(2018-2019) Homework- Research Summary

Homework is an instructional practice that can provide students with opportunities to deepen understanding and skills.  Teachers, students, and parents know what homework is, but in order to ensure it is used correctly as a learning tool the most important questions to ask are: 

  1. What is the purpose of homework?
  2. What knowledge, skills, and behaviors are being reinforced through the homework?
  3. How much homework is “right” for a particular grade level?
  4. What supports are necessary for students to successfully complete homework?
  5. What roadblocks are there to students attempting or completing homework?

Fisher, Frey, and Hattie (2016) have shown that that, overall, homework has little impact on student learning.  Homework’s overall effect size (d) of 0.29 places it in the 94th position in the “best practice” rankings.  This does not mean that teachers should never give homework, but rather that educators should understand the best practices based on the research and implement them.  A 2006 Gallup Poll showed that even with the numbers on homework in conflict, the overwhelming majority of parents think students do not work hard enough in school or on homework (Rose and Gallup, 2006).  With this understanding, it is imperative that we are clear in our messaging regarding homework and its use in order to avoid developing misunderstandings.


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