Sara Rimer hosts a conversation with an ed school professor, a new fourth grade teacher, and a college student about “what quality homework looks like, how it can help children learn, and how schools can equip teachers to design it, evaluate it, and facilitate parents’ role in it.”

Janine Bempechat, a developmental psychologist from Wheelock College of Education, is the ed school professor in the discussion, which appears in BU Today. She explains:

I think teachers assign homework in elementary school as a way to help kids develop skills they’ll need when they’re older—to begin to instill a sense of responsibility and to learn planning and organizational skills. That’s what I think is the greatest value of homework—in cultivating beliefs about learning and skills associated with academic success. If we greatly reduce or eliminate homework in elementary school, we deprive kids and parents of opportunities to instill these important learning habits and skills.

Bempechat notes that:

The conversation around homework is to some extent a social class and social justice issue. If we eliminate homework for all children because affluent children have too much, we’re really doing a disservice to low-income children.

Bempechat wrote “The Case for (Quality) Homework” for the Winter 2019 issue of Education Next.

— Education Next

Last updated March 15, 2019