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A daughter sits at a desk doing homework while her mom stands beside her helping

Credit: August de Richelieu

Does homework still have value? A Johns Hopkins education expert weighs in

Joyce epstein, co-director of the center on school, family, and community partnerships, discusses why homework is essential, how to maximize its benefit to learners, and what the 'no-homework' approach gets wrong.

By Vicky Hallett

The necessity of homework has been a subject of debate since at least as far back as the 1890s, according to Joyce L. Epstein , co-director of the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships at Johns Hopkins University. "It's always been the case that parents, kids—and sometimes teachers, too—wonder if this is just busy work," Epstein says.

But after decades of researching how to improve schools, the professor in the Johns Hopkins School of Education remains certain that homework is essential—as long as the teachers have done their homework, too. The National Network of Partnership Schools , which she founded in 1995 to advise schools and districts on ways to improve comprehensive programs of family engagement, has developed hundreds of improved homework ideas through its Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork program. For an English class, a student might interview a parent on popular hairstyles from their youth and write about the differences between then and now. Or for science class, a family could identify forms of matter over the dinner table, labeling foods as liquids or solids. These innovative and interactive assignments not only reinforce concepts from the classroom but also foster creativity, spark discussions, and boost student motivation.

"We're not trying to eliminate homework procedures, but expand and enrich them," says Epstein, who is packing this research into a forthcoming book on the purposes and designs of homework. In the meantime, the Hub couldn't wait to ask her some questions:

What kind of homework training do teachers typically get?

Future teachers and administrators really have little formal training on how to design homework before they assign it. This means that most just repeat what their teachers did, or they follow textbook suggestions at the end of units. For example, future teachers are well prepared to teach reading and literacy skills at each grade level, and they continue to learn to improve their teaching of reading in ongoing in-service education. By contrast, most receive little or no training on the purposes and designs of homework in reading or other subjects. It is really important for future teachers to receive systematic training to understand that they have the power, opportunity, and obligation to design homework with a purpose.

Why do students need more interactive homework?

If homework assignments are always the same—10 math problems, six sentences with spelling words—homework can get boring and some kids just stop doing their assignments, especially in the middle and high school years. When we've asked teachers what's the best homework you've ever had or designed, invariably we hear examples of talking with a parent or grandparent or peer to share ideas. To be clear, parents should never be asked to "teach" seventh grade science or any other subject. Rather, teachers set up the homework assignments so that the student is in charge. It's always the student's homework. But a good activity can engage parents in a fun, collaborative way. Our data show that with "good" assignments, more kids finish their work, more kids interact with a family partner, and more parents say, "I learned what's happening in the curriculum." It all works around what the youngsters are learning.

Is family engagement really that important?

At Hopkins, I am part of the Center for Social Organization of Schools , a research center that studies how to improve many aspects of education to help all students do their best in school. One thing my colleagues and I realized was that we needed to look deeply into family and community engagement. There were so few references to this topic when we started that we had to build the field of study. When children go to school, their families "attend" with them whether a teacher can "see" the parents or not. So, family engagement is ever-present in the life of a school.

My daughter's elementary school doesn't assign homework until third grade. What's your take on "no homework" policies?

There are some parents, writers, and commentators who have argued against homework, especially for very young children. They suggest that children should have time to play after school. This, of course is true, but many kindergarten kids are excited to have homework like their older siblings. If they give homework, most teachers of young children make assignments very short—often following an informal rule of 10 minutes per grade level. "No homework" does not guarantee that all students will spend their free time in productive and imaginative play.

Some researchers and critics have consistently misinterpreted research findings. They have argued that homework should be assigned only at the high school level where data point to a strong connection of doing assignments with higher student achievement . However, as we discussed, some students stop doing homework. This leads, statistically, to results showing that doing homework or spending more minutes on homework is linked to higher student achievement. If slow or struggling students are not doing their assignments, they contribute to—or cause—this "result."

Teachers need to design homework that even struggling students want to do because it is interesting. Just about all students at any age level react positively to good assignments and will tell you so.

Did COVID change how schools and parents view homework?

Within 24 hours of the day school doors closed in March 2020, just about every school and district in the country figured out that teachers had to talk to and work with students' parents. This was not the same as homeschooling—teachers were still working hard to provide daily lessons. But if a child was learning at home in the living room, parents were more aware of what they were doing in school. One of the silver linings of COVID was that teachers reported that they gained a better understanding of their students' families. We collected wonderfully creative examples of activities from members of the National Network of Partnership Schools. I'm thinking of one art activity where every child talked with a parent about something that made their family unique. Then they drew their finding on a snowflake and returned it to share in class. In math, students talked with a parent about something the family liked so much that they could represent it 100 times. Conversations about schoolwork at home was the point.

How did you create so many homework activities via the Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork program?

We had several projects with educators to help them design interactive assignments, not just "do the next three examples on page 38." Teachers worked in teams to create TIPS activities, and then we turned their work into a standard TIPS format in math, reading/language arts, and science for grades K-8. Any teacher can use or adapt our prototypes to match their curricula.

Overall, we know that if future teachers and practicing educators were prepared to design homework assignments to meet specific purposes—including but not limited to interactive activities—more students would benefit from the important experience of doing their homework. And more parents would, indeed, be partners in education.

Posted in Voices+Opinion

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Does Homework Really Help Students Learn?

A conversation with a Wheelock researcher, a BU student, and a fourth-grade teacher

child doing homework

“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.

Janine Bempechat

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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Sara Rimer

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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Boston University moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (EST) and can only accept comments written in English. Statistics or facts must include a citation or a link to the citation.

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

totally agree

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.

I disagree.

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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Should Kids Get Homework?

Homework gives elementary students a way to practice concepts, but too much can be harmful, experts say.

Mother helping son with homework at home

Getty Images

Effective homework reinforces math, reading, writing or spelling skills, but in a way that's meaningful.

How much homework students should get has long been a source of debate among parents and educators. In recent years, some districts have even implemented no-homework policies, as students juggle sports, music and other activities after school.

Parents of elementary school students, in particular, have argued that after-school hours should be spent with family or playing outside rather than completing assignments. And there is little research to show that homework improves academic achievement for elementary students.

But some experts say there's value in homework, even for younger students. When done well, it can help students practice core concepts and develop study habits and time management skills. The key to effective homework, they say, is keeping assignments related to classroom learning, and tailoring the amount by age: Many experts suggest no homework for kindergartners, and little to none in first and second grade.

Value of Homework

Homework provides a chance to solidify what is being taught in the classroom that day, week or unit. Practice matters, says Janine Bempechat, clinical professor at Boston University 's Wheelock College of Education & Human Development.

"There really is no other domain of human ability where anybody would say you don't need to practice," she adds. "We have children practicing piano and we have children going to sports practice several days a week after school. You name the domain of ability and practice is in there."

Homework is also the place where schools and families most frequently intersect.

"The children are bringing things from the school into the home," says Paula S. Fass, professor emerita of history at the University of California—Berkeley and the author of "The End of American Childhood." "Before the pandemic, (homework) was the only real sense that parents had to what was going on in schools."

Harris Cooper, professor emeritus of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University and author of "The Battle Over Homework," examined more than 60 research studies on homework between 1987 and 2003 and found that — when designed properly — homework can lead to greater student success. Too much, however, is harmful. And homework has a greater positive effect on students in secondary school (grades 7-12) than those in elementary.

"Every child should be doing homework, but the amount and type that they're doing should be appropriate for their developmental level," he says. "For teachers, it's a balancing act. Doing away with homework completely is not in the best interest of children and families. But overburdening families with homework is also not in the child's or a family's best interest."

Negative Homework Assignments

Not all homework for elementary students involves completing a worksheet. Assignments can be fun, says Cooper, like having students visit educational locations, keep statistics on their favorite sports teams, read for pleasure or even help their parents grocery shop. The point is to show students that activities done outside of school can relate to subjects learned in the classroom.

But assignments that are just busy work, that force students to learn new concepts at home, or that are overly time-consuming can be counterproductive, experts say.

Homework that's just busy work.

Effective homework reinforces math, reading, writing or spelling skills, but in a way that's meaningful, experts say. Assignments that look more like busy work – projects or worksheets that don't require teacher feedback and aren't related to topics learned in the classroom – can be frustrating for students and create burdens for families.

"The mental health piece has definitely played a role here over the last couple of years during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the last thing we want to do is frustrate students with busy work or homework that makes no sense," says Dave Steckler, principal of Red Trail Elementary School in Mandan, North Dakota.

Homework on material that kids haven't learned yet.

With the pressure to cover all topics on standardized tests and limited time during the school day, some teachers assign homework that has not yet been taught in the classroom.

Not only does this create stress, but it also causes equity challenges. Some parents speak languages other than English or work several jobs, and they aren't able to help teach their children new concepts.

" It just becomes agony for both parents and the kids to get through this worksheet, and the goal becomes getting to the bottom of (the) worksheet with answers filled in without any understanding of what any of it matters for," says professor Susan R. Goldman, co-director of the Learning Sciences Research Institute at the University of Illinois—Chicago .

Homework that's overly time-consuming.

The standard homework guideline recommended by the National Parent Teacher Association and the National Education Association is the "10-minute rule" – 10 minutes of nightly homework per grade level. A fourth grader, for instance, would receive a total of 40 minutes of homework per night.

But this does not always happen, especially since not every student learns the same. A 2015 study published in the American Journal of Family Therapy found that primary school children actually received three times the recommended amount of homework — and that family stress increased along with the homework load.

Young children can only remain attentive for short periods, so large amounts of homework, especially lengthy projects, can negatively affect students' views on school. Some individual long-term projects – like having to build a replica city, for example – typically become an assignment for parents rather than students, Fass says.

"It's one thing to assign a project like that in which several kids are working on it together," she adds. "In (that) case, the kids do normally work on it. It's another to send it home to the families, where it becomes a burden and doesn't really accomplish very much."

Private vs. Public Schools

Do private schools assign more homework than public schools? There's little research on the issue, but experts say private school parents may be more accepting of homework, seeing it as a sign of academic rigor.

Of course, not all private schools are the same – some focus on college preparation and traditional academics, while others stress alternative approaches to education.

"I think in the academically oriented private schools, there's more support for homework from parents," says Gerald K. LeTendre, chair of educational administration at Pennsylvania State University—University Park . "I don't know if there's any research to show there's more homework, but it's less of a contentious issue."

How to Address Homework Overload

First, assess if the workload takes as long as it appears. Sometimes children may start working on a homework assignment, wander away and come back later, Cooper says.

"Parents don't see it, but they know that their child has started doing their homework four hours ago and still not done it," he adds. "They don't see that there are those four hours where their child was doing lots of other things. So the homework assignment itself actually is not four hours long. It's the way the child is approaching it."

But if homework is becoming stressful or workload is excessive, experts suggest parents first approach the teacher, followed by a school administrator.

"Many times, we can solve a lot of issues by having conversations," Steckler says, including by "sitting down, talking about the amount of homework, and what's appropriate and not appropriate."

Study Tips for High School Students

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How to use homework to support student success.

  • by: Sandra Chafouleas
  • January 13, 2022
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Editor’s Note: Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Sandra Chafouleas shares insights on supporting students’ homework during the pandemic in the following piece, which originally appeared  in Psychology Today , where she publishes a blog.

COVID has brought many changes in education. What does it mean for homework?

School assignments that a student is expected to do outside of the regular school day—that’s homework. The general guideline is 10 minutes of nightly homework per grade level beginning after kindergarten. This amounts to just a few minutes for younger elementary students to up to 2 hours for high school students.

The guidance seems straightforward enough, so why is homework such a controversial topic? School disruptions, including extended periods of remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, have magnified the controversies yet also have provided an opportunity to rethink the purpose and value of homework.

Debates about the value of homework center around two primary issues: amount and inequity.

First, the amount of assigned homework may be much more than the recommended guidelines. Families report their children are stressed out over the time spent doing homework. Too much homework can challenge well-being given the restricted time available for sleep, exercise, and social connection. In a 2015 study , for example, parents reported their early elementary children received almost three times the recommended guidelines. In high school, researchers found an average of three hours of homework per night for students living in economically privileged communities.

“ Debates about the value of homework center around two primary issues: amount and inequity.”

Second, homework can perpetuate inequities. Students attending school in less economically privileged communities may receive little to no homework, or have difficulty completing it due to limited access to needed technology. This can translate into fewer opportunities to learn and may contribute to gaps in achievement.

There isn’t a ton of research on the effects of homework, and available studies certainly do not provide a simple answer. For example, a 2006 synthesis of studies suggested a positive influence between homework completion and academic achievement for middle and high school students. Supporters also point out that homework offers additional opportunities to engage in learning and that it can foster independent learning habits such as planning and a sense of responsibility. A more recent study involving 13-year-old students in Spain found higher test scores for those who were regularly assigned homework in math and science, with an optimal time around one hour—which is roughly aligned with recommendations. However, the researchers noted that ability to independently do the work, student effort, and prior achievement were more important contributors than time spent.

Opponents of homework maintain that the academic benefit does not outweigh the toll on well-being. Researchers have observed student stress, physical health problems, and lack of life balance, especially when the time spent goes over the recommended guidelines. In a survey of adolescents , over half reported the amount and type of homework they received to be a primary source of stress in their lives. In addition, vast differences exist in access and availability of supports, such as internet connection, adult assistance, or even a place to call home, as 1.5 million children experience homelessness in the United States

The COVID-19 pandemic has re-energized discussion about homework practices, with the goal to advance recommendations about how, when, and with whom it can be best used. Here’s a summary of key strategies:

Strategies for Educators

Make sure the tasks are meaningful and matched..

First, the motto “ quality over quantity ” can guide decisions about homework. Homework is not busy-work, and instead should get students excited about learning. Emphasize activities that facilitate choice and interest to extend learning, like choose your own reading adventure or math games. Second, each student should be able to complete homework independently with success. Think about Goldilocks: To be effective, assignments should be just right for each learner. One example of how do this efficiently is through online learning platforms that can efficiently adjust to skill level and can be completed in a reasonable amount of time.

Ensure access to resources for task completion.

One step toward equity is to ensure access to necessary resources such as time, space, and materials. Teach students about preparing for homework success, allocating classroom time to model and practice good study habits such as setting up their physical environment, time management, and chunking tasks. Engage in conversations with students and families to problem-solve challenges When needed, connect students with homework supports available through after-school clubs, other community supports, or even within a dedicated block during the school day.

Be open to revisiting homework policies and practices.

The days of penalizing students for not completing homework should be long gone. Homework is a tool for practicing content and learning self-management. With that in mind, provide opportunities for students to communicate needs, and respond by revising assignments or allowing them to turn in on alternative dates. Engage in adult professional learning about high-quality homework , from value (Should I assign this task?) to evaluation (How should this be graded? Did that homework assignment result in expected outcomes?). Monitor how things are going by looking at completion rates and by asking students for their feedback. Be willing to adapt the homework schedule or expectations based on what is learned.

Strategies for Families

Understand how to be a good helper..

When designed appropriately, students should be able to complete homework with independence. Limit homework wars by working to be a good helper. Hovering, micromanaging, or doing homework for them may be easiest in the moment but does not help build their independence. Be a good helper by asking guiding questions, providing hints, or checking for understanding. Focus your assistance on setting up structures for homework success, like space and time.

Use homework as a tool for communication.

Use homework as a vehicle to foster family-school communication. Families can use homework as an opportunity to open conversations about specific assignments or classes, peer relationships, or even sleep quality that may be impacting student success. For younger students, using a daily or weekly home-school notebook or planner can be one way to share information. For older students, help them practice communicating their needs and provide support as needed.

Make sure to balance wellness.

Like adults, children need a healthy work-life balance. Positive social connection and engagement in pleasurable activities are important core principles to foster well-being . Monitor the load of homework and other structured activities to make sure there is time in the daily routine for play. Play can mean different things to different children: getting outside, reading for pleasure, and yes, even gaming. Just try to ensure that activities include a mix of health-focused activities such as physical movement or mindfulness downtime.

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Is Homework Valuable or Not? Try Looking at Quality Instead

what is the value of homework to your education

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Is there an end in sight to the “homework wars?”

Homework is one those never-ending debates in K-12 circles that re-emerges every few years, bringing with it a new collection of headlines. Usually they bemoan how much homework students have, or highlight districts and even states that have sought to cap or eliminate homework .

Now, a new analysis from the Center for American Progress suggests a more fruitful way of thinking about this problem. Maybe, it suggests, what we should be doing is looking at what students are routinely being asked to do in take-home assignments, how well that homework supports their learning goals (or doesn’t), and make changes from there.

The analysis of nearly 200 pieces of homework concludes that much of what students are asked to do aligns to the Common Core State Standards—a testament to how pervasive the standards are in the U.S. education system, even though many states have tweaked, renamed, or replaced them. However, most of the homework embodied basic, procedural components of the standards, rather than the more difficult skills—such as analyzing or extending their knowledge to new problems.

“We were surprised by the degree of alignment. And we were also surprised by the degree that the homework was rote, and how much some of this stuff felt like Sudoku,” said Ulrich Boser, a senior fellow at CAP. “It made the homework debate make a lot more sense about why parents are frustrated.”

It is also similar to the findings of groups like the Education Trust, which have found that classwork tends to be aligned to state standards, but not all that rigorous.

Collecting Homework Samples

The CAP analysis appears to be one of the first studies to look at homework rigor using a national survey lens. Many studies of homework are based on one school or one district’s assignments, which obviously limits their applicability. Attempts to synthesize all this research have led to some hard-to-parse conclusions. One of the most cited studies concludes there’s some connection for grades 6-12 between homework and test scores, but less so for elementary students, and less of an impact on actual grades.

Another problem is that students’ experiences with homework seem to vary so dramatically: A Brookings Institution report based on survey data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress concluded that, while on average students aren’t overburdened by homework, a subset of students do appear to get hours upon hours.

The CAP analysis, instead, was based on getting a sample of parents from across the country to send in examples of their children’s homework. The researchers used MTurk, a crowdsourcing service offered by Amazon.com to recruit parents. Of the 372 parents who responded, the researchers got a pile of 187 useable assignments. Next, John Smithson, an emeritus researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, had teams grade them on a taxonomy looking at both the content and the “cognitive demand,” or difficulty, of the work. The index fell on a 1 to 10 scale, with a score 4 to 6 range considered as “good” alignment.

The results? On average, math assignments fell within this range, while the ELA ones were slightly weaker, in the 3 to 5 range.

But the real eye-opening graphic is this one, which shows that by far the assignments were mostly low-level.

what is the value of homework to your education

This makes some logical sense when you think about it. Just as with teaching and testing, it is much easier to write homework assignments prioritizing basic arithmetic drills and fill-in-the-blank vocabulary words than ones that get students to “prove” or “generalize” some tenet. (I suspect prepackaged curricula, too, probably lean more toward rote stuff than cognitively demanding exercises.)

Here’s another explanation: Many teachers believe homework should be for practicing known content, not learning something new. This is partially to help close the “homework gap” that surfaces because some students can access parent help or help via technology, while other students can’t. It’s possible that teachers are purposefully giving lower-level work to their students to take home for this reason.

To be sure, Boser said, it’s not that all lower-level work is intrinsically bad: Memorization does have a place in learning. But assignments like color-in-the-blank and word searches are probably just a waste of students’ time. “Homework assignments,” the study says, “should be thought-provoking.”

Study Limitations

The study does come with some significant limitations, so you must use caution in discussing its results. The surveyed population differs from the population at large, overrepresenting mothers over fathers and parents of K-5 students, and underrepresenting black parents. Also, the majority of the assignments the parents sent in came from the elementary grades.

The report makes suggestions on how districts can strategically improve the quality of their homework, rather than deciding to chuck it out altogether.

One is to is to audit homework assignments to make sure they’re actually useful at building some of the more difficult skills. Another is to extend the “curriculum revolution” of the last decade, which has focused more attention on the quality and alignment of textbooks and materials, to homework. A third is to use appropriate technology so students can access out-of-school supports for challenging homework.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.

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Homework: How to Effectively Build the Learning Bridge

what is the value of homework to your education

How has the global health crisis impacted the place that homework has in student learning and the school-home connection? Homework holds its place as a school tradition, expected by students and their parents as part of the experience of growing and learning. While there is ongoing debate about homework’s effectiveness, it is traditionally seen as a tool that strengthens academics by providing learning practice at home. John Hattie’s meta-analysis of relevant research on educational practices found that the overall effects of homework on learning are positive, and that the positive effect is highest for junior high and high school students but generally neutral for elementary students. In addition, there is variability depending on the type of homework as well as student demographics (Hattie, 2008).

Schools implementing the Responsive Classroom approach, whether in person or virtually, use homework to effectively build a learning bridge between home and school. When homework is used as a tool to build social, emotional, and academic learning beyond the school day, it takes on a different look and purpose than just more work to do at home. The goal of Responsive Classroom schools is to design homework that meets the basic needs of significance and belonging for every student by strengthening relationships, differentiating what success looks like for each child, and supporting students’ social, emotional, and academic learning.

Focus on Relationships

Homework that impedes relationships— either teacher-to-student, teacher-toparent, or student-to-parent—can potentially damage the home-school partnership. When educators examine the amount, type, and expectations of homework, they often start with the impact of homework on academic achievement. But when schools look beyond academic achievement and also include relationships, they will often rethink the look and purpose of homework.

Effectively building this school-to-home connection starts by replacing homework that impedes relationships with homework that will enhance them. Examples for building these connections include ways for students to share about family traditions, cultural practices, and/or family adventures. Lauren Komanitsky, a special education teacher at Christa McAuliffe Middle School in Jackson, New Jersey, observes:

I’ve seen tremendous enthusiasm for homework and projects that involve family members and their family history. [Students] love to learn about ancestors, interesting facts and stories, and simply getting a deeper understanding of their background. It inspires pride in them and that’s important for their identity. Students also love to do surveys and interviews of their family members. I think anything designed to create good, meaningful conversation between students and their families is time well spent. Lauren Komanitsky (personal communication, February 7, 2021)

Schools that use homework to strengthen home-school relationships embed opportunities for students to develop belonging and significance. As students share the home connections with their classmates and teachers, the classroom community will develop a larger sense of belonging because students see connections among common experiences.

Build Success for Every Student

Classrooms are diverse communities. While teachers intentionally differentiate learning during the school day, providing homework that meets the individual and cultural needs of each student requires additional attention.

One strategy for success for every student is to provide choice. Komanitsky has seen this strategy work when she has had students reflect on what they need and then select homework to meet that need:

Having kids select specific problems from a group, select what part of an overall project they are choosing to focus on, etc. . . . helps with creating a sense of autonomy. When we can give kids a choice in their learning based on their own self-reflection, they learn what it feels like to be in control of the process and this leads to more success. Lauren Komanitsky (personal communication, February 7, 2021)

When homework is designed for success for each student, the bridge between home and school supports a higher level of success and engagement.

Include Practice of Social and Emotional Learning Skills

The first guiding principle of the Responsive Classroom approach states, “Teaching social and emotional skills is as important as teaching academic content.” Social and emotional learning (SEL) is embedded in academic learning throughout the school day. Teachers can create a bridge between home and school by suggesting opportunities for students to practice SEL skills at home and in their community. For example, parents can have their children practice speaking with confidence by having them “make a request, place an order, or thank customer service workers” (Wilson, 2014, p. 67).

In addition, homework may involve students having conversations with family members about their learning histories—the successes, struggles, and strategies t hey encountered when they were students at different levels. When family members share their learning histories, students discover the application of the SEL and academic competencies of perseverance, cooperation, and responsibility. As Komanitsky points out:

When we share how we overcame struggles in certain academic subjects, it encourages perseverance and resilience in our students. Having parents and kids discuss their personal strengths and weaknesses and how they compensate when necessary is also a really good conversation. Lauren Komanitsky (personal communication, February 7, 2021)

Homework that focuses on SEL competencies provides for the transfer of these vital skills to a variety of real-life situations, both at home and in the community.

When schools approach homework as an extension of the learning day and see it as a way to strengthen relationships—between teachers and parents, students and parents, and students and teachers—homework becomes a valuable part of the school experience for every child. Students’ needs for belonging and significance are met and strengthened when homework provides for individual success. And when educators view homework as a tool to strengthen academic, social, and emotional learning, it becomes a valuable piece of the learning puzzle for every student.

what is the value of homework to your education

  • Hattie, J. (2008). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. Routledge.
  • Wilson, M. B. (2014). The language of learning: Teaching students core thinking, listening, and speaking skills. Center for Responsive Schools, Inc
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Adolescent girl doing homework.

What’s the Right Amount of Homework?

Decades of research show that homework has some benefits, especially for students in middle and high school—but there are risks to assigning too much.

Many teachers and parents believe that homework helps students build study skills and review concepts learned in class. Others see homework as disruptive and unnecessary, leading to burnout and turning kids off to school. Decades of research show that the issue is more nuanced and complex than most people think: Homework is beneficial, but only to a degree. Students in high school gain the most, while younger kids benefit much less.

The National PTA and the National Education Association support the “ 10-minute homework guideline ”—a nightly 10 minutes of homework per grade level. But many teachers and parents are quick to point out that what matters is the quality of the homework assigned and how well it meets students’ needs, not the amount of time spent on it.

The guideline doesn’t account for students who may need to spend more—or less—time on assignments. In class, teachers can make adjustments to support struggling students, but at home, an assignment that takes one student 30 minutes to complete may take another twice as much time—often for reasons beyond their control. And homework can widen the achievement gap, putting students from low-income households and students with learning disabilities at a disadvantage.

However, the 10-minute guideline is useful in setting a limit: When kids spend too much time on homework, there are real consequences to consider.

Small Benefits for Elementary Students

As young children begin school, the focus should be on cultivating a love of learning, and assigning too much homework can undermine that goal. And young students often don’t have the study skills to benefit fully from homework, so it may be a poor use of time (Cooper, 1989 ; Cooper et al., 2006 ; Marzano & Pickering, 2007 ). A more effective activity may be nightly reading, especially if parents are involved. The benefits of reading are clear: If students aren’t proficient readers by the end of third grade, they’re less likely to succeed academically and graduate from high school (Fiester, 2013 ).

For second-grade teacher Jacqueline Fiorentino, the minor benefits of homework did not outweigh the potential drawback of turning young children against school at an early age, so she experimented with dropping mandatory homework. “Something surprising happened: They started doing more work at home,” Fiorentino writes . “This inspiring group of 8-year-olds used their newfound free time to explore subjects and topics of interest to them.” She encouraged her students to read at home and offered optional homework to extend classroom lessons and help them review material.

Moderate Benefits for Middle School Students

As students mature and develop the study skills necessary to delve deeply into a topic—and to retain what they learn—they also benefit more from homework. Nightly assignments can help prepare them for scholarly work, and research shows that homework can have moderate benefits for middle school students (Cooper et al., 2006 ). Recent research also shows that online math homework, which can be designed to adapt to students’ levels of understanding, can significantly boost test scores (Roschelle et al., 2016 ).

There are risks to assigning too much, however: A 2015 study found that when middle school students were assigned more than 90 to 100 minutes of daily homework, their math and science test scores began to decline (Fernández-Alonso, Suárez-Álvarez, & Muñiz, 2015 ). Crossing that upper limit can drain student motivation and focus. The researchers recommend that “homework should present a certain level of challenge or difficulty, without being so challenging that it discourages effort.” Teachers should avoid low-effort, repetitive assignments, and assign homework “with the aim of instilling work habits and promoting autonomous, self-directed learning.”

In other words, it’s the quality of homework that matters, not the quantity. Brian Sztabnik, a veteran middle and high school English teacher, suggests that teachers take a step back and ask themselves these five questions :

  • How long will it take to complete?
  • Have all learners been considered?
  • Will an assignment encourage future success?
  • Will an assignment place material in a context the classroom cannot?
  • Does an assignment offer support when a teacher is not there?

More Benefits for High School Students, but Risks as Well

By the time they reach high school, students should be well on their way to becoming independent learners, so homework does provide a boost to learning at this age, as long as it isn’t overwhelming (Cooper et al., 2006 ; Marzano & Pickering, 2007 ). When students spend too much time on homework—more than two hours each night—it takes up valuable time to rest and spend time with family and friends. A 2013 study found that high school students can experience serious mental and physical health problems, from higher stress levels to sleep deprivation, when assigned too much homework (Galloway, Conner, & Pope, 2013 ).

Homework in high school should always relate to the lesson and be doable without any assistance, and feedback should be clear and explicit.

Teachers should also keep in mind that not all students have equal opportunities to finish their homework at home, so incomplete homework may not be a true reflection of their learning—it may be more a result of issues they face outside of school. They may be hindered by issues such as lack of a quiet space at home, resources such as a computer or broadband connectivity, or parental support (OECD, 2014 ). In such cases, giving low homework scores may be unfair.

Since the quantities of time discussed here are totals, teachers in middle and high school should be aware of how much homework other teachers are assigning. It may seem reasonable to assign 30 minutes of daily homework, but across six subjects, that’s three hours—far above a reasonable amount even for a high school senior. Psychologist Maurice Elias sees this as a common mistake: Individual teachers create homework policies that in aggregate can overwhelm students. He suggests that teachers work together to develop a school-wide homework policy and make it a key topic of back-to-school night and the first parent-teacher conferences of the school year.

Parents Play a Key Role

Homework can be a powerful tool to help parents become more involved in their child’s learning (Walker et al., 2004 ). It can provide insights into a child’s strengths and interests, and can also encourage conversations about a child’s life at school. If a parent has positive attitudes toward homework, their children are more likely to share those same values, promoting academic success.

But it’s also possible for parents to be overbearing, putting too much emphasis on test scores or grades, which can be disruptive for children (Madjar, Shklar, & Moshe, 2015 ). Parents should avoid being overly intrusive or controlling—students report feeling less motivated to learn when they don’t have enough space and autonomy to do their homework (Orkin, May, & Wolf, 2017 ; Patall, Cooper, & Robinson, 2008 ; Silinskas & Kikas, 2017 ). So while homework can encourage parents to be more involved with their kids, it’s important to not make it a source of conflict.

Boy doing homework at desk at home.

What’s the point of homework?

what is the value of homework to your education

Deputy Dean, School of Education, Western Sydney University

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Homework hasn’t changed much in the past few decades. Most children are still sent home with about an hour’s worth of homework each day, mostly practising what they were taught in class.

If we look internationally, homework is assigned in every country that participated in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2012.

Across the participating countries, 15-year-old students reported spending almost five hours per week doing homework in 2012. Australian students spent six hours per week on average on homework. Students in Singapore spent seven hours on homework, and in Shanghai, China they did homework for about 14 hours per week on average.

Read more: Aussie students are a year behind students 10 years ago in science, maths and reading

Shanghai and Singapore routinely score higher than Australia in the PISA maths, science and reading tests. But homework could just be one of the factors leading to higher results. In Finland, which also scores higher than Australia, students spent less than three hours on homework per week.

So, what’s the purpose of homework and what does the evidence say about whether it fulfils its purpose?

Why do teachers set homework?

Each school in Australia has its own homework policy developed in consultation with teachers and parents or caregivers, under the guiding principles of state or regional education departments.

For instance, according to the New South Wales homework policy “… tasks should be assigned by teachers with a specific, explicit learning purpose”.

Homework in NSW should also be “purposeful and designed to meet specific learning goals”, and “built on knowledge, skills and understanding developed in class”. But there is limited, if any, guidance on how often homework should be set.

Research based on teacher interviews shows they set homework for a range of reasons. These include to:

establish and improve communication between parents and children about learning

help children be more responsible, confident and disciplined

practise or review material from class

determine children’s understanding of the lesson and/or skills

introduce new material to be presented in class

provide students with opportunities to apply and integrate skills to new situations or interest areas

get students to use their own skills to create work.

So, does homework achieve what teachers intend it to?

Do we know if it ‘works’?

Studies on homework are frequently quite general, and don’t consider specific types of homework tasks. So it isn’t easy to measure how effective homework could be, or to compare studies.

But there are several things we can say.

First, it’s better if every student gets the kind of homework task that benefits them personally, such as one that helps them answer questions they had, or understand a problem they couldn’t quite grasp in class. This promotes students’ confidence and control of their own learning.

Read more: Learning from home is testing students' online search skills. Here are 3 ways to improve them

Giving students repetitive tasks may not have much value . For instance, calculating the answer to 120 similar algorithms, such as adding two different numbers 120 times may make the student think maths is irrelevant and boring. In this case, children are not being encouraged to find solutions but simply applying a formula they learnt in school.

In primary schools, homework that aims to improve children’s confidence and learning discipline can be beneficial. For example, children can be asked to practise giving a presentation on a topic of their interest. This could help build their competence in speaking in front of a class.

Young boy holding a microphone in the living room.

Homework can also highlight equity issues. It can be particularly burdensome for socioeconomically disadvantaged students who may not have a space, the resources or as much time due to family and work commitments. Their parents may also not feel capable of supporting them or have their own work commitments.

According to the PISA studies mentioned earlier, socioeconomically disadvantaged 15 year olds spend nearly three hours less on homework each week than their advantaged peers.

Read more: 'I was astonished at how quickly they made gains': online tutoring helps struggling students catch up

What kind of homework is best?

Homework can be engaging and contribute to learning if it is more than just a sheet of maths or list of spelling words not linked to class learning. From summarising various studies’ findings, “good” homework should be:

personalised to each child rather than the same for all students in the class. This is more likely to make a difference to a child’s learning and performance

achievable, so the child can complete it independently, building skills in managing their time and behaviour

aligned to the learning in the classroom.

If you aren’t happy with the homework your child is given then approach the school. If your child is having difficulty with doing the homework, the teacher needs to know. It shouldn’t be burdensome for you or your children.

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Raychelle Cassada Lohmann Ph.D.

The Value of Homework

Are teachers assigning too much homework.

Posted September 5, 2016 | Reviewed by Ekua Hagan

  • Studies show that the benefits of homework peak at about one hour to 90 minutes, and then after that, test scores begin to decline.
  • Research has found that high school teachers (grades 9-12) report assigning an average of 3.5 hours’ worth of homework a week.
  • While homework is necessary, there needs to be balance as well as communication between teachers about the amount of homework being assigned.

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The value of homework has been the subject of debate over the years. In regards to research, the jury is still out as to whether homework positively impacts a student's academic achievement.

In the past, I have written a couple of posts on homework and whether or not it is being used or abused by educators. I am always amazed at what some of my young readers share about sleepless nights, not participating in extracurricular events, and high levels of stress —all of which are attributed to large and daunting amounts of homework .

There have been studies that show that doing homework in moderation improves test performance. So we can’t rule out the value of homework if it’s conducive to learning. However, studies have also shown that the benefits of homework peak at about one hour to 90 minutes, and then after that, test scores begin to decline.

Now, while looking at data, it’s important to review the standard, endorsed by the National Education Association and the National Parent-Teacher Association , known as the "10-minute rule" — 10 minutes of homework per grade level per night. That would mean there would only be 10 minutes of homework in the first grade, and end with 120 minutes for senior year of high school (double what research shows beneficial). This leads to an important question: On average, how much homework do teachers assign?

monkeybusiness/Deposit Photos

Typical homework amounts

A Harris Poll from the University of Phoenix surveyed teachers about the hours of homework required of students and why they assign it. Pollsters received responses from approximately 1,000 teachers in public, private, and parochial schools across the United States.

High school teachers (grades 9-12) reported assigning an average of 3.5 hours’ worth of homework a week. Middle school teachers (grades 6-8) reported assigning almost the same amount as high school teachers, 3.2 hours of homework a week. Lastly, K-5 teachers said they assigned an average of 2.9 hours of homework each week. This data shows a spike in homework beginning in middle school.

Why homework is assigned

When teachers were asked why they assign homework, they gave the top three reasons:

  • to see how well students understand lessons
  • to help students develop essential problem-solving skills
  • to show parents what's being learned in school

Approximately, 30 percent of teachers reported they assigned homework to cover more content areas. What’s interesting about this poll was the longer an educator had been in the field the less homework they assigned. Take a look at the breakdown below:

  • 3.6 hours (teachers with less than 10 years in the classroom)
  • 3.1 hours (teachers with 10 to 19 years in the classroom)
  • 2.8 hours (teachers with more than 20 years in the classroom)

The need for balance

While many agree that homework does have a time and place, there needs to be a balance between life and school. There also needs to be communication with other teachers in the school about assignments. Oftentimes, educators get so involved in their subject area, they communicate departmentally, not school-wide. As a result, it’s not uncommon for teens to have a project and a couple of tests all on the same day. This dump of work can lead to an overwhelming amount of stress.

Questions for educators

Educators, how can you maximize the benefit of homework? Use the questions below to guide you in whether or not to assign work outside of the classroom. Ask yourself:

  • Do I need to assign homework or can this be done in class?
  • Does this assignment contribute and supplement the lesson reviewed in class?
  • Do students have all of the information they need to do this assignment? In others words, are they prepared to do the homework?
  • What are you wanting your students to achieve from this assignment? Do you have a specific objective and intended outcome in mind?
  • How much time will the assignment take to complete? Have you given your students a sufficient amount of time?
  • Have you taken into account other coursework that your students have due?
  • How can you incorporate student choice and feedback into your classroom?
  • How can you monitor whether or not you are overloading your students?

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What kids think of homework

Educators: As a conclusion, I have provided a few of the many comments, that I have received below. I think it’s important to look at the age/grade level and messages these teens have shared. Take time to read their words and reflect on ways you can incorporate their perspective into course objectives and content. I believe the solution to the homework dilemma can be found in assigning work in moderation and finding a balance between school, home, and life.

“I am a 7th grader in a small school in Michigan. I think one of the main problems about what teachers think about homework is that they do not think about what other classes are assigned for homework. Throughout the day, I get at least two full pages of homework to complete by the next day. During the school year, I am hesitant to sign up for sports because I am staying up after a game or practice to finish my homework.”

what is the value of homework to your education

“I'm 17 and I'm in my last year of high school. I can honestly tell you that from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. (sometimes 1 or 2 a.m.) I am doing homework. I've been trying to balance my homework with my work schedule, work around my house, and my social life with no success. So if someone were to ask me if I think kids have too much homework, I would say yes they do. My comment is based solely on my personal experience in high school.”

“I am 13 and I have a problem: homework. I can’t get my homework done at home because it is all on my school MacBook. I don’t own my own personal computer, only an Amazon Fire tablet. What’s the problem with my tablet? There are no middle or high school apps for it. You are might be wondering, “Why not bring the MacBook home?” Well, I am not allowed to, so what is the punishment ? Four late assignments, and 1 late argument essay. And 90% of the homework I get is on my MacBook. This is a mega stresser!"

Raychelle Cassada Lohmann Ph.D.

Raychelle Cassada Lohman n , M.S., LPC, is the author of The Anger Workbook for Teens .

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What is the value of homework.

What Is The Value Of Homework? By Brain Haley

Assigning homework serves various educational needs. It serves as an intellectual discipline, establishes study habits, eases time constraints on the amount of curricular material that can be covered in class, and supplements and reinforces work done in school. In addition, it fosters student initiative, independence, and responsibility and brings home and school closer together. Homework is the time students spend outside the classroom in assigned activities to practice, reinforce or apply newly-acquired skills and knowledge and to learn necessary skills of independent study. Practice assignments reinforce newly acquired skills.(Doyle, M. and B. Barber ). For example, students who have just learned a new method of solving a mathematical problem should be given sample problems to complete on their own. Preparation assignments help students get ready for activities that will occur in the classroom. Students may, for example, be required to do background research on a topic to be discussed later in class. Extension assignments are frequently long-term continuing projects that parallel classwork. Students must apply previous learning to complete these assignments, which include science fair projects and term papers. Like mowing the lawn or taking out the garbage, homework seems to be a fact of life. Families play a vital role in educating children. What families do is more important to student success than whether they are rich or poor, whether parents have finished high school or not, or whether children are in elementary, junior high, or high school. Every school will promote partnerships that will increase parental involvement and participation in promoting the social, emotional, and academic growth of children. But the value of homework extends beyond school. We know that good assignments, completed successfully, can help children develop wholesome habits and attitudes. Homework can help parents learn about their children's education and communicate both with their children and the schools. And it can encourage a lifelong love of learning. Research in the last decade has begun to focus on the relationship between homework and student achievement and has greatly strengthened the case for homework. Although there are mixed findings about whether homework actually increases students' academic achievement, many teachers and parents agree that homework develops students' initiative and responsibility and fulfills the expectations of students, parents, and the public. Studies generally have found homework assignments to be most helpful if they are carefully planned by the teachers and have direct meaning to students. In addition to helping with homework, there are many other important ways that parents can help their children learn. Parents can encourage children to spend more leisure time reading than watching television. They can talk with their children and communicate positive behaviors, values, and character traits. They can keep in touch with the school. And they can express high expectations for children and encourage their efforts to achieve. Homework is an opportunity for students to learn and for parents to be involved in their children's education. A parent's interest can spark enthusiasm in a child and help teach the most important lesson of all--that learning can be fun and is well worth the effort. Teachers assign homework for many reasons. Homework can help children: . review and practice what they've learned; . get ready for the next day's class; . learn to use resources, such as libraries, reference materials, and encyclopedias; and . explore subjects more fully than time permits in the classroom. Homework can also help children develop good habits and attitudes. It can teach children to work independently; encourage self-discipline and responsibility (assignments provide some youngsters with their first chance to manage time and meet deadlines); and encourage a love of learning. Homework can also bring parents and educators closer together. Parents who supervise homework and work with their children on assignments learn about their children's education and about the school. Homework is meant to be a positive experience and to encourage children to learn. Assignments should not be used as punishment. Teachers assign homework for many different reasons, and students may not always endorse - or even understand - their teachers' goals. However, the fact that students don't always understand or agree with us doesn't give us the luxury of ignoring their views. Several factors argue against dismissing their complaints. For one thing, all of us act based on our own perceptions of the world, not on the perceptions of others. Adults often refuse to follow the advice of doctors to lose weight if they are not convinced losing weight is as important as the doctor thinks it is. Simply telling students they have to do homework because it's important is never going to be effective if we can't convincingly counter their complaints that it's not. For another, the reasons teachers give for assigning homework often match up badly with the specific assignments they make, another case of "talking the talk" without "walking the walk." For example, assigning homework to increase student mastery of the subject isn't going to work if the assignments are simply repetitions of skills a student has already mastered. Moreover, reasons that go beyond academic achievement, such as teaching students to work without supervision, are suspect in any event. In an exhaustive review of research on homework, Harris Cooper found that "no study has examined whether noninstructional purposes (e.g., creating parent awareness, punishment) have their intended effects" and concludes that "most problematic [in the research on homework] is the number Of homework outcomes that remain unresearched . Implied questions about policy are important ones: Who decides what kind of out-of-school student habits and child-parent interaction should be promoted? And why should the school be doing such promotion? And how do we know that homework is a good tool for noninstructional goals, anyway? Some policymakers are, in fact, beginning to listen to student voices. As a result, they are beginning to ask questions about factors such as how much free time students actually have. In California, for example, a school board member in the Cabrillo school district made national headlines when he proposed banning homework entirely. What to do about homework remains unclear, although this research implies that overnight assignments may not be the ideal norm and that all assignments ought. to be thoughtfully designed and clearly valued by the teacher. What is clear is that we should stop thoughtlessly assigning homework out of habit, assuming that students can and will do it, assuming that something good will come out of it, no matter what we assign. Too much harm - rebellious or indifferent students, angry parents and teachers - results when students refuse to do as they're told. Or, docile obedience breeds an expensive form of cynicism among students who do "play the game" knowing that the point is not learning, but earning the teacher's good opinion and good grades. It's time to stop dismissing students' criticisms as irrelevant excuses for laziness, to ask ourselves if we deserve their criticism, and to start thinking critically about exactly what we assign, under what conditions, and why. Homework helps children do better in school when assignments are meaningful, are completed successfully, and are returned with constructive comments from the teacher. An assignment should have a specific purpose, come with clear instructions, be fairly well matched to a student's abilities, and designed to help develop a student's knowledge and skills. In the early elementary grades, homework can help children develop the habits and attitudes described earlier. From fourth through sixth grades, small amounts of homework, gradually increased each year, may support improved academic achievement. In seventh grade and beyond, students who complete more homework score better on standardized tests and earn better grades, on the average, than students who do less homework. The difference in test scores and grades between students who do more homework and those who do less increases as children move up through the grades. (Easton, J. and A. Bennett) What's the Right Amount of Homework? According to some researchers, two ways to increase students' opportunities to learn are to increase the amount of time that students have to learn and to expand the amount of content they receive. Homework assignments may foster both these goals. Reforms in education have called for increased homework, and as a result, reports show that students are completing considerably more homework than they did a decade ago. According to statements by the National PTA and the National Education Association (NEA), the following amounts of homework are recommended: . From kindergarten to third grade, no more than 20 minutes per day. . From fourth to sixth grade, 20 to 40 minutes per day. . From seventh to twelfth grade, the recommended amount of time varies according to the type and number of subjects a student is taking. In general, college-bound students receive lengthier and more involved homework than students preparing to enter the workforce immediately after graduation. Children need to know that their parents and adults close to them think homework is important. If they know their parents care, children have a good reason to complete assignments and turn them in on time. There is a lot that you can do to show that you value education and homework. Homework can bring together children, parents, and teachers in a common effort to improve student learning. Helping your child with homework is an opportunity to improve your child's chances of doing well in school and life. By helping your child with homework, you can help him learn important lessons about discipline and responsibility. You can open up lines of communication--between you and your child, and you and the school. You are in a unique position to help your child make connections between school work and the "real world," and thereby bring meaning (and some fun) to your child's homework experience.(Paaletin) Bibliography: . Doyle, M. and B. Barber (1990). Homework As a Learning Experience. What Research Says to the Teacher, 3rd ed. Washington, DC: National Education Association. 319 492. . Easton, J. and A. Bennett (1990). "Achievement Effects of Homework in Sixth Grade Classrooms." Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. 320 675. . Murphy, J. and K. Decker (May-June 1989). "Teachers' Use of Homework in High Schools." Journal of Educational Research, 82 (5), 261-269. . Murphy, J. and K. Decker (February 1990). "Homework Use at the High School Level: Implications for Principals." NASSP Bulletin, 74 (523), 40-43. . Paaletin, 72 (507), 14-17. . Rutherford, W. (1989). "Secondary School Homework Practices: Uses and Misuses." Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. About the Author: Courtesy: Ghost Term papers Source: www.isnare.com

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What’s the Purpose of Homework?

author avatar

  • Homework teaches students responsibility.
  • Homework gives students an opportunity to practice and refine their skills.
  • We give homework because our parents demand it.
  • Our community equates homework with rigor.
  • Homework is a rite of passage.
  • design quality homework tasks;
  • differentiate homework tasks;
  • move from grading to checking;
  • decriminalize the grading of homework;
  • use completion strategies; and
  • establish homework support programs.
  • Always ask, “What learning will result from this homework assignment?” The goal of your instruction should be to design homework that results in meaningful learning.
  • Assign homework to help students deepen their understanding of content, practice skills in order to become faster or more proficient, or learn new content on a surface level.
  • Check that students are able to perform required skills and tasks independently before asking them to complete homework assignments.
  • When students return home, is there a safe and quite place for them to do their homework? I have talked to teachers who tell me they know for certain the home environments of their students are chaotic at best. Is it likely a student will be able to complete homework in such an environment? Is it possible for students to go to an after school program, possibly at the YMCA or a Boys and Girls Club. Assigning homework to students when you know the likelihood of them being able to complete the assignment through little fault of their own doesn’t seem fair to the learner.
  • Consider parents and guardians to be your allies when it comes to homework. Understand their constraints, and, when home circumstances present challenges, consider alternative approaches to support students as they complete homework assignments (e.g., before-or after-school programs, additional parent outreach).

what is the value of homework to your education

Howard Pitler is a dynamic facilitator, speaker, and instructional coach with a proven record of success spanning four decades. With an extensive background in professional development, he works with schools and districts internationally and is a regular speaker at national, state, and district conferences and workshops.

Pitler is currently Associate Professor at Emporia State University in Kansas. Prior to that, he served for 19 years as an elementary and middle school principal in an urban setting. During his tenure, his elementary school was selected as an Apple Distinguished Program and named "One of the Top 100 Schools in America" by Redbook Magazine. His middle school was selected as "One of the Top 100 Wired Schools in America" by PC Magazine. He also served for 12 years as a senior director and chief program officer for McREL International, and he is currently serving on the Board of Colorado ASCD. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Apple Teacher, National Distinguished Principal, and Smithsonian Laureate.

He is a published book author and has written numerous magazine articles for  Educational Leadership ® magazine,  EdCircuit , and  Connected Educator , among others.

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Jessica Grose

Screens are everywhere in schools. do they actually help kids learn.

An illustration of a young student holding a pen and a digital device while looking at school lessons on the screens of several other digital devices.

By Jessica Grose

Opinion Writer

A few weeks ago, a parent who lives in Texas asked me how much my kids were using screens to do schoolwork in their classrooms. She wasn’t talking about personal devices. (Smartwatches and smartphones are banned in my children’s schools during the school day, which I’m very happy about; I find any argument for allowing these devices in the classroom to be risible.) No, this parent was talking about screens that are school sanctioned, like iPads and Chromebooks issued to children individually for educational activities.

I’m embarrassed to say that I couldn’t answer her question because I had never asked or even thought about asking. Partly because the Covid-19 era made screens imperative in an instant — as one ed-tech executive told my colleague Natasha Singer in 2021, the pandemic “sped the adoption of technology in education by easily five to 10 years.” In the early Covid years, when my older daughter started using a Chromebook to do assignments for second and third grade, I was mostly just relieved that she had great teachers and seemed to be learning what she needed to know. By the time she was in fifth grade and the world was mostly back to normal, I knew she took her laptop to school for in-class assignments, but I never asked for specifics about how devices were being used. I trusted her teachers and her school implicitly.

In New York State, ed tech is often discussed as an equity problem — with good reason: At home, less privileged children might not have access to personal devices and high-speed internet that would allow them to complete digital assignments. But in our learn-to-code society, in which computer skills are seen as a meal ticket and the humanities as a ticket to the unemployment line, there seems to be less chatter about whether there are too many screens in our kids’ day-to-day educational environment beyond the classes that are specifically tech focused. I rarely heard details about what these screens are adding to our children’s literacy, math, science or history skills.

And screens truly are everywhere. For example, according to 2022 data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, only about 8 percent of eighth graders in public schools said their math teachers “never or hardly ever” used computers or digital devices to teach math, 37 percent said their math teachers used this technology half or more than half the time, and 44 percent said their math teachers used this technology all or most of the time.

As is often the case with rapid change, “the speed at which new technologies and intervention models are reaching the market has far outpaced the ability of policy researchers to keep up with evaluating them,” according to a dazzlingly thorough review of the research on education technology by Maya Escueta, Andre Joshua Nickow, Philip Oreopoulos and Vincent Quan published in The Journal of Economic Literature in 2020.

Despite the relative paucity of research, particularly on in-class use of tech, Escueta and her co-authors put together “a comprehensive list of all publicly available studies on technology-based education interventions that report findings from studies following either of two research designs, randomized controlled trials or regression discontinuity designs.”

They found that increasing access to devices didn’t always lead to positive academic outcomes. In a couple of cases, it just increased the amount of time kids were spending on devices playing games. They wrote, “We found that simply providing students with access to technology yields largely mixed results. At the K-12 level, much of the experimental evidence suggests that giving a child a computer may have limited impacts on learning outcomes but generally improves computer proficiency and other cognitive outcomes.”

Some of the most promising research is around computer-assisted learning, which the researchers defined as “computer programs and other software applications designed to improve academic skills.” They cited a 2016 randomized study of 2,850 seventh-grade math students in Maine who used an online homework tool. The authors of that study “found that the program improved math scores for treatment students by 0.18 standard deviations. This impact is particularly noteworthy, given that treatment students used the program, on average, for less than 10 minutes per night, three to four nights per week,” according to Escueta and her co-authors.

They also explained that in the classroom, computer programs may help teachers meet the needs of students who are at different levels, since “when confronted with a wide range of student ability, teachers often end up teaching the core curriculum and tailoring instruction to the middle of the class.” A good program, they found, could help provide individual attention and skill building for kids at the bottom and the top, as well. There are computer programs for reading comprehension that have shown similar positive results in the research. Anecdotally: My older daughter practices her Spanish language skills using an app, and she hand-writes Spanish vocabulary words on index cards. The combination seems to be working well for her.

Though their review was published in 2020, before the data was out on our grand remote-learning experiment, Escueta and her co-authors found that fully online remote learning did not work as well as hybrid or in-person school. I called Thomas Dee, a professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education, who said that in light of earlier studies “and what we’re coming to understand about the long-lived effects of the pandemic on learning, it underscores for me that there’s a social dimension to learning that we ignore at our peril. And I think technology can often strip that away.”

Still, Dee summarized the entire topic of ed tech to me this way: “I don’t want to be black and white about this. I think there are really positive things coming from technology.” But he said that they are “meaningful supports on the margins, not fundamental changes in the modality of how people learn.”

I’d add that the implementation of any technology also matters a great deal; any educational tool can be great or awful, depending on how it’s used.

I’m neither a tech evangelist nor a Luddite. (Though I haven’t even touched on the potential implications of classroom teaching with artificial intelligence, a technology that, in other contexts, has so much destructive potential .) What I do want is the most effective educational experience for all kids.

Because there’s such a lag in the data and a lack of granularity to the information we do have, I want to hear from my readers: If you’re a teacher or a parent of a current K-12 student, I want to know how you and they are using technology — the good and the bad. Please complete the questionnaire below and let me know. I may reach out to you for further conversation.

Do your children or your students use technology in the classroom?

If you’re a parent, an educator or both, I want to hear from you.

Jessica Grose is an Opinion writer for The Times, covering family, religion, education, culture and the way we live now.

NEWS... BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT

The weirdest sex questions people ask AI show our sex ed really isn’t cutting it

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AI has been asked some weird sex questions, indicating poor sex education

We know that sex education in the UK is pretty sub par, with young people more clueless than ever about sex .

One in six people in the UK rate  sex education  as ‘terrible’, while 32% of 18 to 24 year olds admit to learning about sex through porn , 30% through TikTok and 35% learned from their peers.

In the same Lovehoney study, just 24% of young people have learned about sex from school , and now, to fill that knowledge gap, guys and girls are turning to AI to ask questions about sex.

The weirdest questions that ChatGPT is asked about sex, proves that our sex education needs some serious improvement.

Sexual wellness brand LELO shared the top 10 most bizarre questions people put to the bot.

How can I get laid quickly?

This question is a clear example of the pressure people feel to have sex and ‘get it over with’.

Kate Moyle, a sex psychologist working with sexual wellness brand LELO, previously told Metro.co.uk that ‘many people feel that they have sexual encounters because they think that they “should” sometimes, rather than a genuine want for the experience.’

‘This is because we have so many narratives and messages loaded onto sex, and some of these involve messages around the right time of sex or to explore, or that if someone isn’t having sexual experiences that it may be framed as a negative,’ said Kate.

‘Sex is a funny area of our lives because so much that we are comparing ourselves to is our assumptions about what everyone else is up to rather than the reality, as we rarely discuss it.’

ChatGPT also responded to this question by stressing the importance of on building meaningful connections and practising healthy communication.

AI search online

What’s the perfect rhythm and tempo I should be giving blowjobs to?

As we know, everyone has their own preferences, kinks and desires when it comes to sex – meaning, of course, that this one question could produce thousands of answers.

And, AI responded by emphasising that what one person enjoys may not be the same for another.

As ever, communication is key, which, if you’re getting your sex education through porn, may not be obvious to you.

Trying using our list of 80 sex and love questions , to help get to know your partner.

If I masturbate with my right hand one day and then masturbate with my left hand the next day, does that count as having multiple sexual partners?

Third on the list was this solo sex question. It’s perhaps no surprise a question like this is being asked, given that many of us still don’t talk about masturbation , whether that’s through shame, fear, or old-school politeness.

But masturbation is an important part of our sex lives – not only does it help you understand your likes and dislikes, it’s great for your mental health too .

It also plays into the dated gendered stereotypes surrounding so-called ‘body-counts’. The number of sexual partners you have does not define your worth – nor is it a good or bad thing to have more or less sexual partners.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your solo sex sessions, try these tips .

My penis is too big for condoms. Can I use a trash bag or something?

Research shows that, while in most Western countries, the median age to have sex for the first time is around 17, teenagers have the lowest level of contraception knowledge and use.

To clarify, unsurprisingly, bin bags can obviously not to be used as protection during sex. And, regardless of what your man might say, he is not too big for condoms.

There are condoms made for different sized penises, all the way to extra large. For example: Durex’s XL condoms are 2.2 inches (5.6cm) wide and 8.4 inches (21.3cm) long – the average erect penis is 5.17 inches.

And, when condoms are made, they’re tested by filling them with water to check for leaks, and blowing them up like balloons – your penis is not too big for a condom.

If I eat lots of chocolate and marshmallows, would my… you know, taste like s’mores?

The taste and smell of semen can be influenced by what you eat, how much you drink, and how healthy you are overall.

Eating certain foods, like pineapple, asparagus and garlic, can change the flavour, but there’s not much scientific proof of that.

According to Professor Geoff Hackett, urologist and medical advisor on behalf of  Hims , healthy semen is ‘a whitish, greyish’ colour, although you may notice an ‘occasional yellow tinge’.

Our bodies have a number of ways of telling us when something might be amiss, so knowing what normal for you is the best way to keep an eye on your health.

Can a girl get pregnant from a toilet seat?

The chances of this happening are slim to none , but in theory, it’s not totally out of the question.

The semen would have to be wet, not dry, and at body temperature. Even if it is fresh semen, the likelihood it would make it into the vagina and, if it did, it would have to have excellent motility to reach and fertilise an egg.

Why do I feel like a Werewolf during sex?

We won’t lie, this one came a bit out of left field for us but if it’s someone’s lived experience, then it’s a valid question.

Our readers have previously told Metro.co.uk that sex feels like an ‘avalanche’ , ‘like that loggers leap at Thorpe Park,’ and ‘sublime ’.

AI had quite a unique take on this question. It answered that the feeling of being a ‘werewolf’ during sex might be a metaphorical or symbolic expression of a strong, primal, or intense experience.

What is the right age to start teaching my dog about sex?

I suppose you’ve got to hand it to these pet owners for wanting to ensure their furry friends are staying safe and healthy.

But, obviously, you can’t ‘teach’ your dog about sex in a human way. Dogs have natural instincts for mating and reproduction. If you don’t want your dog or cat having an unplanned pregnancy, you need to have them spayed and neutered at the appropriate age.

When gay men have sex, how do they choose whose penis will open up to put the other penis into it?

A 2022 survey commissioned by the Sex Education Forum found that UK students report that they don’t learn enough LGBTQ+ relevant information (54%) when it comes to sex.

Forty-three percent of respondents identifying as straight rated their RSE as ‘good’ or ‘very good’, compared with 31% of those identifying as LGBTQ+.

In this case, ChatGPT explained there might be a misunderstanding, saying that in intimate activities, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, there’s no situation where one person’s anatomy ‘opens up’ to another’s.

Can you get pregnant if a boy touches your breast with his mouth?

Again, the same survey found that students reported that their sex education was not taught in a way that ‘explored scenarios or real-life examples’, such as the one presented in this question.

Simply touching or kissing the breasts, even with the mouth, doesn’t cause pregnancy.

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing [email protected] .

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what is the value of homework to your education

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  1. Why is Homework Important: Importance of Homework in Learning Process

    what is the value of homework to your education

  2. The Benefits Of Homework: How Homework Can Help Students Succeed

    what is the value of homework to your education

  3. The Importance Of Homework In The Educational Process

    what is the value of homework to your education

  4. Value of Homework in Student's Life

    what is the value of homework to your education

  5. The Importance of Homework in Learning

    what is the value of homework to your education

  6. 15 Amazing Benefits of Homework: An Essential Guide

    what is the value of homework to your education

VIDEO

  1. Present Value Homework Problem PV PVA

  2. (WHAT VALUE IS THERE IN HOMEWORK)

  3. Is Homework Good or Bad for Student Achievement? Exploring the Impact of Homework on Learning

  4. When to use Make or Do in English Grammar

  5. is homework beneficial

  6. Quiz 03

COMMENTS

  1. Key Lessons: What Research Says About the Value of Homework

    Too much homework may diminish its effectiveness. While research on the optimum amount of time students should spend on homework is limited, there are indications that for high school students, 1½ to 2½ hours per night is optimum. Middle school students appear to benefit from smaller amounts (less than 1 hour per night).

  2. Does homework still have value? A Johns Hopkins education expert weighs

    Q+A. Does homework still have value? A Johns Hopkins education expert weighs in. Joyce Epstein, co-director of the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships, discusses why homework is essential, how to maximize its benefit to learners, and what the 'no-homework' approach gets wrong. The necessity of homework has been a subject of ...

  3. 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.

  4. Should Kids Get Homework?

    Too much, however, is harmful. And homework has a greater positive effect on students in secondary school (grades 7-12) than those in elementary. "Every child should be doing homework, but the ...

  5. How to Use Homework to Support Student Success

    Debates about the value of homework center around two primary issues: amount and inequity. First, the amount of assigned homework may be much more than the recommended guidelines. Families report their children are stressed out over the time spent doing homework. Too much homework can challenge well-being given the restricted time available for ...

  6. PDF What the research says about HOMEWORK

    Education Policy Studies at Penn State College of Education found that Americans rank in the middle of the globally competitive nations in "amount of homework assigned" (Stevenson 2010). Homework opponents may have a point, as not all homework is "good" homework Marzano and Pickering (2007).

  7. PDF Does Homework Really Improve Achievement? Kevin C. Costley, Ph.D ...

    The National Parent Teacher Association has a parents' guide called Helping Your Child Get the Most Out of Homework. It states, "Most educators agree that for children in grades K-2, homework is more effective when it does not exceed 10-20 minutes each day; older child in grades 3-5 can handle 30-60 minutes a day."

  8. Is Homework Valuable or Not? Try Looking at Quality Instead

    The CAP analysis appears to be one of the first studies to look at homework rigor using a national survey lens. Many studies of homework are based on one school or one district's assignments ...

  9. NAIS

    Go Deeper In "The Homework Debate: What It Means for Lower Schools," a July 22, 2019 Independent Ideas blog post, author Kelly King asks, "Does homework prepare students for middle school and beyond?" and shares how her school sought to answer that question. "To create a better policy that centers on student needs, faculty members and I decided to investigate the value of homework.

  10. Homework: How to Effectively Build the Learning Bridge

    Schools implementing the Responsive Classroom approach, whether in person or virtually, use homework to effectively build a learning bridge between home and school. When homework is used as a tool to build social, emotional, and academic learning beyond the school day, it takes on a different look and purpose than just more work to do at home.

  11. What's the Right Amount of Homework?

    The National PTA and the National Education Association support the " 10-minute homework guideline "—a nightly 10 minutes of homework per grade level. But many teachers and parents are quick to point out that what matters is the quality of the homework assigned and how well it meets students' needs, not the amount of time spent on it.

  12. What's the point of homework?

    These include to: establish and improve communication between parents and children about learning. help children be more responsible, confident and disciplined. practise or review material from ...

  13. Homework

    When implementing homework, the evidence suggests a wide variation in impact. Therefore, schools should consider the ' active' ingredients to the approach, which may include: Considering the quality of homework over the quantity. Using well-designed tasks that are linked to classroom learning. Clearly setting out the aims of homework to pupils.

  14. The Value of Homework: Is Homework an Important Tool for Learning in

    Education consultant Ken O'Connor (1999) suggests eight guidelines for successful assessment, which includes a directive to not mark every single assignment for grades, but rather take a sampling of student efforts in order to assess how much they have learned.

  15. The Value of Homework

    High school teachers (grades 9-12) reported assigning an average of 3.5 hours' worth of homework a week. Middle school teachers (grades 6-8) reported assigning almost the same amount as high ...

  16. EdNext Podcast: What is the Value of Homework?

    Janine Bempechat, clinical professor of human development at the Boston University Wheelock College of Education and Human Development, the author of a new article, "The Case for (Quality) Homework." talks with Marty West why homework improves learning and how parents can help. The EdNext Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Soundcloud, Stitcher and here every Wednesday.

  17. THE CASE FOR (QUALITY) HOMEWORK: WHY IT IMPROVES LEARNING, AND ...

    Parental concerns about their children's homework loads are nothing new. Debates over the merits of homework--tasks that teachers ask students to complete during non-instructional time--have ebbed and flowed since the late 19th century, and today its value is again being scrutinized and weighed against possible negative impacts on family life and children's well-being.

  18. Should We Get Rid of Homework?

    Homework's value is unclear for younger students. But by high school and college, homework is absolutely essential for any student who wishes to excel. There simply isn't time to digest ...

  19. PDF The Importance of Homework in Your Child'S Education

    teachers and administrators, homework is a cost effective way to provide additional instruction in practice. Lets examine the six constructive purposes for homework in the context of your child's educational experience. The first two are the most important and obvious. Through (1) practice and (2) participation in learning tasks, homework can ...

  20. What Is The Value Of Homework?

    But the value of homework extends beyond school. We know that good assignments, completed successfully, can help children develop wholesome habits and attitudes. Homework can help parents learn about their children's education and communicate both with their children and the schools. And it can encourage a lifelong love of learning.

  21. Homework Pros and Cons

    In the early 1900s, progressive education theorists, championed by the magazine Ladies' Home Journal, decried homework's negative impact on children's physical and mental health, leading California to ban homework for students under 15 from 1901 until 1917. In the 1930s, homework was portrayed as child labor, which was newly illegal, but ...

  22. What's the Purpose of Homework?

    The goal of your instruction should be to design homework that results in meaningful learning. Assign homework to help students deepen their understanding of content, practice skills in order to become faster or more proficient, or learn new content on a surface level. Check that students are able to perform required skills and tasks ...

  23. Why is Homework Important?

    Homework is an opportunity to learn and retain information in an environment where they feel most comfortable, which can help accelerate their development. 5. Using Learning Materials. Throughout a child's education, understanding how to use resources such as libraries and the internet is important. Homework teaches children to actively ...

  24. Screens Are Everywhere in Schools. Do They Actually Help Kids Learn?

    And screens truly are everywhere. For example, according to 2022 data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, only about 8 percent of eighth graders in public schools said their math ...

  25. The weirdest sex questions people ask AI show sex education isn't

    The weirdest sex questions people ask AI show our sex ed really isn't cutting it. We know that sex education in the UK is pretty sub par, with young people more clueless than ever about sex. One ...