Secondary School Students' Interest in Homework: What about Race and School Location?

By Xu, Jianzhong | School Community Journal, Fall 2012 | Go to article overview

Secondary School Students' Interest in Homework: What about Race and School Location?


Xu, Jianzhong, School Community Journal


Abstract

This study examined models of homework interest at the secondary school level to assess whether homework interest varies across race and school location and whether the influence of race on homework interest depends on characteristics of the context (e.g., school location and teacher feedback). Student- and class-level predictors of homework interest were analyzed in a survey of 866 eighth graders from 61 classes and of 745 eleventh graders from 46 classes in the southeastern United States. Results revealed that homework interest did not vary across race (Black students vs. White students) or school location (rural settings vs. urban settings). On the other hand, Black students considered homework more interesting in classes with more frequent teacher feedback than in classes with less frequent teacher feedback, but exactly the opposite was observed for White students.

Key Words: homework, interest, racial difference, White students, Black students, multilevel modeling, secondary school, high schools, rural, urban, teachers, feedback, motivation, academic engagement

Introduction

Homework is a common, well-known, and important part of most school-aged children's daily routine (Cooper, 1989; Cooper, Robinson, & Patall, 2006; Corno, 2000). It has long been an active area of investigation among educational researchers (Cooper et al., 2006; Corno, 1996; Epstein & Van Voorhis, 2001). It is surprising to note, however, that homework interest as perceived by children is notably absent from much contemporary homework research (Warton, 2001).

Informed by research and theorizing on interest in general, and theoretical models of homework in particular, the present researcher (Xu, 2008a) examined empirical models of variables posited to predict homework interest at the secondary school level. However, that study did not examine whether homework interest was related to race and school location.

Thus, there is a need to examine whether students' interest in homework is influenced by race and school location. This line of research is important, as homework interest is positively related to the amount of homework completed (Cooper, Lindsay, Nye, & Greathouse, 1998; Xu, 2008a) and academic achievement (Cooper et al., 1998), and as Black students have consistently underachieved in comparison to White students (Ladson-Billings, 2006; Lee, 2002). In addition, rural students tend to have lower educational aspirations in comparison with urban students (Arnold, Newman, Gaddy, & Dean, 2005; Hu, 2003). As educational aspirations may influence how students approach academic tasks such as homework assignments, it is important to examine whether there is a difference in homework interest as perceived by rural and urban students.

Related Literature

The present study is informed by previous research on homework interest as perceived by secondary school students. It is further informed by two lines of literature that suggest that race and school location may play a role in students' interest in homework.

Previous Research on Homework Interest

Typically defined as "a motivational variable [which] refers to the psychological state of engaging or the predisposition to reengage with particular classes of objects, events, or ideas over time" (Hidi & Renninger, 2006, p. 112), interest as a psychological construct has been given renewed attention recently (Eccles & Wigfield, 2002; Hidi & Renninger, 2006; Schiefele, 2001; Silvia, 2008). This is largely because interest is found to be positively associated with a variety of desirable outcomes (e.g., a positive impact on attention, persistence, and deep-level learning; Hidi & Renninger, 2006; Schiefele, 1999) and because educators continue to wrestle with the challenges of working with academically unmotivated students (Hidi & Harackiewicz, 2000).

As interest is often defined in terms of engagement (e.g., a psychological state of engaging or reengaging with particular classes of events over time), Corno and Mandinach's (2004) theoretical framework on academic engagement, with homework engagement in particular, bears direct relevance to the present study (Xu, 2008a).

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Secondary School Students' Interest in Homework: What about Race and School Location?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.