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Dr. Joanne Meier
Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.
My teacher gives more homework
Do you ever hear this complaint? Kids know which teacher gives the most homework AND which teacher gives almost no homework at all. I think there are two issues here: how much homework is good? And should teachers at the same grade level give the same amount of homework?
How much homework is good? If you've seen the documentary Race to Nowhere, you may be thinking that no homework is good homework. The research on homework, including a summary from a meta-analysis by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics suggests that recommendations vary by grade and subject matter. For example, homework that involves studying for discrete tests such as those at the end of a unit seems to be beneficial for younger students (although the studies didn't examine long-term retention of that information). Outside of preparing for a specific test, homework appears to be only mildly helpful for younger students. For high-school students, there appears to be a threshold of benefits to homework, suggesting a 90 to 120 minutes maximum.
To the second question, should teachers within a grade level at a school give the same (or similar) amount of homework? I can't find any research that answers that question, but anecdotally I think the answer is a resounding YES. I think it presents a united effort to meet curricular goals. I think it also helps parents feel as though their child is getting the same level of preparation, regardless of teacher.
I'm curious! Do the teachers at your school (within a grade level) collaborate on homework? Or is there disparity among classrooms?