Academic journal article Academic Exchange Quarterly

Parental Involvement, Homework, and Self-Regulation

Academic journal article Academic Exchange Quarterly

Parental Involvement, Homework, and Self-Regulation

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study examined the predictive association between gender, ethnicity, parental involvement in homework, self-regulated learning processes, and motivational beliefs among a national sample of tenth grade high school students. A regression analysis revealed that motivational beliefs and use of self-regulated learning strategies are significant predictors of math standardized test scores beyond and above parents' active and reactive homework involvement and students' gender and ethnic differences. Students who engaged in self-regulation were better able to perform on the math standardized test.

Introduction

The ability of learners to use self-regulation of learning strategies could serve as a learning tool to diminish the detrimental effect of low motivation on academic performance. Despite the importance of effect of the use of self-regulation on academic performance, relatively little is known about the association between academic achievement and self-regulation of learning and motivation. Thus, this study examines the predictive association between gender, ethnicity, parental involvement in homework, self-regulated learning processes, and motivational beliefs among a national sample of tenth grade high school students.

Current research indicates that homework generally has positive effects on students' academic outcomes (Bembenutty, 2005; Cooper 1989; Cooper & Valentine, 2001; Trautwein, Ludtke, Kastens, & Koller, 2006; Xu & Corno, 2006). Cooper (1989, 2001) defines homework as a teacher-initiated method for directing students to study more effectively on their own outside of the school. Homework is usually first assigned during the elementary school years and increases in depth and quantity during subsequent years. Likewise, the American Psychological Association's dictionary of psychology (VandenBos, 2007) defines homework as "schoolwork that is to be completed away from school or outside the classroom, most often at the student's home or dormitory room and in the student's private time. The assignments are designed to enhance the student's basic knowledge, which can then be used more effectively in the classroom" (p. 445). Not only does homework serve to convey academic knowledge to students, but it should also prompt them to engage in self-initiated and self-directed studying (Zimmerman, 2000). However, little research has been done to investigate the latter aspect of homework.

Self-regulation of Learning

Zimmerman (1998) recommended investigating the role of self-regulatory processes in successful studying. Zimmerman (1998) defined self-regulation of learning as "self-generated thoughts, feelings, and actions for attaining academic goals" (p. 73). In a consistent self-regulatory approach, Winne and Hadwin (1997) proposed four self-regulatory stages in homework completion: a) task definition (perception of the feature of the task); b) goal setting and planning (reframing goals); c) enacting study tactics and strategies (implementing, monitoring, and evaluating strategies); and d) metacognitively adapting studying (inspecting outcomes and making decisions and adjustments). Despite efforts to investigate the process of homework, current theoretical accounts of homework have paid little attention to students' development and use of self-regulatory processes. Instead, researchers have focused primarily on social environmental factors that influence students' engagement in homework. For example, researchers have examined the effects of parents and teachers on students' homework completion (Cooper, Jackson, Nye, & Lindsay, 2001; Cooper & Valentine, 2001).

Effort regulation is one of the self-regulatory components associated with achievement (Pintrich et al., 1993). Effort regulation refers to students' intention to put forth resources, energy, and time to secure completion of important academic tasks (Pintrich et al., 1993). …

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