Written By Jimmy Ma, Titan of Tutoring for Enhanced Prep
It’s the age-old question: is homework useful, and should schools assign it?
More and more schools are now eliminating homework from their curriculum. The reasoning behind this? Many students do not have the ability to complete homework due to after school commitments, including extra-curricular activities, part-time jobs, religious events, and/or family obligations. By removing homework from the equation, schools are attempting to level the academic field.
However, the question is raised as to whether the equality of student work is worth the possible drop in students’ ability to learn effectively.
The author of this article performed an independent study to answer the following question: does eliminating homework from school curriculum help students, or does it ultimately have a negative influence?
The Homework Study: Purpose and Parameters
This study examines the effect of homework as a tool to determine and improve material retention in the classroom. The quantifiable value of homework is shown with quizzes and tests following each week of regular homework assignments.
We examine the variable of parental involvement/guidance with homework completion.
The study was completed over the course of three weeks in which:
- the first week was a control week with no homework introduced
- homework was given the second week and
- homework with parental involvement was given the third week
Research was conducted in four different schools with four classes of students with similar academic abilities.
The results showed that the addition of homework increased student performance on quizzes and therefore indicated higher material retention rates.
Test scores from the second week (with homework) were higher than the scores from the first week (without homework). Test scores from the third week increased even more, indicating that parental involvement could be a key factor in helping students complete homework and retain material.
The conclusion is that homework could very likely have a positive effect on students and their capacity to effectively learn. In addition, parental involvement is a great option for increasing the likelihood that students complete homework and retain the information. Overall, the study indicates that homework could be a helpful learning component for students.
In addition to these conclusions, there was an additional auxiliary result observed: parental motivation could be another key element in helping improve student performance. The study involved asking parents to simply inspect student homework and give a positive remark.
Was the simple act of positive reinforcement central to motivating students to succeed academically and complete more homework with higher accuracy? The results certainly suggest this.
If you are a parent and find yourself reading this article, I implore you to take a motivating hand in your child’s academics. Doing so may impact student achievement in a profoundly positive way.