Study: Little evidence elementary school students benefit from homework

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For decades, homework has been a staple in the American education system but now, more than ever, school districts around the country are re-evaluating their approach. Some have removed it from their curriculum altogether.

Duke University social psychologist, Harris Cooper, PhD, found through his research that homework can be beneficial for some students.

Specifically, Cooper found that homework can be beneficial for high school students’ test scores and in some cases, middle school students as well. But his findings showed little evidence that homework benefits elementary school students.

One rule of thumb that Cooper suggests as a guideline is called the 10-Minute Rule, which states that students do no more than 10 minutes of homework each night per grade level. That would be about 10 minutes of homework per night for a first-grade student, up to a maximum of about two hours of homework at the high school level.