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Nope, Homework Still Isn't Helping Kids Learn

Liz Dwyer

Education expert Alfie Kohn breaks down a new study that says "there's little correlation between time spent on homework and better course grades for math and science students, but a positive relationship between homework time and performance on standardized tests." However, as Kohn notes, the correlation between homework and scores is pretty weak. "Homework doesn’t explain much of the variance in scores," he says and correlation is not causation.

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  • Erica Kleinknecht

    After every in-class exam I always ask students to evaluate the process: I ask them to report how much time they spent studying for the exam, to describe what they did, and the like. Time estimates always vary wildly and almost never correlate with exam nor with course grades (and no wonder, when I later ask them how they come up with their estimates they all "count" study time differently). However, when I look at the high and low scoring students, I see marked differences in what they do to prepare. To my mind, it's really what you do, not how long you do it, that matters. For college students anyway, homework per se isn't the villain, but if students don't know how to maximize their studying then homework surely can be pointless at best, counterproductive at worst.