The Research on Homework: Evidence based suggestions and the obstacles to implementing them well
I was appointed to read all the research on homework last summer. We focused on research work of Harris Cooper, while also reading Alfie Kohn and Cathy Vatterott. My school then attempted to make research based recommendations to the faculty on best practices for homework. I wanted to divide the talk into four parts: how much homework, best homework practices, and obstacles to best homework practices and what research still does not know. I find that a combination of the hard evidence with a story of what we have found easy and hard as a school to implement will be useful to the audience. Amount: grade level times 10. 6th graders 60 min, 12th graders 120. Best Practices: Spend 10 min at the end of a lesson starting hw. Interleave HW. Obstacles: Internal survey showed main issue was HW inconsistency, not amount. Textbooks don’t interleave. Schedule makes it hard to make HW even. The Great Unknown: Should primary k-5 students have HW? Experts say “yes” because it improves Executive Functioning, but have no real hard evidence.
I teach 6th grade mathematics, American history, English, and geography at St. Bernard’s School. I have been to two Reseach Ed events in New York. I want to give back to everything I have taken. I was put on a committee to read all of the educational research on homework and prepare a report for my school, then implement that research and see how it went. I have been teaching for 8 years, I got my BA at Tulane and MA at Teachers College.