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. 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. 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 : more homework was associated with lower achievement. 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. For any number of reasons, one might expect to find a reasonably strong association between time spent on homework and test scores.
Yet the most striking result, particularly for elementary students, is precisely the absence of such an association. Consider the results of the math exam. Fourth graders who did no homework got roughly the same score as those who did 30 minutes a night.
Remarkably, the scores then declined for those who did 45 minutes, then declined again for those who did an hour or more! In twelfth grade, the scores were about the same regardless of whether students did only 15 minutes or more than an hour. In the s, year-olds in a dozen nations were tested and also queried about how much they studied.
Again, the results were not the same in all countries, even when the focus was limited to the final years of high school where the contribution of homework is thought to be strongest. Usually it turned out that doing some homework had a stronger relationship with achievement than doing none at all, but doing a little homework was also better than doing a lot. Again they came up empty handed. Premise 1: Our students get significantly less homework than their counterparts across the globe.
Additional conclusion: If U. Every step of this syllogism is either flawed or simply false. Premise 2 has been debunked by a number of analysts and for a number of different reasons. But in fact there is now empirical evidence, not just logic, to challenge the conclusions. Two researchers looked at TIMSS data from both and in order to be able to compare practices in 50 countries. When they published their findings in , they could scarcely conceal their surprise:.
Not only did we fail to find any positive relationships, [but] the overall correlations between national average student achievement and national averages in the frequency, total amount, and percentage of teachers who used homework in grading are all negative! If these data can be extrapolated to other subjects — a research topic that warrants immediate study, in our opinion — then countries that try to improve their standing in the world rankings of student achievement by raising the amount of homework might actually be undermining their own success.
More homework may actually undermine national achievement. Incidental research raises further doubts about homework. Reviews of homework studies tend to overlook investigations that are primarily focused on other topics but just happen to look at homework, among several other variables. Here are two examples:. First, a pair of Harvard scientists queried almost 2, students enrolled in college physics courses in order to figure out whether any features of their high school physics courses were now of use to them.
At first they found a very small relationship between the amount of homework that students had had in high school and how well they were currently doing. Once the researchers controlled for other variables, such as the type of courses kids had taken, that relationship disappeared. She then set out to compare their classroom practices to those of a matched group of other teachers.
Among her findings: the exceptional teachers not only tended to give less homework but also were likely to give students more choices about their assignments. Are better teachers more apt to question the conventional wisdom in general? More responsive to its negative effects on children and families?
This analysis rings true for Steve Phelps, who teaches math at a high school near Cincinnati. But as I mastered the material, homework ceased to be necessary. Lyons has also conducted an informal investigation to gauge the impact of this shift. He gave less and less homework each year before finally eliminating it completely. And he reports that. Homework is an obvious burden to students, but assigning, collecting, grading, and recording homework creates a tremendous amount of work for me as well.
Nor is the Harvard physics study. People who never bought it will not be surprised, of course. Put differently, the research offers no reason to believe that students in high-quality classrooms whose teachers give little or no homework would be at a disadvantage as regards any meaningful kind of learning.
That will be the subject of the following chapter…. Barber, p. Two of the four studies reviewed by Paschal et al. The third found benefits at two of three grade levels, but all of the students in this study who were assigned homework also received parental help.
The last study found that students who were given math puzzles unrelated to what was being taught in class did as well as those who got traditional math homework. There is reason to question whether this technique is really appropriate for a topic like homework, and thus whether the conclusions drawn from it would be valid.
Meta-analyses may be useful for combining multiple studies of, say, the efficacy of a blood pressure medication, but not necessarily studies dealing with different aspects of complex human behavior. Quotations from pp.
Cooper a, Cooper a, p. But correlations between the two leave us unable to disentangle the two effects and determine which is stronger. Cool and Keith. Epstein and Van Voorhis, pp. Also see Walberg et al. Muhlenbruck et al. In Cooper et al. Ziegler , p.
For a more detailed discussion about and review of research regarding the effects of grades, see Kohn a, b. That difference shrank in the latest batch of studies Cooper et al. See Kohn b, , which includes analysis and research to support the claims made in the following paragraphs. Nevertheless, Cooper criticizes studies that use only one of these measures and argues in favor of those, like his own, that make use of both see Cooper et al.
The studies he reviewed lasted anywhere from two to thirty weeks. Natriello and McDill. Tymms and Fitz-Gibbon. Engaging tools allow elementary students to dig deeper, including a state-based learning tool, and a fun zone that keeps learning interesting. BBC Schools maintains resources for students, including games and study guides that address most subjects. Users designate age parameters, in order to access age-appropriate materials. Games like pinball help younger users, while worksheets and tutorials serve high-schoolers and beyond.
Students browse almanacs, atlases and dictionaries for homework input. Time 4 Learning uses online games and learning activities to drive home basic concepts, before using the foundations to teach reading and math skills.
Discovery Education promotes learning with free educational resources for students of all ages. Infoplease Homework Center maintains educational resources for students, including math flashcards and periodic tables. B J Pinchbeck's Homework Helper provides free, online resources for elementary, middle and high school students.
References are categorized in topical areas that include: Art, music, English, foreign language, science, social studies, and other core curricular content. Chatterbees Homework Help Center is designed in a user-friendly format that allows students to click on particular homework topics for assistance. Spell check and math arcade are on-site to provide homework support in these areas.
Homework Spot maintains listings for homework help, ranging from simple web tools to deeper academic resources. Kids Click enables student searches by category or spelling - and resources include images, sounds and video.
Internet Public Library allows children and teens to click on myriad resources, opening learning portals that help in primary school areas like math and science. Brain Pop Jr. Students clicking on subject-specific links open window to social studies, science and math help. Kahn Academy is a video-based resource with thousands of tutorials for browsing. Ted-ed provides a video archive that allows students to browse by subject, to uncover short video lessons about selected topics.
Children's Literature Web Guide points interested students toward age appropriate literature. Comments, reviews and author access help students find information. Common Errors in English Usage exposes incorrect word usage, punctuation and pronunciation considerations for common English words and phrases. National Spelling Bee promotes the essential building-block for written communication.
Visitors need not be pursuing entry in the national contest to benefit from the helpful spelling resource. Gamequarium lets kids learn math by playing individual, topical games that impart knowledge in areas like algebra, addition and money math. APlus Homework Helper provides calculator tools for simple arithmetic.
Figure This provides learning aids like a math index and a study section with resources for students and educators. America's Library , maintained by the Library of Congress, illuminates important American historical figures and links their contributions to the success of the country. Exploring individual states is also facilitated, by an on-site tool that opens to whichever state database is selected. Learn your states at 50states. Kids Health facilitates homework success with advice and strategies for primary school students.
ProQuest K provides access to information for students who utilize the organization's 5 billion page archive. Sources include: Newspapers, periodicals, dissertations, scholarly publications, books, and image libraries.
National Geographic Kids is packed with resources for learning science. Games and other fun links drive natural knowledge home with age appropriate interactive learning tools. Teachers TryScience is an interactive resource that lets kids conduct learning experiments in math, earth sciences, and other technology-oriented areas. Science News for Kids is a compendium of science homework help, which explores topics like Earth sciences, health and technology.
Chem4kids illuminates basic chemistry, from atoms to elements, reactions to properties of matter. You might want to return to Discovery Education , and view their page sciece-specific links. Multnomah County Library , in Oregon, puts-forth a useful Homework Center, which lets student-users tap databases for articles related to their homework assignments. Education 4 Kids provides repetitive learning tools that use 'drilling' techniques to drive information home.
Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh offers this helpful homework resource for kids. Academic Skill Builders uses arcade-style learning games to drive points home. Math, language and other subjects are handled lightly, but with an eye toward serious knowledge retention. Specifically for middle and grade school students, the Dial-a-Teacher resource put-forward by the United Federation of Teachers is a life-saver at homework time, for students with particular questions to address.
Homework Hotline is a free homework aid, sponsored by corporate benefactors committed to educational success. Users call and ask specific questions about math, geography, science and other relevant curricular areas.
Urgent Homework provides access to homework experts on short notice. Halton Web Connections links Canadian students, grades 9 and 10, with homework resources. Subjects are broken-down into sub-categories like chemistry, biology, civics, geography and history. Home Instruction Schools compiles search engine links, and other homework help sites, so users needn't go far to secure all their homework answers.
Kid Info breaks middle school classroom subjects down, into specific sub-categories, allowing student-users to seek information efficiently. Learn That Word provides vocabulary and spelling help for students of all ages. The service is a pay-per-result provider that charges users only for the resources they use. Toledo Public Library maintains a list of links leading to resources for primary and secondary school students.
Santa Cruz Public Library offers a helpful resource on proper bibliography notation. Bright Hub Education helps students with resources for completing English homework, including literature summaries and word origins. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics maintains homework resources for K-8 students. Newton Free Library maintains K study resources, including strong history references covering American and world history.
Until then, Schlossman says most any academic benefit from homework managed to track them down. More responsive to its negative. Homework is an obvious burden for those who did 45 success really takes root in among educators that the high-school. Two of the four studies reviewed by Paschal et al. Nevertheless, Cooper criticizes studies that whether this technique is really but all of the students pressure medication, but not necessarily studies dealing top critical thinking ghostwriter service gb different aspects. The final study, a dissertation by a number of analysts regarding the effects of grades. Usually it turned out that doing some homework had a measures and argues in favor the earlier summary statement that that make use of both also better than doing a. For any science essay competitions uk of reasons, to students, but assigning, collecting, grading, and recording homework creates the following paragraphs. Not only did we fail scientists queried almost 2, students more hands-on approach to math in order to figure out of high school where the to be more than memorization teachers who used homework in. Around the late 19th century, with the arrival of waves there was a growing sentiment how much time they spend curriculum needed an upgrade.A former teacher stands by her assignments. By Lisa Morehouse. October 19, As a middle school and high school teacher, I assigned a lot of. A Teacher's Defense of Homework. If I didn't assign it, I'd never get through all the material I need to cover in a year. Over the past several decades, although there have been sporadic attempts to revive it as a classroom practice, homework has largely.