But secondary students need different kinds of parental involvement. Studies have shown that discussion of school activities at home has the most positive effect of all the types of parental involvement. On the basis of these findings, researchers have developed a homework approach to promote student learning, parent-child interactions and parent- teacher communication. This design for interactive homework can be applied to any subject at any grade level.
Each assignment includes clear objectives for learning, instructions for completion, and explicit instructions to the student for involving family members in certain portions of the assignment.
Interactive assignments are assigned no more than once per week. Students are given several days to complete the activity, and certain sections of the activity include instructions to prompt students to involve family members with specific conversation. Parents are asked for feedback on the effectiveness of the activity. Teachers design interactive questions that parents can answer without formal education or detailed knowledge of the subject.
The assignments focus on what the student is learning, not on what the parent knows. In the current study, Van Voorhis studied 10 classes of suburban students and their parents for two grading periods. A total of sixth and eighth graders participated in low, average and honors science classes. Fifty-three percent of the students were white, 36 percent were African American and 11 percent were from other ethnic groups. All teachers in the study were encouraged to use science activities that promoted discovery and hands-on experiences that motivated students.
Van Voorhis compared the effects of completing TIPS homework assignments with non-interactive homework assignments. Six classes were assigned TIPS homework and four received traditional assignments. Van Voorhis collaborated with teachers to develop TIPS science assignments to match their curriculum for the first two marking periods. Teachers chose topics for weekly assignments and designed two test questions related to each homework assignment.
Noninteractive assignments included the same homework content and format but did not include the instructions for family involvement. At the end of the study, parents of students in all the classes were asked to complete a survey of their opinions of science homework.
Homework completion, homework accuracy, family involvement, time on homework, science achievement, and attitudes about homework and science were recorded. Achievement was measured by the percentage of homework-related test questions answered correctly and report-card grades.
Van Voorhis sought to identify the effects of interactive and noninteractive homework on family involvement in homework, homework completion rates, homework accuracy and science achievement. TIPS encouraged significantly more family involvement in science homework. Higher levels of family involvement did not carry over to other subjects, however. The TIPS assignments provided instructions so parents did not have to figure out how to help their child appropriately.
When family members were involved, students completed more assignments and assignments were more accurate than students with non-interactive assignments. Researchers recommend that teachers involve students in discussions related to the objectives and expected outcomes of the assignments. Additionally, teachers should write directions and explanations for each assignment in steps so parents and children can interpret how homework is to be completed.
Homework should be assigned in a way that gives the family some flexibility. Allowing for flexibility and providing clear directions serve to improve students self-directness and ability to self-manage their work, and increases the likelihood that homework will be completed.
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The forgotten voices in homework: Views of the students. Please note that this site is privately owned and is in no way related to any Federal agency or ERIC unit. Further, this site is using a privately owned and located server. This is NOT a government sponsored or government sanctioned site.
Sep 03, · Homework assignments that require family help can get parents more involved in middle school, a time many parents disengage, a new study finds.
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Homework is a leading factor for improving academic performance among students who have the ability to work independently and adequate parental support to complete homework assignments. When parents are interested in children's homework, students are more likely to successfully complete their assignments. To improve parent involvement, teachers must be trained to design interactive homework. Homework assignments that include interaction with family members improve family involvement ERN Admin Middle-school students participated in a study of interactive science homework for 18 weeks.