The ongoing debate about homework—how much, for whom and to what end—has picked up momentum in parenting and educational circles, as recent research studies continue to question the relationship between time spent doing homework and academic engagement among students.
Experts who have conducted or synthesized research on the links between homework, learning and test performance agree that the relationship between homework and school achievement is limited.
In a study released by the Economics of Education Review, homework in science, English and history was shown to have "little to no impact" on eighth graders' test scores in those subjects. Harris Cooper, Duke University, surveyed 15 years' worth of homework studies conducted across the country, and found diminishing returns for middle and high school students as the hours spent doing homework increased.
Moreover, homework has also been linked to stress and academic disengagement among both young children and teens. In a study by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health, 70% of Bay Area parents reported that their 9- to 13-year-olds suffered "moderate to high levels of stress," and that schoolwork or homework was the most significant contributor.
Similarly, a Scholastic study of 500 children and their parents found that reading for pleasure decreased dramatically after age 8 (the age after which only 29% of students read every day). Parents identified homework as the number one reason their children didn't read more.
Change is possible.
In order to better support learning and a spirit of engagement in our classrooms, and to remedy the academic stress and anxiety that accompanies current homework practices and policies, we are asking the National PTA to adopt recommendations on homework - guidelines that will help educators innovate and improve their approaches to designing and assigning homework in our classrooms.
Join us today in urging the National PTA today—for the first time—to adopt homework guidelines that encourage schools nationwide to reexamine and reimagine homework practices to better support student engagement, health and learning.
For more information, background materials and a PDF version of the guidelines, visit http://www.racetonowhere.com/homework-guidelines.
If you are an organization that supports these guidelines and would like to publicly endorse them, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your endorsement could make the difference!
Created by Vicki Abeles, Sara Bennett, Alfie Kohn & Etta Kralovec on behalf of the "Race to Nowhere" community.