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Research Spotlight on Homework

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❶Research does show us the unequivocal benefits of well thought out professional development programs for teachers, especially for teachers who teach in schools with students from traditions which are culturally and linguistically different from their own.

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Consequences for high school students

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That study, published in The Journal of Experimental Education, suggested that any more than two hours of homework per night is counterproductive. However, students who participated in the study reported doing slightly more than three hours of homework each night, on average.

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In support of the view of homework as helpful, many educators stress that specifically aligning homework to the learning task is part of the strategy for building understanding. The website Focus on Effectiveness cites several studies showing that in elementary school, homework helps build learning and study habits (Cooper, ; Cooper, Lindsay, Nye, & Greathouse, ; Gorges & Elliot, ).

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Even when homework is helpful, there can be too much of a good thing. "There is a limit to how much kids can benefit from home study," Cooper says. He agrees with an oft-cited rule of thumb that students should do no more than 10 minutes a night per grade level — from about 10 minutes in first grade up to a maximum of about two hours in high school. Teachers give homework to help some students improve their grade and to pass that class. Getting homework can be helpful or harmful. Homework can be harmful. Getting too much homework can stress you out and con fuse you about what your supposed to do. Homework helps you study but at the same time you have to focus on the other work you do in other classes.

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Research doesn't have all the answers, but a review of some existing data yields some helpful observations and guidance. How Much Homework Do Students Do? Survey data and anecdotal evidence show that some students spend hours nightly doing homework. For decades, the homework standard has been a “minute rule,” which recommends a daily maximum of 10 minutes of homework per grade level. Second graders, for example, should do about 20 minutes of homework each night. High school seniors should complete about two hours of homework each night.