Research Topic

Homework, Learning and Academic Success: The Role of Family and Contextual Variables

About this Research Topic

The main purpose of this Research Topic is to analyze and identify the main family and contextual variables that are involved in the process of carrying out homework. This will require studying the role played by teachers, students and families in order to ensure that schoolwork is a useful learning tool. ...

The main purpose of this Research Topic is to analyze and identify the main family and contextual variables that are involved in the process of carrying out homework. This will require studying the role played by teachers, students and families in order to ensure that schoolwork is a useful learning tool. Although the role of the student is, obviously, crucial in homework, research has focused on the cumulative time spent by the student carrying out homework. However, the time spent on homework is not in itself evidence of the student's involvement nor is time spent indicative of quality time. Indeed, an excess of time can sometimes denote low competence in a field of knowledge, while spending less time on homework could be indicative of high competence. It is more likely that a high dedication of time spent on homework reflects high motivation, or comprehension deficits, rather than commitment to learning or academic motivation.

In tandem with the role of the student, teachers, as responsible for prescribing homework assignments for students, also become central players in the process of completing homework assignments. The decisions that teachers make about homework prescriptions, and the amount and type of tasks they set, will determine, to a large extent, the quality of the homework process including the student’s motivation and the student’s level of engagement with homework. Furthermore, the fact that homework is useful, interesting and motivating for students, will depend on how the teacher prescribes those tasks and the connection established with classroom learning. Teacher feedback also acquires particular relevance for this point by helping the students to accurately estimate the quality of their progress and overcome the difficulties they may have encountered in carrying out their homework. Lastly, the effectiveness of teacher feedback depends on its contribution to the student’s educational progress and how that student will perform in the future.

In addition to the student who performs the task and the teacher who prescribes and corrects it, we must not lose sight of parents' role. Although there are discrepancies regarding the role that parents play in relation to homework, it is evident that their implication has important consequences not only on the final result of those tasks but also on the very process of carrying them out. Everything seems to indicate that the family environment and, more specifically, the support and feedback provided by parents is a factor that can determine the involvement of students in school duties. In this way, providing emotional support encouraging children to get involved can contribute positively to improving their motivation and interest in the performance of homework.

The objective of this Research Topic is to provide researchers and professionals in psychology and education settings with some of the most recent empirical evidence regarding the homework process, its prescription and correction. Overall, we aim to cease making homework a source of conflict and controversy at the socio-educational level in order to provide useful instruments for improving the quality of student learning.


Keywords: Homework Engagement, Homework Motivation, Teachers' Homework Feedback, Teachers’ Homework Assignments, Parents' Homework Involvement


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 November 2018 Manuscript
01 January 2019 Manuscript Extension

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Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 November 2018 Manuscript
01 January 2019 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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