Why Some of the Students Hate Doing Homework?
Homework is a task that is viewed by students as being an activity that is disliked at all levels of education. While academic study on the assignment of work to students has generally found that schoolwork is given a negative reaction by students, homework has been found to be perceived to be even more undesirable by students. There are many reasons for this, however they can be simply delineated into two different categories based on the rationale for students to dislike performing the task of homework. These categories are valence of homework and cognitive obstacles. This paper will take an evidence-based approach relying on scholarly literature to identify the factors that influence student dislike for the activity of performing homework.
Typically, valence is developed through an individual seeing that the performance of a task will result in the receipt of a valued reward (Crawford). In terms of the student, creating value in performing homework is difficult for the teacher as the benefit of cognitive development and the accrual of knowledge are things that the student will not value until they get older in most cases. For students in the K-12 system being entertained or being exposed to a novel experience is valued (Vehkakoski). For the student in higher learning, homework is a means by which their instructor is able to develop skill, knowledge and ability. The student in higher learning will typically be in the classroom in order to receive a positive economic reward from the accrual of skill, knowledge and ability. As the reward is temporally distant, obtaining valence from the experience of performing homework is difficult for the student in higher learning.
Students who are from disadvantaged backgrounds will also have a difficult time with valence in performing homework. This is because there is a sense of urgency for the disadvantaged individual to participate in economic activity or to help their families out by caring for younger siblings. Also, those who are in disadvantaged economic environments are not aware of the benefits that exist for people who are academically successful. Therefore, the socioeconomic conditions of an individual will play a role in the value that they perceive in the performance of homework. If there is no value in homework but the student is being compelled to perform the assignment, they will therefore dislike the task because they will perceive it as a tedious waste of time.
In addition to a lack of value in what homework can do for the student, cognitive obstacles can make a student dislike the performance of homework. This is because it may take a great deal of effort, more than what it takes students who do not have a disability. Students who have cognitive disabilities will typically take longer to complete coursework and understand classroom concepts. While self-managing tools can be helpful for the student, this will not be enough to make the student like homework as research has found that while giving students self-management skills helps their performance, it does not increase student satisfaction (Xu).
Students will hate homework because their perception of it is that it is a waste of time and that the effort spent on homework does not equal the benefits received. Homework is not fun for them and it can be difficult to complete. These factors will encourage the student to dislike performing homework. Without reception of positive stimulation, the student will therefore come to hate performing homework (Bempechat).
Bempechat, J., Li, J., Neier, S. M., Gillis, C. A., & Holloway, S. D. The homework experience: Perceptions of low-income youth. Journal of Advanced Academics, 22(2), 250-278.
Crawford, L. Does homework really work? Great Schools. Hong, E., Wan, M., & Peng, Y. Discrepancies between students' and teachers' perceptions of homework. Journal of Advanced Academics, 22(2), 280-308.
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Stables, A., Murakami, K., McIntosh, S., & Martin, S. Conceptions of effort among students, teachers and parents within an English secondary school. Research Papers in Education, (ahead-of-print), 1-23.
Vehkakoski, T. M. ‘More homework for me, too’. Meanings of differentiation constructed by elementary-aged students in classroom interaction. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 27(2), 157-170.
Xu, J. Homework purposes reported by secondary school students: A multilevel analysis. The Journal of Educational Research, 103(3), 171-182.