girls citing homework as a source of stress.
Similarly, the study by Galloway, Conner & Pope (2013) found that 56% of students cite homework as a “primary stressor” in their lives.
8. US Teens Spend more than 15 Hours per Week on Homework
The same study by the Better Sleep Council also found that US teens spend over 2 hours per school night on homework, and overall this added up to over 15 hours per week.
Surprisingly, 4% of US teens say they do more than 6 hours of homework per night. That’s almost as much homework as there are hours in the school day.
The only activity that teens self-reported as doing more than homework was engaging in electronics, which included using phones, playing video games, and watching TV.
9. The 10-Minute Rule
The National Education Association (USA) endorses the concept of doing 10 minutes of homework per night per grade.
For example, if you are in 3rd grade, you should do 30 minutes of homework per night. If you are in 4th grade, you should do 40 minutes of homework per night.
However, this ‘rule’ appears not to be based in sound research. Nevertheless, it is true that homework benefits (no matter the quality of the homework) will likely wane after 2 hours (120 minutes) per night, which would be the NEA guidelines’ peak in grade 12.
10. 21.9% of Parents are Too Busy for their Children’s Homework
An online poll of nearly 300 parents found that 21.9% are too busy to review their children’s homework. On top of this, 31.6% of parents do not look at their children’s homework because their children do not want their help. For these parents, their children’s unwillingness to accept their support is a key source of frustration.
11. 46.5% of Parents find Homework too Hard
The same online poll of parents of children from grades 1 to 12 also found that many parents struggle to help their children with homework because parents find it confusing themselves. Unfortunately, the study did not ask the age of the students so more data is required here to get a full picture of the issue.
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Interpreting the Data
Unfortunately, homework is one of those topics that can be interpreted by different people pursuing differing agendas. All studies of homework have a wide range of variables, such as:
- What age were the children in the study?
- What was the homework they were assigned?
- What tools were available to them?
- What were the cultural attitudes to homework and how did they impact the study?
- Is the study replicable?
The more questions we ask about the data, the more we realize that it’s hard to come to firm conclusions about the pros and cons of homework .
Furthermore, questions about the opportunity cost of homework remain. Even if homework is good for children’s test scores, is it worthwhile if the children consequently do less exercise or experience more stress?
Thus, this ends up becoming a largely qualitative exercise. If parents and teachers zoom in on an individual child’s needs, they’ll be able to more effectively understand how much homework a child needs as well as the type of homework they should be assigned.
Related: Funny Homework Excuses
The debate over whether homework should be banned will not be resolved with these homework statistics. But, these facts and figures can help you to pursue a position in a school debate on the topic – and with that, I hope your debate goes well and you develop some great debating skills!
Chris Drew (PhD)
Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education.
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 25 Creative Thinking Examples
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 27 Reasoning Examples
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 27 Types of Reasoning
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ Economic Globalization – Pros and Cons (with Examples)
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30+ Interesting Facts About Homework You Should Know
Homework is an essential part of the education system, and it has been around for centuries. It is a task given to students to complete outside of regular school hours. Homework is usually assigned to reinforce learning, build study habits, and develop critical thinking skills. However, there are many interesting facts about homework that you may not know. In this blog, we will explore some of these Facts About Homework and discover more about the history, benefits, and effects of homework.
Origin of Homework
Table of Contents
Let us enter into the world of interesting facts about homework with its ‘history.’ Homework has a long and complicated history. It might have been around as long as the school itself, but its exact origins aren’t known.
While some websites claim that the inventor of homework is Roberto Nevilis from Venice, Italy, he probably didn’t actually exist.
The idea behind homework was to help students remember what they learned in their class. When they left their schools, they would forget what they had learned, but if they were given homework after school, they could learn what was taught in the next day’s class without having to worry about it.
Throughout the 19th century, this practice of bringing homework home began to become popular. It was encouraged by politicians like Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Horace Mann who were advocating for mandatory education.
Purpose of Homework
Homework is a term used to describe tasks or assignments given to students by their teachers that they are expected to complete outside of the classroom. These can take many forms, including reading and writing assessments, research tasks and projects.
Whether students enjoy it or not, homework is an important part of their education. It helps them develop study skills, time management, responsibility and independence.
It can also help them develop the skills needed for lifelong learning. For example, some studies have shown that students who complete their homework every night are better able to understand and apply the concepts they learn in school.
However, many students have a hard time completing their homework because of family commitments or personal problems. In addition, they might find it boring and unnecessary to do the same tasks over and over again.
Applicability of Homework
Homework is one of the most controversial topics in education, but it’s also a crucial part of the learning process. As such, it’s important to know what makes homework tick so that you can help your students succeed.
Most teachers assign homework to reinforce what was covered in class or to prepare their students for the next assignment. Less often, homework is given to extend a lesson to different contexts or integrate multiple skills around a project.
The best way to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your homework is to make sure you understand what it’s for, set aside time each week to do it, and then stick with it. This will help you avoid getting into a homework hole that could keep you up at night. By using these tips, you’ll have a better chance of succeeding at the task at hand and have more time for the things that really matter, like hanging out with friends.
Benefits of Doing Homework
Homework has many benefits, both for students and for the education system as a whole. Here are some of the most significant benefits of homework :
- Reinforcing Learning: Homework helps reinforce the lessons that students learn in the classroom. It gives students the opportunity to practice what they have learned and reinforce their knowledge.
- Developing Study Habits: Homework is an excellent way to teach students good study habits. It encourages students to manage their time effectively and develop a routine for completing tasks.
- Promoting Independent Learning: Homework promotes independent learning and helps students develop self-discipline and responsibility.
- Preparing for College: Homework prepares students for the demands of college by teaching them good study habits and helping them develop critical thinking skills.
- Encouraging Parental Involvement: Homework gives parents the opportunity to get involved in their child’s education and help them with their studies.
- Some research has shown that homework helps students to develop responsibility, learn time management, and study habits (Cooper 1989; Corno and Xu 2004; Johnson and Pontius 1989). However, it is important to limit the amount of homework a student does so that they can achieve the best results.
Negative Effects of Homework
While homework has many benefits, it can also have some negative effects, particularly if students are overloaded with too much work. Here are some of the most significant negative effects of homework :
- Stress: Too much homework can cause stress and anxiety in students, particularly if they have other commitments outside of school.
- Lack of Sleep: Students who are overloaded with homework may not get enough sleep, which can affect their ability to concentrate in class.
- Burnout: Students who are constantly working on homework may experience burnout, which can lead to a lack of motivation and engagement in school.
- Inequality: Homework can also contribute to educational inequality, as students from disadvantaged backgrounds may not have the resources or support they need to complete their homework assignments.
35+ Interesting Facts About Homework
Now that we have explored the history, benefits, and effects of homework, let’s look at some interesting facts about homework that you may not know:
- The word “homework” comes from the Latin word “homo” which means “man” and “opus” which means “work.” So, homework literally means “man’s work.”
- In some countries, homework is illegal. For example, in France, homework is banned for students in primary school.
- The amount of homework that students receive varies widely around the world. In Finland, students typically receive less than half an hour of homework per night, while in some countries, students may receive several hours of homework per night.
- The debate over the effectiveness of homework has been going on for over 100 years. In 1901, the Ladies’ Home Journal published an article arguing that homework was harmful to children’s health.
- The largest homework assignment ever given was in 2012 when a teacher in Kazakhstan assigned her students a 14-page math problem.
- Homework can be beneficial for younger students. A study found that homework had a positive effect on students in grades 2-5, but had little to no effect on students in grades 6-9.
- Homework can help improve academic achievement, but only up to a certain point. Studies have shown that students who do more than two hours of homework per night do not necessarily perform better academically than those who do less.
- The average high school student spends about 17.5 hours per week on homework. This is the equivalent of a part-time job!
- Homework can help improve time management skills. A study found that students who spent more time on homework had better time management skills and were more likely to complete their work on time.
- Homework can have a positive impact on family relationships. A study found that parents who helped their children with homework felt more involved in their child’s education and had a better relationship with their child.
- Homework dates back to ancient Greece and Rome, where students would study and write at home in addition to attending school.
- The first recorded use of the word “homework” in the English language dates back to the 1650s.
- Homework is believed to have become a common practice in the United States in the early 20th century, as a way to improve academic performance.
- In some countries, such as Finland, homework is not given to primary school students at all, while in others, like South Korea, students may have hours of homework each night.
- Studies have shown that too much homework can be detrimental to students’ health and well-being, leading to increased stress, anxiety, and even physical symptoms like headaches and stomachaches.
- However, homework can also have positive effects, such as improving academic achievement and teaching students important skills like time management and self-discipline.
- The amount of homework given to students has been a topic of debate among educators and parents for many years, with some advocating for more homework and others arguing for less.
- Some schools and teachers have implemented alternative forms of homework, such as project-based learning or online assignments, in order to make homework more engaging and relevant to students.
- Some studies have shown that parental involvement in homework can be beneficial, but only to a certain extent, and that too much parental involvement can actually be counterproductive.
- The effectiveness of homework may depend on a variety of factors, including the student’s age, academic level, and learning style, as well as the type and amount of homework assigned.
- Homework can help reinforce what was learned in class, as well as prepare students for upcoming lessons and assessments.
- Some researchers have suggested that homework should be tailored to each student’s individual needs and abilities, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.
- Homework can also help develop skills such as research, writing, and critical thinking, which are important for success in higher education and in the workforce.
- In some countries, such as Japan, students may attend “cram schools” or “juku” to supplement their education and receive additional homework assignments.
- The amount of homework assigned to students can vary greatly depending on the subject, grade level, and teacher. For example, a high school student taking advanced math classes may have significantly more homework than a middle school student taking basic English classes.
- Some studies have shown that homework can be especially beneficial for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, as it can provide a structured and supportive environment for learning outside of the classroom.
- Homework policies can vary greatly between schools and school districts, with some schools banning homework altogether or limiting the amount of homework assigned.
- In some cases, homework has become a controversial issue, with some parents and educators advocating for its abolition and others arguing for its importance in education.
- Online homework platforms and tools have become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing students to access assignments and resources from anywhere with an internet connection.
- The effectiveness of homework may also depend on the quality of instruction and feedback provided by the teacher, as well as the student’s level of engagement and motivation.
- Homework can also provide opportunities for students to practice skills and concepts independently, which can help to identify areas where they may need additional support or instruction.
- Homework can help students to develop a sense of responsibility and accountability, as they are expected to complete assignments and meet deadlines.
- Some studies have shown that excessive homework can have negative effects on family time and activities, as well as lead to conflicts and stress between students and their parents.
- Homework policies can vary greatly between cultures and countries, with some countries placing a greater emphasis on homework and academic achievement than others.
- Homework can also provide opportunities for students to develop social and emotional skills, such as working collaboratively on group assignments or managing their time effectively.
- Some educators and researchers have suggested that homework should be designed to promote deeper learning and understanding, rather than just memorization and rote learning.
- Homework can be a source of academic pressure and stress for some students, particularly those who struggle with learning or have competing demands on their time.
- The use of homework as a means of assessing student learning and progress has been criticized by some educators, who argue that it can be an unreliable and unfair measure of achievement.
- Homework policies can also vary greatly between individual teachers, with some teachers assigning significantly more or less homework than their colleagues.
- Some educators and researchers have called for a re-evaluation of the role and value of homework in education, and for more research into its effectiveness and impact on student learning and well-being.
Conclusion (Facts About Homework)
In conclusion, homework has a long history and has evolved over the centuries. While it has many benefits, it can also have negative effects if students are overloaded with too much work. However, the debate over the effectiveness of homework is ongoing, and it is clear that the amount and type of homework given can vary widely around the world. Nevertheless, homework remains an important part of the education system, and it is likely to continue to be so for many years to come. Hope you have enjoyed the interesting facts about homework discussed in this blog.
FAQs (Facts About Homework)
Why do teachers assign homework.
Teachers assign homework for several reasons. It can help reinforce concepts taught in class, encourage independent learning and time management skills, and provide an opportunity for students to practice skills they will need in future academic and professional endeavors.
How much homework should students have?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the amount of homework can vary depending on the grade level, subject, and individual school policies. In general, the National Education Association recommends a guideline of about 10 minutes of homework per grade level per night (e.g., 20 minutes for second grade, 90 minutes for ninth grade).
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9 Interesting & Weird Facts About Homework (Updated 2023)
Homework has been a very important part of education, and its benefits cannot be neglected. Home assignments help students in mastering what they have been taught in school and provide an opportunity for them to study.
On the other hand, many of us have wondered who invented the concept of homework. Who created it? What are some interesting facts about homework? This post discusses the answers to these questions. Read this article to find out the answer.
What is Homework?
Table of Contents
Homework is a job or work given to a student by a teacher to be performed outside of the classroom, most likely at home, whereas homework is a task given to a student to be completed during a specific study.
Types Of Homework
In this section, we will talk about the types of homework:
1. Practice Exercises
These assignments involve practicing skills learned in class, such as solving math problems or practicing language exercises.
2. Reading Assignments
Students are assigned readings from textbooks, novels, or other sources to enhance their understanding of a subject or develop critical thinking skills.
3. Research Projects
Students are tasked with researching a specific topic and presenting their findings, fostering independent research skills and promoting deeper understanding.
4. Experimental Assignments
Particularly common in science subjects, these assignments involve conducting experiments, gathering data, and drawing conclusions.
5. Review and Revision
Students revise previously learned material, reinforcing concepts and preparing for exams.
6. Creative Assignments
These assignments involve artistic expression, such as creating artwork, composing music, or designing projects, allowing students to explore their creativity while learning.
Facts About Homework: Who Create Homework
Who exactly created the homework? We might never be certain. Numerous personalities and occasions have impacted its history. Starting off, let’s examine two of its influencers.
The Dubious Roberto Nevelis of Venice
Many people believe that Roberto Nevelis of Venice, Italy, introduced homework around 1095, depending on different sources. But upon closer examination, he appears to be more of an online myth than a real historical figure.
Horace Mann, a statesman and educational reformer in the 19th century, had a significant impact on homework history. Mann, like his contemporaries Henry Barnard and Calvin Ellis Stowe, took a keen interest in the nation-state of Germany’s newly unified mandatory public education system.
Horace Mann was a driving force behind the creation of publicly sponsored, government-regulated education in the US. During a visit to Germany in 1843, he witnessed the Volkschule system in action and brought back several of its ideas, including homework.
Related: How to Get Motivated to Do Homework
9 Interesting & Weird Facts About Homework
Below we mentioned 9 interesting as well as weird facts about homework that a student must know. On the other hand, we tell both the positive and negative sides of homework which are as follows:
Positive Effects of Homework on Students
Here in this section, we mentioned some of the positive effects of homework on students:
1. It Involves Parents In Their Child’s Life
By bringing their homework, students make sure that their parents are involved in the educational process. In order to observe what is being taught in the classroom, many parents actively request that their children’s homework be supplied.
Teachers hardly ever get access to their kids’ private life. Parents hardly ever even observe their children’s school experiences. The school, the educator, and the parent may all communicate with one another through homework. Everyone may come to know one another better as a result.
It improves teachers’ comprehension of their student’s needs.
2. It Cuts Down On Screen Time
A student on average could watch 3–4 hours of television each day on an ordinary school night. When the student is not in class, the amount of screen time increases to 7-8 hours. Even while homework is disliked and despised, it helps promote improved study habits.
It prevents wasting time watching television or playing games on a smartphone. As a result, distracting practices that can later hinder learning may be prevented from developing.
3. The Goal Of Homework Is To Raise The Standard Of Teaching
Improving the structure and content of the homework is one technique to improve the learning process.
There are several types of homework, all of which aim to elevate students’ academic standards and enhance the teaching and learning process.
4. Homework Helps Students Prepare For Success In Both Schools And In Life
Students gain experience with discipline, time management, following instructions, critical thinking, and autonomous problem-solving by having to complete at-home tasks.
Students who develop effective study habits at home perform better in class, which boosts their scores and results.
5. Successful Homework Writing Requires Effective Time Management
Even when there is not a lot of homework, teenagers dislike it. Even when they only have one project that takes 30 minutes, they put it off. The fact is that they are incapable of effective management.
They can establish productive habits with the help of some time management. If they put enough effort into it, they will alter their routines and stop viewing schoolwork as consuming all of their spare time.
Related: Ways to Get Your Homework Done Faster
Negative Effects of Homework on Students
Here in this section, we mentioned some of the negative effects of homework on students:
6. There Is Insufficient Proof To Back The Benefits Of Homework
Since ancient times, homework has been a part of the educational system. Teachers assume they are valuable and are confident that students benefit from it.
The fact is that there isn’t enough evidence to back up the claim that homework improves academic and non-academic performance.
According to one research, high school students should only be assigned two hours of homework every night for it to be beneficial to their academic performance. Anything over that point undermines their drive.
In most cases, students are given extra assignments. They must spend at least two hours studying in order to recall the information they learned in class that day.
7. Students Have Stress From Homework
When students have an excessive amount of schoolwork, they start having physical symptoms, most often headaches. They experience pressure from their parents and instructors to do this schoolwork.
They object to continually being judged by other pupils. They experience significant amounts of stress as a result of all those causes.
Related: Why Homework Should Be Banned
8. Burn-Out Is Brought On By Homework
A lot of schoolwork might easily exhaust students. Students feel entirely unmotivated and are unable to complete the homework at that point.
Working all day and then taking three hours off to go home. It’s not cool at all. Why then, do teachers believe that students should be allowed to bring part of their work home?
9. Homework Will Remain A Problem For Students Or Will it?
Teachers have no intention of ceasing to assign homework, however, how despised by students it is. They really believe it is necessary.
They could start assigning less of the problem if students can explain it in a reasonable way. However, homework will always exist but regular assignment completion helps students shorten the time needed for exam preparation.
They may review the subject while it is still fresh thanks to homework. It has positive consequences when done carefully that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Benefits For Students Of Doing Homework Daily
Here we are going to know the benefits of doing homework daily:
1. Improves Academic Performance
Homework can help students to learn and retain information more effectively. When students are allowed to practice what they have learned in class, they can remember it and be able to perform well in exams and tests.
2. Develops Critical Thinking And Problem-Solving Skills
Homework can help students to develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. When students face challenging problems, they are forced to think critically about how to solve them. This can help them develop the skills they need to succeed in school and life.
3. Teaches Time Management And Organization Skills
Homework can help students to learn how to manage their time and organize their work. When students are given a specific task, they must learn how to prioritize their work and allocate their time effectively. This can be a valuable skill for students to have, both in school and in the workplace.
4. Builds Independence And Self-Confidence
Homework can help students to build independence and self-confidence. When students can complete their homework independently, they feel a sense of accomplishment. This can help them to develop a sense of self-confidence and believe in their ability to succeed.
5. Promotes Positive Parent-Child Relationships
Homework can be a great opportunity for parents and children to work together. When parents help their children with their homework, they can provide support and guidance. This can strengthen the parent-child bond and create a positive learning environment.
5 Reasons Why Homework Is Interesting for Some Students
1. Students will learn new things quickly and enhance their knowledge.
2. Brainstorming and idea generation power will increase.
3. Analytical skills and problem-solving skills will increase.
4. Students learn how to manage things.
5. Homework can help students prepare for future exams, projects, and other assessments, motivating some students.
This is the end of this article, which is facts about homework. However, teachers and students both should really be aware.
Teachers need to realize that having too much homework is stressful rather than helpful. On the other hand, students should understand that they could genuinely gain from them if they stop detesting assignments so much.
Both sides need to find a solution. The amount of homework that educators provide should be reevaluated, and they should make the activities more enjoyable in order to engage the students.
Instead of having a fixed perspective, students should realize that they can achieve exceptional achievements with a little more work.
Q1. Who invented homework?
Homework is almost always credited to Roberto Nevelis of Venice, Italy, who invented it in 1095—or 1905. On the other hand, it is totally depending on your sources.
Q2. How can I finish my homework fast?
Here are 8 ways to finish your homework faster: 1. Gather all your gear 2. Time yourself 3. Stay on task 4. Reward yourself 5. Take some breaks 6. Make a list 7. Unplug 8. Estimate the amount of time required for each item on your list.
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Does Homework Really Help Students Learn?
A conversation with a Wheelock researcher, a BU student, and a fourth-grade teacher
“Quality homework is engaging and relevant to kids’ lives,” says Wheelock’s Janine Bempechat. “It gives them autonomy and engages them in the community and with their families. In some subjects, like math, worksheets can be very helpful. It has to do with the value of practicing over and over.” Photo by iStock/Glenn Cook Photography
Do your homework.
If only it were that simple.
Educators have debated the merits of homework since the late 19th century. In recent years, amid concerns of some parents and teachers that children are being stressed out by too much homework, things have only gotten more fraught.
“Homework is complicated,” says developmental psychologist Janine Bempechat, a Wheelock College of Education & Human Development clinical professor. The author of the essay “ The Case for (Quality) Homework—Why It Improves Learning and How Parents Can Help ” in the winter 2019 issue of Education Next , Bempechat has studied how the debate about homework is influencing teacher preparation, parent and student beliefs about learning, and school policies.
She worries especially about socioeconomically disadvantaged students from low-performing schools who, according to research by Bempechat and others, get little or no homework.
BU Today sat down with Bempechat and Erin Bruce (Wheelock’17,’18), a new fourth-grade teacher at a suburban Boston school, and future teacher freshman Emma Ardizzone (Wheelock) to talk about what quality homework looks like, how it can help children learn, and how schools can equip teachers to design it, evaluate it, and facilitate parents’ role in it.
BU Today: Parents and educators who are against homework in elementary school say there is no research definitively linking it to academic performance for kids in the early grades. You’ve said that they’re missing the point.
Bempechat : I think teachers assign homework in elementary school as a way to help kids develop skills they’ll need when they’re older—to begin to instill a sense of responsibility and to learn planning and organizational skills. That’s what I think is the greatest value of homework—in cultivating beliefs about learning and skills associated with academic success. If we greatly reduce or eliminate homework in elementary school, we deprive kids and parents of opportunities to instill these important learning habits and skills.
We do know that beginning in late middle school, and continuing through high school, there is a strong and positive correlation between homework completion and academic success.
That’s what I think is the greatest value of homework—in cultivating beliefs about learning and skills associated with academic success.
You talk about the importance of quality homework. What is that?
Quality homework is engaging and relevant to kids’ lives. It gives them autonomy and engages them in the community and with their families. In some subjects, like math, worksheets can be very helpful. It has to do with the value of practicing over and over.
What are your concerns about homework and low-income children?
The argument that some people make—that homework “punishes the poor” because lower-income parents may not be as well-equipped as affluent parents to help their children with homework—is very troubling to me. There are no parents who don’t care about their children’s learning. Parents don’t actually have to help with homework completion in order for kids to do well. They can help in other ways—by helping children organize a study space, providing snacks, being there as a support, helping children work in groups with siblings or friends.
Isn’t the discussion about getting rid of homework happening mostly in affluent communities?
Yes, and the stories we hear of kids being stressed out from too much homework—four or five hours of homework a night—are real. That’s problematic for physical and mental health and overall well-being. But the research shows that higher-income students get a lot more homework than lower-income kids.
Teachers may not have as high expectations for lower-income children. Schools should bear responsibility for providing supports for kids to be able to get their homework done—after-school clubs, community support, peer group support. It does kids a disservice when our expectations are lower for them.
The conversation around homework is to some extent a social class and social justice issue. If we eliminate homework for all children because affluent children have too much, we’re really doing a disservice to low-income children. They need the challenge, and every student can rise to the challenge with enough supports in place.
What did you learn by studying how education schools are preparing future teachers to handle homework?
My colleague, Margarita Jimenez-Silva, at the University of California, Davis, School of Education, and I interviewed faculty members at education schools, as well as supervising teachers, to find out how students are being prepared. And it seemed that they weren’t. There didn’t seem to be any readings on the research, or conversations on what high-quality homework is and how to design it.
Erin, what kind of training did you get in handling homework?
Bruce : I had phenomenal professors at Wheelock, but homework just didn’t come up. I did lots of student teaching. I’ve been in classrooms where the teachers didn’t assign any homework, and I’ve been in rooms where they assigned hours of homework a night. But I never even considered homework as something that was my decision. I just thought it was something I’d pull out of a book and it’d be done.
I started giving homework on the first night of school this year. My first assignment was to go home and draw a picture of the room where you do your homework. I want to know if it’s at a table and if there are chairs around it and if mom’s cooking dinner while you’re doing homework.
The second night I asked them to talk to a grown-up about how are you going to be able to get your homework done during the week. The kids really enjoyed it. There’s a running joke that I’m teaching life skills.
Friday nights, I read all my kids’ responses to me on their homework from the week and it’s wonderful. They pour their hearts out. It’s like we’re having a conversation on my couch Friday night.
It matters to know that the teacher cares about you and that what you think matters to the teacher. Homework is a vehicle to connect home and school…for parents to know teachers are welcoming to them and their families.
Bempechat : I can’t imagine that most new teachers would have the intuition Erin had in designing homework the way she did.
Ardizzone : Conversations with kids about homework, feeling you’re being listened to—that’s such a big part of wanting to do homework….I grew up in Westchester County. It was a pretty demanding school district. My junior year English teacher—I loved her—she would give us feedback, have meetings with all of us. She’d say, “If you have any questions, if you have anything you want to talk about, you can talk to me, here are my office hours.” It felt like she actually cared.
Bempechat : It matters to know that the teacher cares about you and that what you think matters to the teacher. Homework is a vehicle to connect home and school…for parents to know teachers are welcoming to them and their families.
Ardizzone : But can’t it lead to parents being overbearing and too involved in their children’s lives as students?
Bempechat : There’s good help and there’s bad help. The bad help is what you’re describing—when parents hover inappropriately, when they micromanage, when they see their children confused and struggling and tell them what to do.
Good help is when parents recognize there’s a struggle going on and instead ask informative questions: “Where do you think you went wrong?” They give hints, or pointers, rather than saying, “You missed this,” or “You didn’t read that.”
Bruce : I hope something comes of this. I hope BU or Wheelock can think of some way to make this a more pressing issue. As a first-year teacher, it was not something I even thought about on the first day of school—until a kid raised his hand and said, “Do we have homework?” It would have been wonderful if I’d had a plan from day one.
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Senior Contributing Editor
Sara Rimer A journalist for more than three decades, Sara Rimer worked at the Miami Herald , Washington Post and, for 26 years, the New York Times , where she was the New England bureau chief, and a national reporter covering education, aging, immigration, and other social justice issues. Her stories on the death penalty’s inequities were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and cited in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision outlawing the execution of people with intellectual disabilities. Her journalism honors include Columbia University’s Meyer Berger award for in-depth human interest reporting. She holds a BA degree in American Studies from the University of Michigan. Profile
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There are 81 comments on Does Homework Really Help Students Learn?
Insightful! The values about homework in elementary schools are well aligned with my intuition as a parent.
when i finish my work i do my homework and i sometimes forget what to do because i did not get enough sleep
same omg it does not help me it is stressful and if I have it in more than one class I hate it.
Same I think my parent wants to help me but, she doesn’t care if I get bad grades so I just try my best and my grades are great.
I think that last question about Good help from parents is not know to all parents, we do as our parents did or how we best think it can be done, so maybe coaching parents or giving them resources on how to help with homework would be very beneficial for the parent on how to help and for the teacher to have consistency and improve homework results, and of course for the child. I do see how homework helps reaffirm the knowledge obtained in the classroom, I also have the ability to see progress and it is a time I share with my kids
The answer to the headline question is a no-brainer – a more pressing problem is why there is a difference in how students from different cultures succeed. Perfect example is the student population at BU – why is there a majority population of Asian students and only about 3% black students at BU? In fact at some universities there are law suits by Asians to stop discrimination and quotas against admitting Asian students because the real truth is that as a group they are demonstrating better qualifications for admittance, while at the same time there are quotas and reduced requirements for black students to boost their portion of the student population because as a group they do more poorly in meeting admissions standards – and it is not about the Benjamins. The real problem is that in our PC society no one has the gazuntas to explore this issue as it may reveal that all people are not created equal after all. Or is it just environmental cultural differences??????
I get you have a concern about the issue but that is not even what the point of this article is about. If you have an issue please take this to the site we have and only post your opinion about the actual topic
This is not at all what the article is talking about.
This literally has nothing to do with the article brought up. You should really take your opinions somewhere else before you speak about something that doesn’t make sense.
we have the same name
so they have the same name what of it?
lol you tell her
What does that have to do with homework, that is not what the article talks about AT ALL.
Yes, I think homework plays an important role in the development of student life. Through homework, students have to face challenges on a daily basis and they try to solve them quickly.I am an intense online tutor at 24x7homeworkhelp and I give homework to my students at that level in which they handle it easily.
More than two-thirds of students said they used alcohol and drugs, primarily marijuana, to cope with stress.
You know what’s funny? I got this assignment to write an argument for homework about homework and this article was really helpful and understandable, and I also agree with this article’s point of view.
I also got the same task as you! I was looking for some good resources and I found this! I really found this article useful and easy to understand, just like you! ^^
i think that homework is the best thing that a child can have on the school because it help them with their thinking and memory.
I am a child myself and i think homework is a terrific pass time because i can’t play video games during the week. It also helps me set goals.
Homework is not harmful ,but it will if there is too much
I feel like, from a minors point of view that we shouldn’t get homework. Not only is the homework stressful, but it takes us away from relaxing and being social. For example, me and my friends was supposed to hang at the mall last week but we had to postpone it since we all had some sort of work to do. Our minds shouldn’t be focused on finishing an assignment that in realty, doesn’t matter. I completely understand that we should have homework. I have to write a paper on the unimportance of homework so thanks.
homework isn’t that bad
Are you a student? if not then i don’t really think you know how much and how severe todays homework really is
i am a student and i do not enjoy homework because i practice my sport 4 out of the five days we have school for 4 hours and that’s not even counting the commute time or the fact i still have to shower and eat dinner when i get home. its draining!
i totally agree with you. these people are such boomers
why just why
they do make a really good point, i think that there should be a limit though. hours and hours of homework can be really stressful, and the extra work isn’t making a difference to our learning, but i do believe homework should be optional and extra credit. that would make it for students to not have the leaning stress of a assignment and if you have a low grade you you can catch up.
Studies show that homework improves student achievement in terms of improved grades, test results, and the likelihood to attend college. Research published in the High School Journal indicates that students who spent between 31 and 90 minutes each day on homework “scored about 40 points higher on the SAT-Mathematics subtest than their peers, who reported spending no time on homework each day, on average.” On both standardized tests and grades, students in classes that were assigned homework outperformed 69% of students who didn’t have homework. A majority of studies on homework’s impact – 64% in one meta-study and 72% in another – showed that take home assignments were effective at improving academic achievement. Research by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) concluded that increased homework led to better GPAs and higher probability of college attendance for high school boys. In fact, boys who attended college did more than three hours of additional homework per week in high school.
So how are your measuring student achievement? That’s the real question. The argument that doing homework is simply a tool for teaching responsibility isn’t enough for me. We can teach responsibility in a number of ways. Also the poor argument that parents don’t need to help with homework, and that students can do it on their own, is wishful thinking at best. It completely ignores neurodiverse students. Students in poverty aren’t magically going to find a space to do homework, a friend’s or siblings to help them do it, and snacks to eat. I feel like the author of this piece has never set foot in a classroom of students.
THIS. This article is pathetic coming from a university. So intellectually dishonest, refusing to address the havoc of capitalism and poverty plays on academic success in life. How can they in one sentence use poor kids in an argument and never once address that poor children have access to damn near 0 of the resources affluent kids have? Draw me a picture and let’s talk about feelings lmao what a joke is that gonna put food in their belly so they can have the calories to burn in order to use their brain to study? What about quiet their 7 other siblings that they share a single bedroom with for hours? Is it gonna force the single mom to magically be at home and at work at the same time to cook food while you study and be there to throw an encouraging word?
Also the “parents don’t need to be a parent and be able to guide their kid at all academically they just need to exist in the next room” is wild. Its one thing if a parent straight up is not equipped but to say kids can just figured it out is…. wow coming from an educator What’s next the teacher doesn’t need to teach cause the kid can just follow the packet and figure it out?
Well then get a tutor right? Oh wait you are poor only affluent kids can afford a tutor for their hours of homework a day were they on average have none of the worries a poor child does. Does this address that poor children are more likely to also suffer abuse and mental illness? Like mentioned what about kids that can’t learn or comprehend the forced standardized way? Just let em fail? These children regularly are not in “special education”(some of those are a joke in their own and full of neglect and abuse) programs cause most aren’t even acknowledged as having disabilities or disorders.
But yes all and all those pesky poor kids just aren’t being worked hard enough lol pretty sure poor children’s existence just in childhood is more work, stress, and responsibility alone than an affluent child’s entire life cycle. Love they never once talked about the quality of education in the classroom being so bad between the poor and affluent it can qualify as segregation, just basically blamed poor people for being lazy, good job capitalism for failing us once again!
why the hell?
you should feel bad for saying this, this article can be helpful for people who has to write a essay about it
This is more of a political rant than it is about homework
I know a teacher who has told his students their homework is to find something they are interested in, pursue it and then come share what they learn. The student responses are quite compelling. One girl taught herself German so she could talk to her grandfather. One boy did a research project on Nelson Mandela because the teacher had mentioned him in class. Another boy, a both on the autism spectrum, fixed his family’s computer. The list goes on. This is fourth grade. I think students are highly motivated to learn, when we step aside and encourage them.
The whole point of homework is to give the students a chance to use the material that they have been presented with in class. If they never have the opportunity to use that information, and discover that it is actually useful, it will be in one ear and out the other. As a science teacher, it is critical that the students are challenged to use the material they have been presented with, which gives them the opportunity to actually think about it rather than regurgitate “facts”. Well designed homework forces the student to think conceptually, as opposed to regurgitation, which is never a pretty sight
Wonderful discussion. and yes, homework helps in learning and building skills in students.
not true it just causes kids to stress
Homework can be both beneficial and unuseful, if you will. There are students who are gifted in all subjects in school and ones with disabilities. Why should the students who are gifted get the lucky break, whereas the people who have disabilities suffer? The people who were born with this “gift” go through school with ease whereas people with disabilities struggle with the work given to them. I speak from experience because I am one of those students: the ones with disabilities. Homework doesn’t benefit “us”, it only tears us down and put us in an abyss of confusion and stress and hopelessness because we can’t learn as fast as others. Or we can’t handle the amount of work given whereas the gifted students go through it with ease. It just brings us down and makes us feel lost; because no mater what, it feels like we are destined to fail. It feels like we weren’t “cut out” for success.
homework does help
here is the thing though, if a child is shoved in the face with a whole ton of homework that isn’t really even considered homework it is assignments, it’s not helpful. the teacher should make homework more of a fun learning experience rather than something that is dreaded
This article was wonderful, I am going to ask my teachers about extra, or at all giving homework.
I agree. Especially when you have homework before an exam. Which is distasteful as you’ll need that time to study. It doesn’t make any sense, nor does us doing homework really matters as It’s just facts thrown at us.
Homework is too severe and is just too much for students, schools need to decrease the amount of homework. When teachers assign homework they forget that the students have other classes that give them the same amount of homework each day. Students need to work on social skills and life skills.
Beyond achievement, proponents of homework argue that it can have many other beneficial effects. They claim it can help students develop good study habits so they are ready to grow as their cognitive capacities mature. It can help students recognize that learning can occur at home as well as at school. Homework can foster independent learning and responsible character traits. And it can give parents an opportunity to see what’s going on at school and let them express positive attitudes toward achievement.
Homework is helpful because homework helps us by teaching us how to learn a specific topic.
As a student myself, I can say that I have almost never gotten the full 9 hours of recommended sleep time, because of homework. (Now I’m writing an essay on it in the middle of the night D=)
I am a 10 year old kid doing a report about “Is homework good or bad” for homework before i was going to do homework is bad but the sources from this site changed my mind!
Homeowkr is god for stusenrs
I agree with hunter because homework can be so stressful especially with this whole covid thing no one has time for homework and every one just wants to get back to there normal lives it is especially stressful when you go on a 2 week vaca 3 weeks into the new school year and and then less then a week after you come back from the vaca you are out for over a month because of covid and you have no way to get the assignment done and turned in
As great as homework is said to be in the is article, I feel like the viewpoint of the students was left out. Every where I go on the internet researching about this topic it almost always has interviews from teachers, professors, and the like. However isn’t that a little biased? Of course teachers are going to be for homework, they’re not the ones that have to stay up past midnight completing the homework from not just one class, but all of them. I just feel like this site is one-sided and you should include what the students of today think of spending four hours every night completing 6-8 classes worth of work.
Are we talking about homework or practice? Those are two very different things and can result in different outcomes.
Homework is a graded assignment. I do not know of research showing the benefits of graded assignments going home.
Practice; however, can be extremely beneficial, especially if there is some sort of feedback (not a grade but feedback). That feedback can come from the teacher, another student or even an automated grading program.
As a former band director, I assigned daily practice. I never once thought it would be appropriate for me to require the students to turn in a recording of their practice for me to grade. Instead, I had in-class assignments/assessments that were graded and directly related to the practice assigned.
I would really like to read articles on “homework” that truly distinguish between the two.
oof i feel bad good luck!
thank you guys for the artical because I have to finish an assingment. yes i did cite it but just thanks
thx for the article guys.
Homework is good
I think homework is helpful AND harmful. Sometimes u can’t get sleep bc of homework but it helps u practice for school too so idk.
I agree with this Article. And does anyone know when this was published. I would like to know.
It was published FEb 19, 2019.
Studies have shown that homework improved student achievement in terms of improved grades, test results, and the likelihood to attend college.
i think homework can help kids but at the same time not help kids
This article is so out of touch with majority of homes it would be laughable if it wasn’t so incredibly sad.
There is no value to homework all it does is add stress to already stressed homes. Parents or adults magically having the time or energy to shepherd kids through homework is dome sort of 1950’s fantasy.
What lala land do these teachers live in?
Homework gives noting to the kid
Homework is Bad
homework is bad.
why do kids even have homework?
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