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ERIC Number: ED519297
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May-4
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 14
Homework Helps, but Not Always. Lessons in Learning
Canadian Council on Learning
Few issues in education affect as many families as homework. Its near-universal place in formal schooling leaves few students and parents untouched. Yet the history of homework is characterized by debate about both its effectiveness and legitimacy. Attitudes toward homework move through cycles of enthusiasm and opposition. Homework is popular in times of worry about the quality of learning among young people (e.g., in the late 1950s after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik) and unpopular when it is perceived as unduly oppressive (e.g., starting in the mid-1960s, alongside a number of societal factors, such as the rise of the civil rights movement, growing opposition to the U.S. war in Vietnam and the emergence of the youth culture). CCL's review focused on 18 different studies that reported a total of 57 distinct achievement measures (e.g., overall grades; student marks on a standardized English test; student marks on a standardized math test; student marks on teacher-developed tests and projects) across six different subject areas. These studies demonstrate that homework with an enhanced pedagogical technique is likely to increase academic achievement and unlikely to impede it. Common across the interventions was a component of meta-cognition or constructive learning. In other words, these homework assignments demanded active learning, rather than rote repetition of classroom material. A list of effective homework practices is included. (Contains 2 figures.)
Canadian Council on Learning. c/o University of Ottawa, 50 Laurier East Suite 108, Ottawa, ON K1N 1H7, Canada. Tel: 613-569-7600; Fax: 613-569-6129; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Canadian Council on Learning