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Theory Into Practice 43.3 (2004) 242-245

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Additional Resources for Classroom Use

Gill and Schlossman, Villain or Savior? The American Discourse on Homework, 1850-2003 (pp. 174-181)

1. Bok, E. (1900, January). A national crime at the feet of American parents. Ladies' Home Journal, 17, 16.

Bok, editor of Ladies' Home Journal, fired this first salvo in an effort to launch a national uprising against homework, portraying it as a major health hazard for children and a usurpation of parents' rights. Bok's crusade helped to persuade a variety of school districts across the United States—as well as the California state legislature—to impose restrictions on homework.

2. Gill, B.P., & Schlossman, S.L. (2003). Homework and the elusive voice of parents: Some historical perspectives. Teachers College Record, 105(5), 846-871.

In the ideological warfare surrounding homework, parents have often been invoked to justify the arguments of the opposing sides. Despite prominent press reports to the contrary in the early 20th century and again today, the best evidence suggests that most parents have consistently supported homework during the last 100 years.

3. Goldstein, A. (1960). Does homework help? A review of research. Elementary School Journal, 60, 212-224.

Goldstein, a professor in Stanford's medical school, reviewed several decades of empirical research on the academic effects of homework to produce this key article. Published 3 years after Sputnik, the article fundamentally challenged the earlier progressive consensus by arguing that homework does in fact have favorable effects on student achievement.

4. Otto, H.J. (1941). Elementary education. In W.S. Monroe (Ed.), Encyclopedia of education research (pp. 444-445). New York: Macmillan.

Otto's discussion of homework in the first edition of the Encyclopedia of Education Research summarized mainstream progressive views about the ineffectiveness of homework in raising academic achievement.

Coutts, Meanings of Homework and Implications for Practice (pp. 182-188)

1. Zammit, K. (Ed.). (1997). The PETA guide to homework: A handbook for parents and teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association.

This practical guide is designed to give advice and suggestions regarding homework to parents and teachers so homework becomes more enjoyable. It is aimed at primary school levels and includes contributions from 10 authors.

2. New South Wales Department of Training and Education web site

The NSW Department of Education and Training is the largest educational provider in Australia, catering to approximately 780,000 students. Its homework policy, recently implemented, is of particular interest because of the emphasis on general principles, rather than prescriptions. It provides a broad framework under headings such as Purposes and Successful Practices, but there is the flexibility for individual school communities to develop their own more detailed policies.

Bempechat, The Motivational Benefits of Homework: A Social-Cognitive Perspective (pp. 189-196)

1. Bempechat, J. (2000). Getting our kids back on track: Educating children for the future. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

This book, written for parents and teachers, offers a practical guide for fostering and supporting students' academic achievement. The author provides examples and advice on how to talk [End Page 242] with children about schooling and education, and examines varied ways parents can support both teachers and children in the homework process.

2. Epstein, J.L., & Van Hooris, F.L. (2001). More than minutes: Teachers' roles in designing homework. Educational Psychologist, 36(3), 181-193.

This literature review focuses on the role that teachers play in students' homework. The authors review research on teachers' perceptions of the varied purposes of homework. They examine the ways parental involvement influences teachers' own roles in the homework process. The authors describe the successful results of their implementation of their TIPS (Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork) interactive homework program.

3. Hoover-Dempsey, K.V., Battiato, A.C., Walker, J.M., Reed, R.P., DeLong, J.M., & Jones, K.P. (2001). Parental involvement in homework. Educational Psychologist, 36(3), 195-209.

This comprehensive review of the literature summarizes and integrates research on the reasons parents choose to become involved in their children's homework, the varied ways parents provide assistance and support...