Many educators believe that homework contributes to the improvement of school learning and academic achievement (Cooper, 1989a; Walberg, Paschal, & Weinstein, 1985). Accordingly, homework is a frequently used teaching strategy in schools throughout the world. A number of popular magazines such as Parents Magazine and Times-Educational Supplement often deal with the homework issue; books and articles offering advice on helping children with homework have been published (e.g., Bursuck, 1995; Rosemond, 1990; Wood, 1987); homework policy guidelines have been produced for school administrators (e.g., Cooper, 1994); and educational intervention programs have been developed to ensure the productive accomplishment of homework (e.g., Anesko, Schoiock, Ramirez, & Levine, 1987; Epstein, 1998; Rosenberg, 1995).
Despite the considerable interest on the part of parents and educators about homework, both theoretical and empirical articles on the subject reflect contradictory views on homework’s effectiveness (see chapter 1 for detail). These inconsistent views may be due to the inadequate theoretical and operational definition of the homework factors affecting students’ academic achievement and attitude. Although studies of homework effects on achievement have focused on the characteristics of the homework itself (e.g., type, quality, amount, and feedback approach), individual differences of the students doing the homework received relatively little attention. This book, in general, focuses on learners, and this chapter, in particular, examines the very important question of how the