A recent study investigated whether Chinese students’ purposes in relation to doing math homework were affected by factors related to homework, teacher, and parent. The study recruited 3,018 students in grade 8 from 96 classes from three regions in China. These students averagely spent 34.1 minutes on math homework each day, and 76.9% of them did math homework four or more days each week.
Using a survey, the researchers assessed students’ math homework purposes (namely academic purposes, self-regulatory purposes, approval-seeking purposes). They then examined factors related to homework (namely homework quality, homework interest, homework favourability, homework frequency and homework time), teachers (namely teacher feedback quality, teacher feedback quantity, and teacher autonomy support), and parents (namely parent content support and parent autonomy support). The multilevel analysis of the relationships showed that:
- The triple cluster of homework characteristics, teacher and parent support had at least one variable significantly related to the three math homework purposes of the students.
- At the class level, students’ assessment of homework quality and favourability had positive effects on their academic purposes.
- Moreover, homework quality, teacher feedback quantity, and teacher autonomy support in a class had positive influences on self-regulatory purposes
- Also, teacher’s autonomy support of their classroom had a positive influence on students’ approval seeking purpose at the class level.
The authors concluded that the more effective way to promote math homework purposes is to improve homework quality, interest, and favourability, rather than homework time and frequency.
Source: Xu, J. (2020). Investigating factors that influence math homework purposes: A multilevel analysis. The Journal of Experimental Education. Advanced online publication. doi: 10.1080/00220973.2020.1810604