Jun 26, 2012

ARTICLE: Too Much?

Duke Study: Homework Helps Students Succeed in School, As Long as There Isn't Too Much
LINK: DukeToday

The Duke research supports the idea that homework is more effective in middle and high schools. It also supports the 10-minute rule.

"Duke University researchers have reviewed more than 60 research studies on homework between 1987 and 2003 and concluded that homework does have a positive effect on student achievement. Harris Cooper, a professor of psychology and director of Duke's Program in Education, said the research synthesis that he led showed the positive correlation was much stronger for secondary students --- those in grades 7 through 12 --- than those in elementary school... Cooper said the research is consistent with the '10-minute rule' suggesting the optimum amount of homework that teachers ought to assign."

The researchers mention that homework is less effective at the lower grades because elementary students have weaker study habits, aren't able to resist all distractions, and simply burn out.

What does "as long as there isn't too much" mean? Does "too much" cut into family events, extracurricular activities, hobbies, or run-around-and-act-like-a-nut time? And when did we earn the right to cut into any of that? More importantly, who thinks they've earned the right to cut into my family's time?

The 10-minute rule is a farce. Is ten minutes the same for every student? Sure, if I give the students multiplication facts to study, ten minutes is ten minutes. But, if I give the students twenty equivalent fraction problems to complete, ten minutes is six minutes or three hours.

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