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Is homework worth the time?

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Schools need to take a closer look at what they’re assigning to students and why, some experts say.

A recent study led by an Indiana University professor found that traditional homework assignments won’t improve a student’s grades but could boost standardized test scores.

With many students reporting they spend more than 100 hours each year on homework, it begs the question: Is homework still worth the time?

While most experts believe it is, some recommend that educators rethink their approach to giving homework. Traditional assignments might become a thing of the past as teachers move toward assignments that are more project-based or require more critical thinking, they say.

Indiana’s Taylor High School is among the schools making those changes.

“Some districts are toying with the idea of eliminating homework completely,” said Taylor High School Principal Eric Hartman. He said he doesn’t think that’s the answer.

Neither do the authors of the study.

“We’re not trying to say that all homework is bad,” said Adam Maltese, co-author of the study and assistant professor of science education in the IU School of Education. “It’s expected that students are going to do homework.”

Schools just need to take a closer look at what they’re assigning to students and why, Maltese said.

(Next page: What Maltese’s study found)

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