Is homework a waste of time Study of 18,000 schoolchildren finds 'no relationship' between working hard at home and better gradesUniversity of
Virginia looked at data for tenth grade students across U.S.Findings show homework assignments didn't translate into better gradesAuthors suggest more research on form and function of assignments
07:45 GMT, 29 November 2012
It's the news they've been waiting for…
Next time you hear a child complaining that their science and maths homework is a waste of time, they might have a point.
That's the conclusion of research carried on schoolchildren to find out what difference extra study at home makes.
Waste of time A study by the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, found more homework assignments didn't translate into better grades
It found homework doesn't necessarily help children to get better grades, but may help them get better standardised test scores.
Researchers from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, U.S., looked at transcripts and data for more than 18,000 tenth grade students nationwide.
Their findings show more homework assignments didn't translate into better grades.
Co-author Robert Tai, associate professor of science education at the university's Curry School of Education, said: 'The more time students spend on homework, it's not clear that they are getting better grades or better test scores.
'What we are concerned with is that homework is just being assigned rather than being used to integrate what's going on in the classroom.'
The study isn't suggesting all homework is bad, especially when it comes to maths.
The study looked at transcripts and data for more than 18,000 tenth grade students nationwide
'When it comes to math, what we found is that there is a bit of a sweet spot,' Prof Tai said.
'Students that were spending about a half an hour on math homework were reporting that their grades and test scores were actually better.'
Prof Tai says the study is a wake up call for educators.
'Teachers need to be much more clear about why they are assigning homework and what the homework is for,' he said.
'If teachers aren't really incorporating homework into their teaching, it's unclear there is any type of benefit at all and it actually may end up hurting students.'
The study points to factors like class participation and attendance as better indicators of students performance.
In conclusion, the authors suggest more research be done on the form and function of homework assignments.
'In today's current educational environment, with all the activities taking up children's time both in school and out of school, the purpose of each homework assignment must be clear and targeted,' Prof Tai said. 'With homework, more is not better.'