New research shows that most students do more than three hours of homework a night — and all that school work eventually makes them sick.
It may well be tempting to overlook this new research, done in upper-middle-class regions, as just another symptom of the eccentricity of the wealthy. It's, after all, the same group that recently brought us the eye-rolling news reports about a $250-per hour teacher quizzing elementary school kids on their subjects.
According to a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and co-author of the research published in the Journal of Experimental Education, Denise Pope, she said: "Three hours of assignments a night was normal, by the way."
She further stressed that "We had children throughout the study who were doing a lot more," as much as five hours in some cases. Also, in schools that have policies and procedures to reduce homework, advanced placement, and honors, students are still excluded.
The research surveyed about 4400 students from 10 best public and private high schools in California. Studies have sought to determine the correlation between homework and student well-being and participation, as well as to understand how homework is a source of stress in the lives of students.
The results were surprising: research showed that excessive homework is related to higher stress rates, difficulties with general well-being, and lack of motivation in children's lives; 56% of students in the study identified homework as a primary stressor in their lives.
"We've found a clear correlation between student symptoms and health risks — migraines, ulcers, and other stomach problems, sleep deprivation and exhaustion, and weight loss," Pope said.
Pope's findings are extremely useful to the previous National Assessment of Educational Progress data on homework trends for the general public.
As noted, the majority of students' homework has remained relatively stable since 1984, concerning the Brown Center Report on American Education 2014 of the Brookings Institute.
Pope and his associates have focused primarily on relatively wealthy institutions of the upper-middle class, as it is in such cultures that the recognized importance of schoolwork is deeply and irrefutably rooted. Here, many students explain school work as well as the strain of high academic success as the dominant force of their day.
In his analysis with Challenges with Success, Pope uncovered that Stanford's partnership was created as the result of an increase in emotional and mental health issues among American students, whose school work remained as a source of stress.
Some parents required more attention, and some required less. Some parents would buy workbooks and hand them over to their kids if the teacher did not offer early grade homework. Pope also observed parents lamenting that they didn't see their children on a holiday weekend because they were attempting to finish their homework.
"We found that we need intervention with homework," she said, not just with high schoolers’. While this research was done with high school graduates, "we have the same results from the children in their formative years."