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Cooper H. (1989). Homework


PRACTICE HOMEWORK reinforces learning from the skills and concepts already taught in the classroom. Practice homework promotes retention and automaticity of the concept, skill, and content taught. Examples include practicing multiplication facts or writing simple sentences in order to commit theses skills and concepts to long-term memory.




cooper h. (1989). homework



PREPARATION HOMEWORK is assigned to introduce content that will be addressed in future lessons. However, research suggests that homework is less effective if it is used to teach new or complex skills. For these types of assignments, students typically become stressed which can create a negative perspective towards learning and school.


The homework debate often focuses on how and why homework affects student learning and achievement. Harris Cooper, a professor of psychology, and colleagues (2006) found there are both positive and negative consequences of homework.


Homework provides practice with content, concepts, and skills taught at school by the teacher. It can foster retention and understanding of the academic content. Some studies suggest that homework correlates with student achievement. Cooper, Robinson, and Patall (2006) discovered a positive correlation between the amount of the homework students do and their achievement at the secondary level. Some studies also suggest that assigning homework improves the achievement of low-performing students and students in low-performing schools. However, the correlation between student achievement and homework given to elementary students is inconclusive. Most research only supports homework for middle and high school students (Cooper 1989a; Kohn 2006).


The correlation between homework and student achievement is inconsistent. In The Battle Over Homework, Cooper determined that the average correlation between the time primary children spent on homework and achievement was around zero. Not to mention, the amount of homework completed had no effect on test scores. David Baker and Gerald LeTendre, professors of education at Penn State, found that countries that assign minimal amounts of homework, like Japan, were the most successful school systems compared to Greece and Iran school systems where students are given a lot of work.


DataWORKS Educational Research recommends assigning homework to provide additional repetitions of the content to promote retention and automaticity. The reason for homework is to practice the content, NOT to learn the content. Students learn the content (skills and concepts) from the lesson taught at school. Students need to be able to complete the work at home without assistance because some students do not have an English-speaking parents or guardians to help them.


Reading fluency has been identified as an essential skill in early readers. The technological boom to which students in the iGeneration have been exposed, has produced many potential tools for developing reading fluency. This study investigated reading fluency and technology. The design of the study presented here allowed the researchers to ask two questions related to the development of reading fluency in 2nd graders. First, did the use of MP3 players as an at-home tool increase reading fluency in 2nd graders? Second, did teacher experience increase the reading fluency of these 2nd graders? The results indicated that the use of MP3 players as an at-home tool did not have a statistically significant impact on reading fluency. However, teacher experience did have a statistically significant impact on reading fluency. Several explanations for these results are discussed including the, perhaps, outdated choice of the MP3 player as the technological tool utilized in the study. In addition, questions are raised about the efficacy of using the MP3 player as a homework-type of assignment. While the importance of establishing a solid home-school connection is noted, schools may need to rethink the most beneficial methods for building that connection with ALL parents/families. Teacher experience is, not surprisingly, connected to student achievement. This result highlighted the need for schools to develop an environment for beginning teachers to grow and find support. Keeping teachers in the classroom is of utmost importance to student achievement.


In this study, teachers incorporated handheld listening devices (MP3 players), rather than tapes or CDs, to encourage students to listen to a fluent reader. In addition, this study took the listening-while-reading intervention outside the classroom to the home where students were required to listen to the passages as a part of their weekly homework.


Educators have always struggled with the problem of extending learning beyond the classroom walls. Even though the teachers and researchers expected the students to jump at the chance to bring MP3 players home and, therefore, motivate the students to complete their homework, the results of the study did not support that hypothesis. Teachers should keep in mind the importance of the home situation of each individual child in their classroom as sending technology home to complete homework may not be embraced by parents for one reason or another. If the homework is not truly being completed according to the established protocols, academic progress can be slowed.


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