Sunday, January 9, 2011

Proponents of Homework Argue

When reading about the topic of homework, it's easy to be snowballed by experts.

Here's an example from Harris Cooper on homework:

Beyond achievement, proponents of homework argue that it can help students develop good study habits as their cognitive capacities mature, foster independent learning and responsible character traits.

What exactly does "proponents of homework argue" mean? Is there some kind of conclusive research we need to know about? Have "homework experts" really come to a consensus over the non-academic benefits of homework?

As an educational psychologist, Harris Cooper tends to carry some weight when it comes to the topic of homework. Such a statement made by him could be taken as prima facie evidence that homework does in fact help kids to develop responsibility, accountability, time management and independence.

Unfortunately, there isn't a shred of evidence to support such a claim. In fact, the whole idea that homework provides non-academic benefits is a myth.

Harris Cooper has even admitted that:

"No studies [have] looked at non-academic outcomes like study habits."
And yet, someone might assume that when Harris Cooper says "proponents of homework argue" in favor of homework's non-academic benefits he is basing such a statement on some kind of research.

But he's not.


  1. I agree--check out my book "Rethinking homework". I've got a whole chapter on how "proponents" such as Harris Cooper are strongly biased without real evidence. Cathy Vatterott,

  2. Joe, read it carefully. He starts with that claim and then turns it to shreds. Cooper is a vocal critic against homework and his research has been instrumental in changing the paradigm in many traditional settings.


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