Homework and Middle Schoolers!
In a recent online conversation sponsored by the American Educational Research Association, a question was posed:
How do you get middle school students to complete homework if it ‘does not count’ toward the final grade?
One comment by Raquel Sanchez resonated with me.
I’d say the main problem is that the homework is not meaningful. Teachers often collect and grade homework without providing students any purpose or meaningful feedback. The homework assignments should tie into the next day’s activities so that students see a purpose for completing it. If it is just drill and kill worksheets, what’s the point? If the teacher can’t be bothered to design purposeful homework assignments, why should the students complete them? A change in the homework grading policy does nothing if the nature of the homework assignments remains the same.
The research on homework is inconclusive at-best. There is plenty of professional literature supporting both sides of the arguments on whether to assign homework and how to treat the work.
I figured it warrants a discussion among our various groups in Distinctive Schools and Atlantic Research Partners.
Being intentional and making meaning with assignments of homework, especially to students in grades 6-8 is of great importance to our work. Sanchez made the point nicely.