The Hechinger Report is a national nonprofit newsroom that reports on one topic: education. Sign up for our weekly newsletters to get stories like this delivered directly to your inbox. For years, researchers have been trying to figure out just how important homework is to student achievement. Some top achieving countries, like Singapore, assign their students lots of homework. But Finland, for example, succeeds without much homework. This article also appeared here.
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School pupils in the UK - and the parents who have to help them - get more homework than many other European countries, according to the OECD international think tank. The OECD, which carries out the Pisa tests of school performance, has produced a comparison of homework. The OECD study suggests an international pattern for the urban middle classes to have the highest amounts of time spent on homework. But this is particularly accentuated in the UK, which has one of the widest gaps in homework hours between wealthy and disadvantaged pupils.
High School Homework: Are American Students Overworked?
America has long had a fickle relationship with homework. A century or so ago, progressive reformers argued that it made kids unduly stressed , which later led in some cases to district-level bans on it for all grades under seventh. This anti-homework sentiment faded, though, amid mid-century fears that the U.
Many critics voice similar concerns today. Yet there are many parents who feel that from early on, children need to do homework if they are to succeed in an increasingly competitive academic culture. School administrators and policy makers have also weighed in, proposing various policies on homework. If we step back from the heated debates about homework and look at how homework is used around the world, we find the highest homework loads are associated with countries that have lower incomes and higher social inequality. Undoubtedly, homework is a global phenomenon ; students from all 59 countries that participated in the Trends in Math and Science Study TIMSS reported getting homework.