Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Piling On The Homework: Does It Work For Everyone?

Date:
August 19, 2008
Source:
Binghamton University
Summary:
While US students continue to lag behind many countries academically, national statistics show that teachers have responded by assigning more homework. But according to a joint study by researchers at Binghamton University and the University of Nevada, when it comes to math, piling on the homework may not work for all students.

While U.S students continue to lag behind many countries academically, national statistics show that teachers have responded by assigning more homework. But according to a joint study by researchers at Binghamton University and the University of Nevada, when it comes to math, piling on the homework may not work for all students.

Published in the July issue of the Econometrics Journal, researchers found that although assigning more homework tends to have a larger and more significant impact on mathematics test scores for high and low achievers, it is less effective for average achievers.

"We found that if a teacher has a high achieving group of students, pushing them harder by giving them more homework could be beneficial," said Daniel Henderson, associate professor of economics at Binghamton University. "Similarly, if a teacher has a low ability class, assigning more homework may help since they may not have been pushed hard enough. But for the average achieving classes, who may have been given too much homework in an attempt to equate them with the high achieving classes, educators could be better served by using other methods to improve student achievement. Given these students' abilities and time constraints, learning by doing may be a more effective tool for improvement."

According to co-author Ozkan Eren, assistant professor of economics at the University of Nevada, the study examined an area previously unexplored, namely the connection between test scores and extra homework.

"There has been an extensive amount of research examining the influences of students' achievement, but it has been primarily focused on financial inputs such as class size or teachers' credentials," said Eren. "Our study examined the affect that additional homework has on test scores." While past studies suggest that nearly all students benefit from being assigned more homework Henderson and Eren discovered that only about 40% of the students surveyed would significantly benefit from an additional hour of homework each night.

According to Henderson, the findings should be of particular interest to schools who have responded to the increased pressures to pass state-mandated tests by forcing students to hit the books even harder. "This does not mean that homework is unimportant for average achievers," says Henderson. "But it does mean that this population may also benefit from other activities such as sports, art or music, rather than additional hours of math homework."

So what can teachers take away from the study? Henderson points out that every student is unique and while umbrella policies may benefit some, they generally cannot be applied to all.

"In my own personal experience I see that each semester requires a different approach," says Henderson. "This is even true when I teach the same course twice in a semester. Different times of the day or lengths of classes require different methods. Just as different quality students require different approaches."

Henderson also points out that repetition has been proven effective for some but not all subjects and what may have worked one academic year may need to be altered the next.

"Teachers should consider quality over quantity when it comes to homework assignments," he says. "In the end it should be up to the individual teacher to decide how to motivate and educate their students."

According to Henderson, the learning process needs to remain a rich, broad experience.

"One of the most beautiful things about America to me is the creativity that we instill in our primary and secondary schools," says Henderson. "I know that we lag behind many countries in test scores, but I believe we also produce some of the most creative, enthusiastic students in the world."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Binghamton University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Binghamton University. "Piling On The Homework: Does It Work For Everyone?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080818101331.htm>.
Binghamton University. (2008, August 19). Piling On The Homework: Does It Work For Everyone?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080818101331.htm
Binghamton University. "Piling On The Homework: Does It Work For Everyone?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080818101331.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) In a ruling attorneys for both sides agreed was a first of its kind, a Georgia appeals court said parents can be held liable for what kids put online. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

Buzz60 (Oct. 17, 2014) Feeling down? Reach for the refrigerator, not the medicine cabinet! TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) shares some of the best foods to boost your mood. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

Newsy (Oct. 15, 2014) Researchers claim they’ve diagnosed the first example of the disorder in a 31-year-old U.S. Navy serviceman. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins