A poll conducted for the Associated Press earlier this year found that about 57 percent of parents felt their child was assigned about the right amount of homework. Another 23 percent thought it was too little, 19 percent thought it was too much. Educators should be thrilled by these numbers. Pleasing a majority of parents regarding homework and having equal numbers of dissenters shouting "too much! But opinions cannot tell us whether homework works; only research can, which is why my colleagues and I have conducted a combined analysis of dozens of homework studies to examine whether homework is beneficial and what amount of homework is appropriate for our children. The homework question is best answered by comparing students who are assigned homework with students assigned no homework but who are similar in other ways.
The Cult of Homework
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A Texas teacher's note to parents about her newly implemented "no formal homework policy" in her second-grade class went viral last week, opening up the floodgates for parents, teachers and school administrators to weigh in on this controversial topic. In the note, teacher Brandy Young told parents that her students' only homework would be work that they did not finish during the school day. Instead of having kids spend time on homework , parents should "spend your evenings doing things that are proven to correlate with student success," Young said. She recommended that parents " eat dinner as a family , read together, play outside and get your child to bed early," strategies that she suggests are more closely tied to a child's success in the classroom than doing homework. Young's rationale for her new policy, as she explained in her note, was that "research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance.
Does homework really work?
Whether homework helps students — and how much homework is appropriate — has been debated for many years. Homework has been in the headlines again recently and continues to be a topic of controversy, with claims that students and families are suffering under the burden of huge amounts of homework. School board members, educators, and parents may wish to turn to the research for answers to their questions about the benefits and drawbacks of homework. Unfortunately, the research has produced mixed results so far, and more research is needed. Nonetheless, there are some findings that can help to inform decisions about homework.
A s kids return to school, debate is heating up once again over how they should spend their time after they leave the classroom for the day. The no-homework policy of a second-grade teacher in Texas went viral last week , earning praise from parents across the country who lament the heavy workload often assigned to young students. Brandy Young told parents she would not formally assign any homework this year, asking students instead to eat dinner with their families, play outside and go to bed early. But the question of how much work children should be doing outside of school remains controversial, and plenty of parents take issue with no-homework policies, worried their kids are losing a potential academic advantage. Second graders, for example, should do about 20 minutes of homework each night.