At its basic level, homework consists of tasks assigned to students by school teachers that are meant to be carried out during nonschool hours. In most schools across the nation, the daily assignment of homework is as predictable an event as the afternoon dismissal bell. Yet this deeply rooted and quite ordinary aspect of children's schooling is fraught with controversy over its purpose and benefits. Whereas teachers, parents, and even students agree that homework should play some role in schooling, both the amount assigned and the time students should be expected to devote to schoolwork after school remain vexing issues. Research on the extent to which homework boosts academic achievement has yielded contradictory findings, and this has served to fuel the recent anti-homework movement of ...

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