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Research Paper: The benefits of homework

Uploaded by ScaredOfClowns on May 11, 2004

The Objective: Through comprehensive research I have read and studied many conflicting viewpoints about the importance and benefits of homework. I hope that with this paper I will explore why homework has been under scrutiny. I also want to show how researchers were vital in determining effective methods for improving student achievement. At the forefront of those studies was Professor Harris Cooper.

Due to Cooper’s studies a new understanding of why homework is important and how homework can and should be assigned came about. His ideas, influenced and motivated by other’s research, help promote the adoption of homework policies. This paper also discusses the positive and negative effects homework can have on children and ways to overcome the negative, creating a positive and effective learning tool.


Everyone is familiar with homework. By definition, homework is work, such as schoolwork or piecework, that is done at home (American Heritage, 2000). By the time students arrive at college, they have adopted certain attitudes about homework and certain approaches to doing it. Unfortunately, these attitudes and approaches are likely to be carry-overs from high school or even earlier academic experiences when homework had a different nature and purpose.

The 20th century has been a time of great debate over the importance and benefits of homework. On average, homework accounts for approximately 20 percent of American students’ academic tasks. However, little attention is paid to the topic of homework in teacher education (Cooper, 2003). Now, more people are starting to research and document the nature and purpose of homework as researchers are finding both positive and negative effects of homework.

From the early 1900’s to the 1940’s most educators agreed on the importance of homework. At that time, homework was usually memorization or drills. In the 1940’s educators began to question the positive effects of homework. When the Cold War came about in the 1950’s America was ushered into a new kind of war against the Soviet Union. There was a nationwide movement to improve education and student performance. Homework became a tool to cultivate a pupil’s achievement (Roget’s 2004). In 1960 opponents of homework emerged and condemned homework saying it was deterring the psychological development of students (Cooper, 2001).

Since the 1960’s the importance and effects of homework have been under scrutiny. Many school boards and parents became confused about the role of homework and the importance being placed on it. Many...

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Uploaded by:   ScaredOfClowns

Date:   05/11/2004

Category:   Miscellaneous

Length:   7 pages (1,477 words)

Views:   1508

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