An article published in Frontiers in Psychology examined how math homework effort among middle school students is influenced by adult support from family and school. The authors hypothesized that support from parents and teachers could promote the autonomous motivation of students by providing a sense of having free choice, and by generating interest.
A questionnaire was distributed to 666 seventh and eighth graders from three schools in Hubei Province of China. The questionnaire sought information about students’ math homework effort, autonomous motivation, math teacher support, and parental autonomy support. The results were as follows:
- Students perceived that parental autonomy support and math teachers’ support facilitated students’ autonomous motivation, which in turn enhanced their effort in homework.
- Furthermore, students perceived that parental autonomy support directly promoted their math homework effort.
The authors concluded that parents and teachers should provide more support for middle school students’ math learning. Specifically, they provided three practical strategies to parents, namely: “try to understand children’s perspective when communicating homework and school life, offer meaningful reasons why homework is important and allow children to arrange their homework time.”
Source (Open Access): Feng, X., Xie, K., Gong, S., Gao, L., & Cao, Y. (2019). Effects of parental autonomy support and teacher support on middle school students’ homework effort: Homework autonomous motivation as mediator. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 612. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00612