Is A Lot of Homework Actually Valuable?

Kunal Mehta (’21)
Shea Grant (’21)
Mike Rizzo (’21)
EE Contributors

Editor’s Note: This submission was excerpted from a larger research project completed in Mr. Darrow’s AP Statistics class

Many people hold concerns about schools regarding the amount of homework assigned. Are larger volumes of homework really valuable to the success of a student? Or is this work merely “busy” work that has no real value in most cases?  We conducted a study to answer this question, surveying ninety-two Trumbull High School students about their academic achievement and the amount of homework they received per night. 

Comparing the average time a student reported doing homework a night versus the student’s cumulative weighted GPA, we found that a graph displaying this data (shown [insert layout location] would show higher GPA values corresponding to more hours doing homework if there was a relationship that showed that more homework increases academic achievement. However, the line observed was effectively flat, which means that no matter the amount of homework a student received, they had, on average, about the same GPA as their peers that received more or less homework than they did. 

Our results line up with what the previous research done on this topic has suggested. According to Alison DeNisco, a senior editor at CNET, an American media website, the time that students spend on homework has risen by over 51% since 1981. This increase in homework, however, has shown little effect on student success in many studies. For example, A study led by Suzanne Cobb, a professor at the University of West Georgia majoring in special education behavior disorders found that the average test score of twenty-three nonhandicapped students after they had two weeks with intensive homework assignments showed no increase or decrease. 

We also collected students’ opinions on the value of the homework they received. Nearly 70% of the students surveyed agreed that they received too much homework. Similarly, nearly 75% of the students disagreed or were neutral about the statement that their homework was valuable to their success. Furthermore, another 75% claimed that homework took time away from other valuable activities the student could take part in. Overall, it appears that, to many students, homework is not thought of as important to success and often hurts more than it helps.

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