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Comprehensive Reports Provide Conclusions on Homework in the U.S.

Comprehensive Reports Provide Conclusions on Homework in the U.S.

Cory Turner, a contributor for NPR, describes himself as a "a nerd nostalgist who enjoys basking in the distant glow of Homework Triumphs Past." As a result, he's taken a look at six different reports that provides some conclusions on what homework is like the states.

First- the answer on how much homework students in the U.S. actually get. Numerous studies have indicated that how much homework students get depends on their placement levels.

For the average student, one study from the National Assessment of Educational Progress indicates that most students report having less than an hour of homework a night while a study from the National Assessment of Educational Progress indicates that students, specifically high school students, have an average of seven hours of homework a week.

For an advanced student, however, the NAEP survey indicates that these students are likely to have more than two hours of homework a night in order to be successful in class.

And many Americans are happy with this amount. A 2007 study from MetLife "asked parents what they think of their kids' homework load. Sixty percent said it was just right. Twenty-five percent said their kids are getting too little. Just 15 percent of parents said their kids have too much homework," Turner said.

When stacked up against the homework levels of other countries, American students tend to have slightly more homework than students in other countries.

"A 2012 report from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development pegged the U.S. homework load for 15-year-olds at around six hours per week. That's just above the study's average."

As for the "magic number" for the appropriate amount of homework for students, Turner references the research from Harris Cooper of Duke University who says in general, an appropriate time spent on homework is found by multiplying the child's grade level by ten.

"So first-graders should have roughly 10 minutes of homework a night, 40 minutes for fourth-graders, on up to two hours for seniors in high school. A lot of of schools use this. Even the National PTA officially endorses it," Turner said.

For homework to be most effective, studies have found it should be comprehensive and should not be used to introduce new concepts.

"...there's evidence that students learn more when homework requires them to choose among multiple strategies — new and old — when solving problems. In other words, kids learn when they have to draw not just from what they learned in class that day but that week, that month, that year."

Read the full article here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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