Statistics Against Homework

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The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learning by Kralovec and Buell (2000), considered by many to be the first high-profile attack on homework, asserted that homework contributes to a corporate-style, competitive U. culture that overvalues work to the detriment of personal and familial well-being. Homework has been a perennial topic of debate in education, and attitudes toward it have been cyclical (Gill & Schlossman, 2000). Abusing research: The study of homework and other examples. Throughout the first few decades of the 20th century, educators commonly believed that homework helped create disciplined minds. The 1989 meta-analysis reviewed research dating as far back as the 1930s; the 2006 study reviewed research from 1987 to 2003. Commenting on studies that attempted to examine the causal relationship between homework and student achievement by comparing experimental (homework) and control (no homework) groups, Cooper, Robinson, and Patall (2006) noted, With only rare exceptions, the relationship between the amount of homework students do and their achievement outcomes was found to be positive and statistically significant. At the same time, a number of studies have provided growing evidence of the usefulness of homework when employed effectively. Homework is typically defined as any tasks “assigned to students by school teachers that are meant to be carried out during nonschool hours” (Cooper, 1989a, p. A number of synthesis studies have been conducted on homework, spanning a broad range of methodologies and levels of specificity (see fig. Some are quite general and mix the results from experimental studies with correlational studies. 166)—ideally involving students in activities appropriate for the home, such as performing an experiment in the kitchen, cooking, doing crossword puzzles with the family, watching good TV shows, or reading. Finally, Kohn urged teachers to involve students in deciding what homework, and how much, they should do. For example, it makes good sense to only assign homework that is beneficial to student learning instead of assigning homework as a matter of policy. They provided evidence that too much homework harms students' health and family time, and they asserted that teachers are not well trained in how to assign homework. The authors suggested that individuals and parent groups should insist that teachers reduce the amount of homework, design more valuable assignments, and avoid homework altogether over breaks and holidays.


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