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Homework helpful for K-12 students, study suggests

Homework assignments are beneficial to K-12 students for various reasons, including better preparedness for institutions of higher education such as Boston University, according to a survey published Tuesday by the University of Phoenix.

“Homework has become an opportunity for real-world learning and career preparation,” said University of Phoenix College of Education Assistant Dean Ashley Norris in a press release. “Teachers are connecting homework to current events, tying science and math concepts to specific jobs and integrating technology into homework to keep students more engaged.”

Ninety-eight percent of high school teachers said homework benefits K-12 students, primarily through allowing teachers to see how well their students understand lessons, the survey stated.

The survey also found that many K-12 teachers felt homework helps students develop problem solving and time-management skills, as well as encourages students to relate the material they learn in class to the real world.

Several students said the level of rigor and amount of homework they were asked to complete in high school was much less demanding than what is required here at BU.

“In high school it was pretty manageable. I had a lot of extra time over the weekend,” said Lisa Anammah, a sophomore in Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Science. “For college, things pile up on each other, but in high school they [instructors] were more conscious of the fact that I was taking other classes. They didn’t want to overburden us.”

Anammah said she found homework in college more stressful than that she had to complete in high school.

“The homework for college, the most burdening thing about it is you have to combine it with studying for tests at the same time,” she said. “Tests come on different dates, they come at different times and then you have to balance them with other material you have due for that class. It’s pretty overwhelming at times.”

Juliann Tefft, a College of Engineering junior, said taking Advanced Placement classes high school prepared her well for the homework she has to complete at BU, though her workload at the university is more demanding.

“I have no free time,” she said. “I maybe have six hours Friday and Saturday that are my time, but other than that I’m always either working at my job or doing schoolwork. It definitely gets stressful. It’s kind of like a never-ending wheel. I just work through it.”

Dan Dischino, a sophomore in BU’s College of Arts and Sciences, said his high school homework load was less difficult than what he faces at BU.

“I probably had an hour and a half, two hours of homework per night in high school,” he said. “It was mostly just a page of math problems or something, it wasn’t anything that in-depth.”

Dischino said the rigor of his homework in high school did not prepare him for the amount of homework he has at BU.

“In high school you have to get it done, but in college it’s expected for you to do it,” he said. “When I first got here, I didn’t really do any of my readings because it didn’t harm me at all if I didn’t do it. But when a test came, I wouldn’t do as well.”

Lucia Olmos, a junior in the School of Management, said her experiences in the International Baccalaureate program at her high school prepared her for college-level coursework and homework.

“In high school, time management was something that was crucial,” she said. “For college, you have the syllabus and it’s up to you. If you don’t have that time management set well, you can lose track.”

Olmos said her workload at BU is overburdening at times.

“It’s stressful when I have a lot of readings for all of my classes,” she said. “You don’t have enough time to do everything, so you have to prioritize.”

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