Exploring the Question: Does Homework Improve Academic Achievement?

How the tables have turned. It wasn't long ago that many former students were asking themselves a similar question. As students they felt that they were forced and under pressure to complete their homework assignments in order to move up through the educational ranks. Now, their children are probably asking themselves a similar question.

But adults take this question very seriously. Perhaps to relieve students of the potentially unnecessary task put to perform but mostly because the education system is demanding and just as competitive as anything else. One only has to look at the two ends of the spectrum of a student's learning style to find out if assigning homework helps at all.

Two Different Students

At one end of this imaginary learning spectrum is a student who understands the value of learning from an early age, and whose learning methods are consistent. They are able to:

  • Keep up with their assignments and
  • Have some interest in their subjects.

But at the opposite end of this learning spectrum, there is another student who traditional educators would say, needs the homework in order to:

  • Catch, up if they're falling behind or,
  • Show that they understand the material.

Learning Consistency

This may also have a lot to do with the consistency in a very important part of education which is the school. With regard to both the student and the school, the repetition of certain learning methods -- which includes completing homework assignments -- is a big part of their academic achievement.

In this particular case, if homework does improve this student's academic achievement, how can homework be introduced to someone who may not have any interest in the subject? Because it's safe to say that this student cannot retain the information put before them, whether it's willingly or not.

For most educators, this student has to make the effort to achieve, if not for themselves then for the sake of the school in order to remain competitive and yet, this has nothing to do with whether they are able to learn or not.

Redesigning Homework

Homework does improve academic achievement because it is part of that consistency; because it keeps the student engaged with the material so that it becomes second nature. If the stakes are high, where the education system has a certain goal to reach; their model for academic achievement must be designed to make homework not feel like it's intrusive to the student's home life. In the case of the student who performs at a very low level, if at all, that could be the reason why homework does not improve academic achievement.

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