Current Event #4

Caryn Asherson
Dr. Rivas
November 23, 2006
Current Event #4
“Purposes for Doing Homework Reported by Middle and High School
In this study, the author attempts to examine student beliefs about the reasons
why homework is assigned and if these beliefs are related to effort on homework and
ultimately to academic achievement. Furthermore, the author investigates whether
these perceptions are influenced by gender, grade level, and family homework
involvement. The study involves 920 students in grades five through twelve in three
rural public schools in a southern state. The author categorizes purposes for doing
homework into two groups – intrinsic reasons and extrinsic reasons. The survey reveals
that students who do homework for intrinsic reasons are more likely to complete
homework regularly and achieve higher grades. Additionally, intrinsic motivation for
doing homework increases as students reach higher grades. Lastly, the analysis finds
that middle and high school boys benefit the most from family involvement.
The study employs a respectable sample size with males and females being
represented almost equally. Moreover, a wide range of grade levels are analyzed.
Although only three schools are included in this evaluation, the ACT scores of the
students surveyed are equivalent to the overall scores represented by the national
In addition, the study focuses on students’ points of view. Most studies regarding
homework rely on the opinions and attitudes of adults. What’s more, past research has
ignored the impact of a student’s grade level and stage of development on how
individuals view homework. This study suggests that maturity has a lot to do with a
student’s ideas about why homework is assigned. The report also examines previous
research that leads to this study and it suggests ideas for further investigation to extend
our awareness in this area.
This study falls short in that it only tests views about homework in one subject
area – English. Students’ ideas about why homework is assigned in English class may
be significantly different than why they believe homework is assigned in science or math.
Furthermore, only three schools are included in the investigation and those schools are
located in rural areas. The student population observed in the study is ninety percent
Caucasian. This experiment should be recreated in an urban setting and questioning
should include students from diverse cultural backgrounds, as well as students who are
gifted and students with learning disabilities.
The implications of this study include the belief that parent attitudes toward
homework can have a significant impact on the amount of homework students complete
and in overall academic success. Middle and high school boys especially need and can
gain a great deal from family involvement in homework. Family involvement in
homework may considerably shape whether students complete homework for intrinsic
reasons rather than extrinsic reasons. When students complete homework based on
intrinsic reasons, they are more likely to have better homework management strategies
and attain higher academic achievement.
Xu, Jianzhong (2005, September/October). Purposes for Doing Homework
Reported by Middle and High School Students. The Journal of Educational
Research, 99 (1), 46-55.