Thoughts on Homework - Survey ResultsA week ago today, on September 27th, I sent out a survey with the intent to collect people's thoughts on homework. It didn't matter if you were an educator, parent, student, or a combination of those titles. I wanted to know what you thought about homework. I am so honored that 115 people took the time to fill out and survey. I have really enjoyed reading through everyone's responses!
I want to share some different data points, some comments and data that stood out to me, and some things that I am now wondering.
I also want to share the results of the survey so you can draw some of your own conclusions. Feel free to post your own blog about the survey results. All I ask is that you point back to this post if you use the data from the survey on your website.
What did I notice? What did I wonder?
Here are some things that I noticed, with what I wondered in parentheses.
- I didn't have very many student responses. (I wonder how I could get more student responses.)
- The majority of people who responded were teachers and/or parents. (I wonder how many were elementary teachers and how many were secondary. I also wonder how many kids each parent had and how old their kids are.)
- The majority of the teachers who filled out the survey don't assign homework. (I wonder what this says about my audience. I wonder how the survey would have been different if the teachers in my building would have filled it out.)
- The majority of parents said their student doesn't come home with homework. (I wonder how many of those students have homework, but don't bring it home. I wonder if parents with less homework feel disconnected from their child's learning experience.)
- Most people said they or their students spend less than hour a night on homework. (I wonder how the survey would be different if students tracked their time spent on homework for a month and then took the survey.)
Comments that stood out to me.
I really enjoyed reading everyone's responses. This is a great conversation to have and I really appreciate the time and thought everyone put into this. I'll quote the responder with how they identified themselves in parentheses.
"Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes permanent." (Teacher) I really like this quote. It really resinated with me. It made me think about the number of times I've had to help a student unlearn something because I sent him or her home to practice something incorrectly.
"It helps him hate math." (Teacher/Parent) I am going to assume that this person wrote that with his/her parent hat on.
"Yes as it helps to reinforce the concepts learned. Mathematics is a "doing" subject." (Teacher) I thought I'd put these back to back just for fun. I wonder if the fact that one person is not a parent had any affect on his/her response. I know my perspectives on education have changed since I've become a dad. I also wonder what subject and grade these two teachers teach.
"Have parents be more involved with students homeworks such as projects that would have to involved parents. Going to the Library to get books for an assignment,getting materials for a science project or any others project that would involve parents." (Instructional/Technology Coach) We need to rethink how we involve parents. Actually, I'll say it, I don't want to involve parents. I want to engage and empower them. I want to give them options on how they can help their students. I want to empower them to make the decisions that are best for their students. Parents are busy and I am not going to be the one who tells them how they should spend time with their children. To me involving parents just means I want compliance out of them. When I say that I want to engage and empower my parents, I am saying that I want commitment. Does that make sense?
"No. I think that too often, homework is used by teachers who don't know how to design more effective instructional approaches." (Administrator) I hope and trust this administrator is having this conversation with his/her teachers and community.
"Homework doesn't really help that's why I hate it so much. It includes printing stuff from home and written stuff. I have too much of it basically" "I do believe it does help me understand the concepts." "I think it helps improve the skills." "Sometimes teachers should have a regulated test every so offen to make sure they know what they are suppose to be teaching and giving, as far as homework." "I think homework makes us students learn a little bit better. I honestly think in-class work that is taught very well is better for us because if we have questions, our teacher is right infront of us." (Student) I wanted to end with some of the quotes from students. I really wish I had more responses from them.
This is a conversation that we as educators should be having with each other, our students, and parents. Parents, don't hesitate to talk to your child's teacher about this issue. Never apologize for advocating for your child. Remember he may be our student but he's your child. If there are any students out there reading this, try to work with your teachers and parents. Let them know your needs so they can help.
When you look through the survey results yourself you will see that there are some great thoughts on how we can improve our homework practices. Let's move beyond dreaming about how we can make things better and put things into action that will benefit the lives that walk through our classroom doors.
So here is the spreadsheet of all the responses I receive this past week. You can also find the spreadsheet here.
Thank you again to all who took time to fill out the form and to those of you who shared out the survey! I have the best PLN ever and it's growing every day!
Please share with me in the comments what you noticed, what you wondered, or any other thoughts you had on the survey results!
My Kids' Life Without Homework Dear Standardized Test
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