Homework. Does it do any good?

I don’t think so. If you consider what is traditionally considered homework (exercises to drill into memory some point taught in class), there is controversy. Andrew Sullivan over at the Daily Dish points us to Louis Menand over at the New Yorker.  In it he tells us about a prominent researcher who

According to the leading authority in the field, Harris Cooper, of Duke University, homework correlates positively—although the effect is not large—with success in school.

Homework in Holland

Of course students who do more homework are more successful. But you could also say that students who are successful tend to do more homework. It could be that the successful students are doing something else that is causing their success, and the homework just happens to be a coincidence. Thin about the kids in your class who do the homework. They do a lot of other things, like show up early for class, talk to the teacher more, ask questions more, have parents who make them do their homework, talk about homework at dinner, or just talk about other things at dinner. I could go on, but you see the point. I am not convinced that homework helps very much.

What I AM convinced of is that students who do work on their own outside of class because they are curious or want to solve a problem are headed for success, no matter what their grades show.

 

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