The way students prefer to do their homework and the conditions under which they actually do it in their homes may or may not be the same. In this chapter, we first examine preferred–actual gaps in homework motivation and preferences and discuss the similarities and differences between preferred versus actual homework performance. The cause of the preferred–actual gap may be that parents are unaware of their children’s personal preferences about when, where, and how to do homework. We continue first by presenting what has been found on the question of the degree of parental awareness of their children’s homework motivation and preferences, and then by examining what is known about the degree to which parents are likely to permit children to do homework according to their preferences. Finally, we suggest why increasing parent awareness of their children’s homework preferences and their willingness to accommodate them should be assigned top priority in the work of teachers and counselors. The effects of preferred–actual gaps on homework achievement are discussed in chapter 5.
When learning in school or when doing homework, learners are not always permitted to learn under preferred conditions. Teachers and parents frequently have strong views about which learning conditions will produce the best academic results and these views may be in strong