Students: How much homework is too much?
It is the bane of many students (and at times their parents and teachers) school lives… homework. Students can feel overwhelmed, anxious, sad and avoid school work at all costs. Que the parents, who frequently want their child to be successful in school, to remind, remind again, and resort to punishment or restriction to try to entice school work to be completed. This does not even touch on the added time and energy needed to study for tests and complete extracurricular activities.
So, how much homework is helpful? Recent research published by the American Psychological Association (APA) and discussed in a press release finds that more than 70 minutes is too much for adolescents. The full journal article, Adolescents’ Homework Performance in Mathematics and Science: Personal Factors and Teaching Practices, is available here.
The study on adolescents and homework found that of significant importance is that the homework be “systematic and regular with a focus on instilling work habits and promoting autonomous, self regulated learning” according to Javier Suarez-Alvarez, graduate student, co-lead author with Ruben Fernandez-Alonso, PhD, and Professor Jose Muniz at the University of Oviedo in Spain.
When the focus in on work volume students were not found to perform as well. Once teachers assigned 90-100 minutes of homework per day this study found that performance significantly decline in math and science.
Helping students to feel confident in having the skills to take on challenges is likely to aid in their autonomous functioning. This study found that autonomous learners scored better than students who needed help. Suarez-Alvarez suggested that self-regulated learning is strongly connected to academic performance and success. Self regulation and sparking the interest within a student is something Dr. Davenport finds is very helpful to foster in most all students. Finding the drive and regulation from within can be so powerful in helping students thrive and avoid academic apathy, anxiety and depression.