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28 August 2006 / April

Newsflash! Researchers figure out what students have known all along!

Just in time for the new school year:

According to a 2004 national survey of 2,900 American children conducted by the University of Michigan, the amount of time spent on homework is up 51% since 1981.


The onslaught comes despite the fact that an exhaustive review by the nation’s top homework scholar, Duke University’s Harris Cooper, concluded that homework does not measurably improve academic achievement for kids in grade school. That’s right: all the sweat and tears do not make Johnny a better reader or mathematician.

And also:

Educators, including Cooper, tend to defend homework by saying it builds study habits, self-discipline and time-management skills. But there’s also evidence that homework sours kids’ attitudes toward school.

Though I tend to sympathize most with my overworked high school-age peers, there are also some pretty stunning statistics about homework for elementary schoolers. That’s just insane. Nobody should give 9-year-olds 78 minutes of homework a night, unless they want to cultivate a generation of lifelong haters of learning.

All I can do is shake my head. And tell you to read the article.


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