Homework hones testing skills but not grades
The hours you dedicated to math and science homework in high school did not help boost your GPA, according to a study published recently by Education School Assoc. Prof. Robert Tai and two associates from the University of Macau and Indiana University.
The scholars tabulated transcript and survey data of about 18,000 10th grade students from 1990 and 2002 and found that time spent on homework led to better performance on standardized tests, but not necessarily to better grades.
The findings run contrary to research suggesting the opposite — that final class grade depends on degree of homework completion.
“Our results hint that maybe homework is not being used as well as it could be,” lead researcher Adam Maltese, of Indiana University, said in a University statement released Tuesday.
The analysis found students did perform better on standardized tests if they completed more homework, but that assignments could not replace good teaching.
“I believe that this finding is the end result of a chain of unfortunate educational decisions, beginning with the content coverage requirements that push too much information into too little time to learn it in the classroom,” Tai said. “The overflow typically results in more homework assignments.”
Tenth grade high school students typically spend the equivalent of about 150 50-minute class periods performing science, technology, engineering and math homework each year, according to the University statement. The study’s findings suggest that reforming the structure and desired goals of homework, rather continuing the large workload, could improve its efficiency.