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Homework: “The Good, The Bad and The Unexpected”.

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1 Homework: “The Good, The Bad and The Unexpected”

2 What The Research Has Stated There is no consistent and/or clear evidence that any amount of homework improves academic and non-academic performance. (Kohn, 2006) – TIMMS states that doing some homework is better than none, but doing a little is better than a lot – Negative correlation between grading homework and increased achievement In Canada the average student spends an average of 9.2 hours weekly on homework. (StatsCan, 2011) An empirical study finds that extensive homework in high school is associated with physical symptoms, academic worries, and mental health problems. (Galloway & Pope, 2007) Grade 12s scored the same at 15 min/night vs. 60 min/night Cities, states and even countries have begun to reconsider the need for homework.

3 Common Held Beliefs Homework allows us to analyze to ensure learning has occurred. – Maybe…but also can show who can afford a tutor, who has a quiet place to work or who is just bored/disinterested. If I don’t grade it, they won’t do it! – Many ungraded tasks are important as well. For example, taking notes, group work and active participation in discussions/debates. – Daniel Pink believes educators are bribing students into compliance instead of challenging them into engagement. Homework helps students who test poorly. – When you count homework, mixing formative (practice) with demonstration (summative) can produce a murky picture of a student’s achievement.

4 Interesting Quotes “Homework is more than just an action; it causes many reactions.” (anonymous) “Homework studies confuse grades and test scores with learning.” (Kohn, 2006) “Parents just might decide they have better things to do with their family time than follow a ‘blueprint’ sent home by the school.” (Ohanian, 2007) “The idea that homework teaches good work habits or develops positive character traits could be described as an urban myth except for the fact that its taken seriously in suburban and rural areas, too.” (Kohn, 2006)

5 Some Questions for You 1.In your view, what is the purpose of homework? How do you use it in your classroom? 2.How much and how often do you assign homework? How do you decide? 3.How do you deal with “completers” vs. “non- completers”? What about “didn’t vs. couldn’t”? 4.How do you assess homework? 5.Could you effectively structure your classroom without homework?

6 The Pros & Cons of Homework Possible Pros Improves concept formation Enriches the curriculum Improves study skills Develops time management skills Promotes independent learning Possible Cons Infringes on students and families’ personal time Creates stress/frustration between students and parents Takes time to manage Can encourage cheating Emphasizes socio-economic inequalities


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