The Motivational Benefits of Homework: A Social-Cognitive Perspective

This article argues that, as a pedagogical practice, homework plays a critical, long-term role in the development of children's achievement motivation. Homework provides children with time and experience to develop positive beliefs about achievement, as well as strategies for coping with mistakes, difficulties, and setbacks. This article reviews current research on achievement motivation and examines the ways parents and teachers encourage or inhibit the development of adaptive beliefs about learning. It then integrates the literature on homework and achievement motivation and shows that homework's motivational benefits, while not named as such, have been in evidence for some time. Finally, the article argues that homework is a vital means by which children can receive the training they need to become mature learners.