'Homework' photo (c) 2008, Sean - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

David Shenk at The Atlantic has a good, short article titled Does Homework Work?. He includes several excellent links to good pieces written about the topic, and ends with this:

“But it seems the time has come for all parents to revisit this subject with considerable skepticism.”

His article prompted me to review a number of other resources on the topic that I’ve bookmarked, and thought that a quick “The Best…” list might be useful to readers and to me.

I’ve never delved too deeply into the subject, and have generally shied away from giving it except for a regular assignment of reading a book for 1/2 hour each night — whatever book students want to read. I do give other “homework,” particularly in my ESL classes, including students writing a weekly journal about their lives and an individual dictionary where they identify four new words they’ve learned that week. However, I usually give them ample time to finish it in class.

You might also be interested in The Best Posts On The “Flipped Classroom” Idea.

Here are my choices for The Best Resources For Learning About Homework Issues:

Of course, David Shenk’s  Does Homework Work? article, which also contains some great links to thoughtful pieces.

The Place of Homework in the 21st Century at Langwitches.

Practice, Practice, Practice (Or: Homework, Homework, Homework?)
from the ASCD Inservice Community Blog.

Dealing With Missing Homework
by John Norton from Teacher Magazine (free registration required).

Alfie Kohn has written “Rethinking Homework.”

Dr. Kathy Vatterott has created a website called The Homework Lady, and you can read an EdWeek interview with her here. She is the author of Rethinking Homework: Best Practices That Support Diverse Needs (ASCD, 2009).

End Homework Now is an article that appeared in Educational Leadership magazine.

Forget Homework is from Slate.

To hear some thoughtful differing perspectives, check-out:

The Weak Case Against Homework by Jay Matthews at The Washington Post. That column has some interesting quotes from Deborah Meier.

ASCD’s Inservice blog recently revisited a 1985 article titled Homework’s Powerful Effects on Learning. The comments by educators on the post are very interesting reading.

Five Hallmarks of Good Homework is a very good article in this month’s issue of Educational Leadership. It’s written by Cathy Vatterott.

Show Us What Homework’s For is an article in Educational Leadership interviewing teenagers about their perspectives on homework.

I’ve written a post titled “Sensible Homework Advice.”

Homework For English Language Learners

New Study Says Homework Has No Impact…Except In Math

Homework: The useful and the useless is by Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post.

Three Intriguing Articles On Homework

Alfie Kohn wrote this letter to The New York Times about homework.

Why I Don’t Assign Homework is from Dan Meyer.

Five Reasons I don’t Assign Homework is by Mark Barnes.

Why should I bother with this homework? is by Chad Evans.

Alternatives To Homework: A Chart For Teachers

Quote Of The Day: “Why Paying Kids to Do Homework Can Backfire”

When Homework is a Waste of Time is from TIME.

Larissa’s Languages shares some good ideas in Homework is..Fun!

Homework is from the British Council, and offers some very good ideas for ELL teachers.

AL NBCT Network 21st Century Homework Success is a PowerPoint presentation by Rick Wormeli.

Experimenting with English (Part 2) – Activities for learners to do outside the classroom [26 and counting!] is another excellent post by Lizzie Pinard.

Adam Simpson – Homework: Should we give it or not? is a useful post at the British Council.

Katherine Bilsborough – Taking the stress out of homework: 5 tips and 5 tasks is from The British Council.

Smart Homework: Can We Get Real? is by Rick Wormeli at Middleweb.

Smart Homework: How to Manage & Assess It is by Rick Wormeli. Smart Homework: 13 Ways to Make It Meaningful is also by Rick Wormeli.

Homework in Elementary School Divides Educators is from Education Week.

Debunking Homework Myths is from Edutopia.

Where Teens Have the Most Homework is from The Atlantic.

Kids in the US do a lot of pointless homework, in 2 charts is from Vox.

10 Ways to Improve Your Homework is by Mark Clements.

The science of homework: tips to engage students’ brains is from The Guardian.

That Grade School Was (Probably) Right to Dump Homework is from New York Magazine (thanks to Alexander Russo for the tip).

Homework vs. No Homework Is the Wrong Question is by Maurice Elias.

Thinking Creatively About Homework is from John Spencer.

Here’s How We’re Using “WhatsApp” For Language-Learning

Homework Matters: Great teachers set great homework is by Tom Sherrington.

Homework: A New User’s Guide is from NPR.

One solution to homework in English classes is by Ray Salazar.

John Hattie on BBC Radio 4: “Homework in primary school has an effect of zero.”

Homework: What does the Hattie research actually say? is from Head Guru Teacher.

Why Students Don’t Do Their Homework–And What You Can Do About It is from Teach Thought.

Is homework a necessary evil? is a useful summary of research on…homework.

Research Trends: Why Homework Should Be Balanced is from Edutopia.

Assigning Quality Homework is from The Learning Scientists.

Is Homework Stupid is from Quartz.

Is Homework Good for Kids? Here’s What the Research Says is from TIME.

Is homework worth the hassle? is from The BBC.

The Education Endowment Foundation summarizes homework research on the secondary level.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Good Homework Policy is from Middleweb.

One-Size-Doesn’t-Fit-All Homework is by Cathy Vatterott.

Good Piece For Reflection On Homework

Ten Easy Homework Tasks to Set is from Busy Teacher.

Developing Learner Autonomy: A Homework Choice Board is from On The Same Page.


Habit formation: 5-minute tips for improving your English is by Sandy Millin.


Does homework work when kids are learning all day at home? appeared in The Washington Post.

The four planks of an effective homework policy is from Carousel.

Nobody knows what the point of homework is is from Vox.

Feedback and other suggestions are welcome.

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