Secondary School Homework

Secondary School Homework-60
Parents can provide valuable support for their children’s learning by taking an interest in their out-of-school assignments.

Parents can provide valuable support for their children’s learning by taking an interest in their out-of-school assignments.

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Well-educated parents are better able to provide help, the argument goes, and it’s easier for affluent parents to provide a quiet space for kids to work in—along with a computer and internet access.

While those things may be true, assigning homework—or assigning ineffective homework—can end up privileging advantaged students even more.

One possible explanation for the general lack of a boost from homework is that few teachers know about this research.

And most have gotten little training in how and why to assign homework.

Even if teachers do manage to assign effective homework, it may not show up on the measures of achievement used by researchers—for example, standardized reading test scores.

Those tests are designed to measure general reading comprehension skills, not to assess how much students have learned in specific classes.Homework consists of teacher-assigned and monitored learning experiences that take place outside of the classroom in a variety of settings.Homework is a planned part of the education process, designed to enhance student learning, through practice, preparation, and extension.A homework assignment could require students to answer questions about what was covered in class that day without consulting their notes.Research has found that retrieval practice and similar learning strategies are far more powerful than simply rereading or reviewing material.For example, there’s something called “retrieval practice,” which means trying to recall information you’ve already learned.The optimal time to engage in retrieval practice is not immediately after you’ve acquired information but after you’ve forgotten it a bit—like, perhaps, after school.The research relied on by those who oppose homework has actually found it has a modest positive effect at the middle and high school levels—just not in elementary school.But for the most part, the studies haven’t looked at whether it matters what kind of homework is assigned or whether there are different effects for different demographic student groups.In 2016, a second-grade teacher in Texas delighted her students—and at least some of their parents—by announcing she would no longer assign homework.“Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance,” she explained.

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