A Comparative Analysis of Two Homework Study Methods on Elementary and Secondary School Students' Acquisition and Maintenance of Social Studies Content

By Alber, Sheila R.; Nelson, Janet S. et al. | Education & Treatment of Children, May 2002 | Go to article overview

A Comparative Analysis of Two Homework Study Methods on Elementary and Secondary School Students' Acquisition and Maintenance of Social Studies Content


Alber, Sheila R., Nelson, Janet S., Brennan, Kathleen B., Education & Treatment of Children


Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the comparative effects of two homework study methods on the acquisition and maintenance of social studies content. Experiment I used an A-B-A-B-A-B reversal design with 12 ninth graders, and Experiment II used an alternating treatments design with 20 fifth graders. in both experiments students used one of two methods to complete social studies homework assignments: (a) a standard review questions (SRQ) study method that required students to write answers to four to six short answer questions that followed each reading selection, and (b) a structured reading worksheet (SRWS) study method that required students to find and write 12 to 24 fill-in-the-blank items paraphrased from the assigned reading. In both experiments, students scored higher on next-day quizzes when using the SRWS method. Students also maintained more social studies content using the SRWS method as measured by an end-of-the-unit test (Experiment I), and four chapter tests (Experiment II).

**********

Public education has expenenced a long history of criticism and reform focused on virtually every aspect of its service to students. However, perhaps at no time has the American education system come under closer scrutiny than during the last two decades. Professionals, business leaders, and politicians, as well as parents and other laypersons, have called increasingly for improving the quality of education on all levels. A number of national commissions and reports have been particularly strident in their support for major changes in the system (e.g., America, 2000; Educate America Act, 1992; National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983). A central focus of many of these initiatives, increasing educational rigor, has paved the way for several changes, in our schools. These changes include high academic standards in classrooms and heightened expectations of student performance. One vehicle for accomplishing such changes that has received increasing interest is homework.

Current guidelines published by the U. S. Department of Education suggests the following amounts of homework for students in elementary and middle schools: twenty minutes a day for grades one through three, twenty to forty minutes a day for grades four through six, and up to two hours a day for grades seven through nine (Slatalla, 1998). Available evidence indicates that schools currently assign substantial amounts of homework, and those amounts have increased over time. For example, by 1988, students of all ages were being assigned more homework than they had been at the time of the previous study four years earlier (U. S. Department of Education, 1990). A more recent study conducted by the University of Michigan also reports dramatic increases (Ratnesar, 1999). Homework assigned to six-to-nine-year-olds increased from forty-four minutes of homework per week to over two hours, while homework for nine-to-eleven-year-olds increased from two hours forty nine minutes to more than three-and-a-half hours per week (Ratnesar, 1999).

The reality of increasing amounts of homework is understandable, homework is important for success because it leads to increased school achievement (Cooper, 1989; Walberg; 1991). However, the reality of increased homework is not without critics in the popular and professional media. The potential negative effects of homework were summed up by the title of cover story in a widely read news magazine: "The Homework Ate My Family: Kids are Dazed, Parents are Stressed: Why Piling it on is Hurting Students" (Ratnesar, 1999). A recent review of 100 homework studies evidenced less than expected improvement on standardized test scores, especially at the lower grades (Black, 1997; Ratnesar, 1999). These findings add credence to earlier reports that students believe that homework is not important and that they sometimes forget what homework is assigned (Gajria & Salend, 1995). …

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
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • 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 ...
Default project is now your active project.
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

A Comparative Analysis of Two Homework Study Methods on Elementary and Secondary School Students' Acquisition and Maintenance of Social Studies Content
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    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

    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.