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Alfie Kohn

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From the homework laboratories
Yes homework works

Multiple-choice tests are basically designed so that many kids who understand a given idea will be tricked into picking the wrong answer. Instead, its primary purpose is to artificially spread out the scores in order to facilitate ranking students against each other. Moreover, the selection of questions for these tests is informed by this imperative to rank. Thus, items that a lot of students answer correctly or incorrectly are typically eliminated — regardless of whether the content is important — and replaced with questions that about half the kids will get right.

This is done in order to make it easier to compare students to one another. In the latter case, a high or rising average test score may actually be a reason to worry.

Every hour that teachers spend preparing kids to succeed on standardized tests, even if that investment pays off, is an hour not spent helping kids to become critical, curious, creative thinkers. The limitations of these tests are so numerous and so serious that studies showing an association between homework and higher scores are highly misleading. The fact that more meaningful outcomes are hard to quantify does not make test scores or grades any more valid, reliable, or useful as measures.

To use them anyway calls to mind the story of the man who looked for his lost keys near a streetlight one night not because that was where he dropped them but just because the light was better there. Even taken on its own terms, the research turns up some findings that must give pause to anyone who thinks homework is valuable. Homework matters less the longer you look.

The longer the duration of a homework study, the less of an effect the homework is shown to have. The studies finding the greatest effect were those that captured less of what goes on in the real world by virtue of being so brief. Even where they do exist, positive effects are often quite small. The same was true of a large-scale high school study from the s.

There is no evidence of any academic benefit from homework in elementary school. The absence of evidence supporting the value of homework before high school is generally acknowledged by experts in the field — even those who are far less critical of the research literature and less troubled by the negative effects of homework than I am.

But this remarkable fact is rarely communicated to the general public. In , Cooper summarized the available research with a sentence that ought to be e-mailed to every parent, teacher, and administrator in the country: It, too, found minuscule correlations between the amount of homework done by sixth graders, on the one hand, and their grades and test scores, on the other. For third graders, the correlations were negative: He was kind enough to offer the citations, and I managed to track them down.

The point was to see whether children who did math homework would perform better on a quiz taken immediately afterward that covered exactly the same content as the homework.

The third study tested 64 fifth graders on social studies facts. All three of these experiments found exactly what you would expect: The kids who had drilled on the material — a process that happened to take place at home — did better on their respective class tests. The final study, a dissertation project, involved teaching a lesson contained in a language arts textbook.

It seems safe to say that these latest four studies offer no reason to revise the earlier summary statement that no meaningful evidence exists of an academic advantage for children in elementary school who do homework. The correlation only spikes at or above grade A large correlation is necessary, in other words, but not sufficient.

Indeed, I believe it would be a mistake to conclude that homework is a meaningful contributor to learning even in high school.

Remember that Cooper and his colleagues found a positive effect only when they looked at how much homework high school students actually did as opposed to how much the teacher assigned and only when achievement was measured by the grades given to them by those same teachers. All of the cautions, qualifications, and criticisms in this chapter, for that matter, are relevant to students of all ages.

Students who take this test also answer a series of questions about themselves, sometimes including how much time they spend on homework. For any number of reasons, one might expect to find a reasonably strong association between time spent on homework and test scores. Yet the most striking result, particularly for elementary students, is precisely the absence of such an association.

Consider the results of the math exam. Fourth graders who did no homework got roughly the same score as those who did 30 minutes a night. Remarkably, the scores then declined for those who did 45 minutes, then declined again for those who did an hour or more!

In twelfth grade, the scores were about the same regardless of whether students did only 15 minutes or more than an hour. In the s, year-olds in a dozen nations were tested and also queried about how much they studied.

Again, the results were not the same in all countries, even when the focus was limited to the final years of high school where the contribution of homework is thought to be strongest.

Usually it turned out that doing some homework had a stronger relationship with achievement than doing none at all, but doing a little homework was also better than doing a lot. Again they came up empty handed. Our students get significantly less homework than their counterparts across the globe. Every step of this syllogism is either flawed or simply false.

Premise 2 has been debunked by a number of analysts and for a number of different reasons. But in fact there is now empirical evidence, not just logic, to challenge the conclusions. Two researchers looked at TIMSS data from both and in order to be able to compare practices in 50 countries.

When they published their findings in , they could scarcely conceal their surprise:. Not only did we fail to find any positive relationships, [but] the overall correlations between national average student achievement and national averages in the frequency, total amount, and percentage of teachers who used homework in grading are all negative!

If these data can be extrapolated to other subjects — a research topic that warrants immediate study, in our opinion — then countries that try to improve their standing in the world rankings of student achievement by raising the amount of homework might actually be undermining their own success. More homework may actually undermine national achievement. Incidental research raises further doubts about homework.

Reviews of homework studies tend to overlook investigations that are primarily focused on other topics but just happen to look at homework, among several other variables. Handling homework equips students with a whole set of work and life skills - from taking responsibility for one's work to work discipline to learning how to research information - that are essential in work life and higher education.

And isn't learning those skills as much a part of a child's education as learning how to score well in an exam? Refrain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks, name calling or inciting hatred against any community.

Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by marking them offensive. Let's work together to keep the conversation civil. Study says homework doesn't help students score better grades. From around the web Cancer-ridden 8yr wants to die due to excruciating pain Milaap. Don't buy a flat! See how NRIs are getting rich with this. Ranbir Kapoor again turns photographer for Alia Bhatt. Read Post a comment. However, homework only bolsters students' academic performance during their last three years of grade school.

The research is detailed in his new book, "Reforming Homework: Practices, Learning and Policies" Palgrave Macmillan, The same basic finding holds true across the globe, including in the U. He and his colleagues have found that teachers typically give take-home assignments that are unhelpful busy work.

Assigning homework "appeared to be a remedial strategy a consequence of not covering topics in class, exercises for students struggling, a way to supplement poor quality educational settings , and not an advancement strategy work designed to accelerate, improve or get students to excel ," LeTendre wrote in an email.

This type of remedial homework tends to produce marginally lower test scores compared with children who are not given the work.

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2. Do we really know how much homework kids do? The studies claiming that homework helps are based on the assumption that we can accurately measure the number and length of assignments. But many of these studies depend on students to tell us how much homework they get (or complete).

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Books like The End of Homework, The Homework Myth, and The Case Against Homework and the film Race to Nowhere make the case that homework, by taking away precious family time and putting kids under unneeded pressure, is an ineffective way to help children become better learners and thinkers.

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Research suggests that, with two exceptions, homework for elementary children is not beneficial and does not boost achievement levels. The first exception is in the case of a student who is struggling to complete classroom tasks. Does homework need to be rethought so that it is less of a burden and engages the child more effectively? Certainly. As the co-author said, homework should be used to integrate what is going on in the classroom, not simply make .

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Fear not homework is the best solution to this americansexypussyfuckedshow.gqts should get homework because homework is a great preparation for tests, you will have a better understanding about the topic, and its a productive way to spend your spare time. 31 Comments on “Too Often, Homework Doesn’t Work” Homework is there to help, not take your children from family and friends. I ate dinner with my family everyday and still did my homework. I also have a great social life. Homework did not hold me or anyone else i know back from experiencing life, if anything it helped us all.