Student Doing Homework

After looking at more than 100 studies, the scholarly guru on this issue, Duke University psychologist Harris Cooper, concluded in 1989 that “for elementary school students, the effect of homework on achievement is trivial, if it exists at all.” In 2006, after reviewing more rigorous studies, he stepped back a bit and simply concluded the causal effect of homework on achievement was much stronger in grades seven through 12.

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●More than half of the elementary school parents said the assignments they submitted were too easy for their children.

Does that mean we need tougher homework in elementary school? Research shows that homework through fifth grade has little impact on achievement, compared with homework in middle and high school.

This means that although the kitchen table might bit a great choice for one kid, it might be loud, distracting, and not conducive to focused work for another.

So first things first, recognize that your child may already have their favorite places to do homework in mind, and involve them in the process of making it a regular habit to work in the most productive spots. Metacognition is defined as, “awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes.” This term’s origins are in the field of psychology, but a study out of Vanderbilt University actually ties metacognition or self-awareness to college success.

I have attended 45 back-to-school nights over the past 40 years. But this school year, I witnessed an exchange between a parent and a teacher like nothing I had seen before. She shrugged and said there would be no punishment.

Student Doing Homework

A father at the public elementary school in an affluent neighborhood asked: “Does a student have to do the homework? That may not be entirely true, but that is what she said. Some parents wonder about this but don’t dare raise the question in a room full of other parents.

It’s important to note that these successful students didn’t all use the same study habits; but rather, they were able to identify what worked best for them and stick to those strategies.

This is because every person takes in, processes, and learns information a little differently.

The latest comes from the Center for American Progress, in an unusual report based on an online survey, “Homework and Higher Standards.” The report from the liberal think tank buttresses the pro-homework argument but suggests to me (usually a homework fan) an adjustment that might please that dad.

The center collected a great deal of data, including a survey of 372 parents from throughout the country using an online tool that lets the parents submit homework samples.


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