A study of mathematics homework
Omlin-Ruback, Holly I.
After spending the day learning in elementary school, most children across the United States are given homework , assignments to be completed outside of the regular school day. Most research on homework conducted in elementary schools focuses on the relationship between achievement and time spent on homework. Little, if any, research has investigated the types of mathematics homework assigned to elementary students and its relationship to achievement. Given the continued practice of assigning homework and the gap in literature regarding research that investigates type of homework, as well as the paucity of homework research at the elementary level, there is a need for further research. Thus, the focus of this dissertation was to investigate the type of mathematics homework assigned to fifth-grade students, their interaction with the assigned homework and the relationship to achievement on a statewide test. This exploratory descriptive study used a convenience sample of fifth-grade students from a school district in the Pacific Northwest to examine the type of mathematics homework assigned to fifth-grade students, their interaction with the assigned homework, and the relationship between the homework students completed and their achievement on the statewide standardized test in mathematics. The majority of homework collected was correctly completed Direct Contact Practice homework. Furthermore, the mathematical strand of Calculations and Estimations was the most frequently assigned strand. Correlational analysis indicated that weak correlations with student total RIT scores on the statewide standardized test in mathematics existed in several areas. There was a correlation of .29 between the number of correct homework interactions and state test score, a correlation of .36 between the number of Direct Contact Practice homework and the RIT score, a -.28 correlation between the number of Other homework items completed and the RIT score, and a .26 correlation between the total number of homework interactions and RIT score. When the relationship between homework categorized by math strand and the state stranded math score was examined, there was a .36 correlation between the number of Algebra homework interactions and score on the algebra strand of the statewide mathematics assessment. Limitations of the study are discussed and recommendations for future research are presented.