March 17, 2014: Valerie Strauss, writing in her Washington Post blog The Answer Sheet last Thursday, noted the results of a new study, "Non-Academic Effects of Homework in Privileged, High-Performing High Schools," published in the Journal of Experimental Education that found "a heavy homework load negatively impacts the lives of high school students in upper middle-class communities, resulting in excess stress, physical problems and little or no time for leisure. 4,317 students in 10 high-performing California high schools — six private and four public — had an average of 3.1 hours of homework a night." Strauss added to that the comment, "I know high school kids who do close to twice that amount."
The co-authors...Mollie Galloway of Lewis and Clark College, at left, an assistant professor who is the director of research and assessment for the graduate school of education; Denise Pope, a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education; and Jerusha Conner, an assistant professor of education at Villanova University say:
“Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is “inherently good” (Gill & Schlossman, 2001, p. 27), and instead suggest that researchers, practitioners, students, and parents unpack why the default practice of assigning heavy homework loads exists, in the face of evidence of its negative effects.”
...Harris Cooper, a well-known homework researcher, who is a professor of education and psychology at Duke University, says that no more than two hours of homework a night should be assigned to students in high school. Author Alfie Kohn argues that there is no research to show that homework in elementary and middle school has any benefit and that the correlation between homework and academic achievement in high school is at best weak...this is the context in which this latest study was conducted...
Galloway and Conner's next study, " Perpetuating privilege: Students’ perspectives on the culture of a high-performing and high-pressure school," will be published soon in The Educational Forum.