A study published in the July/August issue of the journal Child Development sheds new light on the age-old issue of homework, finding that students' general level of conscientiousness predicts how much effort they put into their homework.
The study, from researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany, the Leibniz Institute for Science Education in Kiel, Germany, and Humboldt University in Berlin, also found that students' beliefs about how well they will perform on their homework, their interest in the subject and their beliefs about the relevance of the assignments predicts their homework behavior.
The researchers set out to understand why homework, a potentially powerful instructional device, is also often a "battlefield" for students, parents, teachers and administrators. Among the key questions they explored: Why do some students work hard on their homework while others don't?
They used two questionnaires to collect self-reports from students about their math homework and classwork. In the first questionnaire, they asked 2,712 students in grades five, seven and nine about the effort and time they invested in their homework, as well as their own perceptions of their ability and interest in mathematics. In the second questionnaire, 571 students in grades eight and nine answered questions about their homework effort, motivation and the homework assigned by their teacher.
The researchers found that age plays a role in homework, with children in lower grades showing greater effort and motivation. One possible explanation for this finding, said lead author Ulrich Trautwein, PhD., of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, is that studiousness may conflict with both female and male gender identities in adolescence. However, he noted, a key component in older students was interest in the topic.
Generally, students reported less effort and motivation for homework than for classwork. However, one exception to this finding is that while highly conscientious students reported an equal amount of effort on homework and classwork, less conscientious students reported putting less effort into their homework than into their classwork.
"We also found that the time students spend on homework was nearly uncorrelated with homework effort and motivation," Trautwein said. In other words: "Homework time should not be equated with effort on homework."
The findings suggest that parents and teachers could intervene to improve students' homework effort by improving students' beliefs that they can do well, increasing their interest in the subject and providing a sense that the assignments are useful, he concluded.
Andrea Browning | EurekAlert!
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research