Does Homework Facilitate Learning?

Several counties and school districts across the nation, including several in Maryland, New York and Florida, are implementing policies to minimize or do away with homework entirely in an effort to reduce stress and bring a greater school-life balance to students. One of the most controversial issues surrounding education, the use of homework has been hotly debated by parents, students, teachers and administrators alike. Here, the educational product providers at SchoolMart weigh in on the debate and discuss the research available regarding homework and its ability to facilitate learning.

Homework Has Slight or Non-Existent Positive Results for Elementary School Students

In a 2006 meta-analysis, considered to be the most comprehensive research to date, Duke University psychology professor Harris Cooper found that while there was a correlation between homework completion and academic achievement for elementary school students, it was a very weak correlation. A review of approximately 35 other, less rigorous studies showed no relationship between homework completion and academic achievement for elementary students. Dr. Cathy Vatterott, an education professor at University of Missouri-St. Louis and author of, Rethinking Homework: Best Practices that Support Diverse Needs, has researched the impacts of homework on elementary students for years and asserts that there is no measurable benefits of homework on elementary school students.

Homework Can Prove Beneficial for High School Students

One demographic where a strong relationship was found between homework and academic achievement was in high school students, who benefitted from a moderate amount of homework as seen in the same 2006 meta-analysis. A moderate amount of homework is considered by most researchers and educators to be no more than 90 minutes to two hours of homework a night—any more than that can have negative impacts on a student’s health, mental wellness and social development.

Personal Relationships, Physical Health and Mental Health Can Be Negatively Impacted by Excessive Homework

As mentioned above, too much homework is considered to be detrimental to a student’s well-being. A study conducted by Stanford researcher Denise Pope indicated that homework that exceeds 90 minutes to two hours a night leads to greater stress, sleep deprivation, headaches, stomach problems and diminished relationships with friends and family. Students also asserted that they were less likely to pursue extracurricular activities or hobbies when faced with large amounts of homework. Pope also asserted that excessive amounts of homework prevents students from developing other “soft skills,” such as appropriate social behavior and personal responsibility.

Purchase the Tools Students Need to Complete Homework Successfully at SchoolMart

Regardless of the research and some changes to the way school districts treat homework, homework continues to play a major role in the academic lives of many students across the nation and so it is important for students to have the tools necessary to complete homework accurately and completely. SchoolMart has a wide range of educational tools and products available to help students succeed when completing their schoolwork and homework. To learn more about SchoolMart and our products, contact us today!