Their assessments ranged from homework having positive effects, no effects, or complex effects to the suggestion that the research was too sparse or poorly conducted to allow trustworthy conclusions. What kind of homework are we talking about? Fill-in-the-blank worksheets or extended projects? In what school subject s? How old are the students? How able and interested are they? Are we looking at how much the teacher assigned or at how much the kids actually did? How careful was the study and how many students were investigated?
Even when you take account of all these variables, the bottom line remains that no definite conclusion can be reached, and that is itself a significant conclusion. Research casting doubt on that assumption goes back at least to , when a study found that assigning spelling homework had no effect on how proficient children were at spelling later on. About 70 percent of these found that homework was associated with higher achievement. Forty-three of fifty correlations were positive, although the overall effect was not particularly large: As for more recent studies looking for a relationship between achievement and time spent on homework, the overall correlation was about the same as the one found in But if we look more closely, even that description turns out to be too generous.
At best, most homework studies show only an association, not a causal relationship. Nevertheless, most research purporting to show a positive effect of homework seems to be based on the assumption that when students who get or do more homework also score better on standardized tests, it follows that the higher scores were due to their having had more homework. There are almost always other explanations for why successful students might be in classrooms where more homework is assigned — let alone why these students might take more time with their homework than their peers do.
Again, it would be erroneous to conclude that homework is responsible for higher achievement. Or that a complete absence of homework would have any detrimental effect at all. One of the most frequently cited studies in the field was published in the early s by a researcher named Timothy Keith, who looked at survey results from tens of thousands of high school students and concluded that homework had a positive relationship to achievement, at least at that age.
But a funny thing happened ten years later when he and a colleague looked at homework alongside other possible influences on learning such as quality of instruction, motivation, and which classes the students took. Do we really know how much homework kids do? The studies claiming that homework helps are based on the assumption that we can accurately measure the number and length of assignments.
But many of these studies depend on students to tell us how much homework they get or complete. When Cooper and his associates looked at recent studies in which the time spent on homework was reported by students, and then compared them with studies in which that estimate was provided by their parents, the results were quite different.
These first two flaws combine to cast doubt on much of the existing data, according to a damning summary that appears in the Encyclopedia of Educational Research: Homework studies confuse grades and test scores with learning.
Each is seriously flawed in its own way. In the second kind of study, course grades are used to determine whether homework made a difference.
Any given assignment may well be given two different grades by two equally qualified teachers — and may even be given two different grades by a single teacher who reads it at two different times. The final course grade, moreover, is based on a combination of these individual marks, along with other, even less well defined considerations. The same teacher who handed out the assignments then turns around and evaluates the students who completed them.
The final grade a teacher chooses for a student will often be based at least partly on whether, and to what extent, that student did the homework. Thus, to say that more homework is associated with better school performance as measured by grades is to provide no useful information about whether homework is intrinsically valuable.
Yet grades are the basis for a good number of the studies that are cited to defend that very conclusion. The studies that use grades as the outcome measure, not surprisingly, tend to show a much stronger effect for homework than studies that use standardized test scores.
Cooper and his colleagues conducted a study in with both younger and older students from grades 2 through 12 , using both grades and standardized test scores to measure achievement. They also looked at how much homework was assigned by the teacher as well as at how much time students spent on their homework. Thus, there were eight separate results to be reported. The last, and most common, way of measuring achievement is to use standardized test scores.
They are, however, excellent indicators of two things. The first is affluence: Up to 90 percent of the difference in scores among schools, communities, or even states can be accounted for, statistically speaking, without knowing anything about what happened inside the classrooms. The second phenomenon that standardized tests measure is how skillful a particular group of students is at taking standardized tests — and, increasingly, how much class time has been given over to preparing them to do just that.
In my experience, teachers can almost always identify several students who do poorly on standardized tests even though, by more authentic and meaningful indicators, they are extremely talented thinkers. These anecdotal reports have been corroborated by research that finds a statistically significant positive relationship between a shallow or superficial approach to learning, on the one hand, and high scores on various standardized tests, on the other.
To that extent, students cannot really demonstrate what they know or what they can do with what they know. Multiple-choice tests are basically designed so that many kids who understand a given idea will be tricked into picking the wrong answer.
Instead, its primary purpose is to artificially spread out the scores in order to facilitate ranking students against each other.
Moreover, the selection of questions for these tests is informed by this imperative to rank. Thus, items that a lot of students answer correctly or incorrectly are typically eliminated — regardless of whether the content is important — and replaced with questions that about half the kids will get right. This is done in order to make it easier to compare students to one another.
In the latter case, a high or rising average test score may actually be a reason to worry. Every hour that teachers spend preparing kids to succeed on standardized tests, even if that investment pays off, is an hour not spent helping kids to become critical, curious, creative thinkers.
The limitations of these tests are so numerous and so serious that studies showing an association between homework and higher scores are highly misleading. The fact that more meaningful outcomes are hard to quantify does not make test scores or grades any more valid, reliable, or useful as measures. Now that you can turn fractions into percentages, it's time to work backwards.
Often, you'll need to find a certain percentage of something. One way to do this is to change the percentage into a fraction out of , and then multiply it by the amount you're finding the percentage of.
You would use the same steps to figure out the amount of a tip. Read percentage problems carefully. Let's try another example: If she sells 30 candy bars, how much commission will she earn? If you have a calculator handy, you can change the percentage into a decimal, and multiply the total amount by the decimal to get your answer.
There are tons of opportunities to practice percentage problems in daily life. You can ask your parents to let you calculate the server's tip when you go to a restaurant, or you can calculate the sales tax when you go shopping. You can also survey your friends about their likes and dislikes, and report the results using percentages. Parents across the country are starting to question the impact that math homework has on their children. This article discusses why math homework is important and what parents should expect to see in their children's assignments.
Math homework can be especially tricky because there are so many different formulas and procedures to remember. Students from elementary, through high school, even college, who are experiencing difficulties with their math homework can find some aid online thanks to Internet homework helper sites. Homework Help for Percentages A percentage represents a fraction with as the denominator. Here are a few more examples: Here are some other examples: So that your statistics homework is in right hands.
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Homework Help for Percentages. A percentage represents a fraction with as the denominator. Percentages are written using the percent sign (%). For instance, the fraction 50/ is written as 50%, and the fraction 8/ is written as 8%.
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